Course: Document Design/ENGL 6618
In the course of Document Design, I learned about design principles and applying the best practices to convey information by integrating content and design while using the technology available to produce quality deliverables.
The projects are divided into four modules:
- Module 1: Principles of Design
- Module 2: Branding and Identity
- Module 3: Data Visualization
- Module 4: Professional Design Portfolio
Module 1: Principles of Design
In this module, I learned about design principles and how to use them in a document, art design, or everyday life, like decorating your house.
The assignments on this module aimed to develop our understanding of how to produce a document using the principles of design—understanding the concepts and how to apply them in specific situations based on the audience help us improve our design abilities.
Minor Assignment 1: To understand design, we had to find a document (poster, flyer, picture, book covers, etc.) and explain our definition of it, and analyze what the designer tried to do with that document. It was a personal assessment and reflection on how well or bad the design was and how it could be better.
My document analysis was on The New Yorker’s Cover Page Week 8/31 – 9/6/2021.
Document Analysis: The New Yorker’s Cover Page Week 8/31 – 9/6/2021
Mayor Assignment 1: To further our understanding of the design principles, we analyzed five principles of our choice by finding visual examples, like pictures, posters, flyers, and buildings. The objective of the assignment was to practice and train our eyes in using the design elements.
I analyzed the principles of contrast, repetition, symmetry, alignment, and proximity.
Design Glossary: Principles of Design
I used the following books as my foundational readings:
- The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin Williams
- Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton
- Graphic Design for Everyone by Cath Caldwell
We were also provided supporting readings as PDFs.
Module 2: Branding and Identity
This module taught me about brands, identities, and the design elements that help create visual identities.
The assignments on this module included:
- An analysis of branding design.
- Its influence on the brand in general.
- The consequences of not being appropriately done.
Also, we had the unique opportunity to re-brand an established brand by considering its audience, identity, and significance to the community.
Minor Assignment 2: To understand the consequences of not re-branding appropriately, we analyzed a brand and its process for re-branding and the outcome. This exercise helped me deepen my understanding of the elements of design, research, consideration of the audience, and the brand’s identity. Without the comprehension of these items, a successful re-branding would not be possible.
The brand I analyzed was The Gap, logo re-branding of 2010.
The programs I used to do this document are Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.
Case Study: Gap Re-Branding, 2010
Major Assignment 2: For this assignment, our client was the Friends of the Cossit Library in Memphis. After almost two years of renovations, the program Friends of the Library needed a new logo that captured their past and future. They are a group of people who love their library and are part of a nationwide organization but need to strengthen their connection with the community. The assignment included a logo design and a design style guide. We work in groups. My group was integrated by Sara Garland, Eleanor Guydon, Annalise Knutson, and me.
For this assignment, we used Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop.
Module 3: Data Visualization
I learned how to apply design elements in data visualization for web publication while using research and having a target audience. In this module, we only had a major assignment but had a variety of steps. These steps encompassed what we learned from the previous two modules: using the design principles to deliver information effectively, analyze a target audience, research the topic, summarize data in an appealing interactive way, and write a press release.
Major Assignment 3: Develop an infographic on a relevant local topic for an online audience. First, we selected a social topic and then an audience analysis to know who we were catering to, finally researching and disseminating information. Once we had gathered the information, we proceeded to the infographics design, and it adjusted to the information needs.
I chose the topic of domestic violence and divided the information into a general umbrella that covered that could be applied to a broader audience, then narrowed it down to Tennessee by providing facts relevant to the State.
The deliverables included an audience analysis, a press release, and an infographic.
The programs I used for this project were Adobe InDesign to assemble the document, Illustrator to make the illustrations in the infographic, and Photoshop to retouch the pictures within the document.
For the interactive portion, the QR codes aided to link important information; extending the document and presenting more relevant information to my audience.
Module 4: Professional Design Portfolio
For this module, we had to develop a professional portfolio including all of the previous assignments done in class. In addition, do a graphic one-sheet resume and a professional profile. We will integrate all of these documents to form a portfolio used in print and online.
I used Adobe InDesign to assemble the documents and Photoshop to modify the pictures.
The final product was updating this website with information of the course plus a document that included:
- resume (located in Resume)
- professional profile (located in About Me)
- graphic resume (located in Resume)
- portfolio of course assignments (located within this webpage)
I decided to do a monotone design for this document because when printing or photocopying, usually, it is done in black and white, so this way, there would be minimal loss of design.