Friday, October 31

COMMUNICATION MODELS 5 :: expectations for final crit

present with your partner:
• both postcard series
• annotated models (if digital and needs projection drop on CAS)
• how did you achieve project objectives (review prj. descriptions to assist)
• what did you learn about the communication process?
• what is your dialetic?
• approximately 10 minutes total.

turn in physical artifact for evaluation:
• printed postcards
• printed annotated model (if digital, post the link)
• process document pages (PRINTED)

post to blogs for evaluation:
• any additional process work

Sunday, October 19

COMMUNICATION MODELS 4 :: final reading

some thoughts on various types of noise in the communication process.

Saturday, October 18

COMMUNICATION MODELS 3 :: information graphic

By project's end, you are to produce a clear detailed infographic that visualizes your understanding of communication model theories, and illustrates your specific project outcome. Design a base model that could work for a wide range of basic communications. Then, for each project phase, annotate the model with supporting visuals and written remarks. Annotations will be about your specific experiences during this project, while the base is about how communication works in general. The base model and annotations should utilize distinct graphic languages, making one discernible from the other.

There are a range of communication models that can inform this project -- see lecture posted to the right under "course materials". Additionally, conduct a bit of research on your own to see what's out there.

for progress crit next class:
Show "proposed" directions of the "base model" (bare) and base model with several initial visual/verbal annotations. Annotations are elements you add on, such as a thumbnail of the postcard, a note about intent, a note about interpretation, etc.

due at project's end:
Final information graphic. Can be print or screen based, linear or non-linear.

COMMUNICATION MODELS 3 :: comm theory reading

download PDF, post reflection in comments.

COMMUNICATION MODELS 3 :: "system" postcard

When the output (or "products") function along side (or interrelates with) other products it forms a system. Now, as the sender (again), you are to visualize the system.

Add additional knowledge to the dialog (and find supporting evidence for your argument) by conducting outside research. Narrow the scope and frame the dialetic by placing the product in one of the following contextual systems: social/cultural, historical, technical, or environmental.

Post a summation of this research (and sources) to your blogs.

Answering the following questions may help:
• What is the impact/relationship to other products?
• What is ONE argument (from a social, historical, technical or environmental point of view) that can be made about the object?
• What are the ramifications or benefits of this system?
• How could that engage in a dialectic based on the second postcard?

Add imagery AND text. Embellish and incorporate your partners imagery so that it is apparent that this an ongoing conversation and that the 3 postcards function as a cohesive series.

Deliverables due next class:
Produce a wide range of explorations & iterations. Post all to process blog. Then, select the best direction to produce as the final postcard. Print one and post the final to your blog (post title "phase 3: system postcard").

Friday, October 17

COMMUNICATION MODELS 2 :: "output" postcard

In classical philosophy, dialectic is controversy: the exchange of arguments and counter-arguments... The outcome of the exercise might not simply be the refutation of one of the relevant points of view, but a synthesis or combination of the opposing assertions... [In a dialectical dialogue] the participants share at least some meanings and principles of valid inference, even if they do not agree. source
This project models a conversation between two communicators. The statement started by one will be expanded by the other. More specifically, the assets generated by one will be used/incorporated in the other's visual response.

First, provide each other with the high res file (and in later phases, the raw layered file) of your postcard.

Now you are the sender. Advocate or subvert the original statement your classmate sent to you. Strengthen it with your own visual p.o.v. and supporting evidence by placing the object in context to other related components. When the object (thought of as a component) functions along side (or interrelates with) other components it produces something (it makes a product). You are to visualize the output of the object. 

it may help to answer the following questions:
- what product(s) could this object help produce? (this could be a physical thing, a condition, event, etc.)
- how could that engage in a dialectic based on the first postcard?

You are to add to and embellish the original work (with additional imagery, objects, mark making, etc, but no text). You must incorporate the original photo.

Deliverables due next class:
Produce a wide range of explorations & iterations (post all as linear process, providing captions when necessary). Then, select the best direction to produce as the final postcard. Print one and post the final to your blog (post title "phase 2: output postcard").

