Visual Rhetoric 12 (Friday): Piktochart

Today’s Plan:

  • Make-up Presentations
  • Review Assignments 3 and 4
  • Make Piktochart.com accounts
  • Follow the Intro .pdf
  • Homework

Infographic Project

For our third project, we will be creating infographics. I want to share two short articles, “What is an Infographic?” and “11 Best Infographic Designs of 2015.” Tips to go Viral.

My original plan was to ask you to create an infographic that visualizes some kind of argument using data from the us.gov database. The database has statistics on a wide range of topics, and is pretty easy to navigate. These infographics would suit technical communicators, since you would be taking rather opaque data and visualizing in such a way as to make an argument.

However, after those readings, I am a bit more interested in seeing what else you might want to visualize. I want to leave room for you to be creative. So, with that in mind, the third assignment looks something like this:

I would like you to make an infographic that visualizes a problem. The infographic should make some kind of argument as to how we should address or solve the problem. In a few cases, people might elect to make a series of shorter infographics rather than one extra-long one (if you want to make a series of infographics that address a problem). The infographic might show us how to do something, tell us about a problem we don’t know about, visualize something complicated, or something else.

The infographic needs to include at least one chart (pie, bar, line, other) that you make in another program.

The infographic should be longer than a standard printable paper. We are designing these for the web, with hopes of viral circulation on social media.

Your infographic should include some kind of research; that is, it must visualize research. It should include sources to increase credibility. Note: there are a few creative projects that might not require research, but you must run your idea by me before I grant this exemption.

The design of your infographic should reflect the principles we have been working on all semester–addressing layout, color, contrast, typography, etc.

These infographics will be due in class on April 15th. We will view them in class. This is right around the corner–but I am pushing us through this assignment quickly so that you have time to complete the final assignment before finals week.

My initial plan was to create these infographics in InDesign, but I have decided to try out a new (and much more user friendly tool), so we will be using Piktochart.com, a freemium tool that gives us access to templates and graphing tools. NOTE: I am using a WYSIWYG, user-friendly tool because I expect these infographics to be content-rich (in other words, I want substance). Also, using a WYSIWYG tool allows us to produce this a bit quicker.

Final Project

For the final project, I am going to ask you to redesign a document or visual that exists in the real world. Over the next few weeks, I want you to try and find a document or visual that needs to be redesigned. This could be a flyer, a menu, a sign, a handout, or just about anything else.

Using Piktochart

Before class I emailed out a .pdf introduction to Piktochart. While that .pdf was written for an earlier version of Piktochart, it should serve as an overview to the standard options and features the application offers.

To get started, create an account with Piktochart.

Then, make a new blank document.

Your task today is to make a 5 block infographic that illustrates why dogs are better than cats. Or, I suppose, why cats are better than dogs. Your infographic should:

  • Again, it should have 5 blocks [two more than the default]
  • It should have two different backgrounds
  • It should have three different font sizes
  • Include one video
  • Include one pie chart
  • Include one line graph
  • One gradient hierarchy
  • Include three graphic images
  • At least one line

The .pdf tutorial will address a few of the requirements above. Information about the others can be found on Piktochart’s support page.

Note that you are welcome to do the tutorial in teams of two. Upload your infographic to Canvas when you are done. We will look at the infographics at the end of class.

Homework

I have a short reading that provides some information for finding a meaningful balance between graphics and data. Next week we will visualize pre-existing data.

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