follow the leader

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Adobe InDesign. What a simple name for such a complicated program. InDesign is undoubtedly useful for web designers, but certainly difficult for beginners. From figuring out how to change the background color, to realizing a window and frame aren’t th…

Writing Effectively

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Writing with Clarity

Poor: The ring was found upon a counter with a diamond missing. 

Better: The ring with a diamond missing was found upon the counter.

​Reducing Clutter

Poor: Nobody in the entire class knew how to do simple algebra.

Better: No one in the class knew how to do algebra.

Sentence variety

Poor: The teacher was very lonely. She had no friends.

Better:  Since, the teacher had no friends she was lonely.

Sentence emphasis 

Poor: Rosie Farley spoke to 1,000 students and gave the valedictorian speech at graduation.

Better: At graduation, Rosie Farley gave the valedictorian speech. 

Dive (In) to (Design)

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PictureThe Adobe InDesign logo. (Image from LogoGulf)

This week we learned the basics of using Adobe InDesign. On Tuesday, we mimicked Croom’s actions as we created an annual report cover. Croom walked us through the steps and we did our best to keep up. I’m not going to lie, this was an overwhelming class period. Every student had about 30 questions (including myself), but by the end, the room was silent as we became more confident in our abilities. Also, my version looked very similar to the original when I finished up. So, yay!

On Thursday, we learned how to create columns (or, newspaper style documents) with InDesign. Croom showed us the basics of column design at the beginning of class and then we were assigned to copy a preexisting document on our own.

Croom advised us that the best way to begin a layout is to first create placeholders for the content – which can include headlines, subtitles, bylines, photos, captions and more. After you figure out where the placeholders work best, you can fill in your content. 

I have caught on to the basics of InDesign faster than I anticipated. I thought Photoshop had my heart, but the tables might be turning!

This screenshot of an InDesign project is a good example of how column design can be utilized to create a brochure. (Image from YouTube)

Writing Effectively 

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There are many different forms and styles of writing. Some people may feel like less is more, while others say that detail is everything. For the majority of the time, it is best to keep writing simple and clean. Below are some examples that give a better understanding of effective writing. 

Writing with clarity:
Poor Example: We looked for the tools on the floor in the shop and we couldn’t find them. 
Better Example: We looked for the tools on the shop floor and could not find them. 

Reducing Clutter
Poor Example: Due to the fact that I have a test tomorrow, I will make sure that I study and I will also make sure that I complete all of my homework assignments tonight. 
Better Example: Because I have a test tomorrow, I will study and complete my homework assignments tonight. 

Sentence Variety
Poor Example: My mother is a teacher at an elementary school. Last year, she won the teacher of the year award. We were very proud. 
Better Example: We were very proud of my mother, an elementary school teacher, for winning the teacher of the year award last year. 

Sentence Emphasis:
Poor Example: The police officer said that the car crash was very serious and the driver is lucky to be alive
Better Example: The driver is lucky to be alive after a very serious car crash, the police officer said. 

The Ins and Outs of Typography 

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My second week in class was was exciting. We learned about basic graphic design elements on Tuesday. I enjoyed learning the basic elements that would be included in many of our projects throughout the rest of the semester. I never knew there was so many things to consider when doing graphic design. I think learning about the basics will help me keep in mind what to do when designing. 

On Thursday Croom taught us the ins and outs of typographty. We learned how choosing the right font can effect the mood and overall goal of a graphic design piece. Learning about the history of typography was fascinating. Learning all the key terms that go with typography I think will be helpful when considering what font to use and how to properly space words/letters. At the end of class we played different typography games. These games were fun and helped me improve my attention to detail and the difference between serif and sans serif. This week interesting and I think will be very helpful for my future designs!

