Visual Rhetoric InDesign Project

I'm teaching an undergraduate course in Visual Rhetoric for the first time at USF this semester. Our first few projects involved analysis and manipulation in photoshop. Our fourth project requires students to work in groups of 4 to design a cover and typography for a work in public domain using InDesign. We're going to watch an episode from Bravo's Work of Art this summer in class today as a way of introducing the project.

My guess is that others out there have tried a similar project--I'd appreciate any commentary you might be able to provide. I use this project to introduce concepts of visual research, teamwork, and to get them to play with a new technology. Here's the assignment sheet:

Assignment 4: InDesign Project

Dr. Marc C. Santos | ENC 3310 | Fall 2010

Our 4th major project is our first team project. You will be placed in teams of 3 to complete this project. The project has two major stages: pitch presentation and delivered product.

The final group deliverable will be an InDesign file (.indd); individuals will submit a Project 4 Postmortem. Each group will be responsible for selecting a work from the Gutenberg Top 100 downloads (all works in public domain) and giving it a modern re-design fit for print publication.

What Needs to Be Done for Monday, September 30th

Next Monday your project has to give an 8 to 10 minute presentation on your text that includes at least 3 design possibilities for the final project. The presentation should also cover whatever genre research you have compiled for your project (I am expecting 8 to 10 different images). Research should also speak to genre trends—think about size, color, font selections. In the presentation, you might want to have some kind of chronology that speaks to recent republications. Someone might want to look into font sizes typical for print publications. Start looking at books like a good chef eats.

All group members should speak for at least a portion of the presentation (although speaking time does not have to be evenly distributed). Following your presentation, the class (emulating a corporate board) will vote for which of the mock-ups they would like to see continued to completion.

The visual portion of the research presentation should be collected into some kind of media that can be “turned in” for evaluation (be it a website, a powerpoint, a prezi, a flash presentation, etc). Additionally, each group should design a handout for the presentation (note: too much text can make a handout difficult to read, too little can make it useless). Grading for the visual presentation will be based on: 1) the sophistication of the visual used in class, 2) the depth/quality of research grounding design decisions, 3) the quality of the mock-up selected by the class for additional development, 4) the professionalism and preparation of the group’s presenters.

What Needs to Be Done for Monday, October 4th

The group will email me one InDesign File (.indd) containing their project. A finished project will include a front and back cover design (fit for paperback printing), formatting for the book’s first 100 pages (if you are doing a book, this should be a minimum of 2 chapters). In addition to the cover, the book should include page numbers. If you are working with a book longer than 100 pages, there is no need to format all of the text.

The group project email should also include any research files or working files used to complete the project. InDesign is by and large a “finishing” technology. Groups will likely have to use other technologies (Photoshop for image editing, Word for rtf formatting) to create their projects.

Additionally, every person will turn in a Project 4 Postmortem sheet that documents their time spent on the project and speaks to group dynamics. This form will be distributed on Monday, September 30th.

How to Turn it in

As usual, a completed project should be sent to me on Sunday, October 3rd, at 11:59 pm. Please include your team name in the subject line. Postmortems should be sent in at the same time and include the team name in the subject line.

1 comment:

Insignificant Wrangler said...

A pretty wide spectrum of books were nominated by students: Kafka's Metamorphosis, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Melville's Moby Dick, and Kipling's Jungle Book, Wells's The Time Machine and a collection of Poe's short stories.