This past week I introduced the project below to my Foundation Graphic Design class BMCC. The exercise is a lot of fun and is a technique that I continue to use in my regular practice for generating new forms, shapes and color combinations. This also comes in very handy in the logo, icon or symbol creation development phase. With the growing rate of flat design being used and applied for all aspects of the web, applications and far beyond, you too can jump in and become a practitioner. By the way, with the accelerated rate at which mobile app capabilities are updating, this exercise can also be done easily using the awesome Assembly App (Which I have certainly written about here before). Check out these examples and follow the instructions below, if you wish!(Feel free to tweak the steps and sizes that I have listed)

1. Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document sized at 11″ X 17″ in CMYK color mode. We will be both printing and displaying the final work on screen. (You can use the Save for Web feature later for screen presentation as we KNOW you will share this on your Instagram feed!) 

Consider, how will you set your guides to equally balance and format the graphics evenly? Will you use a grid? Do you have a preferred method for layout?

2. Create a new series of subjective graphic icons following the layout and arrangement above and below. Don’t re-create my examples, make your own, but follow the composition for structure, formatting and composition.

3. Limit yourself to 6 or 7 values of 1 complimentary color scheme. Consider referring to the color wheel for reference!

4. Create your shapes. Limit yourself to creating and composing your graphics with no more than 6 shapes created with the pathfinder or the shape builder tool. Of course, you can also use standard geometric shapes if you wish. Begin without using a stroke around your shapes and then apply a stroke for contrast.

5. Save your work as an Ai. file (adobe illustrator) as well as a .pdf – Print your work in .pdf format.

6. Upload and share on your Instagram feed or Instagram stories, tag me back to get your grade! @ryanseslow

7. Repeat the process once per month.