The Creative Process Illustrated by FIDM Graphic Design Student, Sydney Tannenbaum

cpillustratedWhatever the creative project, whether an art director is developing a film, a print campaign, a book, or a photo shoot, the creative process is different for each individual. So what is the formula for success when developing an imaginative campaign? The creative process can be challenging to explain, which is why authors of the newly released book, The Creative Process Illustrated:How Advertising’s Big Ideas are Born, asked art directors from around the United States to illustrate rather than explain their idea-generating process to answer the question, “how are big ideas born?”

Similar to the art directors who contributed to The Creative Process Illustrated, Graphic Design Students at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising are challenged with this very same task every quarter in a project called the Summation Project for their Critical Concepts course where they learn conceptual thinking and their role as a future graphic designer. Using thumbnail sketches and brainstorming sessions, students learn to identify a design problem, and develop visual solutions, utilizing methods that they will hopefully apply in their future careers in the design industry.


Download Sydney Tannenbaum's Project, Click on the Image Above

“We are attempting to teach students methods of solving basic graphic design problems,” says FIDM Critical Concepts Instructor, William Fogg. “By that, I mean we want them to be able to take a problem, understand what they’re being asked to do, and break it down into a series of relatively simple steps that will lead to an appropriate outcome.”

At the end of the course, students are challenged to create a Summation Project, which is basically a summary of the course content, presented in a format that is user-friendly for a young person considering a graphic design career, he says.

See this example (right) of the Summation Project, developed by Sydney Tannenbaum, a second-quarter Graphic Design/Entertainment Student who completed Critical Concepts during the Summer Quarter.

“[The course] really helped us think outside the box,” she says. “The concept of synergy… that’s what design is all about. It’s what graphic design seeks to accomplish, the synergy between a visual and a message.”

Originally from Tarzana, CA, Sydney is in her second quarter of the Graphic Design/Entertainment program and also an intern at Universal Pictures learning the about the movie poster design and post-production process. A graduate from Chaminade College Prepatory School in West Hills, CA, Sydney attended Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts prior to transferring to FIDM. For her Summation Project, Sydney incorporated her own illustrations to represent the creative process.

“Art is an outlet for everything for me. All my life, I haven’t been the academic one, I haven’t been the sporty one, I haven’t been the perfectionist, I’m the kid with the paint brush, or the pencil, or the sketchbook,” says Sydney.

“I knew I wanted to something in the arts career-wise, but I wanted to do something practical. Graphic design, web design and branding design, are so practical for today and it’s a field that’s never going to go out of business,” she says. “Art is an outlet for everything for me. All my life, I haven’t been the academic one, I haven’t been the sporty one, I haven’t been the perfectionist, I’m the kid with the paint brush, or the pencil, or the sketchbook.”

Although Sydney came to FIDM originally hoping to design movie posters, now that she’s getting exposed to various types of design, she says that she’s become interested in design such as advertising, branding and even invitations. Whatever her future career, as she continue to apply the critical thinking and creative process methods that she’s learned at FIDM, she which will no doubt ensure her success as a future designer.

“I feel like the teachers and the students here, and the atmosphere is like a propeller to shoot you into the industry and designed to make you successful,” she says. “I want a school that’s going to give me all of the tools to be successful, and I feel that FIDM definitely does that for me. I could not be happier.”

To read more about FIDM Instructor and illustrator/designer, William Fogg, click here.

See more examples of Sydney’s illustrations below.





FIDMDigitalArts.comHave you ever considered pursuing a career in graphic design or digital media? Check out FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising’s program for Graphic Design where you can learn all aspects of print media, including typography, digital photography and publication/layout design, and FIDM’s Digital Media program where you can learn editing, digital composition, motion graphics, 3-D modeling & animation, and sound design.
Visit our main site, to view multiple galleries of breathtaking graphic design and digital media, created by FIDM Alumni.
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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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