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Designing Intelligent Content: A Writer's Guide

Content is so much more than text. We all know that. But for most of us, visual design isn’t our first language. In this presentation, you’ll learn how to support your content with great visual design when you don’t have the time or ability to work in tandem with a design strategist. Designed and presented by Niki Blaker and Patricia Tompkins. ---------------- Additional resources: Adobe Kuler color wheel: https://kuler.adobe.com/create/color-wheel Colour Lovers: http://www.colourlovers.com The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams: http://amzn.to/RNlv7r Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton: http://amzn.to/1jEfTqS

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DESIGNING
INTELLIGENT
CONTENT
A writer’s guide
PATRICIA TOMPKINS
Senior Art Director, Sitewire
Programs Director, AIGA Arizona
NIKI BLAKER
Design Strategist, Forty
President, AIGA Arizona
A little bit about us
HIER ARCHY
VISUAL Understanding
TYPE
COLOR
USING Choosing the
right image
FIRST,
AN
ASSUMPTION
Purpose
Goals
Audience
Voice & tone
VISUAL HIERARCHY
The basic principles are crap
01
LOOKING FOR LOVE
IN ALDERAAN PLACES

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Designing Intelligent Content: A Writer's Guide

  • 2. PATRICIA TOMPKINS Senior Art Director, Sitewire Programs Director, AIGA Arizona NIKI BLAKER Design Strategist, Forty President, AIGA Arizona A little bit about us
  • 5. VISUAL HIERARCHY The basic principles are crap 01
  • 6. LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALDERAAN PLACES
  • 8. Game of Thrones Drinking Game Rules Sip Joffrey acts like a scumbag Jon Snow is called a bastard Tyrion makes a quip Someone makes a toast Shot Someone claims X to be the true King Khaleesi is referred to the “Mother of Dragons” The Iron Throne is mentioned Gratuitious sex or nudity
  • 9. CONTRAST is what makes the reader look at the page in the first place. The bold and the beautiful.
  • 10. GAME OF THRONES Drinking Game Rules SIP Joffrey acts like a scumbag Jon Snow is called a bastard Tyrion makes a quip Someone makes a toast SHOT Someone claims X to be the true King Khaleesi is referred to the “Mother of Dragons” The Iron Throne is mentioned Gratuitious sex or nudity
  • 11. REPETITION is the process of creating a visual pattern that helps unify your message. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!
  • 12. GAME OF THRONES Drinking Game Rules SIP Joffrey acts like a scumbag Jon Snow is call ed a bastard Tyrion makes a quip Someone makes a toast SHOT Someone claims X to be the true King Khaleesi is referred to the “Mother of Dragons” The Iron Throne is mentioned Gratuitious sex or nudity
  • 13. ALIGNMENT connects the visual elements together, creating an invisible line of cohesiveness. From lawful good to chaotic evil.
  • 14. GAME OF THRONES Drinking Game Rules SIP Joffrey acts like a scumbag Jon Snow is call ed a bastard Tyrion makes a quip Someone makes a toast SHOT Someone claims X to be the true King Khaleesi is referred to the “Mother of Dragons” The Iron Throne is mentioned Gratuitious sex or nudity Someone gets killed
  • 15. PROXIMITY creates visual unity in elements that are related to each other. He’s nice, bit of a close talker.
  • 16. GAME OF THRONES Drinking Game Rules SIP Joffrey acts like a scumbag Jon Snow is call ed a bastard Tyrion makes a quip Someone makes a toast SHOT Someone claims X to be the true King Khaleesi is referred to the “Mother of Dragons” The Iron Throne is mentioned Gratuitious sex or nudity
  • 17. Game of Thrones Drinking Game Rules Sip Joffrey acts like a scumbag Jon Snow is called a bastard Tyrion makes a quip Someone makes a toast Shot Someone claims X to be the true King Khaleesi is referred to the “Mother of Dragons” The Iron Throne is mentioned Gratuitious sex or nudity
  • 18. GAME OF THRONES Drinking Game Rules SIP Joffrey acts like a scumbag Jon Snow is call ed a bastard Tyrion makes a quip Someone makes a toast SHOT Someone claims X to be the true King Khaleesi is referred to the “Mother of Dragons” The Iron Throne is mentioned Gratuitious sex or nudity
  • 21. RECR AP By creating bold contrast, using repetition, and organizing your content through alignment and proximity, you create a visual heiarchy that guides the reader through their experience.
  • 25. WHAT’S YOUR TYPE? In order to determine your perfect typographic match, you must first consider your communication goals.
  • 34. READABILITY How easy it is to read words, phrases, and blocks of copy
  • 35. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, an what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pret- ty personal about them. They’re quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father. They’re nice and all--I’m not saying that--but they’re also touchy as hell. Besides, I’m not going to tell you my whole goddam autobiography or anything. I’ll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened to me around last Christ- mas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come out here and take it easy. I mean that’s all I told D.B. about, and he’s my broth- er and all. He’s in Hollywood. That isn’t too far from this crumby place, and he comes over and visits me practically every week end. He’s going to drive me home when I go home next month may- be. He just got a Jaguar. One of those little English jobs that can do around two hundred