Project One

Color Code

  • Due Tuesday 9/17 at beginning of class
  • Panopto presentations due Thursday 9/19 at beginning of class

Required During This Project


For the Color Code project, use color in an inventive and complex way to communicate information of your choosing in a diagram. Your design should utilize an understanding of color in terms of hue (primary, secondary, and tertiary colors), value, and saturation. You may also wish to utilize color temperature and/or complementary color relationships. As you design your diagram, make sure to keep your readings on scale and hierarchy in mind as well. The design of your diagram and your use of color within it should be appropriate for the information you choose to convey.

What will the diagram show? The information you seek to convey should require complex visual organization in order to make or expand meaning. However, it is up to you whether to take a more personal or a more data-driven standpoint. See examples from the Diagram chapter of “Graphic Design: The New Basics” for inspiration. The “Overlapping Relationships” examples (p. 218-9) are more practical and the “What Affects My Well-being” (p. 223) example is more autobiographical, but both organize information and convey meaning through the use of color and other design principles.

How will you make the diagram? You may use Photoshop and/or Illustrator. Your completion of this project should demonstrate your current abilities in one or both of these programs. This is not to say you will not also learn something new about either or both of the software(s) you choose to use. Your instructor will provide a short overview of some of the color tools you might wish to use in both programs. You should seek out additional learning tools on your own at Adobe or elsewhere as needed. Contact your instructor early in the project if you need help finding additional tutorials.

What if you feel confused about what to do? If you don’t know what information you want to convey, your instructor recommends making an expanded and inventive color diagram that shows how hue, value, saturation, temperature, and complementary colors are related. What shapes and diagramming methods would you use? Could you even use your Color Collection photos as source material?

Technical Requirements

  • Use Photoshop and/Illustrator. Preserve your work in the Layers Panel as well-organized and logically-named layers/folders so your instructor can easily look through your work.
  • Your diagram should be designed for print on an 11×17 sheet, which you may trim down if you want different proportions for your final print. If you are working in Photoshop, make sure you are working at 300ppi.
  • You will hand in this project as both a high quality print and a PSD or AI file. You will also save copies of your file as a JPG and a PDF.

Working Outside Class

You are expected to spend a significant amount of time outside class working on this project. Plan to use the computer labs in the evenings and on weekends if you do not have access to the Adobe Creative Suite software on your own computer. See the top of the class schedule for available labs and hours. If you need help, come see your instructor during office hours or make an appointment for a different time on Wednesday.

What You Will Turn In

These should be ready/submitted at the beginning of class on the due date:

Zipped Files: Put all required files in a folder named “yourlastname-yourfirstname-color-code”. Zip the folder and upload under the Content link in the left menu in Blackboard (must be a ZIP file). Your work may not be graded if this step is not followed exactly. Bring your files to class if you have any technical issues. DO NOT email files to your instructor. Required files include:

  • Your Photoshop or Illustrator file with work preserved and organized on Layers panel. Name the file “yourlastname-yourfirstname-color-code”
  • Copies of your PSD or AI file saved as a high resolution JPG and a print quality PDF. Name the files “yourlastname-yourfirstname-color-code” (see Using Color in Photoshop and Using Color in Illustrator for how to properly save high quality PDFs and JPGs).
  • Bring files to class on a thumbdrive and/or laptop too if possible so we can compare prints to computer screens

Prints: Print a good copy of your work at CougPrints, or in Avery 103 if the color printer is working well. Trim down to desired proportions if applicable. Remember to plan ahead for printing. It is smart to print the day before.

Note: Next class you will turn in your Panopto presentation (see below)


Final Presentation Video Using Panopto

At the end of this project you will record a 5-10 minute tutorial using Panopto software, downloadable via your DTC336 Blackboard login. In this video you will demonstrate how you used one specific tool in either Photoshop or Illustrator to execute part of your design. As you demonstrate, assume your viewer is a beginning user. Do not take any steps for granted.

After you submit your presentation, you will watch the presentations of two other students and fill out this comment sheet.

Check to make sure you can download use the Panopto software now.* Some students have some problems and we want to know right away if you need help. Go to the Panopto tab on the left menu bar of Blackboard to download the software. You will be prompted to download the Panopto application to your computer. Also, here is a link to Panopto Tutorials. If you need technical assistance with Panopto, contact or 509-335-4320.

* You can use Panopto and the Adobe Creative Suite in the Spark Building to record your video if you cannot download the software yourself. You can see how to make a reservation here: Student Recording Rooms in SPARK.

Make sure your Panopto presentation:

  1. Is 5-10 minutes
  2. Is titled “Your First and Last Name: A Description of What You Plan to Show/Explain in PSD or AI” (Such as “Kristin Becker: How to Use the Align Panel in Illustrator to Organize Multiple Shapes”)
  3. Appears in the relevant Panopto folder on Blackboard
  4. Briefly explains how your diagram uses color to convey meaning (use relevant color vocabulary)
  5. Demonstrates how you used one specific tool in either Photoshop or Illustrator to execute part of your design. Assume your viewer is a beginning user. Do not take any steps for granted. You are essentially recording a how-to tutorial.