Tour + Workshop = DESIGN: Presenting Information

By Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, September 22, 2009

Grade Level

  • High School

Category

  • Graphic Design

Subject Area

  • Arts
  • Language Arts

Lesson Time

1 class period

Introduction

Presenting information clearly and in a way that conveys a message is one of the tasks of a graphic designer. In the exhibition Design USA: Contemporary Innovation are examples of book covers, posters, magazines, and a subway map that do just that. After reviewing examples from the exhibition, students will be challenged to use design elements to convey information about themselves on a business card design.

National Standards

Common Core English Language Arts College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards Strand Writing W.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. Strand Speaking and Listening SL.2. Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally. SL.4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. Arts and Communication Standard 1. Understands the principles, processes, and products associated with arts and communication media Level IV (Grades 9-12) Benchmark 1: Knows skills and techniques used in the commercial arts (e.g., basic drawings, basic design, lettering, typography, layout and design, mechanics, printmaking, illustration, interior decorating, fashion design and display, photography, sign painting, portfolio, graphic design, technical drawing, screen printing, commercial photography) Standard 2. Knows and applies appropriate criteria to arts and communication products Benchmark 5: Knows and applies criteria to evaluate industrial arts products (e.g., design craftsmanship, function, and aesthetic qualities) Benchmark 7: Uses criteria and judgment to determine the differences between the artist’s intent and public interpretation Standard 3. Uses critical and creative thinking in various arts and communication settings Benchmark 5: Understands the role of criticism and revision in the arts and communication

 Common Core Standards

     

Anchors for Reading:

Key Ideas and Details:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.6

Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

Anchor Standards for Writing:

Text Types and Purposes

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.

Production and Distribution of Writing:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Anchor standards for Speaking and Listening:

Comprehension and Collaboration:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Anchor standards for Language:

Conventions of Standard English:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.6 Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.

Objectives

Students will create a graphic design that demonstrates:
  • integration of text and image
  • vivid use of color, line, and shape
  • clarity of message
  • a variety of fonts as a design element
  • application of the principles of design (balance, contrast, emphasis, unity, rhythm, pattern and movement)
  • awareness of intended audience

Resources

Materials

  • blank business cards in various sizes, colors and materials
  • index card (4 x 6), one per student
  • colored pencils
  • pens
  • pencils
  • rulers
  • scissors
  • colorful paper
  • stickers

Vocabulary

  • graphic design: the practice or profession of creating or developing print or electronic forms of visual information for areas such as publications, advertisement, packaging or websites.
  • client: a purchaser of a service or product; a client looks for a designer to act as the translator between their voice/idea and their audience.
  • logo: an identifying symbol (as seen in media formats such as print, television, business cards, etc.)

Procedures

1. Review the Design Challenge: Students will design a business card that represents information about themselves in a clear and engaging way. 2. Investigate the Problem: After viewing examples of graphic design in the exhibit Design USA: Contemporary Innovation, discuss the following questions with your class. Students should write down answers to each question in their journal.
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to having a card that is the same size / color / font as someone else’s card?
  • What types of information should you include or leave out on your card?
  • How will you present the information? Will it have a handmade or automated look?
  • Is a business card still relevant in our technology driven world? Who would you give it to? How can you make connections from the physical piece of paper back to web based platforms?
  • Which is more important to you – legibility or visual interest? Can you have both?
3. Frame/Reframe the Problem: Before they begin designing their cards, students should think about three adjectives that best describe themselves, and that they will try to convey with their business card design. On their index card, they should write their three adjectives down and fold the card in half. Keep those adjectives a secret! 4. Generate Possible Solutions: Students are given blank business card templates. They should consider layout, lettering, color, and materials in designing their business card. Working with the materials given, students design several quick prototypes of their business card in the first 10 minutes. 5. Edit and Develop Ideas: In the next 10 to 20 minutes, students choose their favorite design and develop it further using the following guidelines:
  • integration of text and image
  • vivid use of color, line, and shape
  • clarity of message
  • a variety of fonts as a design element
  • application of the principles of design (balance, contrast, emphasis, unity, rhythm, pattern and movement)
  • awareness of intended audience
6. Share and Evaluate: Before the workshop time is finished, ask each student to put their business card down on a blank sheet of paper at their table. Ask students to get up and walk around to the other tables. On the sheet of paper with each business card, students should write down adjectives that occur to them as they examine each business card (happy, professional, organized, creative, playful, etc.).  When students return to their tables, ask if anyone successfully conveyed any of their original adjectives from their index card.  Were any of the adjectives from their classmates a surprise? 7. Finalize the Solution: Students use their peers' feedback to reevaluate their design, make changes and add final touches to their business card. 8. Articulate the Solution: Students share their designs in small groups. They should discuss which elements in their designs convey the three adjectives they wrote down at the beginning of the process.  

Enrichment Extension Activities

Differentiation for Middle or Elementary School:
  • Students can begin the project by writing short stories, songs or movie scenes about an important event in their lives, or a problem they encountered and how they handled it.
  • From these writing samples, and with a teacher's help if needed, students can pick out the three adjectives that best describe themselves. These adjectives should be reflected in their graphic designs.
  • Instead of business cards, students can design posters for their movie, CD covers of their song or book jackets of their stories.
 
  1. I like the secret adjectives part. Designing a personal business card seems like it would be a good motivational activity. I also like how quick this lesson is. It would work well for me in our tech theatre class to review the design elements you have in the frame/reframe section.
    Cheryl Hanson, San Antonio

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