To develop the graphic design section on my online portfolio, I designed and produced this infographic in my Corporate Publishing course using Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop. I created this infographic for a Sigma Kappa Cupcake Bar event on Elon University’s campus to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s disease. For over 30 years, Sigma Kappa Sorority has partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association and donated millions of dollars for the cause. Sigma Kappa became the first collegiate organization to recognize the need for continued comprehensive work on the study of aging, the needs of the elderly population, and Alzheimer’s disease. At the event, Sigma Kappa made cupcakes that students and faculty could buy and decorate with different frostings and toppings for only a dollar. As an executive council member for Sigma Kappa, I wanted to contribute to the event just a bit more.
My professor and mentor, Randy Piland, helped me through every step of this design and production process. First, I met with the Vice President of Philanthropic Service and organizer of the Cupcake Bar to brainstorm the content and design. I researched all of the statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association website. After that, I worked with the design concepts on paper and developed many drafts before choosing one to play around with on InDesign. With the help of professor Piland, I spent many nights in the editing suites and developed many drafts within the couple weeks of production.
Even though this class focused on Adobe InDesign, I learned and utilized Photoshop and Wordle for certain elements in the infographic. For example, in the section displaying that two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women, I found images on Google and needed to remove the faces from the heads illustrating the different sexes using Photoshop. I then took the Photoshop files and placed them in the InDesign file to create the image.
This graphic took a couple weeks to complete and is definitely one of my best design work examples on my online portfolio. I’m thankful for my mentor, Randy Piland, for coming to the editing suites at night to help the class with our projects.
This Corporate Publishing course is one of the design courses provided by the School of Communications. It has, without a doubt, assisted me in obtaining my internships. A potential employee or intern that understands Photoshop and InDesign is very attractive to strategic communicator employers. The class taught me elements of design that allowed me to contribute to my internship projects.
In the course, we studied fonts, colors, and elements of design. We learned through our projects and lectures which fonts and colors display certain emotions. We created infographics, post cards, posters, a resume, tablet magazine, and website. We had full freedom on the content and design of these projects. For the poster project, for example, the only criterion was that the event had to be a real event. Therefore, I wanted to help with the Cupcake Bar event promotion by creating and sharing this poster. This poster was then printed out by the event organizers, hung all over campus, and displayed on the digital boards around Moseley Student Center.
In the class, we also studied situations that we—as graphic designers and communications professionals—would face in the real world. For example, at the beginning of one class, our professor told us that by the end of that class, we needed a postcard completed for a client. This client was hosting an Artist Talk in Yeager Recital Hall in a few days and needed a handout made as soon as possible. The host was to choose her favorite design that would be handed out at the event. In about an hour and a half, I completed the entire design and production process. I drew my design on scratch paper, created a couple drafts, and turned in my final product to my professor and the host. This project was the first time that I had to turn in a design piece on a strict short deadline. It helped me understand how the process works at an actual agency.
Personal and Social Responsibility
As a strategic communicator, it is my responsibility to present a message to a target audience in a way that they can clearly understand and remember. I have done this for a number of clients and in-house marketers. As you can tell from these projects, I’ve also used my skills pro bono, as seen in this Alzheimer’s Epidemic infographic project. No one paid me to do this. No one even asked me to do this. The reason I created an infographic for an event so close to my heart is because infographics rely on visual representations of information, data, and knowledge to present complex information quickly and clearly. According to Piland’s lectures, infographics can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends. Along with the words on the Alzheimer’s Epidemic infographic, I also utilized images, arrows, contrasting color, Wordle, and graphs to display the information. I also added a QR code that can be scanned on a smartphone in order to find more information about the disease. These elements of the infographic allow it to be read quickly, interactively, and entertainingly. Let’s say, instead of creating this infographic, I wrote a short paper about Alzheimer’s disease, printed it out, and placed it on the table for people to read—no one would even notice it. Developing an infographic made sure that the vital information raising awareness for this debilitating and horrible disease will be read and not forgotten.
When I start my job with Tierney Communications, I will be doing this every single day. It will be my job to turn a thought into an easy-to-process image, advertisement, or post that our clients’ target audiences can easily view and understand. It is my personal responsibility to keep up with my industry and continue to practice my skills.
I am very proud of this work. I worked a total of 10.5 hours on this project in and outside the classroom to make it perfect. In turn, I received a great score on this project. Looking back on it, though, I see some spacing aspects of this project that aren’t necessarily problems, but if slightly altered, could make the piece look cleaner.