Visual Communication #6:
"  The Sound Problem"
The Assignment: The Sound Problem (from “Visual Literacy” by Wilde and Wilde)

Before Starting: Create a "lastname_sound" folder on your network space. Each of your canvases will be saved into this folder when completed.

Overview: Using any Photoshop tips, tricks or tools, especially shapes, fills, strokes, blending options and letters, create the following eight “Sound Pictures” according to the rules listed.

Creation of the Works: Each “Sound Picture” needs to be created on a 700 x 700 pixel canvas. Color of the background of the canvas is up to the student.

***Each of these canvases should be viewed as a
PIECE OF ART
that demonstrates a particular theme.***

The student needs to carefully consider and illustrate the CHARACTER of the SOUND in question, its tempo, volume, duration, context and “color.” In other words: WHAT DOES THE SOUND LOOK LIKE? The student will incorporate these characteristics into their designs.

IT IS EASY FOR STUDENTS TO FALL INTO THE "REPRESENTATIONAL" IMAGES TRAP ON THIS ASSIGNMENT. DON'T! A SOUND of a Car Crash does not look like two crashed cars. Think of this problem as if you were a blind person, relying ONLY on the SHAPE, COLOR, SIZE of the sound in question, not the OBJECTS that MAKE THE SOUND!

The student should apply all of the tools, tips and tricks that they have learned this year in these pieces of art, such as:

  • Filters
  • Blending Options
  • Fills
  • Layer Blends
  • Attach Text to Path
  • Cutting Objects from Backgrounds
  • Shapes
  • Strokes
  • Image Adjustments
  • Patterns
  • Gradients
  • Transformations

Students may decide to create either ABSTRACT designs or may do PHOTO MANIPULATION or a combination of all of these, depending upon their view of the sound in question. THIS IS NOT A TYPOGRAPHIC EXERCISE! Simply typing "CRASH" on a canvas will NOT work for this assignment! I would prefer to see unique and original works, not the first obvious solution to the theme that springs to your mind.

Themes for the Artwork: The 8 canvases to be designed are as follows:

  1. A CAR CRASH
  2. A CLOCK
  3. TYPING ON A KEYBOARD
  4. A DISCUSSION BETWEEN AN ANGRY FATHER AND A SHY DAUGHTER.
  5. AN ARGUMENT BETWEEN AN ELECTRIC GUITAR AND A SET OF DRUMS.
  6. BUMBLEBEES MAKING LOVE.
  7. A BASKETBALL GAME.
  8. A SOUND OF YOUR CHOICE.

Samples from Years Gone By: Here are some galleries of Sound Problem Solutions from the Graphic Design Class of 2007-2008 and the Graphic Design Class of 2008-2009. Please note- Not all of these solutions are good solutions to the Sound Problem, a number of them are way more represenational than they should have been!

Labeling and Submitting: When you have completed a canvas, please make sure to

  1. Put your name and the year of creation in the lower right corner.
  2. Save the canvas to a “lastname_sound” folder, save each file as a .JPG File, call them “crash.jpg, clock.jpg, etc.
  3. When all 8 canvases are completed, please turn in the entire folder to my M: Drive Drop Box.

Grading: This assignment will be worth 25 points per file created, for a total of 200 points.

How to get an A: If the student demonstrates care and thought in the creation of their canvases, they will receive 25/25 for each file. Sloppy and rushed work will receive a total of 12.5/25 for each file. Uncompleted files will receive 0/25 points.

In addition, canvases that are submitted as .PSD files, instead of the required .JPG files will receive ZERO points. Canvases without a NAME and DATE in the lower right hand corner will lose 10 points!

These pictures may be displayed in the classroom, in the hallway or on the website upon completion.