Diving in Headfirst

Admittedly, I was terrified to add a foreign technological component to my Tumblr. I was a wimp and decided to add the easiest media to work with to my blog first, and save the infographic, which I have never done before, for last. So I started with pictures, videos, podcasts, and news articles until Naomi encouraged us to step out of our comfort zones.

So far, so good. I began creating an Infographic about the history of Sabra Hummus that I want to model after this clever example from Bon Appetit: http://www.bonappetit.com/trends/article/huy-fong-s-sriracha-hot-sauce

The platform I’m using, Infogram, is fairly simple. It’s free, and it has a ton of well-designed free templates. It’s drag-and-drop technology is super easy to learn and I feel comfortable adding text and images. It even saves automatically. The only caveats are that you cannot adjust text size (or text formatting in general), which is annoying because I want to add in links as captions to photos, and I don’t want them to be super big. I also wanted certain parts of the timeline on my infographic to have larger fonts than others, but I will have to play around with and readjust the look of my infographic in general to make certain parts of my text stand out more than others.

This screenshot doesn’t cover the majority of the content of my infographic, but it gives you an idea of where I’m going in terms of design. Let me know if you have any suggestions, especially if you have used this technology before.

Beginnings of my infographic...

#StyleChallenge – Whitespace

While researching graphic design and website layout principles, I found white space to be a common, positive element. I am trying to make use of this principle in my Remediation project, for which I am creating a Tumblr.

The challenge comes in with finding a layout that has the desired white space, but that will also accommodate my content.

My current layout uses a plain white background with three columns across. There is plenty of space around each post. And, captions are kept close to their accompanying images so readers can tell they are supposed to go together (in some themes I looked at, there was too much white space between photos and their captions). Also, being able to see multiple images at a time will keep the reader scrolling down.

There is one main problem, however, with fitting a theme to my content: animation.

I am using a lot of animation in the images for this project. Seeing multiple things move at once can distract a viewer, which defeats the purpose of focusing on white space. I am trying to alternate animated and non-animated posts, but this has not always been easy because I want to lay out my argument in a certain order.

Does anyone have tips for balancing space and animation? Am I the only one who thinks multiple moving images are distracting, or do other people feel this way, too?

Storyboarding Part 2

MarleyKaltRemediationStoryboardI wrote before about loving the storyboard experience (mostly after the fact) of the e-portfolio, so I was actually looking forward to storyboarding my Re-Mediation project.  For this project, I was going to create a collection of animated GIFs, on the topic of gender socialization.

I planned to make a Buzzfeed-type article about breaking gender stereotypes, with most of the information presented visually through animated photos or video clips.  Creating my storyboard was pretty straightforward – I typed a list of what images or clips I wanted to find (ex: a female gamer, a boy playing with dolls).  I even had a title, “(#) People Valiantly Breaking Gender Stereotypes.”

But when I looked at my completed storyboard, I realized it lacked depth and context.  I felt that viewers would not get anything out of this project.  It left much open to interpretation and did not take a clear stance on the issue of gender stereotypes.

So, I changed my platform.  Instead of creating a single, static list, I will compile my animated GIFs into a Tumblr.  While many of the posts will still be visual, using Tumblr should give me more room to explain the issue, how the GIFs relate to each other, and will give my topic more of the depth and seriousness it deserves.

So, here’s my storyboard (please ignore the bad drawings – I promise there will be no stick figures, rainbows, or dog-like animals in my completed project).  This shows the basic layout I want to have.  It will be very simple; just one page where viewers can scroll through and see all the images I have animated/compiled.  I will also include short posts to bring in my thoughts and explanations of the topic.

If any of you have suggestions of what types of images I should include or how to make the most out of Tumblr (I had never used it before this project), I’d love your input!