Some of you know that I’ve been teaching a class at Portfolio Center over the past few months. This has been a new experience for me, as I’ve never taught before and it was only a few years ago that I was a student at PC. In my time away from the academic world, I started to miss it. Not only is teaching a chance to “drop-knowledge”, but I find it invigorating and refreshing. Perhaps I’m a huge design geek, but I enjoy talking about design with people who aren’t jaded with the industry. Rather, they are eager to excel at visual communication.
The name of the class is Entertainment Design (a broad name for “The Album Cover Class”). We focus on concept, branding, and typography for artists in the music industry; with the deliverables being album covers, packaging, posters, and various other marketing items. In the 1.5 quarters I’ve taught so far, we’ve had a live project for a major label artist and several guest presentations from my friends who work in the design industry.
I’m putting myself in the mindset of a student (which isn’t hard considering I used to go to school there) and trying to make this class-scenario a “dream class” for anyone with an open mind. If my homework assignments consisted of listening to music, going to the record store, and sketching (sober of course), I would have been more than happy to go above and beyond the call.
I don’t have many examples of student work coming out of my class because most students choose to photograph their packaging towards the end of their student careers. I was able to get one of my students (and new EC web-intern), Eric Dewyngaert, to send me a photo of his album packaging. It’s a new approach to The Deftones, titled “The Acoustic Experiment”. He asked himself, “What would happen if one of the hardest bands out there created an acoustic album?” He was able to track down live-acoustic performances of some of their most popular songs which were sonically peculiar and very intense. As you can see, Eric’s visual-reveal is what I envision being the result of many long recording sessions. Very cool.
Given that the name of the class is Entertainment Design, we may shift our focus in coming quarters to film and other performance arts, although I have a feeling that most of my students get a kick out of discovering new bands and listening to music as homework.
Also, there’s always an open invite to my buddies who want to drop in and give honest feedback! C’mon down…