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The Maranda Writes

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Category Archives: PHOTOSHOP

Today’s lesson will be about teachings I have learned from an online course from Poynters News University about “The Language of an Image”. I had to take the lesson for my PRCA 3339, PR research class. I will include an outline from the lesson with vocabulary I found helpful to me along with personal notes included along the way.

Imagery in journalism is often times the most powerful element associated with a news story. It’s used to identify a subject in the story, or visually define an event.

There are three types of photos:
Informational – Simply a visual record of a person or event
Passive- Pictures taken specifically for publication after the event has occurred.
Active- Pictures taken while the event is occurring. In Real Time. Preferred by journalists to communicate to the reader the tone of an event.

Creating an image calls the incorporation of a variety of ‘single elements’ some of which are:
Quality of light – the use of natural and artificial light
• This may seem like an obvious note, but a small amount of light can greatly affect an image.
A sense of place – how quickly the reader comprehends setting
Juxtaposition – two opposing images to show contrast in mood or status.
• Interestingly, called one of the most powerful story-telling elements
Perspective – Be mindful that you are the “eye of the reader when taking photographs. So put yourself in the reader’s shoes to achieve the best look.
Layering, moment, and surprise are also single elements.
Of course these elements can be used simultaneously to “enhance the story-telling capabilities”
What familiar elements do you see in the photograph below?

Essentially capturing an image can call upon a variety of different elements. Achieving the best possible look is left up to the discretion of the journalist. There is no specific right or wrong way to take a picture. But failing to include at least one of each element can result in an incomplete news story.  

Now that you have been informed, Snap away!


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Today’s lesson will be about typography and its importance in design. Typography is the design and use of typefaces as a means of visual communication from calligraphy to the ever-developing use of digital type according to

When designing it is important to remember that varying fonts, style, and size can be best for certain clients. Failing to acknowlede either one of these elements can lead to an ineffective campaign. There varying factors that influence typeface (font):

  • Font style should complement the personality of the organization. Example- for a company such as John Deer one might use masculine, block like letters
  • Sans-serif (sans-serif ) or serif (serif)? The type of font is important also. For example- a brochure for a retirement home might use Adobe Garamond Pro Bold.
  • Font size is also dependent on the audience. Small font should be avoided in material involving children.

However all of these factors are dependent on the publication type. I will outline details of how to use th of two of the most used publications, business cards and brochures. According to Ezine Articles there should be a balance in the sizes of your text in your address and contact information, and your names and title. When designing your text, be sure to have your address and phone numbers between 7 to 8 point sizes. Your name should be 1 point bigger than these two elements. That means that if your address is at 7 point, then your name should be 8. On the other hand, your title can either be 1 point smaller than your address text size or similar to it. Your company name in contrast to all these elements should be from 12 to 15 point sizes. also provided a helpful checklist for typography rules.

Along with other helpful hints of how to design a brochure, stated that most font used in brochures typically do not exceed 12 pt.

Now that you know the typograohy rules of how to design a brochure, on to the last step! For your enjoyment I have supplied a couple of other links for downloading funky FREE fonts …enjoy!

Step-by-step instructions of how to install fgonts for MAC and Windows operating systems.


Now I know seeing C.R.A.P. can immediately send your mind to the gutter with instant unmentionable images. But let me save you by pointing your attention in the RIGHT direction. C.R.A.P is an acronym created by Robin Williams (not the notoriously funny actor) that stands for contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. The term first appeared in a design book authored by Williams titled, The Non-designer’s Design Book. Since then it has become the “holy grail” of design layout and structure for all design print material in all fields. I first learned about the term in my PRCA 3339 (Public relations publications) course I took at Georgia Southern University.

Although all design points are important, the repetition design principle, in my opinion is the essential design structure that does the most to grab a reader’s attention. When a reader looks at any document the first thing they notice is how visually appealing it is. No one is going to want to read something with multiple font styles and random colors. Creators of these documents can sometimes lose the topic or theme in the chaos of the design. Repeated colors, shapes, size, font, texture and style are all elements of repetition. It can even be used to highlight or group information. For example, all headers might be in 14- point font to illustrate the importance, while 12 -point font used for the body. Words to the wise, if you cannot identify at least three elements that are the same in your design that means are lacking repetition. Below are some helpful guidelines to use in repetition.

  • Limit fonts styles to 3
  • Repeating certain elements in a page is a visual trick designers use to control a reader’s eye and how the reader’s attention moves down or across the page
  • Repetitive elements may be a bold font, a thick rule (line), a certain bullet, color, design elements, particular format, shapes, spatial relationships, etc

For more C.R.A.P. visit the useful sites below

Robin Williams official web-site


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