Hurray! We have Adobe access!

Here’s how to access it:

This link is the PDF with the instructions:
The short version is that
2)   use your CUNYfirst
3)   where it asks for your email on login, enter your CUNY Login username
( DO NOT create a new account or login with FB, apple ID.
4).  Hit Continue. It will take you to a CUNY login screen where you put in the same log in credientials.
5) Enter the same information again, this time with your password. You’ll get the Creative Cloud Web site.
6) Browse, Download and Install your Creative Cloud Apps. 
Issues, questions, go here:

Update 3/16/30

Note: I sent this same message through Blackboard

Hi Everyone, hope you’re all fine.

I’m going to be sending a lot of emails in the next few days with instructions to on-board everyone to Distance Learning. As you’re probably aware by now, it starts on March 19 and will go at least until the end of the semester.

It’s important to realize that:

a) while we’re in dangerous times, we have recommendations and solutions to keep ourselves safe and attempt to continue our lives as best we can.

b) this will pass. Vaccines and cures will be developed and distributed, and the disease will gradually dissipate on its own. However we do need to be aware of the imminent dangers and take precautions, both inside and outside our homes.

As the Mayor said, we can’t stop you from seeing friends and hanging out. You can’t stay locked up in your room for the next four months. However, you can take steps to protect yourself from infection and not bring it home to family members. If you’re unfamiliar with what you can do, go here and read it carefully.

As your photography teacher, I am responsible for giving you the necessary tools and knowledge to complete the course. Again, we will be transitioning to a Distance Learning model on March 19. That means that we will be meeting using online applications to communicate with one another, receive instruction, show and upload work.

We will still be meeting, just not in person.

I’ll send more information in a few hours, but right now, I’m asking you to follow these instructions right away:

• Write back to me and let me know you’ve read this message. In case you don’t know my email, I’m at

  • Check your City Tech email.
    Email all your professors, if they have not contacted you yet.

  • Fill out this survey from the department.
    It helps us figure out your needs.

  • Classes resume on Thursday 3/19
    Start digitizing your work. It’s better to do it now rather than when the class begins.

  • Reminder. Online classes should be treated the same as on-campus classes:

    • Show up on time. Look at the bright side… commute!

    • Do the work.

    • Talk to all your professors. I will be sending info on my availability.

  • Share this with friends and classmates.

  • Follow COMD on FB, Tw and IG for immediate updates.

We are all in this together.

Thank you!


The Perfect Resume and Cover Letter




After the computer reads your resume, it’s passed on to HR. They read it and give it to your prospective boss/grant provider and he/she is going to look at your cover letter. 

That’s where they’re going to find out if you think coherently. You can pay someone to write your resume. It starts getting expensive for someone to write your cover letters and most don’t do that. 


You’re set, you’re fabulously articulate.

Here’s the script:

Dear Potential Boss: [Write Sir/Madam if you don’t have the name of someone specific. If you’re really diligent, you could call the company ahead and ask to whom you can address your cover letter to. The receptionist will tell you, even if in the same breath, they’ll tell you to upload your res to that damn computer service.]

This is in response to your posting for the Art Director (or whatever) [Write the title of the position] Assistant position at Havas Lineas. [Write the name of the Company] I carefully scanned all the requirements for the position and I believe I would be a good fit for your company. Please consider me for the position; I am interested.

[In this paragraph, write about the ONE thing that you learned or did that qualifies you for the job]

My experience with XYZ company during my internship at City Tech afforded me the opportunity to work at a high level of branding expertise.

In the Communication Design program where my expected graduation date is January 25, 2020, I have acquired an eye for detail and understanding of graphic communication. There, I learned to design materials that remain true to the brand identity and applied this knowledge to produce XXX. XXX   All of which you will see in my portfolio. [talk about one or two projects of which you are most proud].

 I hope you get a chance to have a look and contact me with the opportunity to interview for the position. If you have any questions or would like to see additional materials, please do not hesitate.

 I look forward to the next,

 Diligent Creative Student about to graduate


Diligent Creative Student seeking an Internship.

Painting Your Ligature

Painting your Ligature

Follow these steps so you can start painting your ligature soon. I’ll keep you posted on when we’ll be doing this in class so you’ll be prepared.

If your ligature is not yet resolved, don’t worry; we’ll work through it and you can start painting it over the weekend. Follow these steps in the meantime:

Get your supplies.

1) If you haven’t already, go to Utrecht or Dick Blick and buy

ultra smooth bright white Illustration board,

ROUND brushes

two containers and your Plaka.

Make sure you have your rulers, pencils, tape and tracing paper.

An eraser and sharpener are needed, too.

