Visual Unit Studio

Work to have achieved:

Plan for the day:

  1. Gathering thoughts on fonts and/or sources (3 min)
  2. Sharing questions and insights (12-15 min)
  3. Studio time (45-55 min)

1. Gathering thoughts (3 min)

In your notebook or on-screen, make two lists:

  1. Questions I have about fonts or sources
  2. Things I’ve learned about fonts and sources

Fill in as many items as you can in a couple of minutes.

2. Sharing questions and insights (12-15 min)

Look over your questions, and decide what’s most urgent or most important. When you have one to share, let’s hear it!

We’ll use what we’ve learned to answer as many questions as we can. We likely won’t have time to get through everything; what questions remain, please post to the Issue Queue!

3. Studio time (45-55 min)

Some preview of the project will be due before next class, just to make sure you’re all getting started on it.

Therefore, the rest of today’s class is all about working on your individual projects! Find source images or text, level up on layering, watch relevant tutorials on effects or on layout. I know your lives are busy; take advantage of this dedicated time free from other distractions and obligations to move your piece forward.

At the same time, it’s worth noting that you’re working in a shared space, in a studio. If you have questions, or you want feedback on something, you have your classmates and your instructor on-hand. Try not to monopolize anyone’s time, but do be open to the possibility of getting farther together than you could on your own.

Two seeds of ideas I want to plant:

  • Consider citation. If you’re using images someone else created, be sure to include enough information to recover where it came from. (See Writer/Designer page 162.) Note that any kind of CC-BY license requires you to say who made the source, not just give a link to the search engine that you found it with.

  • Consider hierarchy. What’s the most important thing you want viewers to notice? What’s next in line? According to Thompson, you can reliably convey three levels of dominance; after that, it starts to get mushy. What options do you have for putting in your top three? How would the layout need to change if you changed your ranking?

Okay, now go to!

Homework for next time

Compose a Visual Rhetoric Preview: an early snapshot of your progress, to get the gears turning, to get practice with GIMP, and to start testing out the ideas from your proposal (or beyond).

Please turn in:

  • A layered GIMP project file (.xcf), showing the arrangement of your images and text so far (need not be a complete argument or collage yet).
  • A static screenshot (.png or .jpg) of your GIMP file in progress (for comparison later to subsequent drafts). If you can capture a moment of success or stuckness, all the better.
  • A plain text (.txt) or markdown (.md) file, explaining in at least 300 words what you're showing us in this preview. Feel free also to ask questions or lay out next steps for yourself!
  • An updated file, now with the files you're actually obtained. As you go, add source documentation for any outside sources – and your permission to use them (e.g. licenses, fair use; see Writer/Designer p. 160-165).
    • If you prefer, you can create a new file for this, preserving the ASSETS list for things you're still seeking.
  • Optional, but encouraged: An exported .png file. Just like Audacity, GIMP's default save mode is a complex / modular "project file," of type .xcf; should the project fail to load, it would be great to have a simple image file as a backup. We won't be able to see how you achieved your layout, but we will be able to see the image, and you'll also be able to use GitHub history to compare one version to another. Pretty cool, right?

Where to turn in? Ideally, to GitHub; if that’s not working for you yet, post to Box (and put a link to the Box folder in GitHub).