Prairie Studio

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dragonflyJohn's Classes at Oakton CollegeFALL Semester 2013

John will be teaching three courses this FALL semester:

Prairie Studio also provides expert personal onsite training for businesses, corporations and individuals!

For further information email John at

long-beaked bird

Web Design

The beginning-level Art 259 class (Web Graphic Page Design) is an over-all introduction to the web, and all the various concepts and workflows that go into creating a web site…we use Dreamweaver as the application of choice for working with web page/web site creation…Photoshop and Fireworks are the primary graphics programs we'll be using…and we will also dive into Flash for web animation…(we have the Adobe CS6 version of all graphics software on the school computers)…

I think of the course as a beginning to intermediate web page design course…we will be spending a good deal of time with Dreamweaver, learning the ins and outs of the interface…and a good deal of time on graphics…I also am a believer in putting web pages together using accepted web standards techniques, which really just means doing things according to best professional standards…and that means putting a fair amount of emphasis on using HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) properly to separate the structure of web pages from their stylistic or presentational aspects…

And hopefully the course will be fun as well:)…I like to get students involved in the stuff we work on and if possible get folks involved in discussions of whatever the subject matter de jour might be…we'll have a couple quizzes and a final exam, plus a final web site project (the content of which is up to each student to decide)…we have very a good text (Adobe Dreamweaver Classroom in a Book) that details just about all you need to know regarding Dreamweaver, HTML and CSS, as well as some very good information about graphics techniques and formats…besides working together on graphics, web site strategy and technical procedures in class, we'll also make use of some quality video tutorials as a change of pace…

Art 259 Web Graphic Page Design: Mondays 5pm-10pm (we'll probably start a bit later and end a bit earlier)
DesPlaines Campus, Room 1104 - Section 050, Code #31249 - Starts August 19, 2013 (to 12/9/13)


The advanced-level ART 267 course (Web Layout Design & Typography) will survey many of the new HTML5 features (including use of the Canvas element for animation, and the new Audio and Video tags), the basics of Javascript & the DOM, and several of the coolest new advanced features of CSS3…we will also continue to study the ins and outs of using WordPress, both as a blog and as a web site creation engine. We will also dive into a brand-new Adobe web application, Abobe Edge Animate...this is one of the coolest and most innovative apps to come along from Adobe in quite some time, and it will allow us to easily incorporate advanced CSS, Javasvript and jQuery into our web pages, without having to deal with much of the raw coding itself: a wonderful new way of doing interactive design! And along the way, we will learn some of the basics involved in working with the popular open-source scripting language PHP, along with an introduction to MySQL databases.

And although some of this will of necessity require us to do a little programming, my method in this course is to always approach these things from the point of view of the web our forays into the secrets of some of these more technical areas will always be gentle, though hopefully no less short, we will be doing some really cool, really amazing things, that are surprisingly easy to achieve!

Art 267 Web Layout Design & Typography: Thursdays 5pm-10pm (again we'll probably start a bit later and end a bit earlier) at Skokie Campus, Room P105 - Section 050, Code #31280 - Starts August 22, 2013 (to 12/5/13)


Print Design

In Art 265 (Prepress & Press) we have three main goals:

1-We want to be sure everyone has a solid foundation using the main tools of the trade: Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and most importantly InDesign…we will review all the main aspects of the software, and as the course progresses we'll find some useful 'hidden' aspects of each application that many students may be unaware of…

2-We want all students to have as much practice as possible creating the widest variety and range of real-world print publications, such as posters, tri-fold brochures, calendars, business cards, product handouts, short product catalogs, longer text documents, menus, post cards, etc…and we want students to create these documents through use of functional as well as elegant designs…so there will be lots of projects!…

3-We want students to create these documents keeping in mind from the very beginning of the design process all the basic concepts of good prepress procedure, including file/folder organization, file format use, font and typography considerations, image processing, color management, RGB-to-CMYK conversion, process vs spot color considerations, bleeds, trapping, bitmap vs vector image, document templates, paper choices and considerations, die cuts, bump plates, varnishing, the off-set printing process, conversions from pixels to half-tone dots, printings inks, the pantone color system, binding options, proofing procedures, etc…

By the end of the course students should be able to handle any number of different print design projects from initial conceptualization to finished offset-printed product, ready for distribution! And students will have several well-designed print publication documents that they can print and use as portfolio pieces for the department's Portfolio course, and as impressive showpieces to attract potential clients and/or employers…

Art 265 Prepress & Press: Tuesdays 5pm-10pm (though we will be starting a bit later and no doubt ending earlier) at Skokie Campus - Room P105 - Section 050, Code #31245 - Starts Auguest 20, 2013 (to 12/10/13)