Infographics: The visual that explains

So what do you want your pages and the stories on your pages to look like? Planning for design and for photos and illustrations for an article of page should begin when the story idea is first considered. Nothing is more infuriating to a designer or a photographer than to be told: “There is a hole to fill on the page.” Don’t do it.

Photoshop tutorials for creating perfect typography

20 beautiful typography tutorials for inspiration

8 great typography blogs Typography is a very important part of web design, but where do you find out about the latest and greatest happenings in the world of typography? Check out this list of 8 great blogs for your typographical inspiration.

What is typography? – a nice lesson by from the Vancouver film school

The task: Design a PSA for a lecture on depression at San Antonio College.  The design began with a Google for images of depression, which led to eyes. The eyes above seemed to fit the bill, but I continued looking and came up with a vertical in black and white.  See left.  I used a new font I downloaded called “a bite.” I chose to use blue on the type and place copy in the gray area at the bottom of the ad. 

The copy seemed to be a bit clumsy and covered too much of the image.This didn’t quite make it, so I took the ad into Photoshop and cropped it and then inverted it. See it at right.The invert turned the blue type into red, which seemed OK, so I placed type, using Helvetica in three sizes, into the darkened area of the space.The one on the right is the one I chose to keep. So, what do you think?

Does this make sense? Or does it miss the major point? Offer suggestions.

Does the district consider that San Antonio College students — in total — pay more than twice the tuition as students at any other of the Alamo Colleges but still college departments cut 30 percent across the board?

What other images could be used to represent the whole cut into parts?




Why We Must Fix Our Prisons
By Senator Jim Webb

is an interesting short story which appeared in Parade magazine. It’s overflowing with statistics. How could the stats be used in an easy-to-read infographic?

What part of the district budget comes from student tuition at each of the colleges? Are high-cost programs, such as nursing, taken into account? How much of the cost are remedial courses? Who pays for those, the district or the state?

Would it be possible to check the number of students who must take remedial courses from various school districts? This would require some data crunching, but are the data available?

Here’s a really nice and simple infographic from the Rice Thresher.

Information graphics should never ever, ever be done at the last minute.

Many stories’ readership can be improved with a clear, accurate and quickly readable information graphic. But they should be more than pretty illustrations or photographs or words.

You need staff interaction on the infographic production — from the beginning: plan with reporter, photographer, illustrator (or a staffer who thinks outside the box); consider all stories, but be selective; look for models from the Internet; brainstorm for the appropriate image(s) to illustrate the point of the article; think online and interactive; consider the infographic to be an aid to the reader, not an obstacle — Keep it Simple, Silly; consider the deadline and work backward for steps to be completed; consider typography also as an aid, not just a label.

Also, I’m hoping you will explore free programs, such as Google maps and Issuu (the new program Charles found for the pages) and bring them up in class. Consider their use in infographics. Click, click, click.

Megan Jaegerman’s fine reporting work in The New York Times (left — click to enlarge) provides information that also may be in the story but has been extracted for emphasis in a graphic. Details of the reporting are contained in the text immediately below each graphic.


Here are links to free software and other stuff.

Photozig
Photostage
Smilebox
Top 10 Tips for Great Pictures
Picture Stories
Digital photography tips
Teaching Online Journalism by Mindy McAdams
Basic principles of online journalism
Poynter Online
Tips for video

Software

FusionCharts is used primarily by business, but it has applications for online newspapers.

SmartDraw

rocketdownload

amCharts

PersonalBrain is really weird but may be useful.

Createagraph Elementary approach to creating graphs.

Mashable Look here for many “how-to” things.

Tutorials

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