Very brief introduction to graphics

31 03 2009
Editor’s note: this is a cross posting from another blog I am currently participating in for an independent study course. The following are notes I went over during a presentation I did for the class.

Graphics is just a way to present information visually. On the Web, this refers to photos, display type, flags, illustrations, icons, navigation buttons and bars. Almost anything on your site that’s more complex than HTML text and headlines can be considered graphics.

Information graphics (or infographics) – use this when some information is better digested visually than through text.  It is the ultimate “show, don’t tell.”

Examples: USA TODAY interactive graphics, Gallup

Types of information graphics:
Chart or graph (bar chart/bar graph; column chart/column graph; line chart/fever chart; pie chart or pie graph; time chart or timeline), Table or list, Diagram, map, graphic package.
  • Remember, the goal of every news graphic is to present information with clarity, simplicity and accuracy. Avoid overloading and overly clever graphics
Avoid data distortion: (example 1, example 2)
Inconsistent units of measurement, generally start at a zero baseline

Compiling and editing graphic data
1. Collect data carefully
2. Edit carefully
3. Convert to understandable values (avoid metric system in the U.S.)
4. Simplify – avoid clutter and present points tightly
5. Keep it simple – intimidating graphics will prevent readers from reading it. Don’t cram or overwork your graphic.
6. Keep it accurate – Don’t just use statistics from Joe shmo
7. Label it clearly
8. Dress it up – proceed with caution (USA TODAY example) (NY Times example )

Don’t forget to label, source and give credit.

Tutorials using Adobe programs

Manuscript museum showcases original and rare artifacts

31 03 2009

Now that I am officially back at school from spring break, friends are asking, “So, what did you do over break?”

“Oh, nothing much – hung out with friends, watched a movie…and looked at some of the most important historical documents in our lifetime.”

Okay, okay, so maybe the letter written by Noah Webster, The Declaration of Allegiance of all the Native Tribes of America and Helen Keller‘s handwritten note weren’t  the original documents, but it was still cool to learn about them nonetheless.

The Karpeles Manuscript Library holds the largest private collection of original manuscripts in the world and little ol’ Tacoma, Wash. is one of 10 cities in the world to house some of them. (See a map).

Now, the museum in Tacoma was no Met., but I was surprised Tacoma would house a museum such as this.

Tom Jutilla, the director of Karpeles’ Tacoma site, was kind enough to show and explain the significance of many of the manuscripts showcased (even disclosing a mishap involving him accidentally dropping the original book dropped by a  famous scientist).

All the documents he showed were copies but the museum stores the actual originals somewhere in the building.

Pictures below:

The cellist – my photo assignment

20 03 2009
Editor’s note: I will be on spring break from March 20 to March 29. There is a possibility that postings will decrease during this time.

The cello happens to be my favorite classical instrument (ever heard of Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1?). My friend, Kirsten G. (special thanks), allowed me to do a portrait on her while she played her cello. These are a couple pictures from a portrait assignment given in my photojournalism class (they are also available on my Flickr):

Whitworthian gains national recognition

18 03 2009

The Associated College Press announced that is one of 20 four-year non-dailies that placed in the 2009 Associated Collegiate Press Online Pacemaker Finalists.

The ACP is the oldest and largest national organization for college journalists and their awards are known to be one of the highest in college journalism.

Basically, we’re pretty much legit.

Here is the blog site of Online Editor of The Whitworthian, the mastermind of our web’s design and layout.

In case you missed it

17 03 2009

A media project I did this past January as part of my media program in New York City and Washington D.C.

Week in review

15 03 2009

1. The not so unexpected prediction of major newspapers folding

2. This is probably the most intense celebration of color I’ve ever seen.

3. Museums are experiencing  financial woes due to the economy.

4. Do you know your political view?

5. In a couple more weeks, I would have had enough saved to buy this lens for my Nikon (which is a feat for me in of itself). I have been planning to get it since this past fall. I’ve drooled over pictures of it online and dreamed about getting the lens. So what happens when I have just about enough  to get it. Taxes. Specifically, $500 in taxes.

The lesson: Nothing in life is certain but death and taxes.

Graduation angst from a sophomore

14 03 2009

I discussed  with  my friend, who is a senior, what his plans are after graduation this morning.

He said he is not quite sure.

Several of my friends are seniors and the general consensus is either:

  • They have no clue what they’re going to do after graduation.
  • They have a clue of what they want to do but can’t get the job.

Especially during an economic recession, organizations and companies are slimming down their work force. Newspapers and media organizations are one of many sectors experiencing the brunt of the slumping economy.

My friends who are senior journalism majors have one of the toughest competitions – with several newspapers being shut down, even professionals can’t find work.

Let’s just say I am very relieved I will not be graduating this year. Hopefully, the economy will get better and not worse by the time I graduate.

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