Image Creation and Interpretation


Freddy Lau, book covers

Marni Solomon, CD

Marni Solomon, Poster

Max Friedman, book cover

Project Brief

Duration: 1 week
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Bookmark Project

Project Brief

Design a poster or book cover utilizing a handmade “Rorschach” inkblot. Determine what the inkblot image communicates, either on a pictorial or abstract level. Then determine which novel (book cover), work of nonfiction (book cover), play (theater poster), event (even poster), or CD cover it could be used for. Integrate type with the image. Determine type/image relationships to communicate meaning.

Learning Objectives

Become skilled at creating handmade imagery
Become skilled at going from a handmade technique to software
Learn to interpret images
Comprehend working backward
Understand the role of the midline and edges in a composition

Learning Outcomes
New tool for creating handmade imagery
Greater ease going from a handmade technique to software
Enhanced ability to interpret images
Capacity to work backward
Enhanced compositions through understanding the role of the midline and edges


Two different compositions for either book covers or posters. One composition utilizes a midline alignment. The other composition engages the format's boundaries.


Graphic Design Solutions, 6th edition (Cengage); Advertising by Design, 3rd edition (Wiley); Nimble: Thinking Creatively in the Digital Age (Simon & Schuster); Take a line for a walk (Cengage); Stand Out (Peachpit); Design Fundamentals: Notes on Type (Peachpit); Design Fundamentals: Notes on Color (Peachpit); 2D: Visual Basics for Designers (Cengage); Build Your Own Brand (Simon & Schuster)


The results turned out as planned. Students thoroughly enjoyed creating handmade images. Some preferred to work into the inkblots in Illustrator or by hand to enhance the imagery. The most challenging part is for students to understand whether the image or the type will be the focal point; or whether they can create an emblematic relationship between type and image. I suggest reviewing: "type as a contextualizing element" or "neutral" typefaces, and establishing a clear visual hierarchy in a composition. Assigning two different compositions utilizing the format's midline and edges raised students' awareness of the format's role.

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