- Citizen Jane: Battle for the City
Thur., 9/28 (6:00 pm-8:00 pm)
UNC Charlotte Center City
- IFest: International Festival (this is quite a good time)
Sat., 10/14 (all day)
Barnhardt Student Activity Center
Plan for the Day
We’ve got a few things to do today, so below is a list:
- 5182 Projects and Leading Class Discussion (let’s talk at the end of class)
- Effective Repetition: ethos, pathos, logos
- Chapter 3 in Design for Information
- Page Design
- Chapter 5 in The Non-Designer’s Design Book
- Possible Photoshop Lesson on Extracting Images
- Bring in typefaces in for after the Midterm Exam (or, at least, be able to point to them on 10/16)
- Document #2 Workshop
- Midterm Review (time permitting)
- Document #1 issues
Ethos, Pathos, Logos
Before we go any farther, let’s read over the questions on p. 67 about ethos, pathos, and logos. Also, I want to remind you that a goal of this course is for you to recognize your biases and how you construct meaning or allow certain appeals to persuade you. We’re approaching from a cultural studies point of view, so personal tastes and convictions have to be scrutinized as just that–personal. Those tastes and convictions are not generalizable or universal.
I have a brochure to look at that will help us think about these appeals. Open the NPIC “Pets and Pesticide Use” fact sheet. It’ll open as a pdf. Of course, the appeals are below:
- Ethos: appeal or presentation of one’s character or credibility…try not to get emotional about character! Get it?
- Pathos: appeal to emotions; evoking emotional responses in the audience.
- Logos: appeals to logic; facts in a message. Remember, logic is a formal study and not the whims, quirks, or assumptions of an individual. For instance, claiming, “that’s the logic I used to get to my conclusions” really has nothing to do with the formal study of logic: it’s a synonym for process in the above sentence.
The above modes of persuasion often work together in messages. In order to fully understand these modes, however, I’m asking you to be very specific in how you explain these appeals.
Time permitting, we’ll discuss the following webpages:
Something I came across and wanted to ask you about a particular graphic…
Design for Information Ch. 3
As you’re no doubt aware, this book is big on images and sparse on prose, so it’s quick to read but takes a bit to process. Speaking of time, did you hear the one about Father Time and his son Justin…
- What communication situation does the visualization on p. 82 solve?
- p. 83: “Lakoff and Johnson explain that…most idioms emerge from our concepts of ‘containers’ and ‘moving objects.'”
- “Events and actions are correlated with bounded time spans, and this makes them ‘container objects.'”
- p. 84: Measuring time is an agreed upon convention.
- p. 86: “Stephen Jay Gould explains…’history is an irreversible sequence of unrepeatable events.'”
- “Time has no direction.”
- However, “in the modern world there has been a predominance of the linear model when depicting historical time.”
- p. 88: Tvertsky claims “The perceptual world has two dominant axes: a vertical axis defined by gravity and by all things on earth correlated with gravity; and a horizontal axis defined by the horizon and by all things on earth parallel to it.”
- “In representations of time…the horizontal orientation is prevalent.”
- “Literature in perception and cognition has shown that we tend to use the direction of our writing systems to order events over time.”
- p. 96: We understand events diachronically (over time).
- p. 97: Magic number 7…
- pp. 98: Alfred Barr’s Diagram
- pp. 98-99: Ward Shelley’s “Addendum to Alfred Barr, ver. 2”
- What can we say about the ethos of this version? (scroll down a bit for a discussion here)
- pp. 102-103: “Fifty Years of Space Exploration” (need Flash plugin)
- p. 108: Compare the “Diagram of the Chronology of Life and Geology” with the following
- Image 1
- Image 2
- Image 3
- Image 4
So how do we get into a discussion on “viewing pages” of all topics? In some ways it’s quite similar to our previous discussions, but I think we need to focus on how an audience consumes a document. Here’s a quote from Kimball & Hawkins’s Document Design:
“page design is the process of placing design objects such as text, headings, and images consistently and effectively on the page, taking into account the actual visual field, the characteristics of the design objects, and the relationships implied among them by the principles of design” (p. 115).
- Consider the translations and technology changes for ancient texts
- Aristotle’s work…in 1566!
- What Aristotle’s word might have looked like when first found.
- No, I’m not an expert in papyrology, so don’t think I have any last word.
- A slideshow from the Wall Street Journal
- How do users read texts?
- Skim: looking for something in a document to catch your eye
- Scan: looking at a document for particular information
- Read: committing to the text
- Hierarchy and Balance
- Symmetry or Asymmetry
- Note on balance:
- When considering if a design is balanced, you are interpreting the relative visual weight of objects on a document horizontally and vertically.
