What is Surface Design?
Surface Design by John Beach
A whole lota cool, is what it is. I think of it as the look and feel of a product that I often don't register as the work of a graphic designer. For example, the floral pattern on a line of Starbucks mugs. Or the geometric pattern on a Formica counter-top. Or fancy textured silver wallpaper that looks amazing in some one's bathroom. Some one who has a house fit for a magazine spread, that is.
Those are just a few examples of surface design, which can really distinguish your portfolio from the pack.
This fall John Beach is teaching the course again, which includes studio time. In it, you'll learn to design for textiles, wall coverings, carpets, china, glassware, and paper products. It may sound like something an interior designer would do, but there is so much overlap and cross-pollination between design areas that it really is in the graphic designer's purview.
John is getting ready to launch roomsbyyou.com this weekend and has also been busy doing packaging for top-secret Disney products. I can't tell you what, but I can tell you it's a big name thing.
John will teach not only the design part - like how to work with different materials, which is very real-world and reflects a lot of thought and research when seen in a portfolio (if a reviewer sees you resolved some of the issues with printing on vinyl and how it's different than printing on silk, you've earned some serious points) - but you'll also get an overview of the designer's relationship with the product producer, distributor, retail outlets, and consumer. You know, the stuff that sometimes you leave school not knowing how to do.
Yet the question students always ask is what they come away with for their portfolio. Well, you'll create an original style guide for a complete product line. That's nothing to sneeze at.
Want to see the syllabus? Contact me.
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Penguin Design by John Beach