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Anyone Can be Visually Literate: Graphic Design Tips for Educators with Steven McGriff

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Being pretty much visually challenged myself, I’m hoping this workshop moves me beyond “making ugly stuff.” The presenter is opening with a quote on visualization: “The abilty to undestand and use image including the ability the think, learn, and express onself in terms of images.” – Robert Braden.

  • Looking at petroglyphs – and checking for meaning. Hard for us to interpet because we don’t get visual language.
  • Knowledge representaion can be described through verbal (spoken/written words) or visual (symbols/icons). What if we began teaching students the power of that combination?
  • Visual literacy theory – it’s another language. How do you know when to go to visual communication? You probably know instinctively when a clipart or image would work better than text.

Type – Everything should match your message (size, shape, white space, added shapes). Get rid of default text – and no more centering of titles.

Color – Hue (color). Colors changed based on influence of surrounding colors. When using complementary colors, make one th dominate color and the other the accent color. Analogous colors create a calming effect. Psychology of colors – they evoke passion and emotional response.

General guideline: choose four harmonic colors: primary, type, secondary, accent. Hint: consider using dark gray type instead of black; it creates a more calming effect and is easier to read.

Actions (how you manipulate the tools

  • contrast – check out Robin Williams Non-designers Design Book.
  • repetition – Be careful that you actually use same shade of red, for instance.
  • alignment – Nothing should be placed on page arbitrarily. Remember that white space can be good; so think about “chunking.”
  • proximity – Items relating to each other should be grouped together

Resource: dafont.com- tons of fun fonts. Clipart.com – fee-based service, but offers visual representations for hundreds of words. Gifworks.com – free and offers many imag

One Comment

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