NSCAD DSGN-1000-2: Fall 2019

Tools for Digital Designing


Practical Assignment (in class), Dec 11

Be prepared to accomplish basic tasks in the programs we have used in class. Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign will be the most important programs. Basic Mac skills will also be important. You will be given some files to work with as source materials, and series of specific tasks to perform. This will be done in class, and submitted at the end of the class.


Using Processing, create a simple program of your own design that demonstrates some of the techniques we learned in class.

Mouse input, loops, random number generation, colour and drawing are all topics to explore.

Points to keep in mind:

Submit: upload to class web site. Filename: YOURLASTNAME_Assignment11.zip

Due via class web site by 6 pm , Dec 4.

Formatting for Usability Assignment

Needs to be done in InDesign.

Margins a minimum of 1 inch left and right.

Use a leading value of twice your body text point size.

Title page: Title of essay, your name, your student number, instructor's name, course name and number, due date.

Pages need to be numbered. Use a header with the title of the essay in it, and your name. Use master pages.

You must use paragraph styles for all content.

Cite the name of the web site on a separate page titled "Works Cited."

Getting your page numbers to start on the first text page (not the cover page) can be tricky. You need to define a section and then remove the extra automatic page number from the cover page. Refer to: Page numbers and sections

Use the MLA format for the citation of the web site. List any other references in the "Works Cited" page. Follow the MLA style exactly; you must also include the URL for any web sites. (URLs are optional in MLA style, but I am requiring you to include them. ZoteroBib is a good resource for generating references.

Upload to class web site, both PDF and InDesign File, 6:00 pm Nov 26 Name your files YOURLASTNAME_Review.pdf and YOURLASTNAME_Review.indd.

Remember that this is the date for the final version - you still need to submit a rough draft beforehand.

Draft of usability assignment

Due Nov 19, 2019

Submit a first draft of your usability review. You do not need to include title page, references, etc., at this point.

How to submit:

Submit via Slack as a Direct Message to Robert Currie as YOURLASTNAME_draft. MS Word, Pages and plain text (.txt) file are all acceptable formats. Please use double spacing.

Assignment 9: InDesign

Due Nov 19, 2019

Using InDesign, use the text and images provided to create a short publication.

Download images and text here.

You must use all the text provided in the file iceland text.docx, and as many of the images as you choose, with a minimum of one image per page. There is no maximum or minimum number of pages.

You may only use a maximum of two font families - one serif and one sans-serif. You may crop images but not otherwise modify them.

All text must be black, except for any text superimposed on photos, which may be black or white. All text must be easily readable. Body text should be between 9 and 12 points.

Use a simple publication grid. I recommend a simple multicolumn grid.

You do not need to fill the entire page - white space is almost always a good idea. Correct use of paragraph styles and master pages is required.

How to submit:

Use the "Package" function in InDesign to create a folder containing all the required files, and then use the "Compress" function in MacOS or the "Send to Compessed" function in Windows. You can access these by right-clicking/control-clicking on the folder you want to compress.

Then, upload the resulting zip file as YOURLASTNAME_assignment9.zip

To create a .zip archive: Press and hold (or right-click) the file or folder, select (or point to) Send to, and then select Compressed (zipped) folder.


  1. Read the text carefully before attempting to lay it out.
  2. Consider sketching layouts on paper (as simple boxes) before working in InDesign
  3. If you need to refer to the original, the source is the Wikipedia article on Iceland.
  4. Check to make sure the fonts you choose support all characters in the text. (Hint: Icelandic uses characters not found in modern English)

Assignment 8: InDesign

Using InDesign, create a 1-page guide explaining how to make a cup of tea. Make sure you include at least 5 steps. Create illustrations such as diagrams or photographs to illustrate the process.

The images can be digital photographs, vector art, or scans of hand-drawn imaged, but you must create them yourself.

Points to keep in mind:

Submit two files: a PDF named YOURLASTNAME_Assignment8.pdf and your InDesign file, YOURLASTNAME_Assignment8.indd
Due 6:pm, Nov 5.

Assignment 7

Add CSS to your web site. Basic text styles are essential; CSS positioning is optional. Validate and check carefully, and bring in on flash drive. Due in class, Oct 30

Assignment 6

Create a 3-page web site

Assignment 5

Imagine that NSCAD is the primary sponsor of a boat in an around-the-world race. Your job is to come up with graphics for the boat to reflect NSCAD's sponsorship of it. The role of the sponsorship is to promote NSCAD. Examine how other sponsors use graphics to promote themselves before you begin.

A basic outline of the boat is provided. You will submit a side and top view, using the provided file as guide. Your design must:

  • Research how other boats have been designed.
  • Emphasize the NSCAD colours. You can use any colour you want, but the colours of the NCSAD logo must be present. You can refer to the NSCAD identity guide.
  • The IMOCA Open 60 logo must be present at the top of the sail. You will need to re-create it. Use this one: IMOCA Open 60 logo for reference. The version that you create should look exactly like this.
  • Only vector images may be present.
  • You will want to use the NSCAD logo. You can access a version of the NSCAD logo online. There are multiple versions in this file. Use this version; don't create your own.
  • Include lots of detail. Think about how the design would look from close up and from far away. Some elements may be very small in your file - that's OK.
  • The outline, size and shape of the boat cannot be changed. Graphics can go on the mast, hull, boom, mainsail or other parts. The lines you see at the front of the boat (from the mast to the hull and bowsprit) are not sails and no graphics can go there. Check out images for reference.
  • The number 5163 must appear on the hull in large numbers.
  • Optional: Draw a rear view of the boat and create graphics for the stern. Use photos for a reference.

