Week 1, Sessions 1 & 2

Week 1

Hello, welcome to COMD 1200 D 144.

Please use this site for all materials pertaining to this course.

Session 1:

You will be given a sheet of card stock with 77 one-inch boxes. With nothing but a pencil, an eraser and your assigned word, come up with 100 thumbnail sketches of what comes to mind when you read your word.

Is your word a noun, a verb, an adjective?

All 3?

Does it have any cultural implications? Draw them all. Draw them over and over, look the word up in the dictionary. redraw the ideas until you’re satisfied with one particular concept, then move on. Return to it later.

Use only your pencil.

Review of the entire semester, Icon discussion, 77-square brainstorm grid distributed.

Assignment: •  Study this syllabus. Quiz on it coming up. Details to follow.

   Start a collection of images, some that may be icons, of your assigned word. Paste them in your sketchbook, redraw on top of them, transfer to your grid.  

   Icon is assigned; start filling in the grid using only a pencil.

  1/2 Finished grid is due next session.

• Continue adding to your sketchbook

Session 2:

The Icon. Lecture Lesson. Syllabus Quiz. How to make a PDF: a Portable Document Format,  How to name files. 

The miniature image

As we move to smaller and smaller devices to communicate, images replace words to capture attention of the viewer. We have surprisingly accurate image memory, so picking up on a picture of something is far faster and more accurate than reading the word that describes it.

• Keep working on your grid. Finished grid is due next session.

• Continue adding to your sketchbook with an expansion of your icons. Review on Wednesday.

• Purchase all your supplies and bring to the next class.




Have a look at


it’s the work of a young designer. I’m not wild about the bounce, but it shows the social media logos in blue, grey and black.

How many of these are you a member of?

How many of these do you know?

I’ve also included them in color.

What’s interesting is their permutation according to the impression that the software developers want to give. To make icons look softer, more tactile, they were given a glow for dimensionality. In the last few years, the more vivid colored flat ones came into being.

Author: Anita Giraldo

Hi, I'm Professor Anita Giraldo. I teach and write courses in design, photography, design theory and creative project management in the Communication Design department at the New York City College of Technology. At City Tech, my signature project is the design, furnishing and implementation of The Pearl media study center, a $5M capital project funded by the New York State Department of Education and coordinated by the New York State City University of New York. Before coming to City Tech, I have worked as an installation artist, designer and fine art print maker. My work has been and continues to be exhibited nationally and internationally and has received funding on the city, state, national, international private level through grants, fellowships purchase princess and residencies. Before that I was the sole proprietor of my own commercial photography studio where I executed numerous national advertising campaigns for fashion and still life clients and consumer catalogs. Throughout the graphic arts industry I have been manufacturing director for international art magazines and production managed consumer magazines such as "Time Out New York,Art + Auction, Saveur and many others. All of these experiences began shortly after I finished art school with my first job as an illustrated book designer in the Studio Book division at Viking Press/Penguin Books.

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