Top 10 Things I Learned in PR Publications!

2 12 2009

This semester, there are a multitude of new things that I have learned thanks to Professor Barbara Nixon. I have gathered together a list of the things I found most important throughout the semester.



29 11 2009

In Chapter 7 of the textbook Strategic Publications: Designing for Target Publics by LInda P. Morton, the author goes through the in’s and out’s of designing a brochure.

1.)  “The first step is to make format decisions including paper size, number and type of folds.” Decide in what way you will distribute your brochure. If you want to send it through the mail then you will need to make sure it meets mailing regulation sizes. A typical business envelope is 9 1/2 by 4 1/4 inches, so one will need to make sure that the brochure will easily fit inside.

2.)  The second step is to “decide on the number, shape and treatment of panels. Each side of a fold is called a pannel.” The book talks about four different ways you can fold a brochure:

  • The first is called a gate fold.  This is where the inner section is twice as big as the outer two.  As you can see in the picture below, this type of fold opens like a gate.
  • The second type is called a tri-fold.  This is the most commonly used way to fold a brochure.  The right panel will fold over the inside panel, and then the left panel over the right, as show below.  Chances are if you have ever picked up a brochure, this is probably the type you have looked at.
  • The third kind is a french fold.  This is where the paper is folded in fourths and opens up like you would a map.
  • The fourth kind of fold the book talks about is a book fold.  Which is folded in half like a book.

There are a number of other ways to fold a brochure that the book does not talk about.  Here is a link to many other folding options.

3.)  The third step “is to select margin and gutter options and add them to your comprehensives.”  You want even margins on each panel and you will need to make sure the words to not get folded in the panels.  “Allowing an equal margin on each side of folds, results in the gutters between each panel being twice as large.  The following suggestions help to avoid this problem:”

  • “Trim the outside edges of the paper after it’s printed so that doubling outside margins leaves small gutters at folds.”
  • “Treat every other panel as a bleed so that the entire gutter is folded to go with surrounding panels.”
  • “Treat panels that are viewed together as spreads that cross gutters.”

4.)  The fourth step is to determine and prioritize the brochure’s content.  Choose the most important information and place that on the cover panel and work your way down from there.

5.)  The fifth step is to create thumbnails of how you want your brochure to look.  Make sure you make multiple thumbnails so you can choose your best design.  This is almost like doing a pre-rough draft.  You can eliminate some of your biggest design problems by simply laying out your design before you actually start on the brochure itself. Keep in mind the multiple design elements such as :
-Unity- the ability for all itmes in a layout to appear as one visual unit
-Alignment- refers to the layout of items along invisible but easily identified lines.
• “Horizontal alignment places emphasized items of a layout straight from left to right, creating a visual line horizontally on the page.”
• “Vertical alignment places emphasized items of a layout straight fromt op to bottom, creating a visual line vertically on the page.”
• “Diagonal alignment places emphasized items of a layout from a high position on one side to a ow position on the other side, creating a visual line diagonally on the page/”
• “Curved alignment place emphasized items of a layout in a curved pattern often outlining curved art. This creates a visual curved line on the page.”
-Proximity- refers to unifying items by placing them physically close on a page.
-Harmony/Consistency- refers to treating items similarly on a page or throughout publication.
-Direction- refers to using design items to direct the eye from one item or unit to another
-Proportion- the size relationship of one item or unit to others or to the whole.
-Contrast- the element that permits one item to stand out clearly from others.
-Rhythm- suggests a flowing quality and assists readers’ eyes in moving from one item to another.
-White Space- frames and helps hold the design together.

Quotes gathered from Strategic Publications: Designing for Target Publics

The Importance of a Business Card

28 11 2009

In PR Publications, our class learned about the importance of a well designed business card.  The card should always represent what the business or organization stands for.

Information that can be included on a business card:

  • Your name
  • Your business/organization’s name
  • Email
  • Phone Number
  • Address

Often times it is helpful to create a card that has a less tradition approach to its design.  Examples such as having a round card rather than a rectangle.  Anything that catches the eye can often make a good impression in professions that involve design.

Here is a link to some interesting business.

One helpful program to help with creating a business card of your own is Adobe InDesign

While the video above (from the movie American Psycho) is obviously a humorous exaggeration on how important a business card is, you should always have one that is eye-pleasing.  In every business situation you should always have a card handy.  Whether you are going to an interview or have met someone in the same field as you, it is always helpful to have one to give to others.  A business card makes a wonderful impression and serves as a remind of who you are, what you do, and who you are affiliated with.

Here are “10 Powerful Networking Tips Using Business Cards” by Carl E. Ried that might aid you in your professional endeavors.

Below is a powerpoint I got from SlideShare that offers helpful hints to creating a “killer” business card.

