Album Cover - Mixed Media (level 1)

Goals and Objectives

  1. To show an understanding of advancing color theory
  2. To show a sensitivity using a combination of media in one project
  3. To show a sophistication in creating a square composition
  4. To create an album cover which represents the song title from a musical artist
  5. To utilize typography within a composition

Step by Step

  1. Watch edited version of Helvetica documentary and fill out accompanying worksheet
  2. Review and demonstrate typography basics and have students practice their type alignment on worksheets in class
  3. Practice drawing out a chosen typeface in a chosen word from examples handed out in class - pay attention to kerning and letter height
  4. Demonstrate and review thumbnails and brainstorming
  5. Students have time to brainstorm and sketch out at least eight thumbnail ideas - not specific but paying attention to composition
  6. Once thumbnails are explained and approved, students choose one to re-draw on small rough draft paper (an 8"x8" square)
  7. Once small rough draft is approved, move on to full size "large rough draft" on newsprint (trace 14"x14" template in the middle of the newsprint)
  8. Draw out large rough draft - which should have approx 70-ish percent of details that will be in the final - especially with typography
  9. Once large rough draft is finished, trace on to final drawing paper
  10. Students have painting/drawing time to work on final project
  11. When finished, cut down to 14"x14" final size on paper cutter


  • pencil/eraser
  • printer paper for thumbnails and small rough draft
  • newsprint (18"x24" cut to 18"x18" - if desired)
  • drawing paper (also cut to 18"x18"
  • brushes, palettes, water containers, paper towels
  • tempera paint, watercolor paint, pen & ink, colored pencils, etc (or any other art materials the students have been using - or have access to)
  • toothbrushes & sponges & rulers, etc.


  • This project typically takes 11 class periods of 90 minutes each.


If you would like digital copies of the Helvetica documentary worksheet, thumbnail page, small rough draft, or digital presentation of student examples, please email with your request.

This project typically follows the Watercolor project for Level 1 students.