VC Family Album pages
If I was starting teaching now and I knew what I know about this assignment, I would make every student in every class do 3 - 5 of these projects every semester. You get points for each one to encourage students to work toward the maximum possible. Document field trips, speakers, assignments, best solutions, semester portfolios.
And I would group them into albums. Then I would give the gazillion pages to some outstanding Special Collections focused on education. Princeton would be a good one because John Nash taught there and the photo at the top is from the results of this assignment done by Ari Garber (VC'05) produced because we watched the movie, about John Nash, as an in-class event.
in every instance students work as solitary designers on their pages, though more than one album page may be desired for more important events.
depending on how you think the students will organized themselves and the relative importance of particular events, more than one student might produce a particular album page.
every assignment, focusing on 3 to 7 of the top solutions
every student would do a page for a final portfolio showing all of their final work for every assignment produced in the class
every field trip (maybe 3 students would each do one so we could get different points of view) and I would find excuses to take field trips
every speaker and I would find excuses to get speakers in front of my students and my students in front of speakers
every film viewed in class, and I would show documentaries, feature films, and shorts
an explanation of every textbook and maybe every reading
every weird class and I would find excuses to make them happen
the instructor should generally figure out how many album pages might be produced during a semester. Say there are 20 students and the general desire is for every student to produce 3 album pages which gives you a total of 60 pages in that class in that semester. Each individual student will produce a final portfolio page. If there are 7 different assignments during the semester and you figure you want the top 3 of each assignment documented, along with 2 field trips with every student going, and there are 5 other important in-class events (movies, guest critiques, etc.), and there are 5 other events outside-of class you expect students to attend (movies, guest speakers, etc.). 20 portfolio pages + 21 individual class project solutions + 2 field trips + 5 in-class events + 5 outside-of-class events would total a mimimum of 53 (remember you want 60). You need to double up some of those last events to provide enough for the students.
And I would add this on top of everything else you are doing, not instead of some things. The students will learn how to plow through these things pretty quickly and the restrictions should reduce the overall effort.
NOTE: Students will complain, but you can help them find ways to get a lot of result from little work. The example at the top was given to a good student who was producing the album page for the movie “A Beautiful Mind” that I showed in class. He was complaining about how he just didn’t have time. He was a great student and I wanted to help him understand how a design decision could reduce the time. Writing these pages can take a while if they need to be written well with lots of words. So, let’s just set the DVD in the computer, set the captions to be on, and just screengrab every set of words in the most important scene in the movie. Organize them into a grid and it was pretty much done in a little less than 3 hours.
In the end, it would be the best and most thorough journal about teaching that ever existed. Starting day number 1 and going through day number ?
The idea for the project came from Rose DiSanto (VC'83) who was teaching a course for us, replacing another faculty member on sabbatical. It was a project set up with a heap of rules.
11" x 17"
A rule ran horizontally right through the middle of the page
main typefaces were Didot and Avenir
seek inventive design while working in an unforgiving format under a lot of restrictive rules
VC family album
Individual pages may have specific guidelines or needs. For instance a page about a writing class might need more words, but a page about a photographer might need more images.
Click here for an index of some examples (appears to the right) of pages designed by Ray Nichols to see some design issues he thought were important for those events.
It is important to remember that pages can be used in three ways.
As pages in the mother VC family album where it will be one of probably 200 pages per book and then multiple books that will develop over upcoming years.
A page for an event can be used as a thank you. The pages are 17" x 11" but are printed on 19" x 13" sheets. This provides some blank area around the image so that participants in the event can sign the page. The page will then be given to people to be thanked. Hopefully, they will keep it around and be reminded of their interaction with us.
A set of pages can be gathered and used as a mini-book with a particular focus. This can also be given as a thank you. A good example is the VC / London trip. We will do individual pages for all of our visits (which will be given to them) along with a set of all of the pages to the Center for International Studies as a document recording the trip. We might also keep a separate book in VC for students to look at without having to deal with the mother-of-all-journals version.
One additional point worth making is the importance for subjects for such pages so that we will have an excuse to design them. It is the design experience we are looking for. The rest of it is just helpful to do.
You'll need 3 stuffed files (InDesign template and the two dominant typefaces Didot and Avenir) to produce pages using these rules and guidelines.
ALL pages in the book MUST:
be created in InDesign from templates provided (page size 17" x 11" horizontal only) and use provided stylesheets whenever logical and possible
be designed with a safe area (within where text falls) which falls on a 12p margin from left side trim and 3p margin from top, bottom and right side trim
text must incorporate any details which are necessary to placing the page content into the correct context as part of the VC history story (date, their participants / titles, VC participants, place, etc.
include a .2 pt horizontal rule always centered (33p below top trim) across the page ( the rule is locked into template). There are instances when you might rather have the rule pass behind an image.
have one headline set in Didot Roman (see image below), 48 point, 100% black and positioned vertically as dictated by the supplied master page using the appropriately supplied stylesheet. The bottom serifs of the type align tangentially with the .2 rule with the typography in front. The headline may be positioned anywhere along the line.
incorporate 1 – 3 characters (no more or less) in any font other than Didot Roman in any form. It is important to choose a font that contributes to the design of the page. Additional care should also be taken with sizing and kerning the type.
incorporate a single line of explanatory type in Avenir Black, 12 pt, any color, which must sit just under (the .2 rule must align with the x-height of the text as dictated by the supplied master page) the horizontal rule using the appropriately supplied stylesheet. The text may fall anywhere along that line
Below is what the type looks like together. The Didot sits exactly on the rule and the Avenir Black explanatory line is in front.
set all main body text in Avenir Book (click here to see Avenir Book) 8.5 / 12, 70% black, with an extra 3 points between paragraphs using the appropriately supplied stylesheet
As a general rule columns of text should align vertically and horizontally (there are instances when you might want to break this rule, but without such an intent this rule should apply)
print on the front of super A3 size Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper (19" x 13") and trim to 17" x 11"
must show a credit line which begins with "Page design:" and ends with " / DEsigners." There are spaces on both sides of the "/". Following the colon, specific tasks performed by others is to be listed (i.e., Page design: Raymond Nichols; retouching: Hendrik-Jan Francke; copy: Bernie Herman; photography: Bill Deering."
All pages in the book CAN:
care must be taken to use understandably named files and supporting images
files should be well-organized in appropriate folders
the designer of any page must supply a folder containing all images (typically, at least 300 dpi at the size used) and any typefaces used beyond Avenir and Didot to the caretaker of the VC family album master copy pages (typically in the form of a CD with all of the appropriate files)