- Watch your eyes!
- saccades: quick eye movements
- fixations: fixing one’s glance on something (or obsession, but that’s not an information design issue…or is it?)
- The benefits of columns and power zones
- 7-12 words per line for columns
- Analogy: Points are to picas as inches are to ________.
1 inch = 6 picas = 72 points
- Breaking the grid / Breaking the grid
What else can we say?
Chapter 5: Contrast
Now that you’ve read chapters 1-5 and most of 8 in The Non-Designer’s Design Book, you’re probably getting a feel for the author’s design agenda. What do you think drives her design decisions? Talk about that amongst yourselves for a little bit. There’s no right or wrong answer (although there could be goofy answers), but please have some evidence (from the book) about what you believe her design agenda to be.
The web and dark backgrounds…what’s your take?
Document #2 Workshop
You will have a chance to do these after next week’s Midterm Exam. I wanted to preview them now. If you’re done with Document #2 or don’t want to work on it here, move on to the Midterm Assignments below. These are webpage requirements, but they do not need to be finished the night of the midterm. Fit them in when you can:
I want you to create an InDesign document on your own with help from this tutorial. You’ll be creating a “Picture Frame” that you will link to from your homepage.
Also, you need to create a logo using Photoshop. I have this tutorial up here but will put up the rest of the tutorial later.
You may also work quietly on your Document #2–Advertisement and Flyer. Please have others look at your designs, but, of course, please be quiet while others are taking the midterm. On October 8th, you’ll have a more formal workshop where I’ll ask you to comment on a fellow classmate’s document. Look at the assignments page for more details.
Document #1 General Issues
I haven’t finished commenting on all of your Business Cards and Letterheads, but I noticed some patterns and wanted to provide some general, overall comments. These are pretty good designs for the most part. Remember, I’m not going to overemphasize the product, but I do expect carefully planned documents. I grade across the semester, so you might want to revisit the syllabus’s definition of A, B, C, D, and F grades.
More importantly, however, I would like for you to understand why you’re making the choices you make. You really need to use your memos to explain how your choices communicate your documents’ messages. Many of you did a good job explaining perception and your document–how readers/users where supposed to navigate your design–but all of you need to focus on cultural and, of course, rhetorical aspects of your designs. Risk being too obvious, and use terms like ethos, pathos, and logos if they apply. Every single memo should have the phrase “[This design choice] conveys an ethos of __________.” Don’t forget to also prove that.
Many of you are just doing surface observations of your work and a few of you are using vague terms like “professional” or “powerful” without explicitly bringing out any cultural explanations. Please be specific in your future documents (and revisions) about why you feel a certain feature works the way you think. Remember, I’m also trying to get you to not rely on pet peeves, tastes, and convictions. Give my some proof, or make an argument. I’m likely to hold the same “self-evident” truths you have and operate under the same nebulous “common sense” assumptions for many design choices, but I want more explanation. Remember, the analysis you do on your documents is the most important component of this class; learning to make things pretty is secondary to critical thinking.
On a different note, please remember to be consistent with your business card and letterhead designs. Look for the following:
- Colors: green or #009940 (See the difference?)
- Font style (aka. typeface)
- Order of elements
Also, it’s ok to use Times New Roman and Arial typefaces, but you really need to explain why. Williams has a negative view of those typefaces, so, if you use them and don’t explain why they enhance your message, it’s a sign you aren’t reading. The same goes for centering your designs–why do you go against her good advice? Calibri and Verdana could also be considered overused. In fact, Verdana is really only for webpages and not for printed out documents. We’ll get to that later this semester. It’s good to break rules and conventions, but you need to be conscious of why; otherwise, it’s a distracting mistake.
This page and back to the beginning of the semester. all the reading form both textbooks. Class discussions. Ethos, pathos, logos.
Bonus Assignments for 5182 Students
I want to talk to the 5182 group about their bonus assignments, so those of you enrolled in 4182 aren’t responsible for these. Check out the Assignments Page–Leading Class Discussion and Bibliographic Essay.
MIDTERM!!! I know you’re as excited as I am about the midterm, but it’s late, so I understand if your enthusiasm is subdued. After you finish the Midterm next week, please work quietly on Document #2. I will also have a webpage assignment for you, so no, you may not leave immediately after the Midterm. I’ll be giving you Monday (10/09) and Tuesday (10/10) off, so you’ll be fresh and ready for the next class (10/16), which is when Document #2 is due.
Keep up with the reading. We’ll discuss Ch. 4 in Design for Information and Ch. 6 in The Non-Designer’s Design Book on 10/16.