COMMUNICATION MODELS 2 :: postcard feedback

Every message that has an intended receiver is interpreted, and to what effect? Provide your assigned partner the following feedback:

interpret your partner's message and provide them with feedback. Write a clear and articulate response and post in the comments section of your partner's blog post, using the following questions as a guide:
• Is the object rendered in a positive or negative tone?
• How did the aesthetic choices (such as cropping, lighting, orientation, color, media, level of abstraction, style, etc) guide your understanding?
•Based on the reading, what categories of transmission were used to send this message?
•Also based on the reading, (how) did noise affect your interpretation of the image?

after your partner (the receiver) has commented, reflect and respond. Was their interpretation in/correct? Clarify your intentions.

Blog Requirements:
The dialogue that starts w/the sender resides on sender's blog for entire project. Each post contains the sender's postcard (as a post), the receivers interpretation/reflection (as a comment or post) and the sender's intent/reflection (as a comment). Complete online feedback during class.

Partners are...
blake / corie
laura / adam
simon / jason
nick karn / nik smith
kaufman / gentry
veronica / sheila
ramzy / cassie
logan / matt

Wednesday, October 15

COMMUNICATION MODELS 1 :: reading assignment one

Read "This means This..." pages 19-32 and post your reflection to the comments of this post. Find the photocopied reading on my reserve shelf in the library. Yes -- go to the library.

COMMUNICATION MODELS 1 :: "object" postcard

You are to communicate your object (from the semiotics project) in a positive or negative tone.

Explore framing, lighting, focus, any image making/rendering styles (e.g. photo, illustration, collage, scratchboard, etc) to communicate your p.o.v. and editorialize the image.

Here are some examples. Post and describe examples you find elsewhere to your own blogs.

Create an image that is communicative, resonating and creative within the set of given parameters. It must be rendered as a single object only and can not incorporate text, symbols or additional objects. For print (5x7 inches, 300 dpi, CMYK) and for screen (550x393 pixels, 72 dpi, RGB).

Produce a wide range of explorations & iterations (post all as linear process, providing captions when necessary). Select the best image to produce as a postcard. Print one and post the final image only (no explanation) to your blog (post title "comm models: object postcard")

Final postcard and process is due next class session

COMMUNICATION MODELS 1 :: project overview

What we say and what is heard depends on a range of factors (from technology obstructions to cultural encoding). As designers we must develop a high sensitivity to the messages we create and the way in which these messages are received by the intended audience, so we can adapt the conversation accordingly.

This project will explore theories about how the communications process works as well as apply and test out that process through peer-to-peer "visual conversations". As partners, you'll design three rounds of messages that will be sent, received, interpreted, and responded-to for feedback.

Over the course of this project each student will produce:
1. a clear & detailed infographic (in print or in motion) that visualizes your understanding of the communication model/theory and elucidates the project's phases
2. three postcards
3. thorough & constructive written feedback on your blogs
4. process documentation

1. visualize your understanding of and document your experience of communication models/theories
2. visually craft messages and responses (as practical application of communication theory)
3. conduct real-time dialogue about your intentions and interpretations
4. professionally documented project stages, improved layout, writing and treatment of content

Each project phase increases in complexity. You will start with limited channels and a singlular message that will subsequently build into a more layered conversation.

day 1: assignment
day 2: "object" postcard due, in-class interpret/reflect post, workday
day 3: "output" postcard due, in-class interpret/reflect post, workday
day 4: "context" postcard due, in-class interpret/reflect post, communication model lecture, assign infographic
day 5: infographic progress crit
day 6: infographic progress crit
day 7: final crit postcards & infographic, process document due

Friday, September 19

RHETORIC :: get out the vote

Part of being involved in this project is the opportunity to exhibit your work along side local area designers and students and to take your message directly to the people of Kansas City.

Posters will hang at AIGA:KC's Get Out the Vote Poster Exhibit & Reception. Tuesday October 21st 6:00pm. Downtown library. All are invited to attend the reception.

On Saturday October 25th, volunteers will hang posters on the streets of KC for this year's Poster Hanging Event. *If you're interested in volunteering for this event, talk to any AIGA officer for more info.

