Category Archives: Workshops

Photoshop Workshop April

Photoshop Text Manipulation Workshop, April 28th

Last Sunday, Caroline Garvey (’14) led a workshop on Photoshop text manipulation using clipping masks on text files. She started off with the basics of setting up a file and importing the image onto a layer. Then, she guided us through the use of clipping masks to clip an image onto a text field, e.g. “Stanford” on a background of the Stanford Oval, and then the use of drop shadow to make the text stand out a bit more. For the final technique, she showed us how to use multiple layers to put up a faint outline of “Stanford” onto an image to create a blend in the background effect for the text.

Photoshop Image Text Steps

Pottery Workshop April 2013

Ceramics Workshop, April 12th

On April 12th, SDI hosted a pottery workshop for 10 people in Elliot Programming Center Pottery Room. After preparing balls of clay to get rid of air bubbles, two main pottery techniques were covered: Firstly, using the wheel, students used traditional techniques to shape the clay into a curved bowl. Lifting and centering the clay was much harder than it seems! Secondly, flat pieces of clay were pressed with patterned laces and other textures. Some students used found objects, such as leaves, to imprint patterns on the clay pieces. The pieces were rolled to a cylindrical shape, making beautiful mugs and vases.

Ebru Workshop

Ebru Workshop, January 17th

Deger Turan (’16) hosted a Stanford Design Initiative Workshop on Ebru Paper Marbeling. First he gave us an explanation of how it works, and then we all split into pairs and started painting for ourselves. How it works is you drip paints into trays of special water of water and powered sea weed. The paint expands into beautiful paint blobs that float. You could use a toothpick or a spoon to spread out the paint to make long strokes such as flowers. You then put the paper over the liquid and press down. The paint will then go on the paper so you can save it.

Origami Workshop

Origami Workshop, November 1st

Last Thursday, Alex Brinas (’15) led a small workshop on the basics of modular origami. Armed with a spread of origami paper in various pretty colors and patterns, Alex taught workshop-ers how to construct two more simple models: a Sonobe cube, made up of six easy-to-make and well known Sonobe units, and a brocade, made up of six slightly more complex folded units.

Adobe Illustrator Workshop

Adobe Illustrator Workshop, October 25th

This week, students from all classes gathered in a cozy computer cluster in Y2E2 to learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator from Cindy Chang (’14). Most attendees had never used Illustrator before, but the Cindy proved that it is easy for anyone to jump into creating a drawing. Cindy led the workshop-ers through a step-by-step process of drawing a neat robot graphic, providing a solid introduction to the fundamentals of the Illustrator interface: drawing rectangles, ellipses, and other polygons, adding color, manipulating the texture of the color, blending shapes, cutting away from shapes, etc. Many people let their sense of creativity loose by the end, resulting in a variety of unique robots. This one’s going on the fridge door!

Papier-Mache Workshop!

Papier-Mache Workshop, October 11th

Last Thursday, Lilly Shi (2014) led a messy (but super duper) workshop on making some very cool papier-mâché lanterns. Papier-mâché projects typically consist of any composite material (usually paper) bound with some sort of adhesive. Working in pairs, workshoppers dipped yarn (in any colors of their choosing) into a gooey mixture of cornstarch and Elmer’s glue, wrapping the yarn around Vaseline covered balloons to give the lanterns their round shape. The process proved to be bit tricky at first and resulted in many crusty, glue covered hands, but the hands on fun and ultimate results were certainly worth it. There were various different lanterns—different concentrations of string, different sizes, different colors—some people even used multiple colors of string which turned out pretty awesomely. Attendees left (clean handed) with their finished balloons in plastic bags—once dry, the balloons could be popped, leaving behind the hard shell of the lantern.

