Covers Chapter(s): 6 (Layout), 9 (Photos and Illustrations) & 10 (Infographics)
Concepts: Page layout, page hierarchy, photo selection, photo placement in layouts, typesetting, creative type, infographic types, creating infographics, adding infographics to layouts, feature story writing
Requisite Skills: Basic page layout, typesetting, creating charts and graphs, feature writing
The Feature Story with Infographic project is the end product of a multi-week unit on layout, photos and infographics. The assignment was designed as an individual student assignment requiring submission of thumbnail sketches, presentation of a draft in a gallery session and completion of a final draft incorporating feedback.
This assignment, given later in the semester, allowed students to demonstrate mastery of skills they had been working on since the start of the semester. As our USF students were Mass Comm students and inclined towards writing, this assignment also incorporated their research and writing abilities.
Lectures leading up to this assignment included layout, photos, and infographics. One lab session was spent on Photoshop skills (resizing, cropping, color correcting, retouching, masking and blending modes). A second lab session was spent using Adobe Illustrator to create basic vector pie charts and bar graphs.
Alternate Page Layouts. For journalism students, the assignment lends itself to creating a tabloid double truck or a multi-page broadsheet feature story. The assignment could be expanded to a feature package, with a main story and smaller, related side stories and infographics. Depending on the scope, students could complete this with a partner, or as a small group project.
Web/Digital Media. For a more web/media approach to the assignment, make the story a Web feature story and encourage students to explore online infographic generators, such as Google Charts. Instead of single photos, allow students to create slideshows, digital image galleries, or shoot and edit their own video clips. Substitute lab sessions as needed to teach the required skills.