Submit one (or both) of your poster(s) by Friday Oct 17th. For each, print THREE color posters & trim to size (1 for the exhibit, 2 for the streets). Make any improvements to posters based upon final crit and I will collect all posters by 4pm Fri. 10/17.

Get more info about the events here.

If you are an AIGA member, you can still contribute your own designs online.

Wednesday, September 17

RHETORIC :: final crit requirements

rhetoric project final crit: oct 15

posters should be flush mounted (no borders) on black foam core. make sure they are 11 x 17.

1. you'll have 3 minutes to present with 5 minutes allotted for class critique. thoughtfully set up the crit with a prepared statement. post statements to your blog for evaluation. you should cover the following:
• explain how your formal approach supports your conceptual direction.
• note how you achieved project objectives (review the initial prj. description to assist)
• state what rhetorical trope(s) you employed and describe WHY/HOW your work falls into that category.

2. your posters must be pinned-up in the classroom before the start of class. any work not on the wall at the start of class will receive a zero. upload a PDF of your two posters to your server space and post a link to your blog for evaluation (due at start of class or marked late).

3. upload JPGs of your project documentation to your server space and post a link to your blog for evaluation (due at start of class or marked late). printed versions of this are actually more helpful to me for evaluation, so if you can make black and white prints, bound together in a simple way, that would be awesome. note: this is the second iteration of the visual design of your book and will be evaluated as such. your pages should include all required content and address the design of typography, layout and a presentation of work as a cohesive system.

4. all additional process that was not included in your prj. document but is valuable in articulating your thinking/form making process should be posted to your blog for evaluation.

Tuesday, September 16

RHETORIC :: junior / senior crit

Contact your group member to arrange a crit. After the meeting post a brief summation/synthesis of the feedback you received to your blogs for evaluation.

Complete this task before the end of the project for participation eval. Obviously, the sooner you meet, the more helpful it will be to your own process b/c you can implement changes prior to final crit (& prior to submission to the AIGA exhibit).

use these questions to help facilitate the discussion:
• Ask them to identify the tropes employed (& prior to you telling them what your intentions were).

• What graphic devices and/or text successfully supports the reading of the trope (e.g. it is obvious as a hyperbole)? What ones confuse/alter the trope (e.g. can't tell if it is a pun or not)?

• Is the message specific to the demographic? What specific visuals and/or text assist this? What ones confuse/distract? Is your message sensitive? Is it resonating?

• Is the message a clear call to action to vote? What's assisting this? What's hindering?

• Is your formal/stylistic approach appropriate to content and audience?

• Describe the relationship of text to image. Does one reinforce the other? Negate it? Contain a separate message? or something else?

• Is the main copy engaging (an attention getter)? Is the secondary copy clarifying (the call to action, vs. a "so what")?

Jessica Bayer, Alicia Rosas
Mark Adams, Genia Narinskaya
Curtis, Josh Lambert
Kelly, Morgan, Michael May
Matt, Kyle, Ryan Shawgo
Josh Lenz, Josh Eithun
Vivian, Teale Mayse
Justin, Jessica Lyew-Ayee, Sara Cramer
Collette, Cory Duplantis
Monina, Meredith Adams

RHETORIC :: audience receptivity

this chart shows a range of where people may be in their thinking relative to a certain idea or issue. if designers have an idea of where their audience lay on that chart, we can speak to them more effectively and specifically. to look at polar opposites on the chart, we should be saying different things to people who don't even want to vote (not ready to listen) than to people who are ready to go recruit new voters (advocates for the cause).

answer the following questions in the comments to this post:

where is your audience on this receptivity gradient?

how did the specific rhetorical tropes you employed move your viewer up the continuum?

how did you frame your call-to-action differently than if your audience was plotted at a different point on the gradient?

RHETORIC 5 :: semi-final posters

quick reminder of what's due for next class session (fri oct 10)

- full-sized color printouts of two near-final posters for desk crit.

