Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lesson idea: Infographics

Most of the students in the Digital Studio class (which is our advanced graphic design class) are seniors who will be graduating very soon and leaving class even sooner. They have maybe ten days of class left? (I should know this exactly as I'm reminded of the countdown EVERY DAY when they come in.) A graduation requirement at my school is called the Senior practicum. It's basically a year long research and exploration project where the seniors pick an area of interest and then they spend their senior year learning about. At the end of the year they present their research, job shadowed experiences, and self-selected project ideas (basically their research implemented) to a panel to be evaluated. The whole thing is pretty intense despite the fact that I've kind of made it sound very cut and dry.

For this project I decided to do something that could be useful to my mostly upperclassmen students in their senior practicums and end of the year research projects: Infographics made in Illustrator. This style of graphic art allows them to really explore and refine the amazing skillsets that they've each built for themselves and also present information that might otherwise be boring in a visual and much more interesting fashion. We looked at examples of infographics online and analyzed them to determine things that were liked and interesting looking and things that were otherwise not liked and poor in design. I stressed the use of fonts as graphics and arts and also emphasized the importance of using the drawing board space a little more effectively to create a more balanced composition better than what was done on the Illustrated Recipes we just did in class. All in all, these turned out pretty well. Here are some of the best ones I've seen turned in...

I like this project a lot and the students have enjoyed it as well. Some of them did some really funny flowcharts to guide decision making like "Are you a hipster?" and other such amusing topics but I didn't include those since they had student names in them and I just plain try not to showcase that kind of stuff on here if I can help. Privacy reasons and all that, you know.

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