Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Check out this site...

Thanks to Brandon for passing along this site! Apparently, his interview source -- and one of our awesome design mentors -- Russell Toynes introduced it to him, and Brandon was kind enough to show it to me yesterday.

The creator (Jessica, below) obviously loves typography and has all kinds of cool type designs!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Good morning...

Hey all,

I'm out sick today but I wanted to make sure you got some important reminders and used class time today productively so that we can stay on track with the magazines.

Unit 2 Test Thursday -- Find a second review guide here (Remember, the first one was posted yesterday on the blog). If you have *any* questions, please email me today so that I can answer them before the test tomorrow.

Feature Stories -- Your rough draft will be due at the first part of class on Friday. You'll have all of class time today to work on the body portion (quotes and transitions) and part of the class tomorrow after the test to finish; if you don't finish then, you'll need to do it for homework. Remember to use this attribution handout that we reviewed in class to help you properly write quotes.

If you're having trouble thinking of how to link your ideas together, re-visit "Test of Faith" here, where you can see how the quotes and transitions keep the paper moving.

Feature Layouts -- We'll be working on those Friday, so be sure you have photos you can use.

Blogs -- No blogs due this week since I want you to focus on your feature stories. If you've already written one, you can apply it to next week when we'll start blogs back up again.

Extra credit -- Remember, if you'd like to do extra credit this six weeks, you can replicate a professional layout in InDesign and submit it. All layouts must be turned in Friday.

Hope to see you all tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Unit 2 Test Review

Identify as informational, topical, or profile...

1. Barton Springs: A history of Barton Springs Pool and why people love it

2. Let's Get Physical: A summer guide to staying in shape as you wait for football season to start again

3. Riding the Wave: Google's newest social networking app that has people talking

Identify the nut graph and which specific sentences point to the story's relevance.

Ian Restil, a 15-year-old computer hacker who looks like an even more adolescent version of Bill Gates, is throwing a tantrum. "I want more money. I want a Miata. I want a trip to Disney World. I want X-Man comic [book] number one. I want a lifetime subscription to Playboy, and throw in Penthouse. Show me the money! Show me the money!"

Over and over again, the boy, who is wearing a frayed Cal Ripken Jr. t-shirt, is shouting his demands. Across the table, executives from a California software firm called Jukt Micronics are listening--and trying ever so delicately to oblige.

"Excuse me, sir," one of the suits says, tentatively, to the pimply teenager. "Excuse me. Pardon me for interrupting you, sir. We can arrange more money for you. Then, you can buy the [comic] book, and then, when you're of more, say, appropriate age, you can buy the car and pornographic magazines on your own."

It's pretty amazing that a 15-year-old could get a big-time software firm to grovel like that. What's more amazing, though, is how Ian got Jukt's attention--by breaking into its databases. In March, Restil--whose nom de plume is "Big Bad Bionic Boy"--used a computer at his high school library to hack into Jukt. Once he got past the company's online security system, he posted every employee's salary on the company's website alongside more than a dozen pictures of naked women, each with the caption: "the big bad boy has been here baby." After weeks of trying futilely to figure out how Ian cracked the security program, Jukt's engineers gave up. That's when the company came to Ian's Bethesda, Maryland, home--to hire him.

And Ian, clever boy that he is, had been expecting them. "The principal told us to hire a defense lawyer fast, because Ian was in deep trouble," says his mother, Jamie Restil. "Ian laughed and told us to get an agent. Our boy was definitely right." Ian says he knew that Jukt would determine it was cheaper to hire him—and pay him to fix their database--than it would be to have engineers do it. And he knew this because the same thing had happened to more than a dozen online friends.

The unit test will also cover the following:

Layout analysis (how a designer uses elements to guide a reader's eye, how it relates to story content or evokes a mood or feeling)

Nut Graph - Be able to define, identify

Type of Lead - Be able to identify narrative, descriptive, startling statement, twist, direct quote, compare/contrast

Interview quotes - Be able to tell which should be direct quotes, and which should be paraphrased/used as background transition

Identify a quote that uses proper/improper attribution.

Explain the purposes of transitions.

Identify poor forms in feature writing (first person, "when asked," cliches, "imagine this"-type leads)

Stephen Glass (know the basics of the movie and why this was such a breakthrough in online journalism)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Awesome Analysts

I was really impressed when I checked out some of your responses to the layout analysis quiz -- especially since you had just 4 minutes to analyze each!
All of you contributed some interesting insight when analyzing the layouts, but the below responses received maximum credit:

Response: Color is being used to bring attention to important elements of the article. The section header, headline, and pull quote are all given the same turquoise line to give the words contrast from both the white background and the primarily tan color of the photographs.

Response: Lines are being used to create a sense of organization in the layout. The thick, black lines separate the title and subheadline, as well as outline the blurb at the beginning of the story. This makes it so that the text isn't all jumbled together and gives the layout a clean look.

Response: This layout uses lines to separate the photos and underlines certain places to separate them from others (for example, the title from the text or the title from the photo). There is also a line at the end of the layout to bring closure.

Response: In my opinion, the most prominent element in this design is size. The pictures differ in size, putting more emphasis on the larger one. The "In Cinemas" is much larger than "Prince of Persia," leading the eye to read that first. Since the article is about a movie, it is appropriate to take up more space with a large screenshot than actual text to keep the reader interested (another way in which size is used within this layout). The font size in the caption also creates a distinction between the body copy and the caption itself.