Dirty Jobs: Lithography

1 11 2009

In Barbara Nixon’s PRCA 3339 we watched Dirty Jobs starring Mike Rowe.  In the episode we watched, he was shown the process of creating a lithograph.  “A lithograph is an authorized reproduction of a piece of artwork, map, or text that has been created using a distinctive printing process” (definition from

While most naturally think of the show to be one that involves intensely disgusting (almost gag-worthy) scenarios, this one proved to be somewhat different and actually far more interesting than the typical stomach turning episodes.  “Why would we watch a television show such as this in a PR Publications class?”, one might ask.  Well because publications involve works such as brochures, flyers, business cards, etc., lithography fits right in.

At the beginning of the episode, the workers show Mike exactly what a lithograph is because many people do not know.  Further throughout the show you find why this subject is on dirty jobs.  He has to mix the colors for the lithograph, and this takes more work than one would think and, as the name of the show suggests, you get quite dirty.  Another reason why this is on Dirty Jobs is because after the printing of the lithograph, there is a certain way one must take the paper out and if you do it the wrong way, you can hurt yourself, others, or multiple lithographs.  This is a job where you must make sure everything you do is right.  As the worker on the show explained, you must never make a mistake.  So take into account his words, this is no “walk in the park” type of job!  This is hard work.

The episode was quite entertaining and I recommend it to anyone interested in lithography.


26 10 2009

PhotographyAfter completing the course “The Language of the Image” offered by Poytner NewsU, I was reminded about a great deal of information about photography.  About two years ago, I took a photography course at Georgia Southern University and learned a lot about photography, but along the way had forgotten a lot of it.  By taking this course, I was reminded of many of the elements of good photography.

To begin with, the course explains the different types of photos including information, passive and active.  An informational photo is just as the name suggests.  It is simply a photo that is for informational purposes; to show what a person, place, or situation looks like.  A passive photo is one that is taken for a publication.  It is when someone sets up the photo to make it look as pleasing as possible.  Active photos are photos of situations that have actually taken place.  Magazines and newspapers use this type of photography a lot.  They are best for photojournalism because they show the situation taking place.

The course then goes on to talk about “single elements”.  It goes through a number of vocabulary words and gives examples of pictures for each including graphic, quality of light, emotion, juxtaposition, mood, sense of place, point of entry, impact, rule of thirds, perspective, suprise, layering, moment, and personality portrait.  (to learn more about these elements, visit

Next comes the topic of “multiple elements” within photography.  This is when a photographer uses multiple elements that were mentioned above to make the story in the picture more interesting.

The last topic covered in the course is “different approach”.  It talks about how there are opposite approaches you can take to photographic birth, drought, funeral, skulls, and swimmers.  These each can be looked at from two different angles.

What surprised me while taking this course is that there are so many different ways to look at photography.  I think thatlarge_janiceguy many people are fooled to believe that taking a photo is just basically pointing a camera and clicking, but in actuality, there are many things that should be taken into consideration when trying to take a good picture.

After completing the course, I would like to learn more about black and white photography.

Putting Color In A Shape on InDesign

19 10 2009

When one first gets introduced to Adobe InDesign, the program can seem quite complicated.  There are so many different little actions that can be done that even the simplest of things can easily be forgotten or confused with other actions.  What I would like to explain to you is how to put color in a shape as well as put color on the border.

1.)  First, Open Adobe InDesign

2.)  Then Create a new document

3.)  Select a shape from the toolbar on the left (rectangle, ellipse, or polygon tool)

4.)  Go to the bottom of the tool bar and double flick “fill” (It will be a white square with a red diagonal line through the center)

5.)  A box will appear with a multitude of colors.  Use this to choose the color for your shape

****To Put Color on the Outline of a Shape:

1.)  Double click “stroke” (which will be to the right of the “fill” tool–it is a square with a black line around it)

And there you go!  You have put color within an object and learned how to change the color of the outline of the object!

While these are simple steps, it is always helpful to have a reminder in the little process of things within these types of programs.


28 09 2009


When a designer is trying to make a decision of which font to choose, they should “select font options that reinforce your key organization’s identity and deliver its key message effectively to the target public.”

Linda P. Morton explains that the best option is usually to use a more conservative font, however for Generation X and Y enter into the business field, less conservative fonts may become more popular for letterheads.

The typical font size for a business card is usually 7 points or under, but anything that fits on the 3.5 x 2 card will work as long as all of the necessary information is included.

For a brochure, the typical font size would be about 12, but at the same time it is appropriate to have a variety of font sizes depending on the design you choose.

There are actually many more fonts than InDesign shows you and most of them can be found on the internet.  The best and most reliable (and legal) source to find tons of fonts is at .

For directions on how to download fonts for both Microsoft and Mac users, please visit this site:

For Questions about, visit their FAQ page.

Strategic Publications:  Designing for Target Publics by Linda P. Morton