Every kid has a little da Vinci in them. Or, at least, every parent thinks their kid does. Fortunately, it’s easy to foster that innate creativity by teaching your children graphic design. The best part is, you don’t have to be an expert yourself.
If you don’t already have Photoshop or another graphic design program, there are tons of free applications and tutorials floating around that can get you up to speed easily. (Or more realistically: Your kid can master one of these applications in ten minutes and then teach you).
Once you have Photoshop or a Photoshop alternative on your computer, get started with the following three projects — making an album cover, designing a cereal box, and screen-printing a t-shirt. Each one is a perfect starting point in graphic design that covers some of the basic principles of design software and will inspire your little artist (and you, too). And remember, for all these projects, you’ll also need a quality computer with a fast processor, like the 8th Gen Intel® Core™ processor in the Lenovo Yoga 920 laptop.
Parents strive to treat their families to amazing experiences. Catapult, in partnership with Intel, is the field guide for the modern mom, offering tech-based at-home activities that will build lasting memories.
Making an Album Cover
Remember that time your kids and their friends were all sitting on a stoop, or lined up near a chain link fence, and you grabbed your phone and snapped a picture and shouted “album cover!” This is your chance to make that perfect album cover, getting your offspring to turn themselves into literal (fake) rock stars — plus you can explain a little bit about how Music Used to Be Listened to Once Upon a Time.
First, you have to get your kid brainstorming: Is this a band or a solo project? What kind of music? Who’s the lead singer, MC, drummer, and who is the cool bassist? Maybe now is the time to get talking a little more seriously about your favorite albums from the past. Show them old album covers to spark their creativity and tell them about the good old days.
Next, encourage your kid to put the picture (and it could be a great moody or candid solo shot, too) to work using basic graphic design. You two can use a photo editing app or website like PicMonkey to digitally ‘cut out” the people’s shapes and transpose them onto a background that feels especially album-y, or if it’s already there, edit the photo to make the brightness, saturation, and colors seem mysterious and hip.
Have your kid pick a font, a title, and maybe even a border — just be warned, you might have to buy some recording equipment if this goes too well.
Designing a Cereal Box
My 103-year old grandpa’s cereal shelf includes such brands as French Toast Crunch and Cookie Crisp, leaving Cinnamon Life as the “healthy one.” This illustrates that first, sugary cereal is so full of preservatives it may prevent aging — and second, crucially, that there’s no limit to the junk food combinations that can be distilled down into a themed box of crunchy breakfast cereal.
So for your extra-creative kid who wants to branch out beyond photo manipulation and design something cool from scratch, here’s a project idea: Come up with a new idea for a cereal (Spiderman-themed Spider-Os? Feminist Frosted Flakes? Squid-ink Squares? Marshmallow Mice? Go crazy!). Next, design the box from scratch. They can use cool lettering, a logo or two, a mascot, images of the cereal itself — and for the extra-advanced, an eye-popping splash of frothy milk.
This would also be a great accompaniment to a school history project about a famous person from the past. What would a pioneering general or activist look like on a Wheaties Box?
Designing and Screen-Printing a T-shirt
Maybe your kid is a fashion-forward or a DIY maven who wants to look unique among his peers. If so, designing and screen-printing a t-shirt is a fabulous way to envision something on-screen and then flaunt it in the flesh. It’s a little more tricky than the other projects because it requires extra supplies. But the wearable rewards are worth it.
You can start by helping your child design an image file of a logo for the front of the shirt, a cool photo (using the tips above), or a funny saying in a cool font that your kid wants to have emblazoned on her chest.
Then, you grab some basic equipment and screen-print the shirt at home or go to a shop (in person or online) that custom-prints shirts from customers’ designs. But warning: Once your offspring begin creating their own threads, they might want to revolutionize their whole wardrobe.
To complete all of these projects, you’ll need a computer that can handle extensive multitasking. The Lenovo Yoga 920 comes with a powerful 8th Gen Intel Core processor, which means your kid will be able to quickly edit photos on several programs and apps. When you give Intel, you’ll be able to provide your whole family with amazing experiences and skills that they can use for years to come.
Have you completed any of these projects with your kids? If so, show us the results in the comments!
Sarah Seltzer is a writer and editor in NYC.
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