Make sure to save your file for review, if needed.

Upload your digital file. Filename: YOURLASTNAME_Assignment5.ai

Due: 6:00 PM, Oct.8

Assignment 4

Recreate this image as a vector-based image created in Illustrator.

Ensure that that you meet the objective of demonstrating skill in Illustrator. Remember to turn off (or delete) the original tracing layer before submitting.

Pentax K 1000

Submit: digital file in .AI format, uploaded to upload page by 6pm, October 2.

Make sure to upload to the correct folder and ensure that the filename is

Alternate image: You can use this image instead: Pentax K1000

Assignment 3

Combine three or more images into a single composite image. Pay close attention to selections, making sure to select accurately. Inspect your work, cleaning up any imperfections. You may use any techniques you wish, but layers and compositing techniques are the most important feature here. Pay close attention to edges, how items interact with the background, shadows, etc.

You must include at least 4 layers; more may be useful. All source images must be created by you. Choose one of the following themes:

  • Collage: scan or photograph textures, objects, text or other real-world items, and combine into a collage.
  • Things Arranged Neatly: A collection of objects, scanned directly on the scanner or digitally photographed, and arranged in a clear and methodical way. Check out Things Organized Neatly for inspiration. You must arrange the items in Photohop, not in the original photograph.
  • Fake It: Combine realistic elements into an impossible (but realistic-looking) scene.

Important: Your file must be at a resolution of 150ppi at a size of 8 by 10 inches.

Make sure your original images are scanned at the appropriate resolution, and remember that enlarging the images in any way in Photoshop will lower the effective resolution.

Submit: digital file in PSD format, uploaded to upload page by 6pm, Sept 24.

Make sure to upload to the correct folder and ensure that the filename is

Assignment 2

Start with a photograph. (Not a picture from a book or other commercially printed source.) The photograph needs be be your own work. You can scan it, or create an image with digital camera. Then, create a new version of the original. Make sure to save your original file and your altered file.

Remember: Images you use in this class need to be your own creation. Any exceptions to this will be noted in the assignment details I post for each assignment.

The unaltered image needs to be an image you created. You many not use any other images. Upload the two files to the class web site by 6 pm, Sept 17.

The version should be based on one of the following themes:

  1. More and less: Divide the photo into two equal sections. On one side, make more of what is in the photo. Fill it up. On the other side, make less. Empty it out. Make the dividing line sharp and obvious.
  2. Weather: Change the weather. Show the effect on the sky, the ground, people, everything.
  3. Time: Turn night into day, or day into night. Don't just make the images brighter or darker, think about how everything changes: how busy it is, what people are doing, differences in lighting, etc.

Read all instructions carefully.
Failing to follow assigned instructions may result in lost points.

Technical requirements:

You must demonstrate use of most of the following tools as a minimum:

  • Clone stamp
  • Dodge and burn
  • Paintbrush
  • Selection tools, including marquee and quick select tools

General requirements:

  • You may not use filters for this assignment.
  • Don't be afraid to change the image radically from the original.
  • Don't include parts of other images; that will be the next assignment.
  • For this assignment, use a resolution 240 pixels/inch. Both your original and altered image should be set to 240 ppi. Your image should be set up to fit on a 8.5 x 11 inch page.
Submit: submit digital file of changed versions and unaltered original, uploaded to upload page by 6pm, Dec 31.

Format: Save as Photoshop file. Filename: YOURLASTNAME_Assignment2a.psd for your original and YOURLASTNAME_Assignment2b.psd for your altered version.

Marking guidance

This is meant to be a general guide. Your mark will be governed by the overall quality of the assignment.

Resolution low: -2 points.

Resolution much too low: -4 points.

Missing information/wrong file name: -1 point per item

Range of tools: 0-4 points

Quality of work: 0-4 points

Technical correctness: 0-2 points

Assignments 0 and 1

  • Create a 1 or 2 paragraph document in Word, Pages or TextEdit outlining your previous computer experience. Save your work on a flash disk. Print it out and pass it in, or upload it to the class web site.You must name the file YOURLASTNAME_Assignment0.docx (for a Word file, or YOURLASTNAME_Assignment0.pages for a Pages file or YOURLASTNAME_Assignment0.rtf (for a TextEdit file.)
  • Create a self-portrait using PhotoBooth on the Mac. Do not use any filters or effects that would make you un-recognizable.

    Upload the file to the class web site by 6 pm, Sept 10.

    You must name the file YOURLASTNAME_Assignment1.jpg

    Before you upload, check that your file is named properly, and that your are uploading to the correct folder for your section of the class.