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Writing Assignment 4 Lecture
Writing Assignment 4

Four.  Writing Assignment Four. Select one of the following four categories as they appear in Chapters Five through Eight of  IDW:

  1. Chapter Five: "Printed Matter Case Studies" (Magazines, Packaging, and Corporate Communications)
  2. Chapter Six: "Information Graphics Case Studies" (Maps, Charts, and Diagrams)
  3. Chapter Seven: "Interactive Case Studies" (Websites and screen-based projects)
  4. Chapter Eight: "Environmental Case Studies" (Wayfinding and Exhibits)

    Each chapter, or category, contains a number of real-world case studies that discuss how information design principles were used to create a product. For example, in chapter five, one case study describes how and why a design firm was asked to re-conceptualize the way that TIME Magazine presents its information. Other case studies in this chapter discuss the packaging design label on a modern trash can, or the promotional materials of a major paper manufacturer. Other chapters provide examples of charts that were designed to inform audiences of the crisis concerning the global water supply, or brochures showcasing the appearance of a commercial-grade oven designed for the home, or wayfaring material for the Los Angeles public transport system, etc.
    Your task is to select one of these specific case studies, from a chapter in IDW, and describe why they may be effective and pleasing to a user by referring to design principles in UPD. For example, your choice might be a chart that was created to inform employees of the functions of various equipment and processes that take place in a factory. You would refer to the specific case study in IDW that you have chosen, summarize the problem or need and how it was resolved, and explain how design principles in UPD may be used to describe the final product, whether that product be a map, a webpage, a corporate document, signage, and so on. Please try to refer to five of the principles in UPD for the case study. If you cannot find at least five principles that seem to apply, make certain you are especially descriptive. Usually, however, you should be able to find many more than five, in which case you should choose the ones that seem to be the most accurate and interesting.  

NOTE: This project constitutes assignment Four. It should be a minimum of one full single-spaced page, but no more than two full pages of text -- the document can be longer for your  graphics and formatting. Also, although inserting graphics above, under, or adjacent to your text is of course appropriate, please do so with a correct sense of scale (i.e., no half-a-page pasted in graphic with scant textual support). 

Text should be 12-point in a nice, professional serif font, single spaced, and double spaced between sections or headings. Make minor boldface, font style, or font size changes to headings at your discretion. I'll evaluate according to the quantity and quality of the content, the appearance of the document, and of course the level of writing errors I come across.


Ok, for our last two written assignments, I'd like you to experiment with all the elements of formatting we've been talking about.  Several of these we've been doing already.

  1. Choose a professional-looking font that is not Times New Roman.  Be sure to include a note at the end of your document saying what font you chose, why, and what Bringhurst has to say about it.  (This time it's worth 5% of the grade as a reward for following directions!)
  2. Choose a font color that's not black.  Also look at altering font size, color, kerning, etc., in headings.
  3. Choose a document background that is not white: use a color or an image. Make sure it constrast with and complements the font color.
  4. Use good document design principles, with lists, images with captions, etc.
  5. Use a paper size that is neither 8″ x 11″ nor 8″ x 14″.  I encourge you to use MS Publisher.  If you don't have that, I think Word will also work. Scroll down the page to the Publisher screenshots to see where the paper size options are. 
  6. Select margins that are not 1″.  Use one of the patterns in Bringhurst. 
  7. Print to .pdf in booklet format. Publisher lets you do this directly; otherwise, use your printer settings for it. Notice the page patterns in the way the pdf prints out. Remember what I say in the lecture about the margins needing to match the binding.

"Posson Jone'" in MS Publisher
"Posson Jone'" in booklet form. 
.pub here.  .pdf here.

X marks the spot for the paper not to use.

Click here for more flat designs.

Skeuomorphic Design Site
Click the image above for more skeuomorphic examples.

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