It doesn't matter if you spell it "color" or "colour" - we all understand it plays an important role in design. It can communicate emotions, convey contrast, and impact the success of a design project. Choosing the right color(s) for your project is an essential, but tricky, component of the design process. Sometimes a little inspiration can go a long way. I've compiled a list of my favorite online resources to help you...

The Pantone color system is the industry standard book of color swatches for graphic designers. They have reference numbers that you can give to the printer, who will ready-make inks to match these numbers. When designing for print, a common issue faced by designers is the color seen on the monitor, versus how it prints on paper. Using Pantone colors ensures your design will turn out as you intended. The Pantone books come...

The Middle East Design Educators Association (MEDEA), in collaboration with ico-D member Applied Science University (ASU), recently held a series of workshops led by educators in the field of design. The event was attended by 180 students representing universities from across Jordan, including Petra University, the University of Oman, and the University of the Middle East, along with professionals from across the city of Amman, Jordan. In alignment with the association's interest...

For this assignment, students devised a series of experiments to explore a chosen verb through typographic formal compositions. Each student aimed to develop a unique visual representation of the word based on its meaning using single letters or different words. Following the experimental process, students developed a book jacket for a fiction or poetry hardcover found in the University library. The goal was to simultaneously employ the use of expressive typography...

Four outstanding students from the Fall 2014 Design for a Sustainable Future course accompanied me in an exhibition opportunity at the 'AASHE 2015 Conference and Expo: Transforming Sustainability Education' held in Minneapolis. Accepted for inclusion as part of the conference in a double-blind peer review process, the exhibition highlighted our collaboration with RIT graphic design students on shared approaches to sustainability challenges. Held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, the exhibition with Kelly...

I recently returned from the 'AASHE 2015 Conference and Expo: Transforming Sustainability Education' and am bursting with sustainability-related ideas and inspiration. Having been accepted to the Conference and Expo with Kelly Murdoch-Kitt (following a double-blind, peer review process), I invited four outstanding graphic design students from my “Design for a Sustainable Future” course to participate in this international dissemination opportunity. Our exhibition was presented within the ‘Art’ Track at the Minneapolis Convention Center (Exhibit...

This October, four outstanding Graphic Design students accompanied me on a field study to Minneapolis (Minnesota) to participate in the “AASHE 2015 Conference and Expo: Transforming Sustainability Education.” ASSHE is dedicated to creating a diverse community that is engaged in sharing ideas and promising practices that demonstrate the value and competitive edge created by sustainability initiatives. Drawing approximately 2,100 participants, the conference is currently the largest stage in North America for...

There are thousands of fonts to choose from - so how do you decide which typeface to use in a project? Familiarizing yourself with the many fantastic Latin and Arabic "type foundries" is a great place to start. A type foundry is a company that specializes in the production and distribution of typefaces and type families. Originally, type foundries manufactured and sold metal and wood typefaces and matrices for line-casting machines...

It was an absolute pleasure to attend the ‘Third International Conference on Leadership in Pedagogies and Learning’ held in Brisbane this September on the beautiful Stuartholme campus. The goal of islPAL is to promote high-quality pedagogies and effective learning across disciplines, for safe, sustainable living, lifelong learning, and community well-being. This two-day gathering of educators was an opportunity to share authentic conversations and build personal capacity around trends in pedagogies and learning in...

It has been an inspiring week in Chicago, filled with fresh ideas about contemporary design education research and the teaching of design. The LearnxDesign Conference (aka the 3rd International Conference for Design Education Researchers), was an engaging week focused on design methodologies and teaching tools. Organized by the DESIGN-ED Coalition, in partnership with DRS and Cumulus, the conference was held at various locations on SAIC's campus. Themes discussed during the conference include Design...

This April, the AIGA made history with the organization's first ever Design Educators Conference coordinated outside the United States, in neighboring Canada. Held in Toronto on the beautiful York University campus, the three-day event had an excellent array of keynote speakers including Denise Gonzales Crisp, Carl DiSalvo, and Sanne van der Beek. [gallery columns="2" link="none" size="full" ids="6977,7085"] The AIGA Spaces of Learning conference questioned assumptions about the relationship between making design, thinking and asking...

Our Imaging 2 class recently went on a field trip to the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) to view the Marvelous Creatures Exhibition (March 4 - July 31). The exhibition was a perfect introduction to the storytelling behind character design and helped guide the design process for the development of 3-D characters (our current project). The Marvelous Creatures Exhibit: Animal Fables in Islamic Art The exhibition focused on the real and mythical...

You hear the term "design thinking" all the time, but what does it mean to you? In my opinion, it involves considering the relationship between design, collaboration, education, writing, politics, culture, and context. But where do we begin to unravel some of these ideas? First, let’s start with the Design & Thinking Documentary: "Inspired by design thinking, this documentary grabs businessman, designers, social change-makers and individuals to portrait what they have in common when facing...

An important component of the 2014-2015 academic year was the Tasmeem Doha biennial international conference (held from March 8-12). The 2015 edition focused on the theme of "playfulness" as expressed by the Arabizi word 3ajeeb! (ahh-jhee-b) meaning "strange in a strange way, cool in a cool way, and slightly weird in a slightly weird way." The conference featured several distinct programs that coalesced into five days of exhibitions, events, and happenings. The...

MEDEA aims to foster dialog between the design industry and those who educate the next generation of designers by providing a platform for sharing ideas, challenges and opportunities. In responding to this platform, the Board of Directors of MEDEA developed a panel discussion on the broad topic of 'Contemporary Design Portfolios' as a way to engage with the audience of the Tasmeem Doha 2015 3ajeeb! Conference. The President, Diane Mikhael, and Vice...

For this Imaging II project, students created two binary posters to reflect two opposing emotions (ie. confidence vs fear), time-periods (ie. past vs present), selves (ie. how you see yourself vs how others see you), or even melodies. The goal was to capture the quality, emotion, and essence of the 2 emotional states using only self-generated materials, textures, typography, and photography. The concept behind each collage was an important factor for students...

In February 2015, sixteen graphic design students participated in a field study to South Korea for nine days, which encompassed an investigation of design and culture in various important locations. This enriching experience, which mostly took place in Seoul, was an important opportunity for students to develop their critical thinking and cultural understanding skills as well as investigate various aspects of Korean culture. Students were introduced to important points of contrast...

We discovered another side of Qatar this February as we toured the sprawling estate of the Al Naimi Farm during our in-country field study. As part of the trip, we witnessed first-hand the different stages of plant growth, from the vegetative phase of plant development to flowering, from tomato saplings to ripe capsicums. The farmers also introduced our group to local farming processes, including adding fertilizers to the irrigation water and the...