Week 2


Tech Check

  1. Problems with Blogs?
  2. Let's quickly update the homepage


Medium is the Massage

  • Discuss blog posts on McLuhan.
  • Visual rhetoric versus visual poetics

Katie and Marissa on McLuhan : What makes this effective rhetoric or poetics? page image

Poetry Broadsides


“Broadsides” may feature poems or other literature, but also have a history of including political texts, sometimes verging on advertising. As you look at how they are composed / designed, you'll also notice some period styles and elements reflective of the technology used to produce them (letterpress, lithograph, typewriter, mimeo/xerox, and desktop publishing). They may be designed as limited-edition “art objects” or as public texts to hang on the wall.


1 Choose an example to discuss with a partner in class. What do you like about the text? How does the visual / material aspect of the broadside shape its meaning or the viewer's experience?

Gallery of Broadsides and Visual Poems

2 Reverse-engineer a prompt for this broadside


  1. Bob Cobbing's Grin: Take a powerfully emotional word, then write 4-5 permutations (words that are spelling similarly or rhyme or someone closely relate); then arrange on the page in a way that leads the eye or represents the emotion. Sherwood visual poem
  1. In class writing

Draft a possible broadside text in response to one of the prompts above.


Read: Kyle Schlesinger, A Look At Some Contemporary Poetry Broadsides http://www.thevolta.org/ewc29-kschlesinger-p1.html
Review Gallery of Broadsides and Visual Poems and choose one example that inspires you.
Compose a a short, original text (or re-envision something you have previously written) which might be suitable for a broadside. Then in your blog post discuss what kind of visual goals you might bring to designing one for it. (What I mean here is … don't design it yet, but think along Schlessinger's lines about whether you want display font, integrated image, etc.)


Discussion of Broadside Texts

Groups of three; peer reactions; revision suggestions.
What are the “special” requirements of a broadside suitable text?

Brief discussion: Broadside

Crayon Time

Make several (at least three) quick sketches illustrating how ou might want your broadside to look.

Tech Time

Introducing Adobe InDesign
Desktop publishing tools have much more flexibility than MS Word or Google Docs. When designing a broadside, poster, or other print publication, you want to have absolute control over the look and placement of the type. It is NOT simpler; no one would use In Design for writing and revising a course paper. BUT it gives you total control AND encourages you to think precisely about how the visual aspect of your work complements the content.

  • Creating a document
    1. paper size (Tabloid / 11×17)
    2. Adding a grid / rulers
    3. Setting a Background (gradiant)
    4. Making and moving Text Blocks
    5. Working with Layers



  1. Make a revision to your design sketch and/or the text (content) for your broadside. Post notes (and images?) to your blog to show your process. Your text must be finalized by Tuesday