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Summer Workshops : Design and Making

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Get the skills you need to bring your personal or professional creative projects to life! Learn the basics of media, audio, and video editing. Explore infographics, zine design, and printmaking.

Intro to Visual Design Principles and Elements

June 30 @ 11am - 12pm

Come and join us for an overview of the What and the Why questions around visualizing data. We will also review guidelines for good practices, and apply them in critiquing visualizations. In addition, you will create your own data visualization for a dataset and we will review a few submissions at the end of the session.

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Workshop Materials and Media:
Tools and Sources Mentioned During Workshop:
Video:
This is a wonderful, short video explaining the fundamentals of graphic design in a fun and entertaining way.  This is part of a series called "Beginning Graphic Design" which you can find at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpQQipWcxwt8vVzFpoJS5TtCh8Ktke9TH

Blog and Social Posts:

Books:

For a deeper dive...

Recommended Authors: Ellen Lupton, Edward Tufte, Michael Beirut, Steven Heller

Additional Online Resources: Please log in with PennKey and Password for access. 

  • The O'Reilly E-Book Collection - https://franklin.library.upenn.edu/catalog/FRANKLIN_9931899103503681
    Many great books and textbook-style manuals that cover a multitude of topics.  There are a good assortment about design principles and fundamentals as well many practical, how-to guides about software applications for design.
  • LinkedIn Learning - http://linkedinlearning.upenn.edu/
    Numerous videos including some series that cover foundational information for visual and graphic design.  There are entire courses focused on the topic as well as standalone videos.  Just use the search box to bring up the many options available.  
Research Help:

If you'd like research assistance on these topics, staff at the Fisher Fine Arts Library (https://www.library.upenn.edu/finearts) are available to assist you.  You can email Fisher Fine Arts staff at finearts@pobox.upenn.edu.  

Introduction to Illustrator: Scientific Diagrams

Wednesday, June 17 | 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Do you have data you want to share with the world, but get stuck whenever you leave Powerpoint? Lexi Voss, Visualizationist for the Penn Biomedical Library, will walk you through the basics of Illustrator and get you on the path to professional diagrams and figures.

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Zines

Thursday, July 9th  |  5:00pm - 6:00pm

This zine-making workshop will begin with a short presentation about what a zine is, what it can accomplish, and some of the simplest and easiest ways to make one for beginners. In brief, a “zine” can be defined as a DIY magazine, created outside of the confines of a typical mass-produced, commercial magazine such as TIME or LIFE. A zine can be many things: a self-published collection of poems, a collectively produced educational resource on prison reform, an artist’s sketchbook, and much more. We draw inspiration from small, independent, collectively-produced zines that are easily distributed so as to educate, inspire, and agitate such as the activist and art zines found in the Barnard Zine Library. But of course, zines can also be personal, journalistic, creative outlets that anyone and everyone can quickly and easily put together and be proud of.

Following the presentation, we'd love for you to stick around to work on your zine and chat or ask questions! You may want to use your zine to tell a story of your current life and experiences under quarantine, but feel free to make your zine about anything you choose!

If you would like to make a zine during the workshop, the minimum materials you will need are just a writing utensil and paper. We will show you how to make an 8-page mini-zine by folding one sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper, but you can use any paper you'd like.

Optional fun/helpful supplies:

  •     Scissors and/or x-acto knife
  •     Glue
  •     Magazines to cut up
  •     Colorful pens, markers, or pencils
  •     Stamps and ink
  •     Washi tape
  •     Stencils
  •     Stapler or needle and thread

 

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Designing Your Research Poster

Wednesday, June 24  |  2:00pm - 3:00pm

This workshop emphasizes poster design principles, what sections to include in your poster, best practices for using color and graphics, understanding your audience, how to simply your charts and graphs, grabbing the attention of the viewer, presenting your poster to an audience, and more.

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Making Your Photos Better in Photoshop

Thursday, June 25 | 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Let’s get started with Adobe Photoshop by adopting a simple workflow to improve your photographs. This workshop will cover basic photo editing techniques including cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast, enhancing colors, and removing distracting elements from images. Learn to emphasize focus and details in your photographs, use adjustment layers, and more!

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Data Visualization: Tips and Best Practices

Tuesday, June 30 | 11:00am - 12:00pm

Come and join us for an overview of the What and the Why questions around visualizing data. We will also review guidelines for good practices, and apply them in critiquing visualizations. In addition, you will create your own data visualization for a dataset and we will review a few submissions at the end of the session.

Register

Your First Podcast (Basics of Podcasting)

Tuesday, June 30 | 1:00pm - 2:00pm

The focus of this workshop is on the practical aspects of creating a podcast. We will discuss how to choose the right equipment for your needs, as well as cover best practices for recording interviews both online and in-person. Learn to use the program Audacity to edit, repair, and arrange your recordings; add an introduction, background music, and other professional-sounding touches. We will also demonstrate how to upload a podcast to iTunes. Whether you want to showcase interviews, read poetry to your audience, or do product reviews, this workshop will help get you started telling your story.

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Making Type at Home: From the Potato to the Linoleum Block

Tuesday, June 30 | 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Explore techniques to make your own type at home in this demo-based workshop. We’ll explore a range of materials you can use for relief printing -- from craft foam to linoleum to erasers to the classic potato. Our focus will be on materials you may have at home, or can find at a craft store. We’ll also talk about other ways to manufacture type. Does 3D printing make good type? What about laser cutting? Join Common Press for virtual office hours on Thursday, July 2 with any follow up questions. A supply list will be posted and emailed out in advance. Join along, or take notes for follow up on your own time. There will be ample time for questions.

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Make a Book

Tuesday, July 7 | 6:30pm - 7:15pm
Tuesday, July 14 | 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Learn to sew a handmade book with stiff covers in this two session workshop, using either traditional binding materials or upcycled materials found around the home (a few additional supplies may be needed). We will use a classic sewn-on-tapes stitch that's been used for hundreds of years to create blank journals that can be used for writing, gifts, or as a model for future art books. Depending on the materials you choose, this can have an elegant or a funky upcycled look.

A list of materials is available here:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZzL9-gYLrptLW9oIqd86Epi4jrCOjU29NNQ0Rv420a0/edit?usp=sharing

You should plan to have all materials for our July 7 session. You can email the press with any questions.

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Printing at Home: Printing with Styrofoam

Thursday, July 16 |  6:30pm - 7:30pm

Join us for a demonstration of an easy way to make printing plates from styrofoam, such as the trays used to package food items. A supply list can be found at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1soXsubzi1o5MwCuJ32SsQymfJa-WCvr0VzFANktQW2I/edit?usp=sharing. Follow along, or take notes for follow up on your own time. There will be ample time for questions.

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Japanese Stab Binding Book

Tuesday, July 22 | 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Create a book in the Japanese tradition. We will learn several variations on the stab binding stitch, from simple to more decorative stitches. This structure is great for binding together single flat sheets.

A list of materials is available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gR2e2YUY9TnM9H0F99p1zLta-ipiVQubq7HMSLh_gcU/edit?usp=sharing

Sign up early and start gathering materials so that you have everything on hand for this July 22 session. You can email the press with any questions.

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