For Project 2, we will analyze, discuss, and redesign campaign materials relating to the current presidential primaries and caucuses. We will consider the rhetorical significance of the materials–how they construct an argument—using graphic design concepts as well as concepts introduced by Elizabeth Francese, our grad teacher who focuses on rhetoric & composition.
Our research—or rhetorical analysis—focus is on how the rhetorical moves (ethos, pathos, logos) and/or rhetorical situation (exigence, audience, constraints) of the candidates have changed over time and affected their campaigns.
Our graphic design focus is the interpretive and suggestive potential of images that have been created using vectors. These images tend to be simplified (think hard edges and solid colors, like campaign logos), and should be considered in terms of their relative level of abstraction or representation. Likewise, organic as opposed to geometric qualities of these images will affect the argument they make to voters. Color is also an important factor.
In terms of design technique, we will focus on using Adobe Illustrator to create and edit vector graphics, such as logos, signs, and type.
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Intro Activity #1, due Tuesday, 3/1
- Read about organic versus geometric shapes and abstraction versus representation: Design Elements: A Graphic Style Manual (PDF)
- Watch Pen Tool Tutorial – Part 1 and Pen Tool Tutorial – Part 2 and Shape Builder and Pathfinder tutorials
Choose a logo from one of the current presidential candidates that includes both logo and text, such as the candidate’s name. Choose a logo that includes both straight lines as well as curves. After watching the assigned tutorials, recreate the logo from scratch by drawing and editing the shapes using the pen tool and the color panel, as well as other tools and panels you learn about in the tutorial. Redraw all letters by hand instead of using the type tool. You may place an image of the sign in Illustrator so you can draw on top of it.
Sanders’s or Cruz’s logos below would be good choices because they use both curves and straight lines for you to draw.
Name the file “yourlastname-project2-activity.ai” and copy to the shared class folder in the AML.
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Intro Activity #2, due Thursday, 3/3
Read Backpacks vs. Briefcases and watch some Super Tuesday coverage of a candidate you’re interested in working on for this project. Write down three related comments about the rhetoric used by the candidate (I will collect these Thursday.)
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Research, Analysis, and Design
I. Research and Analysis
Analyze the campaign rhetoric of your candidate (candidates will be assigned in class), with a focus on current news about the changing personality, persuasion tactics and prominent messages delivered by the candidate. Make sure to consider speech, written material, and, of course, visual material. Be sure that official campaign materials, such as the logo and signage distributed by your candidate, are part of your analysis. Write a blog post (this is blog post #4) that answers these questions, with at least one visual example:
- How has your candidate’s rhetoric changed over time? And how might it continue to change if s/he is the nominee for their party?
- How do you think your candidate might redesign his/her campaign logo if s/he could do so now?
- How do you think a group who opposes your candidate’s message might try to discredit his or her rhetoric?
- Make sure to use the concepts of ethos, pathos, logos, and/or kairos in your post as you consider the argument being made, as well as the rhetorical situation (exigence, audience, constraints).
- Does our earlier discussion regarding the suggestive power of organic vs. geometric shapes and abstraction vs. representation factor into your analysis?
Based on your analysis above, and any continued research you find necessary, design a new logo and campaign sign for your candidate, using the vector-based drawing program Adobe Illustrator. In addition, design one advertisement that you imagine an opposing group (what group?) may run to discredit your candidate’s rhetoric. The advertisement may incorporate illustration or photography if you wish: Make sure to embed bitmap-based images. However, the majority of your work should be completed using vector-based graphics. Make sure you working with:
- Creating and editing shapes using the pen tool along with tools such as the shape builder and the pathfinder panel.
- Assigning carefully chosen colors. Can you save your colors as swatches?
- Choosing or creating fonts that are right for your message. You may download new fonts or try making your own. (Remember to convert them to outlines before handing in your designs.)
You are expected to use the Illustrator tutorials provided in Activity 1 (above) to get you started, especially if you are new to manipulating shapes in Illustrator. The most relevant tutorials are listed again below, and additional tutorials are listed on the Tutorials page.
- Pen Tool Tutorial – Part 1
- Pen Tool Tutorial – Part 2
- Shape Builder and Pathfinder
- Advanced: Creating Complex Shape Using Object > Expand and Pathfinder Tools
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Liz Francese will attend class on Tuesday, March 8th to help you with research questions. These are additional resources she shared, including her twitter handle, from which she will be communicating about the election process over the coming weeks. You may also email her for an office hours appointment if you need extra research help: firstname.lastname@example.org
twitter handle: @Eng10120
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What You Will Display & Turn In
Critique (3/22 and 3/24 in TODD 307)
- 8.5 x 11 color print of your new logo and campaign sign
- 8.5 x 11 color print of your opposing advertisement
- Short paragraph for each that explains how your visual choices help make your rhetorical argument
- Group Critique Sheet once group work is completed (3/24)
Portfolio Folder (3/29 in AML 105)
After critique on 3/22 and 3/24, make improvements to your designs based on the feedback you and others receive. Make sure to document revisions in the form of printed drafts that you can put in your portfolio folder. Folder should contain:
- Drafts that document your creative process
- Short paragraphs you prepared for 3/22
- Individual Critique Sheet you filled in after group critiques
- Final designs for new logo and campaign sign and opposing advertisement
Digital File (3/29 in AML 105)
Turn in one Illustrator file with the final versions of each design. Make sure to follow these specifications:
- One or two 8.5 x 11 artboards for new logo and campaign sign
- One 8.5 x 11 artboard for opposing advertisement
- Organize and name layers in a logical way
- Use grouping where appropriate
- Make sure you have used color thoughtfully, perhaps saving your chosen logo colors as swatches for easy reuse
- Make sure you have applied fills and strokes to your shapes and fonts in an intentional way
- Choose fonts carefully based on your rhetorical argument and convert type to outlines before handing in the file
- You may use bitmap-based images, such as photographs, in your opposing ad, but not your logo and sign. If you use bitmap-based images, make sure they are embedded rather than linked.
- Name the file “yourlastname-2.ai”
- Save the file as a PDF as well and name it “yourlastname-2.pdf”. To save as a PDF, go to File > Save As. Choose “Adobe PDF (pdf)” under the “Format” option at the bottom of the dialog box. In the next dialog box that appears, make sure to UNCHECK “Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities” before your click the Save PDF button.
- Put both the AI file and the PDF in a folder named “yourlastname-2”, which you will copy to the shared class folder.
To access the shared class folder: When you are logged into the AML computers as a DTC336 student, you should see a DTC33601 folder in your Dock. Inside this is a folder named “Public”, which contains a folder named “Drop Box”. You will need to drag the folder for your assignment and hover over this Drop Box folder so it is highlighted (You can’t double-click and open it because only I have access to it. But you can put files into it). When you see the message that says “You can put items in this folder but you cannot take them out”, just click ok. Now I have your files. Check with me before you leave class to make sure I can see them.