Response: In this design, lines are being used to separate the headline and subheadline from the text. The lines sort of box in the text and direct the eyes well, keeping us focused on what the designer wants us to look at first.

Response: The shape in this layout is a recurring theme. The fat letters and the thick squiggles bring an almost nostalgic mood to the article, and the retro vibe definitely enforces the topic [of the history of clubs that made Austin what it is today].

Response: An element which is very evident in this layout is color. The art is very colorful, along with the decorative designs, the drop cap, and the lines. Since Austin is a very artistic city, it is appropriate to have unique art along with the article. The color draws the eye from the left page where the title is featured to the top of the right page, then down to the bottom right of the right page. The colors used keep the article looking interesting and fun to read, enticing readers to actually read it instead of gloss over it.

Response: This design has a great use of color in it. On the first page, the main colors are yellow, orange, and pink. These colors are then pulled from the art. The orange is used for the drop cap, the pink for the caption, and the yellow for the lines at the bottom. The swirls at the top also use this color theme. This keeps a constant theme running through the article that keeps the main art connected with the rest of the design.

Response: This design uses color by making the word "Fray" a red color. This separates the word from the rest of the headline and makes the article seem more scary and deadly, since red reminds us of blood. The title of the caption is also in dark red, keeping the theme running throughout the article.

Response: This layout uses value and size. The right page is full of deliciousness and is very 3-D looking, and looks as if it's about to pop off the page. The "50" has a shadow behind it, making it also appear 3-D. Therefore, the value and size incorporated within this layout emphasizes the important parts that the designer intended to emphasize.

Check here for the first three questions/answers.

Original: According to a new study from Edinburgh Napier University, the more friends people have on Facebook, the more likely they were to be stressed out. The researchers who conducted the analysis noted that "for a significant number of users, the negative effects of Facebook outweigh the benefits of staying in touch with friends and family."
Approximately 200 students were used in this particular study. Dr. Kathy Charles, the woman who led this particular research, brought up the following points in relation to her study in a prepared statement: "For instance, although there is great pressure to be on Facebook, there is also considerable ambivalence among users about its benefits."

Response: A recent study by Edinburgh Napier University has shown that people with more Facebook friends were more likely to be stressed out. The study noted that "for a significant number of users, the negative effects of Facebook outweigh the social benefits." Dr. Kathy Charles, leader of the study, noted that "there is considerable ambivalence among users about [Facebook's] benefits."

Response: In a study led by Dr. Kathy Charles at Edinburgh Napier University, researchers have found that the more friends someone has on Facebook, the more likely it was that they were stressed out. The researchers noted that "for a significant number of users, the negative effects of Facebook outweigh the benefits of staying in touch with friends and family."

Response: A recent study from Edinburgh Napier University suggests that people who have more friends on Facebook are more likely to be stressed out as well. These reports show that "the negative effects of Facebook outweigh the benefits," although lead researcher Kathy Charles says that "there is also considerable ambivalence among users about its benefits."

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1, 2011

Good morning/afternoon, Ezine! Today, you'll be working on magazine designs, but a couple of quick reminders first:

*If you need to turn in a recorder or camera, please see Ms. Richey. If you need to check out a recorder, see Ms. Richey at the end of the school day.

*Blogs are due today! Next week's blog assignment is to explain your interviewing experience -- how you decided on a source, how you came up with your questions, what the actual interview was like.

*True Colors: Sad news. Kara can't make it today, but she would love for you to send her what you have so far (as a pdf) if you haven't already. She's planning to visit soon, though, and wants to give you feedback in the meantime via email.

*Due Dates: 1.2 and 5.6 classes, your interview notes (either recorded or on paper) are due Monday in class. You'll have all period to transcribe your notes on Monday. If you're bringing a sound file to transcribe, be SURE to bring your earbuds. This is for a completion grade, so late credit will apply if you don't have your notes and/or your sound file and earbuds.

Today's assignments:

1. Read
Please read this article; it should be a good reminder of what sort of details it's important to notice when collecting research and conducting interviews for your feature. After reading it, please send me a group email that explains what sort of details you could each incorporate into your own features. (If you've already conducted your interview, tell me what you noticed that you could include; if you haven't conducted your interview, tell me what types of details you will now look for.) We'll discuss Monday.

2. Feature Designs
Begin mapping out your feature design. I highly recommend finding a professional layout to guide you since it will adhere to column guides, etc. Plus, you can use this layout to help you determine what kind of art (full-page photo, half-spread photo with a sketch applied, etc.) to your own layout. Then, when you conduct your interview, you'll know what kind of photos you need to take. If you've already taken your pictures, you'll be able to find layouts that use similar images. This magazine, for example, used some design inspiration from Wired and their layouts look really professional.

3. Table of Contents (2 people could work on this)
You should have an idea how many pieces your magazine will have: opinion, feature, major ASF, bios, letter from the editors. You do NOT have to know what specific page everything goes on yet, but you should be able to map out a general plan using your style sheet, bleeds, etc.

4. Bios
Check out these student magazines for some cool ideas on how to map out yours.
Bubblegum (This one had a creative idea for bio pics -- both on the cover and the actual bio page)

A little April Fool's joke on the web: Google "Helvetica." Pretty funny, Google... :)