image from

Fantastic (?) Fonts and Where I Found Them

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   This week in PR Pubs, we focused on the basic values and principles of design and typography. Our assignment was to find designs and fonts on campus and discuss how said values and principles were applied to them.
      To start, I visited my girlfriend at an OU IT service center and found one of their training posters.
      As you can see, there are more than the two to three font types we’re advised to use in a single design; however, considering this particular page is meant to promote better memory of the listed steps, that flaw might be considered a strategy here.
       Despite its lack of visual interest, it does boast legible fonts. Its most important point is in red and, if my seventh grade obsession with the font is any indicator, Papyrus.
      This is another design from the same center. I actually like this one, because it’s both cohesive as a piece and in consideration against other posters and messages across campus. Most of them, as seen here, tend to use sans serif fonts. The fact that this one also includes its specific logo within OU along with OU’s crimson ties the whole piece together.
         I also appreciate the simple design above the check-in station that clearly depicts an OU ID card. It’s always a help to those who don’t speak English as their first language or who have learning disabilities to include a widely understood visual aid that helps get the point across.
       These pieces from a student-focused, client-oriented group on campus have provided what-not-to-do versus what-to-do examples, and I hope I’m able to create works more like the latter.

Lines and Letters

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This week we started to learn about the design elements and I’m very excited. Graphic design was something that I really enjoyed and always wanted to get better at but never had the chance, and now I do. Learning about where typography came from and all the different aspect of it was really cool because having a deeper knowledge of what I’m doing also make me feel better at it. I always knew that there was space between lines of text but I didn’t know that was called leading until now. There’s a lot that goes into design text and choosing the right font or size for a design. There’s so many different fonts and typestyles that I didn’t know about before. 
The Chocolate Festival poster is really eye catching in my opinion because it uses a script font in a very large size to draw the audience’s eye toward it. The banner underneath also draws focus by having the background stand out from the white paper. The rest of the font on the page is the same but the designed used bold and alignments to break things apart. 
While all of the font is the same on this yoga poster it is very difficult to read. The white text on a red and yellow background is very straining. There’s also way too much text for a poster this size and a font that size. The yellow words at the bottom are also very hard to read because of the yellow on red again but the font size is a little bigger so it’s not as straining. 
This designer used two different fonts but I don’t think they’re different enough to really stand out from each other. The meeting font is more commanding in my opinion then the title of the club so it’s kind of distracting. Everything is center aligned but there’s not enough copy on the page that that’s a problem. 
Design is a way that the designer can express themselves but you can only go so far before it’s illegible or too clutter or too sparse. It’s a perfect balance that’s difficult to master and that takes time. I hope during my time in this class I will become better at balancing my designs with the hope that people will want to look at them. The design principles are there as a guide for a designer so the audience will be interested in the design. Legibility is one of the most important elements because if it isn’t legible, why did you make it? That’s why I think typography is the most important aspect of design and one of the best parts the process.

Professional Portrait

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My name is Erin Tabberer and I go by Erin. I am from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma which is a suburb of Tulsa and roughly the same size as Norman. I love my hometown because sometimes it can feel like a big city and other times it has that small town charm. Also we have QuikTrip there which is super important to me and I believe it’s better than most restaurants in town. I’m a sophomore public relations major (duh) and I’m also getting a minor in enterprise studies. If I could have any job in the world I want to be the FEMA Director. Natural disasters are very close to my heart and I want to help people in any way possible. 
What gets me *jazzed* about public relations is that the field is always growing and shaping new possibilities. I’m also really bad at math and there’s not a lot of that in PR. ​I’ve noticed that public relations professionals hold themselves to a higher standard and strive for excellence in everything they do which is something I try to do everyday and I want to get better at doing. What motivates me to be the best I can be is my family because they have supported me through numerous major changes and crazy life decisions. No matter what I do or decide they’ve always been by my side cheering me on and I don’t want to disappoint them.

Writing fits into everything I do in life. From tweeting to writing papers in class I have to write all of that. I will definitely say that I’m not super confident in my writing ability and I think I can get a little crazy sometimes with fancy words and it gets really cluttered or it sounds rantesque like it does right now. I want to grow and become a much better writer than I am right now and I know that I have a long way to go. I’m determined and excited to begin this class and to succeed. I never back down from a challenge and a challenge this class will be. 

