Typography Quiz Rundown

  • Typography quiz on Thursday, Oct. 10
  • 25 points total
  • Covers the lectures and discussions on typography
  • 14 multiple choice questions, including 3 about InDesign
  • Three typography examples where you tell me the error/problem
  • One 4-point question where you will discuss contrast, hierarchy, organizing & prioritizing information.
  • One 4-point question where you critique the typography (good, bad & ugly)

Typography review

Here is a nice, quick typography review — it touches on a lot of what we’ve covered in class. Pay attention; she goes fast.

Photo Quiz (guide)

Quiz 1: Intro to Visual Communication and Photography

25 points (mix of multiple choice, fill in the blank and short answer)

What is visual communication?

  • Why do we study it?
  • Why is it important?
  • What are the different purposes of visual communication?
  • What is collective memory theory and how is it related to visual communication?

Introduction to Photography

  • Composition concepts and techniques (lecture notes & review video)
  • Tips for taking good photos in general (lecture)
  • Tips for taking better photos with you phones (lecture)
  • Exposure

Ethics & photography in communication fields.

  • Lecture (we had a lot of good discussion about ethical situations)
  • Be able to list a few ethical decisions about photos you might have to make.
  • Be able to describe why there are different guidelines in journalism, PR & advertising
  • Look up and read the NPPA code of ethics


  • Read through the tutorials
  • Be able to identify the tools used in the Photoshop tutorials / class demonstrations
  • Know the quick keys for: undo, copy, paste, deselect

Visual storytelling

A good story has a plot, a scene and developed characters. Visual storytelling should be no different. Check out one of my favorite Super Bowl commercials of all time. There is not dialogue or narrative here, yet it tells a beautiful story. What’s the scene? Who are the characters? What’s the plot?

Now watch it one more time. This time, watch specifically for how the visuals were shot. Video and photos are not all that different when it comes to the technical and artistic elements. You should be able to see examples of composition techniques such as rule of thirds, leading lines and even framing. Look for those.

Ok, watch one last time. This time, watch for the different shot lengths. These are edited together in quick sequences, but you should see pretty easily the combination of wide, medium and tight shots. The wide shots are scene setters. They set the stage. At least have are medium shots — close enough to see the story happening. Then you’ll find some really tight shots — the ones where the camera gets right up on a face — human, dog and horse.

In your photo package assignment, you need to choose one topic/subject and try to tell a short story using a variety of shots. Here’s an example from the Flint Hills Media Project of the shot variety I’m talking about: wide, medium and tight.





Composition review

Here is a great little video about many of the composition techniques discussed in class.


Keep learning more about Photoshop

A couple weeks ago, I had a business student follow me to my office, telling me he’d been trying to track me down since last semester. (Since I generally spend 10 hours a day in Elliott Hall, I find that difficult to believe, but I went along with it.) He said he wants to learn how to use Photoshop, and people kept telling him he should come to me. He said he believes he’s missing out on some job opportunities because they list Photoshop and the Creative Suite as preferred skills.

My point is, I wish we could spend a couple more weeks just on Photoshop, but that’s just not in the cards in this class. So I hope you’ll keep practicing. There are tons of good tutorials and videos online for Photoshop. I like the ones offered through Adobe and also, a really good online software training site. Some videos there are free, but you have to pay for a subscription to access the entire library. Just check out the free stuff.

For example, here’s a tutorial about photo retouching — specifically the content aware tool.

Here’s a video demo of using the Quick Selection tool to change the color of a selected area.

How to post to our website

The first thing you need to do in COMM305 is learn how to add content to our class website. This site is built using WordPress, a Content Management System (CMS) that makes it easy to add content without knowing too much about building websites. No coding/programming skills are needed — however, if you have some skills in HTML / CSS, you can do much more with your site in terms of customizing.

Before you create your introductory post, watch this video tutorial above showing you the ins and outs of posting to the newest (5.0) version of WordPress. It’s long(ish), but really thorough and does a great job explaining and showing how to add text, photos and embedded media.

Time to get Adobe Creative Cloud

The Adobe creative applications have long been industry standards in graphic design and communications fields. It’s not uncommon for communication jobs (especially in PR, but also in publications, advertising and marketing) to list proficiency in Photoshop and InDesign as part of required or preferred skills in job descriptions.

We’re jumping into Adobe Photoshop this week, so it’s time to get a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud or download the trial version. Either way, you’ll need to create an Adobe ID.

Then you can sign up for the 30-day trial of Adobe Creative Cloud. Once you’ve signed up for that, you’ll have access to download the trial versions of individual applications. Start with just Photoshop for now.