Happy Birthday Versions 1.1 – 1.15

This is my first post of the school year, and most of my posts will probably be products of my Graphic Design and Sculpture studio classes. This semester, I’m taking a Basic Graphic Design class with the inspiring Frank Young, who’s pretty much one of the legendary graphic design lecturers at SVA. He manages to be the nicest guy and teach one of the most challenging classes (mostly due to the intense assignments we get), and we also start every class with meditation (really).

Our first assignment was a sort of typography poster assignment. 15 posters, only black text on white background, only Trade Gothic font (and variants – no distortion other than increasing and decreasing size). The copy: “Happy Birthday to You/Happy Birthday to You/Happy Birthday Dear Nova/Happy Birthday to You”; Nova being the name of one of my classmates. We were supposed to be playful and have fun with it, but being me I started over-thinking it, and so I came up with all these concepts for them, and I also mostly stayed very minimalist. I was really nervous about critiques because Frank is apparently tough, but this week he wanted to let us warm up, so he just shared a few harmless comments.

But of course, being a Frank Young class, our assignment for next week is – wait for it – THE EXACT SAME ASSIGNMENT. Except we have to do 25 NEW POSTERS. He said something along the lines of, it’s not the same assignment because we’re not the same people as we were last week. I think this time I’m going to try to let myself go a bit more, which is something that I don’t usually do when I design, since I like things to be tight and structured. The aim is to achieve something aesthetic but free. I took this class as a challenge to myself, so I do want to struggle with it as far as possible. I already feel some personal growth in just two classes, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the semester!

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