English 853 Visual Communication

Projects

Spring Semester 1999

Dr. Christine Boese

Project One: Print-Based Design Project Due Date: March 2, 1999

Design and execute a professional publication for a real world client. Examples: Manual, Booklet, Series of Forms, Posters, or Promotional Materials, Newsletter, Annual Report, Magazine or Tabloid Design Mockup, or Book Design Mockup.

This project is worth 25 percent of your grade. You may work alone or in teams of 2 or 3 with my approval.

You do not need to write a formal proposal for this project, but you will need to describe your project orally and show supporting materials to the instructor to obtain project approval before beginning work.

This project will involve a number of elements, called deliverables. Some will be directly related to the professional completion of the job, and some will be strictly for delivery to the instructor.

Deliverables:

1. Weekly Progress Report Memos delivered to the Instructor by email. These are one-page summary reports on your project, what is working, what is not working, how relations are going with your client and your group members, if you have any. Each group member is responsible for filing individual Progress Report Memos.

2. A Design Specifications Document, one per team. This is a document that details the specifications of all of your design decisions, and in some cases, includes justification for making those decisions. Like the specifications for building a house, it will contain particulars on fonts selected, sizes, leading, margins, colors and color processes, paper selection, and if relevant, budgetary concerns and cost information. It should also contain a statement, at least a paragraph or two, on which design principles or philosophy you are attempting to apply or drawn on or allude to for your overall "look and feel." This document will be your project's "bible," and your grade will be based partially on how consistently you follow your own design specs. The rest of your grade will be based on the strength of your overall design and your completed delivery of all of the parts of the project.

3. Audience Analysis Document and Short Usability Test, one per team. For this project, this element need not be long and substantial. A single page Audience Analysis Document should examine the potential audience's Attitudes, Background, and Needs. Later, when you have completed a fairly polished version of your project, test it on at least two potential audience members, conducting short interviews with them afterward. Incorporate the feedback into your project and summarize your findings in a short one-page memo.

4. Print Proof of the Final Product, one per team. This should be to size (you can tile and tape together output that is larger than 8.5 by 11). If color is to be used, your print proof should be color printed. For multiple pages, you have the option of delivering flat proofs (such as the printer would send back to you as "blues" for one final proof before going to press) or a simulation of any types of binding you have selected.

5. Electronic Deliverables prepared in your CLE "Turnin" folder as if ready to be sent to the printer for printing. This includes all resource files, fonts (if you can get them), PageMaker docs, and a text document created by selecting the pulldown menu Utilities/Pub Info and saving the information on fonts and links. Each group member should have a full copy of this file in her or his Turnin folder and a personal copy as well, for your own portfolios.

 

Project Two: Creating a Digital Portfolio Due Date: April 27, 1999.

Design and execute a professional digital portfolio for yourself or a real world client, either low band, Web-based, or high-band, CD-ROM-based. This can take many different forms depending on the media involved. I will show you a number of models and examples. Alternately, you could adapt this project toward the creation of a significantly complex community or special interest web site.

This project is worth 25 percent of your grade. You may work alone or in teams of 2 or 3 with my approval.

You do not need to write a formal proposal for this project, but you will need to describe your project orally and show supporting materials to the instructor to obtain project approval before beginning work.

This project will involve a number of elements, called deliverables. Some will be directly related to the professional completion of the job, and some will be strictly for delivery to the instructor.

Deliverables:

1. Weekly Progress Report Memos delivered to the Instructor by email. These are one-page summary reports on your project, what is working, what is not working, how relations are going with your client and your group members, if you have any. Each group member is responsible for filing individual Progress Report Memos.

2. A Design Specifications Document, one per team. This is a document that details the specifications of all of your design decisions, and in some cases, includes justification for making those decisions. Like the specifications for building a house, it will contain particulars on fonts selected, sizes, leading, margins, colors and color processes, paper selection, and if relevant, budgetary concerns and cost information. It should also contain a statement, at least a paragraph or two, on which design principles or philosophy you are attempting to apply or drawn on or allude to for your overall "look and feel." This document will be your project's "bible," and your grade will be based partially on how consistently you follow your own design specs. The rest of your grade will be based on the strength of your overall design and your completed delivery of all of the parts of the project. For this project, your design specs should also include storyboards and a plan for handling interactivity.

3. Audience Analysis Document and Short Usability Test, one per team. For this project, this element need not be long and substantial. A single page Audience Analysis Document should examine the potential audience's Attitudes, Background, and Needs. Later, when you have completed a fairly polished version of your project, test it on at least four potential audience members, conducting short interviews with them afterward. Incorporate the feedback into your project and summarize your findings in a short two-page memo.

4. Electronic Deliverables prepared in your CLE "Turnin" folder. This includes all resource files, Each group member should have a full copy of this file in her or his Turnin folder and a personal copy as well, for your own portfolios. We will also be linking these into the class public.www folder for public access in the future.

 

Project 3 (Optional: Research Paper in Visual Communication Due Date: April 27, 1999.

I have decided to make this project optional. It had originally be set as 20 percent of your grade. If you choose not to write it, that 20 percent will be divided between Project One and Project Two equally.

For this project, you will write a research paper on a topic in visual communciation, suitable for presenting at a professional conference. It should be 8-9 pages long, and be sufficiently narrowed in scope to adequately review the current research and present a new finding drawing on that research and your experience in this seminar as visual communicators.

A good place to start the research process would be the outside readings you have been doing all semester. Look at the readings that drew your attention. Follow up by reading some of the works cited by those authors. Also check into the journals and edited books cited by those authors. Of course, you may also investigate online sources, such as the Journal of Electronic Communication, CMC Magazine, and others, if they have sufficient credibility.

You should use MLA or APA style of documentation in these papers. If you would like my review of your rough drafts, I will be happy to have a conference with you on them. I treat writing as a process, and revision as essential, so don't be afraid to come and see me with drafts of these papers. I can also offer advice if you would like to write proposals to present your research at professional conferences.