In this activity, students study signs and announcements found in public places and discuss their overall effectiveness. In particular they will develop their understanding of typographic composition and how this can be manipulated to influence people. They will give an existing sign a makeover using professional illustration software.
To start students will need a photograph or sketch of an announcement or sign found in a public area e.g. a supermarket, sports centre, shopping mall etc. This can be set as a homework task. Alternatively, you could provide a set of examples for them to choose from.
Next, they should analyse the message and discuss which words or part of the message is most important. Using exactly the same words, they make a new composition using Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Inkscape or similar. The new announcement should be easy to read and convey the message more effectively than the original. To achieve this they should look for the most appropriate font, the most appropriate colour(s) etc.
Their aim is to create an announcement that catches the eye and convinces in an instant.
Time needed 3 hours.
- Adobe Illustrator.
Hints and tips
- Alternatives to Adobe Illustrator can be found here http://www.onextrapixel.com/2011/03/15/10-best-alternatives-to-adobe-illustrator/. Inkscape is free and nearly as good as Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw – both of these are quite expensive to buy.
- Before they begin their composition it may be beneficial to have them sketch some ideas on paper.
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