Hot or Not Designs

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Okay guys…lets be honest. We have all had those uncomfortable moments where we think, “What were they really thinking when they designed that?” There is a reason there are millions of memes, gifs and jokes about the poor architecture of what we thought could be the simplest things. Some designers really just needed a second opinion. Therefore, questions enter our head such as, why did they choose to put all of the bathrooms on the perimeter of the mall? Why do most T.V. remotes, that aren’t Smart T.V.’s consistent of 20 buttons I will never know how to use or avoid like the plague because I am convinced clicking them will crash my T.V? Or why is the Nike swoosh, the one label a sorority can’t be caught dead without, be so simple and yet we’re seriously just paying for an over priced design?

All of this relates back to design and how creators have used or failed to use the four basic principles of design: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity. When creating a design people have to be aware of the values their design will offer, which needs to have simplicity, minimalism, clarity and unclutteredness. We have all at one time or another picked up an interesting book or newspaper and saw the tiny cluttered text and immediately got a headache and put it away.

I mean come on… fonts matter just as much as all of the other elements of design.

Or maybe that’s just me… Designers have to decide if using all of the blank space is necessary or not. They have to be aware of their color wheel and spatial décor so the average person does not have the outraging question of, “But why?” This goes for fonts too. Just like the picture above. The spacing between letters, font, kerning, etc. all matter. No designer wants someone to not understand a logo, text or art because of the creator’s lack of knowledge of these concepts. Let’s take a look at some “Hot and Not Designs!”


Clearly there is some major design flaws going on here. Then again, some people can get it right. Here are some known designs, text and logos that utilize proximity, the four design principles and were made for us to remember positively. 


Alright Alright, yes I learned about all of this design stuff in class, but I have some real world examples of font and design “Hots” that I found walking around campus today.
And that’s my design and font recap of the week guys!

Always with Love,
             Heather Gilbert

Less is more

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Contrast, repetition, and alignment, oh my!

There are many aspects that go into creating a design. Leading the eye, utilizing blank space and CRAP, to name a few. The most interesting lesson I learned this week is that less is more. Though you can use fonts, alignment, repetition, proximity, contrast, etc. in a design, utilizing all of these is not always the answer. Simplicity is key.
Picture courtesy of

This week we had a crash course of the basics of graphic design. All of what we learned, to me, meant learning to be a minimalist. I tend to overdo things, so I’m interested to see how this principle will challenge me as we start “using our machines” next week. At the beginning of designing I will keep in mind contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity, or “CRAP…” Which will be easy, because this is how I feel heading into creating our first design.
Accurate depiction of my face thinking about learning Adobe programs. Photo from GIPHY.

I’ve always envied the people that know how to make graphic designs, but I’ve never pursued knowing how to do it myself. I’m glad this course will somewhat force me to learn. CRAP, the acronym describing important design elements, stands for certain words in design. The first, contrast, requires knowing how colors work together. I know the color wheel; blue is the opposite of orange, purple of yellow, red of green, you get the point. Next is repetition, which is easy enough:
  • See, I can do repetition. Bullet points are a form of repetition.
  • I just did it again.
  • And again.
Next comes alignment. Alignment is knowing that this paragraph looks odd when comparing it to the rest. The majority of this blog is aligned left, and this paragraph is aligned right, which just throws everything off. Got it.
Lastly is proximity. Proximity is space, how close and how far things are from each other. In some instances, proximity can help orphans, or widowed writing. Thankfully, the Weebly site changes the proximity of my writing automatically so I’m not having to worry about the alignment of this blog. Thanks, Weebly!
Photo from

We also went over the elements of typography. The main principle I learned about typography is that in a design, you should normally stick with 2-3 font families. I also learned the difference between serif and san-Serif fonts. I know that this font I’m using is a san-serif, because it doesn’t have “feet.” Typography can either help or hurt a design, so it’s important to make sure fonts don’t detract from a design’s message.

I’m excited to use all that I’ve learned thus far from PR Publications and begin designing. But, for now, I’ll stick with watching Lynda tutorials.