Photoshop UI Elements Workshop

Photoshop UI Elements Workshop 3/1

This week, Grace Kwan (2014) gave a great workshop on Photoshop UI elements, mostly centered around creating knobs, dials, and progress bars. As a CS major, she started out by talking about UI elements on the web, and recommended looking at as a source of inspiration for the types of things Photoshop and other design software can create. For the rest of the workshop, we worked through on creating a knob and a progress bar, two important pieces of UI found in many applications. While we were working on the knob, Grace pointed out that one of the differences between Photoshop and Illustrator was that the resolution in Photoshop is more important Photoshop operates on pixels, while Illustrator is vectorized and can thus maintain resolution while resizing. She also talked about layers as a way to separate the different parts of a picture and introduced the ruler tool as a way to create helpful guidelines. As we dove into coloring our knobs with gray radial gradients to mimic the stainless steel quality of an actual knob, Grace also introduced us to the bevel and emboss tool, and in particular the “chisel hard” setting, as a way to give dimension to an element and make it pop out from the screen. We went over glow tools (inner and outer glow), and even used the pen tool to help create a clipping mask that we later rasterized. After working on the knob for a bit, we moved on to creating a progress bar. Here, Grace showed us some tricks on using color overlay and the dropper tool to maintain the same shade of a color throughout a picture. We also had some fun with our progress bars by making their insides patterned, courtesy of :) All in all, thanks Grace for wrapping up our design workshops this quarter!


Be sure to keep an eye out for our spring quarter workshops! As always, If you’re interested in Stanford Design Initiative’s workshop – follow us our designkids mailing list or on Facebook.



Design Thinking Workshop, February 12th

Stanford Design Initiative hosted one of its featured event: Design Thinking Workshop on Feb.12th at the Atrium.

Design Thinking is a creative process formalized by the and used to wicked solve problems by innovative companies and experts all around the world. The workshop aims to give people a hands-on experience with design thinking.

The workshop started with a game “roshambo tournament” to get people energetic and eager to jump into intensive brainstorming. Then Angad Singh, the workshop host, conducted the 2-hour long workshop by letting people go through drawing, interivew partner, reframe problem, ideate, iterate, build and test, a process of design thinking around the problem of “re-design the wallet”. People built various interesting wallet prototypes within 2 hours. The workshop ended by reflecting the design thinking process in groups.

Want to get notified about future Stanford Desing Thinking events? Follow us our designkids mailing list and like our fan page. For this week, we are going to hold “The Key(note) to Success” workshop by Jason Chua, stay tuned!

Illustrator Design Skills Workshop

Adobe Illustrator Workshop by Brandon Ly 2/16

This week, Brandon Kit Ly (2014) gave an awesome workshop on Adobe Illustrator. He started off with a typography lesson which included how to format the text, use custom fonts, and wrap paragraphs of text. He pulled up the branding 10000 lakes project as an example of what illustrator can accomplish. We dove in further by creating circular and square shapes which we colored with fills and gradients. Brandon then taught us compound path effects which allowed us to combine and punch out new shapes. To introduce the pen tool, he pulled up a picture of a shark from Google and then showed how with anchor points and curves you can outline the shark and turn it into a vector. We then spent some time playing around with the pen tool and making our own shark themed creations. Next he showed us how to make really awesome 3D perspective effects using theperspective grid. He finished up the talk by showing how to do calligraphic effects using the width tool.

February 10th: Emotional Design Workshop

Emotional Design Workshop, February 10th

Last thursday, our Stanford Design Initiative once again had a rockstar guest for our workshop–Enrique Allen.

Enrique is Founder of the Designer’s fund. He’s also advisor for 500 Startups and instructor at and Persuasive Technology Lab.

Enrique started the talk by let everybody around the room wave.  Enrique showed his idea about how good modern design should have “Form follows emotions”.  The talk was full of interesting successful emotion design examples.  We believe that the audience would get inspired from Enrique and put “emotion” into consideration in their next design works!

Lastly, big thanks to Enrique for having this wonderful workshop.

If you’re interested in Stanford Design Initiative’s workshop – follow us our designkids mailing list or like our fan page.  For this week, we are having “Adobe Illustrator Techniques” workshop by Brandon Ly, location: TBD.