Digital Project



ID Pattern/Anomaly Digital Montage


Pattern-an arrangement or sequence establishing visual order typically through repetition.

Anomaly-something that deviates from the standard, normal, or expected.

The goal of this project is two-fold.  One aspect is the formal analysis of visual tension created between pattern & anomaly.  The second part of this project explores the theme of identity through the use of various compositional elements.

We will go over basic Adobe Photoshop instruction covering the use of tools, selections, color, and layers.  Scanning and printing are also introduced with this project. 

This project is composed of three parts. 

The project should explore a combination of color and black & white.  At the start of the project, determine if you are introducing the pattern in black & white and the anomalies in color or vice versa. 

LAB DAYS – meet in the digital media lab – third floor of the library

(may be adjusted for lab availability)

October 23 – have your map – wither hand drawn to scan or as a digital JPG

November 1 – continue work on part 1

November 20 – begin part II – bring in personal items to scan

December 6 – introduce part III – scan or prep in photo shop




A map of your hometown, home state or home country.  The map may be obtained off the web (look for a visually interesting map not a simple road map from the typical online search engines).  It may also be a drawing or other found map.

In this first composition, design a dominant pattern without a focal point.  The pattern should come from your map.  Your map image serves as a starting point.  Try to create the pattern by breaking-up the original map similar to the way in which paper collage works.  Save this document as a separate file. 

Through repetition, pattern establishes organization.  Pattern emphasizes static visual relationships & directional movement within the visual field.  Anomaly is the presence of irregularity in a design.  It can result in a slight or significant interruption of the overall pattern.  Anomalies often serve as focal points that transform or break-up pattern.


A group of three to four small personal items &/or symbols that represent you as an identity marker.  Identity is to be considered an open concept that spans ethnic background, subculture or personal interests, etc.  Think of objects that have personal importance to you as an individual.

For the second composition, transform the original pattern established in the first composition.  Change the structure of the pattern further and introduce some of the anomalies to create visual tension in the composition.  The anomalies could come from the scanned personal items and/or handwritten text.  Save this document as a separate file.



Design an original hand rendered font for the text component of this project.  You may reference other font styles as inspiration, but you should develop your own font  style.  Hand rendered should be understood as bold, expressive, gritty, fantastical, etc.  Be creative.  Don’t replicate something that looks like Helvetica for example.

The third composition is the resolution of the design.  Compositional requirements include the map, personal image symbols, & handwritten text actively participating in creating a strong tension between pattern & anomaly.  Think about the theme of identity for this project.  How does your final composition explore narrative possibilities through the use of your map, symbols, and text?  Save this document as a separate file

Compositional Recommendations:

Keep in mind that pattern must be dominant in order for anomaly to occur successfully.  When generating anomalies use logical visual solutions.  Random inclusions will not solve the problem.  Symmetrical & centered compositions are predictable.  Anomalies placed to close to an edge lead the eye out of the composition.  The use of too many anomalies can destroy pattern.  Repetitive placement of anomalies can become another pattern.


Adobe Photoshop Document Specifications:

•    Set the document size to 8.5x11.  Decide either horizontal or vertical orientation at this point.

•    Set DPI to 300.

•    Set Color Mode to RGB (this setting gives you greater access to filters) or Grayscale.

•    Background set to White.


After you have finished with your compositions, go to Layer on the Photoshop tabs and select Flatten Image to make it a background.  This minimizes the file size.  Once you do this and close the document you cannot go back to reveal layers.


Printing Specifications:

All three compositions must be printed separately on Presentation Matte Photo Paper & with borderless printing. Instructor will provide the photo paper.

Print Settings:

•    Before you print select Image on the Photoshop tabs and select Mode.  Then select CMYK to set the correct color range for ink jet printing.

•    Print your digital files through Photoshop.  Select Print With Preview then click on Page Setup.  Select US Letter, then click on US Letter (Sheet Feeder-Borderless)

•    After page setup, click Print, then click the Copies & Pages dialog box, then select Print Settings.  Under media type, select Presentation Matte Photo Paper & CMYK. 

      Then select Advanced, and deselect High Speed.  Click Print.


Presentation Specifications:

Digital prints will be mounted on presentation board for critique during the final exam period.  Each 8.5x11 print should be mounted on a 10x13 presentation board panel.  Prints must be evenly centered. 

FOR INTERIM DEADLINES:  The project compositions must be submitted to the instructor as digital files for evaluation.  Submit them as an email attachment. 

The files must be in the original document size specifications & DPI.  Submit only JPEG files set at maximum file size.  Please do not send PSD or Photoshop Document file settings.



Last modified: Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 11:23 PM