Get a pair of disposable chopsticks.

The board: Bainbridge, Crescent, Caslon.

2) Trim it down to THREE 7″ x 7″ inch boards, using the metal ruler and your Exacto knife. Here’s how you do it:

a) Measure the 7″ x 7″ board with your transparent ruler. Draw the measurement LIGHTLY with a hard-lead pencil (6H)

b) LIGHTLY score the board with your knife. DON’T try to cut it in one hit. It won’t work. If you’re bent on doing this, buy two boards.

The reason you’re using a hard pencil to make measurements is to make a light-colored line. Don’t dig into the board with the pencil. The graphite is hard and will leave a dent. The same is true for when you transfer your work from the tracing paper to the board (You’ll see this later).

c) Cut the board, this time pressing the knife slightly harder and thereby digging deeper into the board. Eventually you will have cut deep enough that you won’t need the ruler and you can glide the knife down the score. It will come apart by itself. Don’t pull it apart like a cave dweller. Save the scraps.

3) Measure, then LIGHTLY draw a 5″ x 5″ square centered on the board–or just the corners of a 5″x5″ square, again with your 6H. Make a cover sheet with tracing paper and tape the flap to the back. If you have to, use a KNEADED eraser to get rid of your fingerprints. Don’t do this later.

Write your name on the back.

4) Take out your plaka and chop sitcks. Put on some good music or intelligent talk radio like NPR. At first boring, yes, but very insightful. And, NPR won’t exist soon; it’s going extinct.  Pick of the album of the week:

Even if you’re not wild about the music, the animation is work a look.

Now mix your plaka. Pull apart your chopsticks, using one chopstick for black, one for white. Dole out about a teaspoon of one color plaka into one of the two containers. Add an equal amount of water and mix. This will take 5 minutes or so. When it’s smooth, pour enough water up to about 1/3 of your container. Mix again. Add enough water to bring the level to 1/2 of your container and mix again. Another 5 minutes or so. It should be a smooth, velvety texture. Err on the side of thinness.

Take out your brushes. Rinse them with water and dab them with a paper towel. On the scraps you saved, practice painting, thinning out the Plaka if necessary and getting the hang for how thick or thin it should be. See how straight you can paint a line. If you want, Try this: put three or four nickels under the ruler, holding them on with tape. With a little practice, you can draw a straight line with your brush and not need an ink line from a pen.

Paint curves. Practice how much Plaka on the brush is comfortable for you. Make note of how long it takes to dry.

5) If the design work of your ligature is resolved, make a 5″ x 5″ bxw laser of it. The ligature should measure 5″ in at least one direction. tape it down. Cover it with a clean sheet of tracing paper.

With a totally sharp 6H pencil, trace your ligature on tracing paper.

Take your time. Tape everything down: the laser to the table, the tracing to the laser or the table. Use a ruler for the straight lines.

Free hand the curves; borrow my french curves if you want.

Think about a happy life and world peace and how you will contribute–and maybe achieve–both.

Maybe we’ll even have a new president in next year. Or maybe not.

6) Turn your tracing paper over and with a very soft pencil, a 6B, smudge the back of your ligature…only where the lines are so you can see it place it and it doesn’t smudge your board.

7) Get your board. Lift the cover sheet and tape the board down to the table. Center the tracing paper with your ligature within the 5″ x 5″ square and tape down. It helps to reduce some of the stickiness of the tape with your finger so you don’t strafe the surface of the board when you pull the tape off.

8) Tape this piece of tracing paper, graphite side down, to the board, making sure it fits within the margins. Holding your ultra-sharp 6H pencil as perpendicularly as you can to the surface, trace, over your ligature, thereby transferring it to the board. Don’t press too hard, you’ll indent the board and painting it will be impossible. Put the coversheet on after you lightly burr off any fingerprints with your kneaded eraser.

AWESOME! take a rest from it and start painting a few hours later. Take a walk around the block or look out the window. If you jump right in, you’ll botch it up. 

Week 4 Session 2–The Ligature


Look at your 100 ligatures. If you haven’t finished the 100, catch up. Of the ones you did, follow the instructions below:

a)  From the 100, you’re going to chose 3.

b) From those 3, using the FONT SETS I give you and the fonts available on your and City Techcomputers, you’re going to build them digitally. You can either scan your sketches or eyeball them, moving the letterforms until they’re just right.

c) In your Font Sets, I’ve included some italics if you want to experiment or use those instead.

Do this:

1. Use Illustrator

2. Put each letter on a different layer

3. Use the transform tools to hide what gets in the way

4. Dim the opacity on the inert layer to allow you to combine the letterforms correctly. You might fine that you have to adjust the placement.

