Monday, February 24, 2014

Movie Posters: Color, Type and Meaning-Making

CM 410 Students will adopt a book on digital literacies, social media, or design from the collection at Limestone's A.J Eastwood Library and will imagine the book being made into a movie. They will create iterations of three or more movie posters imagining the movie as different genres (comedy, action, mystery, crime drama, documentary, love story, etc.) and will compose "movie posters" that utilize all their existing skills and knowledge on issues such as:
image made at
  • Fonts and Types
  • Color Theory
  • Basic Design Principles
  • Digital Photography Principles
  • Image Editing
  • Rhetoric of Framing
  • Semiotics, and more...
They might glean ideas from sites such as Fandango, IMDB,, etc. but will also explore the design of great movie posters from the past at Paste's The Top 100 Movie Posters of All Time, and Salon's 50 Beautiful Movie Posters.

After perusing the wide collection of movie posters for ideas and inspiration,  students will consider the principles in WebDesignerDepot's "7 Elements of a Great Movie Poster Design"

Limestone's library has many books that would make ideal movie treatment topics - some sample titles are listed in this ad:

Each Student will produce a project that meets these criteria:
  • 3 posters – each a different “take” on the same book.
  • Posters should be printed in "tabloid" or "ledger" size - 11"x17" and may be either landscape or portrait in orientation.
  • 1 poster must include original photography taken by the student.
  • 1 poster must feature a “legal use” image – with credit given, license identified, and source cited.
  • Design consideration should be given to EACH element identified on the full Design/Semiotic/Rhetorical Analysis worksheet.
  • The Posters will be accompanied by a written “rationale” explaining your process, how your design(s) address the elements on the Design/Semiotic/Rhetorical Analysis Worksheet, skills you’ve learned and applied, etc. Each rationale should be expressive and complete, but each should be limited to 500 words or less.
  • All 3 complete drafts due Monday, March 3 for workshop and review.  
  • Final Drafts to be presented, with rationales, to the class on Wednesday, March 5.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Photography: Making Your Own Images

Students will learn Digital Photography Principles from:
They will shoot photos and post a gallery of (at least 5) original photos that illustrate the concepts and principles they have learned. They will keep their hi-res images for print projects, but will optimize an image for the web to include on their blog. Each photo will be followed by a short description of the principles illustrated.

Watch for the students photos in their blogs linked in the column to the right.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Exercises in Image Use and Editing

Students are exploring issues of image copyright, public domain and sharing (commons) licenses - and, at the same time, learning basics of image editing. They will be putting all this knowledge together by making five (5) mock-ups of popular internet memes like LOLCats and Feminist Ryan Gosling. (or "Bosses Be Like" or Ashley Wagner or "You Had One Job" Memes.)
untitled, author unknown.
Public Domain CC0
CC 2.0 (Image modified with text)

They will use legal-use images in all the compositions - EXCEPT FOR ONE!

They will be working to craft a "Fair Use" statement to account for legal use of ONE IMAGE that is a copyrighted material used in and educational setting. Students will explore the issues of copyright and legal use of copyrighted materials in connection with Section 107 of the  U.S. Copyright Code, which reads, in part:

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair.
  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work
 While students will use, for the majority of their work, images that are in the public domain, or that are licensed under a Creative Commons license, they may, from time to time, find it is necessary to use a copyrighted image in their educational multimodal compositions. In these instances, students are expected to write and attach an explanation in keeping with the "Fair Use" section of the copyright law.

AP Photo/Darren Cummings
Fair Use Statement Below*

They can find more info at Wikipedia, or at the US Copyright site.

* The image in the Ashley Wagner Copyright Meme is used for educational purposes to instruct students about the nature of "memes" and the use of images and other intellectual property with respect to their designated licenses. The image is a file photo from Associated Press.The entire photo is used as it was released on the AP website. Its use in this non-profit, educational context does not affect the value or marketablility of the work.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Types & Fonts: Design & Meaning

Have you ever just searched through the pull-down menu to see what fonts looks like? Have you ever wondered what dingbats and webdings were all about? Have you surfed for a cool font that matches the Coca-Cola or Starbucks or Lego or IBM logos? Is it possible that font choice is actually a rhetorical decision that carries meaning?

Students in CM 410 are exploring typefaces and logos, and will re-visit their sample book design to experiment with different logos and note their effects on the feel and meaning of the design. But first, it might help to wonder... WHAT FONT AM I?
Take this Quiz to learn your "type"
Students will strive to avoid conflict, while optimizing contrast and concordance in their font/type selections of their re-design of their book covers. Watch for their designs in the links to the right.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Getting Images Without Fear of Getting Caught

"There are no Google images."
Students in CM 410 (Introduction to Digital Literacies I) will discuss various licenses for digital images, such as:
Students will also explore digital image resources at a number of sites in Dr. Nichol's Delicious Links here:

(They will especially note Wikimedia Commons, Morguefile, US Government Photos, StockExhange, and The Library of Congress Flickr Stream.)

**Students will review their own image-editing software, or will download and become familiar with GIMP - either for Windows, or for Mac. They will use the tutorials here to resize images and other simple tasks: Lite Quickie Tutorials

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Analyzing Print Ad Designs

Two Great Weekend Projects:

1. Students will complete a Design Analysis of several print ads for discussion and evaluation in Tuesday's class. Here are some sample ads (from BestAds) they will work from:

2. Students will use "Freegal" image sources and the graphics program of their choice to recreate a similar display ad - AND and ad for a product (real or fictitious) of their choice!
Image resources can be found here on Dr. Nick's "Images for Multimedia Composition" Pinterest Board.