- initial compositions for process document (see "project documentation" brief to the right under "course materials" section)

Friday, September 5

RHETORIC 4 :: concept refinements

once you have selected three or four ideas for further development, work on the details of those ideas. can you do more iterations? do you need to try different tropes with them? do you need to change point of view? refine refine refine.

begin at least six form-making tests/studies for how you'll actually produce your poster. include off-computer image production methods. how do the tools and process relate to your subject matter or audience? can you make more meaning through your media choice? does your group appreciate illustration over photography? these formal studies function somewhat independent of the conceptual approach, and you can mix and match as you see fit for your final solutions.

Wednesday, September 3

RHETORIC 3 :: final schedule

1. concept development (1 week)
due 9/24:
5 audience research responses with visual examples. from here brainstorm rhetorical trope and sign pairings.

due 9/26:
mind map and matrix (40+ thumbs). from here select 3-4 viable concepts (each a different trope) for further exploration.
2. formal exploration (1 week)
due 10/1:
15+ clear pencil sketches proposing possible visual translations for the selected concepts. plus, write copy to coincide with sketches. from here select 3-4 possible directions for further development.

due 10/3:
propose & produce 6 form-making approaches (a.k.a. "tests") for the selected directions. must include off-computer image production methods. from here determine 2+ directions with the most potential for further development.
3. execution and refinement (1.5 weeks)
due 10/8:
compositional iterations for the select directions. digitally explore various approaches & alterations upon layout, typography, hierarchy, etc, at full size in the template. from here select the 2 most successful compositions (w/ different tropes in each) for further refinement. begin developing your process document for this project and the course as a whole.

due 10/10:
2 near-final posters for desk crit. from here implement changes based on instructor and peer feedback. continue preparation of your process document pages.

due 10/15:
2 final posters pinned up for crit, process posted on blogs, AND project documentation pages printed and turned in for grading.

RHETORIC 3 :: reading

Read this second source on rhetoric. The examples and captions are the most helpful to recognize the various visual/verbal relationships that are possible. There are more terms here than our "ten" and some are named differently, which goes to show that our examples are not the limits of rhetoric.

Rhetoric, Bonsiepe (PDF)

Read "Good Citizenship", by Katherine McCoy, from Citizen Designer (an excerpt from the full essay)

Reflect upon your own role in civic engagement in relation to: this project; the specific skill-set of the profession; AIGA's competition goal to "demonstrate the power of design in the public arena"; and/or any greater goals you have as a designer. Post your responses to the comments.

RHETORIC 3 :: the vote poster

Here's a cursory look at historic and contemporary vote posters in the US and abroad.

Nichelle Narcisi's concept "Except You" was the winner at last year's Command X competition (at AIGA's Next Conference in Denver). Aimed at getting the 18-24-year-old vote out in 2008 her concept
"was an absolute triumph--literally bringing much of the audience (and two judges) to tears. She got a standing-O after she presented it, and another after being crowned the winner." (via Core 77)
Find your own example online and share the link with the class. Post during this project. Set up your post with a brief descriptor and use the following HTML tag:
<a href="URL of the Web page to go to">text that will be the link</a>

Thursday, August 28

RHETORIC 2 :: mind map and matrix

employ a lateral and considered content selection process for your posters by initiating the ideation phase with mindmaps. the central element should be "vote" or "get out the vote". from there, try to list signs and ideas relevant to your audience.

classify your signs as either icons, indexes, or symbols.

this activity goes hand in hand with this reading on vertical and lateral thinking from "type & image" by philip meggs.

create an analog matrix for the following:
• 4-5 rows (horizontal) for rhetorical tropes (your choice)
• 3 columns (vertical) -- 1 each for icon, index and symbol
• 1 additional column for copy (text as symbol)

explore the matrix via both text and image. think through the matrix in phrases and write those down in the matrix where they might best fit. if you want to address low voter turnout, for example, can you think of that issue in terms of a hyperbole (nobody shows up)? a metaphor (a garden with no vegetables)? antithesis (crowded voting booth/empty one)?

next, select signs from your mindmap that have the greatest potential for further concept development and pair each with a trope. using our voter turnout idea, signs could include a voting booth or building, a (culturally relevant) garden, etc.

for me personally, it's easiest to think "what do i need to say?" and jot down that message. then i can plug it into the matrix and ask myself, "how do i make this into a metaphor?", "can it be personified?" or "what parodies might exist? what popular symbols could i play off of?", and so on.

iterate several hand-generated thumbnails for each slot in your matrix.
total matrix = 40+ thumbs.

due end of class next class session.

reminder: professionally document all interim process, both for ongoing blog evaluation, and for your project documentation book.