5. Use pen tool with 0 STROKE and White solid to draw around the curves and unite the two letters

Fill one sheet of six panes for each of the 3.

The first one is the hardest; once you get your workflow down, it’s cake.

6. Make a PDF and upload in the assignments section.

Week 4 The Ligature

In Design and Typography, A LIGATURE is the combining—tying together—of two letterforms, usually to save space or to solve a design problem.

However, the ligature has also evolved to create logos and brand identification visuals. It’s important to learn the significance of the letter and the letterform to create literal and abstract graphic elements.

Students in this program who are not heritage speakers have the most freedom with this project since they are not wedded to the meaning of the letters; they look at the shape of the letterform itself.

If you had to use the letter—any letter—as a building block, how would you use it?

By Wednesday,

Create 100


Ligatures–two letterforms–on tracing paper from the type book I gave you.

You can mix:

upper and lower case

letters and numbers



Week 3 Finishing the Icon. Upload and Print

Session 1:

• Critique of color files.

Assignment: a) Final refined sketches of icon in bxw and color. b) Print color files as per template; upload digital version.

• How to make sketches into Icons:


Before getting there, you must convert your Ai images into .jpgs or .pngs. The decision rests on how many colors your icons have. Both are compressed files.


Required sizes:    4 x 4 px,     64 x 64 px,     88 x 88 px

Look at all the versions and make the adjustments to the original so it reads in all sizes.

You may have to simplify it:

•  Thicker strokes

•  Outline other strokes, or outline shapes with a 1-point stroke to delineate them

•  Adjust the colors so they stand out.

Once you’re happy with how they look, put them into the presentation template, attached.

Make sure your name is included

b) To finish the project, there are two items due, the Printed Version, and the Screen Version

Icons for Print and Screen on the template

OK, so you’ve made the icons in all the different sizes. Now it’s time to turn your attention for the same images in a presentation for both screen and print.

Remember that I told you to work in RGB at 300 dpi? First, you’re going to use the print templates and import your three finished icons and process them for print. Then, you can reprocess the files for screen.

Notice that there are templates for both Print and Screen. I made them for you in the proper resolution. Make sure you put the proper image in the proper template. That’s where the naming convention comes in.

  1.  Print:See the InD template attached.1. Download the template for PRINT.

    2. Command-D calls up the PLACE command. Find your icon image in the correct resolution. Hit COMMAND+OPTION+SHIFT E and it will fit in the box. Do the same for the other sizes, making sure to delete the black rule I made in the template for your images. Once done, go to the next step.

    3. In InD, go to PDF Presets. Choose PDF (x1-A). Click through and look at the PDF after processing. The PDF (x1-A) is a format especially for print, and when you process your files using this format, everything prints great. There are other PDF formats for print as well, but this is the most dependable one.

    Name your print icon uploads as follows:


    where the four Xs are the first four letters of your last name.

    Note, some icons will be free standing; others will have a field with square or rounded corners. This is all part of your design. 

    Looking at each of the three sheets, choose the strongest one and start to add color with your colored pencils. If necessary, transfer and trace the image, or scan and repeat.

    The Templates:




    The .IDML and the .PDF are for reference. After you’ve processed your three print icons, make one PDF containing all three and upload to Bb. remember the resolution is 300 DPI; make a PDFx1-a

  2. Now for Screen.

    Use the web templates I made for you. Place the images into the little boxes, like above.

    Again, from InD, go to PDF Presets. This time, choose SMALLEST FILE SIZE. Place the images into the little boxes, and process the files. Upload them in the proper portal with the naming convention below:


    You will see two portals. One for print, one for screen. Upload the correct one in each. We will be printing them coming up.

See the InD Templates, attached.

Put all three files in one PDF and upload to Bb. Watch the resolution, it’s 72 dpi.




For each of the three icons we selected together, work on them, developing the color variations in Illustrator. Consider stroke weight, and when it comes to the color, remember that the icon will project. If it’s too dark, your image will disappear once it’s small.

When adding color, beware of color that’s too bright. The idea is to gave color that stands our but isn’t stabbing. The easiest trick in the book is to add 10% of the color’s complement to make it deeper, richer. For example: if you have a field of Magenta, even if you love the color, you’ll find that it might be a bit weak, lacking depth. If that’s the case, add blue. Yes, blue, by 10%. See attached.

You might think that the resulting colors are dull compared to the pure CMY and RGB. But, if you look at them by themselves, they’re still quite bright.

Work in high quality RGB = 300 dpi. Eventually you’ll make CMYK 300 dpi and RGB 72 dpi.

The execution must be exact. Note that I corrected the rule on my final one when it didn’t process correctly.