Icebreaker Project: WDYDWYD


Because I Want It All

Because my father said "we might lose the house" too many times.

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover.

I want to "Feel Again".

Level: , ,
Duration: 3 weeks
Category: , , ,
Filed Under: , , , ,
Bookmark Project

Project Brief

Students were first asked to explore the worldwide social meme that answers the simple question: “Why do you do what you do?” on the website WDYDWYD was established as a worldwide community-art project to answer the question: "Why do you do what you do?"


Create your own WDWYD? which combines original imagery and text in a creative way to answer the question. This project is a quick-fire project to introduce students' skills and give me the opportunity to learn something about each of the students. 

Learning Objectives

The following criteria will be used to grade your assignment.

  1. Learn to create an original design piece that incorporates type and imagery.
  2. Storytelling using both imagery and text. 
  3. How to choose imagery and text to best support their concept. 
  4. Design principles & formal qualities.
  5. Following direction. Specs & requirements met and deliverables fulfilled.



  • set up your file 8"x10"/10"x8" or 8"x8" if you want a square format at 300 dpi
  • save as a JPG
  • the maximum file size you can upload is 10 MB
  • flatten images before saving (to keep file sizes down)

FILE-NAMING REQUIREMENTS (this is very important to follow if you want to receive credit for this assignment)

Save your file as: 3053-1-F09-FirstName-Lastname.jpg
Example: 3053-1-F09-Sheryl-Kantrowitz.jpg


  1. Tag your image "(this changed depending on the semester)"
  2. Title image with your full name (FirstName  & LastName) & a keyword or two from your image.
  3. Add a caption that says a little more about why you chose the answer you did.



This 'ice breaker' assignment gave me the ability to get to know the students a bit as people as well as gave me a good baseline into their conceptual and technical graphic design abilities coming into my classroom at the beginning of the semester (use of typography, illustrations, photography, mastery or lack thereof of design principles, etc). And what was really great was that we were able to view the slideshow on the projection screen in class and have a really great group discussion the day the assignment was due! 

Many of the students chose to use the combination of words and imagery to share something really meaningful about where they were at...or where they were coming from possibly that got them to the seat they were sitting in that day. Others chose to interpret the assignment more conceptually...overall, I learned a lot about many of their goal(s), backgrounds, sense of humor, etc...and their skill levels in many cases. (i.e. sophistication levels with typography, design software, coming up with and presenting a "conceptual" piece of work, etc). Moving forward, I think this is a great first project for my intro-level art direction students. (I originally assigned this to the second level Art Direction course students). 

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