RHETORIC 2 :: lecture on rhetorical devices

download the pdf here.

find your own examples online and share the link with the class in the comments for this post. a few places to look:
fffound, behance, design archives

set up your post with a brief descriptor and try to name the rhetorical device(s) being used. use this html tag in your post:

<a href="the full url here">linking text in here</a>

Tuesday, August 26

RHETORIC 1 :: reading

1. aiga design brief, p 1-2
this pdf outlines the specific guidelines for the aiga get out the vote 2008 competition including poster dimensions, template & submission requirements.

2. type + image, meggs, p30-40 (on my reserve shelf in the library)
this provides clear definitions & examples of the rhetorical devices you will explore throughout this project. read and study the terms thoroughly (flash cards could be helpful). you are expected to properly employ the language during class critiques and for tests.

RHETORIC 1 :: audience

read pages 3-5 from the aiga design brief about voting demographics. select one demographic to target for your message.

conduct additional research on your voting demographic in order to become more familiar with your audience’s needs and goals.

post your responses to the following questions on your blog:
1. what are some predominately shared values of this group? (broadly in life, not politics)

2. what political policies/issues are particularly important to this demographic in this election? why?

3. are there any cultural references your demographic identifies with? what?

4. what does their graphic landscape look like? (this is sometimes called a "visual audit") put another way, assemble a range of designed artifacts that are targeted toward this group - packages, posters, companies, logos, publications, etc.

5. including the aiga document and other sources, what are the issues cited for this group not voting?

include links to your research sources, including statistics and visual examples, that support your conclusions. Posts due to your blogs next class.

RHETORIC 1 :: the rhetorical poster

rhetoric is the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing. rhetorical figures offer a departure from normal usage by changing the meaning or application of words [AND visual form-making] for greater persuasion, impact & resonance.

for this project you will explore and then craft various rhetorical figures for the purpose of visually communicating a clear "call-to-action": to encourage voter registration and voter turn-out. you will create a pair of posters that will be submitted as a part of aiga's get out the vote 2008 campaign.

the rhetorical figures should illuminate and describe various qualities/purposes of voting in the 2008 election. 10 figures to explore:
irony, pun, parody, metonymy, metaphor, allegory, hyperbole, personification, antithesis, synecdoche

• communicate a message to a specific audience
• author content through image making and copy writing
• explain what rhetoric is, its visual/verbal relationship, and its implications for graphic design
• use rhetorical figures appropriately and creatively in the generation of new design work
• employ refined image making, composition and typographic sensibilities
• engage in the specified design process from ideation to execution

• open media (must explore off-computer image creation methods)
• for poster specifications see the AIGA design brief (PDF)

due: fri sept 19, (wed oct 15 for sec 2)

Friday, August 15

about this blog

All project descriptions, objectives, specifications and deadlines will be posted here. It is your responsibility to check regularly for important updates, new assignments and topical references.

I intend the blog to function as an ongoing dialog and extension beyond the classroom. If you have project-specific questions that arise outside of class please ask. Everyone is welcome to reply and I will respond on/before online hours or in class.

Required readings and discussion topics are provided to clarify and expand your knowledge of issues addressed in studio and design in general. Post your thoughtful and brief responses to the comments. I evaluate responses weekly.

Visual & creative inspiration abounds online and I encourage you to embark upon serendipitous or purposeful surfing. Once you find something share-worthy post it to "find+share".

Occasionally I will assign an online crit in order to provide an alternative forum for classroom feedback and collaborative effort.

If those reasons aren't enough to get involved, remember, your online presence does count toward your online participation grade. I evaluate post quality and quantity.