miles an hour. It cost him damn near four thousand bucks. He’s got a lot of dough, now. He didn’t use to. He used to be just a regular writer, when he was home. He wrote this terrific book of short stories, The Secret Goldfish, in case you nev- er heard of him. The best one in it was “The Secret Goldfish.” It was about this little kid that wouldn’t let anybody look at his gold- fish because he’d bought it with his own money. It killed me. Now he’s out in Hollywood, D.B., being a prostitute. If there’s one thing If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll prob- ably want to know is where I was born, an what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the sec- ond place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them. They’re quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father. They’re nice and all--I’m not saying that--but they’re also touchy as hell. Besides, I’m not going to tell you my whole goddam autobiography or anything. I’ll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened to me around last Christmas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come out here and take it easy. I mean that’s all I told D.B. about, and he’s my brother and all. He’s in Hollywood. That isn’t too far from this crumby place, and he comes over and visits me prac- tically every week end. He’s going to drive me home when I go home next month maybe. He just got a Jaguar. One of those little English jobs that can do around two hundred miles an hour. It cost him damn near four thousand bucks. He’s got a lot of dough, now. He didn’t use to. He used to be just a regular writer, when he was home. He wrote this terrific book of short stories, The Secret Goldfish, in case you never heard of him. The best one in it was “The Secret Goldfish.” It was about this little kid that wouldn’t let anybody look at his VS Serif Sans-serif
  • 36. Letterspacing L e t t e r s p a c i n g Word spacing Word spacing & Kerning Tracking
  • 37. Line length LeadingAKA LINE SPACING If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, an what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pret- ty personal about them. They’re quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father. They’re nice and all--I’m not saying If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll prob- ably want to know is where I was born, an what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like go- ing into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the sec- ond place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them. They’re quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, an what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pret- If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, an what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pret- ty personal about them. They’re quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father. They’re nice and all--I’m not saying &
  • 38. SIMPLICITY How easy it is to focus on and interpret messaging
  • 40. VARIATION How to combine fonts in an appropriate typographic expression of brand personality
  • 45. RECAP Well-designed type considers the overall communication goals, takes into consideration the brand personality and thoughtfully utilizes appropriate typographic treatments to convey meaning.
  • 46. USING COLOR The amazing color wheel 03
  • 58. Tints
  • 60. Tones
  • 65. With 16.8 million choices Where do you even start?
  • 66. CHOOSING YOUR COLORS Color groups and meanings Using the color picker Color palette tools
  • 70. COLOR MEANINGS Optimism Energy Action Trust Growth Wisdom in Western culture
  • 72. I am looser than creamed corn.
  • 73. The perfect retreat for your fall vacation. VISIT NEW ENGLAND
  • 74. on a scenic Alaskan cruise. SAIL AWAY
  • 75. Tools of the trade kuler.adobe.com
  • 76. Tools of the trade kuler.adobe.com
  • 77. Tools of the trade colourlovers.com
  • 78. RECAP By understanding the basics of color theory and how colors work together, you can then incorporate other factors such as your audience, mood, branding and imagery to create your ideal color palette.
  • 79. PHOTOGRAPHIC STORYTELLING A picture is worth a thousand words 04
  • 80. It is so nice when you can sit with someone and not have to talk. - Harry Burns
  • 81. EVERY IMAGE SHOULD... Visually support written content Encompass the broader message Contain a primary focus, while providing useful context 01 02 03
  • 82. Our milk is “farm to store fresh.” For example:
  • 83. OR
  • 84. Who says burgers can’t be fancy? For example:
  • 85. OR
  • 86. This summer, protect your family by using sunscreen. For example:
  • 87. OR
  • 88. THEY FINISH EACH OTHER’S SENTENCES When choosing images to compliment copy, look for visual stories that support written content, encompass the broader message, and contain a primary focus, while providing useful context.
  • 89. A SIDE NOTE ON STOCK
  • 91. When choosing stock images, try to avoid generic, overused or overly-simplified subjects and compositions. There is nothing more damaging to user engagement than publishing interesting copy paired with boring visuals.
  • 92. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER The design principles of visual heirarchy along with the understanding of color, type, and image match-making, will help support the voice and tone of your message, connect with your audience, and achieve your clients’ goals to create one complete, holistic experience.