Design research. Social good.

Posts from the ‘Design’ category

A commitment to community building and civic action offers faculty and students in our field opportunities to address immediate real-world needs in our own neighborhoods.

Join us for a half-day workshop on Thursday, May 24, 2018, from 9-12 at Computers and Writing 2018 at George Mason University. With John J Silvestro, Bill Wolff, and Aimée Knight.

This workshop features several models to involve academic courses in digital projects with local nonprofits and community-based organizations. Learning to leverage digital media platforms to advocate for and with communities provides students a meaningful way to engage in designing communication for social change.

We discuss an array of research and creative projects that 1) serve the needs of community partners and 2) can be accomplished by students in one semester. We provide examples from completed projects in areas ranging from professional writing to digital production, including advocacy campaigns, social media audits, website design, digital storytelling, data visualization, video production, and social media content creation.

During three hands-on work sessions, we will provide guidance and support as workshop participants move through the process of designing and developing their own project or assignment that can be worked into a new or an already existing or a new course. Each participant will leave the workshop with a blueprint for a project which responds to community-identified needs and creates real-world deliverables that benefit students and communities. For more details, contact me @aesthetically.

 

 

 

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Gradual

Visual Rhetorics is coming to a close — it’s been a challenging course, pushing many to the bleeding edge of their comfort zones. Myself included. Something that surprised me was our attention to typography. I learned much in our ongoing discussions about how type makes language visible.

As Matthew Butterick says:

Typography mat­ters be­cause it helps con­serve the most valu­able resource you have as a writer—read­er attention.– from Buttericks’ Practical Typography  

Now, I’m starting to get curious.

Why do we so often stick safely to the same two or three fonts? Do we choose our typefaces mindfully? When do we take risks? Push the limits? Express something new through our design choices?

And why are fonts and typography so often overlooked on the web? The letter’s arrangement, line length, spacing, and color all do powerful communicative work to hold the reader’s attention. It seems we’ve known this for ages.

In the project below, a student demonstrates the power of typography in communicating a specific message. She describes her process [cleverly combining lessons on typography and advanced slide presentation techniques from the course] in this blog post.

Typography is a powerful tool. And yet, I don’t think designers have embraced type’s full potential on the web. What role does typography play in effective website design? What communicative work does it do? Do you have favorite examples of effective type?

Novarro

Turner Classic Movies

Open Source Resources

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