4 Graffiti type and symbols

Students will investigate how symbols and codes are used by communities as information systems.

Duration

2-3 weeks

Driving question

Is Graffiti a legitimate form of Art and Typography?

Overview

Students will investigate how symbols and codes are used by communities as information systems. They will create type forms and symbols that serve as a contemporary form of graphic expression and communication. Students will design for personal objects such as skateboards and mobile phones.

Outcomes

Stage 5

A student:

  • 5.4 investigates and responds to the world as a source of ideas, concepts and subject matter for visual design artworks
  • 5.5 makes informed choices to develop and extend concepts and different meanings in their visual design artworks
  • 5.6 selects appropriate procedures and techniques to make and refine visual design artworks
  • 5.8 uses their understanding of the function of and relationships between artist - artwork - world - audience in critical and historical interpretations of visual design artworks

copyright NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2004.

Content

Students will design a series of works based on appropriated traditional typography and reinvent as an identity influenced by the study of varied subcultures.

Focus areas

  • Shape, colour, form and layout
  • Historical and postmodern frames
  • Design, design world and audience.

Cross-curriculum content and key competencies

  • Civics and citizenship
  • Work, Employment and Enterprise
  • Information and communication technology
  • Numeracy
  • Literacy

Assessment

All activities require students to demonstrate their learning and are all assessment for learning activities.

Teaching and learning activities

Introduction

Students will:

  1. through a class discussion explore the questions:
    1. What is a sub-culture?
    2. Why are the appearances and fashions of a sub-culture so important?
  2. make a list of sub-cultures in their process diaries/blog. For example, surfies, soccer fans, goths, punks, hip hop etc.
  3. work through the Graffiti type and symbols PowerPoint (PPTX 5.45MB) as a class, completing the exercises below:
    1. slide four - answer questions 1 & 2 in their visual design journal or blog
    2. slide five - answer questions 1 & 2 in their visual design journal or blog
  4. answer in their progress diary/blog:
    1. what influences do sub-cultures have on the mainstream?
    2. compare and contrast hobo glyphs and graffiti culture through a Venn diagram.

Design making

Materials required

  • MDF board, cardboard or skateboard design template - hard and soft copy
  • access to paint, coloured pencils and felt tip makers
  • mobile phones, video cameras or laptops.

Skateboard design

Students will:

  1. watch the videos
    1. How to: Create custom skateboard graphics (00:01:45)
    2. Painting on a skate desk for Waffurusoru (00:03:08)
  2. choose a word as an 'identity'
  3. write the word in the font they developed in the ligatures sequence
  4. develop the word into a graffiti looking street design
  5. transfer the designs on a MDF board cut in the shape of a skateboard deck
  6. paint the design
  7. exhibit.

Symbols and video

Students will:

Example chart showing symbols drawn to represent everyday things in the sub-culture
Image: Example of sub-culture chart the hobo code
  • create a short video using their phones about 'A day in the life of a Hobo'. Play and discuss as a class.

Communicate

Students will complete a digital blog/visual design journal documenting the ideas and processes used throughout this sequence. This can be completed through one-note, Class Notebook or Google classroom.

The blog/visual design journal should contain:

  • the process and technical skills used in practical classes
  • personal reflections about the practical activities
  • information gained through investigations or class discussions
  • answers to questions asked in class
  • a glossary of new words and terminology with graphic examples
  • and thoughts of the different techniques and types explored.

Differentiation

Extension

Teachers are encouraged to provide students with acceleration activities if required.

Students could:

  • create a brand poster by adding text and a company slogan
  • develop an advertising campaign for a skateboard company
  • using photoshop only, design 3 different skateboard decks using the layer technique. A png template (PNG 543.47KB) for photoshop has been provided. For help with layers go the Adobe About photoshop layers website.
  • write a blog post addressing the driving question.

Life skills

Life skills outcomes

A student:

  • LS 1 experiences a variety of visual design procedures to make visual design artworks
  • LS 4 explores ways in which experiences of the world can be communicated in visual design artworks
  • LS 6 makes a variety of visual design artworks that reflect experiences, responses or a point of view
  • LS 7 explores a variety of subject matter that can be represented in visual design artworks

copyright NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2004.

Students could:

  • draw their names in block letters onto the skateboard deck template or wood
  • with paint, colour the letters
  • outline in black and add lighting bolts or other symbols to the design
  • discuss why they used the colours and symbols used in their design.

Evaluate

Formative assessment can be used to determine learning progress throughout the lesson sequences. Teachers should informally assess a student's level of understanding and adapt accordingly.

This sequence and accompanying worksheets are available as word documents below.

  1. Graffiti sequence (DOCX 330.84KB).

Reference list and resources

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