GRAPHIC DESIGN: "The Photogami Project"

BACKGROUND: Photogami is a fairly recent form of artwork, wherein the artist creates a piece of art using only a single shape, the Photogami Shape. It looks like this:

There are two ways to do Photogami, the Traditional Method and the Modified Rules. With the Traditional Method, the artist DOES NOT distort the Photogame Shape in any way, but merely changes its size, rotation and color. With the Modified Rules, the shape can be stretched and distorted to fit the needs of the artist.

SLIDESHOW TO GET YOU STARTED: Here is a slide show that covers the basic rules of Photogami, and has a number of professionally created photogami pieces, as well as a number created in Graphic Design Classes from years gone by. (Click on "START PRESENTATION" in the upper right corner to see the slideshow presentation.)

I would recommend checking out all of the slides in this show and selecting one that you like, then "emulate" the look and style of that work in your own project!

THE SHAPE: A Photoshop file with the shape is here. Download it and open it up in Photoshop.

THE PROJECT: Your job is to create a piece of artwork using only the Photogami Shape. You can try to freeform an artwork if you wish, but most students have had better success with finding an interesting picture or photograph and using the Photogami Shape to rework the original piece.

I do not care how you proceed with this picture, as long as you are pleased with the final result!

THE RULES: I do not care if you use the Traditional Method or the Modified Rules, either way is fine. However, please do not distort the Photogami Shape beyond recognition. We should still be able to see the original shape somehow in your pieces. If you would like to do color or gradient overlays on your shapes, that is fine.

THE PROCESS: Everyone seems to go about Photogami differently. I would make use of the "Alt-Click-Drag" method of copying, but you can go about this in anyway you wish! Remember, you don't have to cover the entire canvases with little shapes for this artwork to be amazing! I have put together a little walkthrough that shows some of the basic methods of manipulating the shape:

VIDEO TUTORIAL: Photoshop Walkthrough- Manipulating the Photogami Shape.

TIPS and WORDS OF WARNING: Get creative and colorful! Do not limit yourself to the outside walls of your canvas. I recommend merging layers every once in a while, to keep the size of your file down, but be careful, you cannot undo this!

SAMPLES FROM YEARS GONE BY: The Student Gallery at has a number of samples of Photogami Projects from years gone by. You can see them here, there are also some Photogami Projects here.

SUBMITTING THE PROJECT: When you have completed your work, .JPG it and turn in the final product named "lastname_photogami.jpg". I will be making this a 100 point project and will be grading it on the 0/50/100 scale:

  • Final work not completed or submitted improperly = 0 points.
  • Final work demonstrates creativity, thought and effort = 100 points.
  • ANYTHING ELSE = 50 points.