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Desktop Publishing. The Art of Sneaky Teaching with Print Projects. Presented by Jerry Smith Office Technology Instructor Breathitt Area Tech Center. Keep It Real. Even the best software tools mean nothing without a distinct purpose Learning to use the software is secondary

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Desktop publishing l.jpg

Desktop Publishing

The Art of Sneaky Teaching with Print Projects

Presented by Jerry Smith

Office Technology Instructor

Breathitt Area Tech Center

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Keep It Real

  • Even the best software tools mean nothing without a distinct purpose

  • Learning to use the software is secondary

  • The best way to achieve a thorough understanding of Desktop Publishing is with good projects

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  • Treat DP as a print promotions class

  • Good promotions focus on specific markets

  • Good projects force the students to consider the audience!

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Presentation Road Map

  • The tools I use

  • Task List

  • Projects

    • Flyers

    • Brochures

    • Magazine Covers/Ads

    • Banners

    • Posters

    • Calendars

  • Children’s Book

  • Newsletters

  • CD Labels/Covers

  • Letterheads

  • Order Forms/Invoices

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The Tools I Use

  • Adobe Indesign CS

  • Indesign CS Classroom in a Book

  • Adobe Photoshop

  • Digital Camera

  • Scanner

  • MS Word

  • Google/Yahoo Images (Internet)

  • Imagination!

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A Word on Microsoft Publisher

  • Pros

    • Lots of professional looking templates

    • Interface is very familiar (Microsoft Created)

    • Slim learning curve

  • Cons

    • Underpowered

    • Home-Centric

    • Poor images editing/manipulation

    • Cookie-cutter documents

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  • Students get their feet wet

  • Most basic tools can be learned

  • Small in size and scope to help build confidence

  • Extremely customizable

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Example Flyers

  • Yard Sale (frames)

  • Lost Dog (graphic frames)

  • House for Sale (5 w’s)

  • Grand Opening (shapes)

  • Dr./Dentist/Laywer Office

  • Local Festivals (drawing tools)

  • Most Wanted (digital camera)

  • Concert Promotion

  • Wrestling Promotion

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  • Advanced layout techniques

  • Can contain lots of content

    • Students do the writing

  • More difficult

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Example Brochures

  • Company

  • Theme Resort

  • Career

    • Using the online Occupational Outlook Handbook

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Magazine Covers/Ads

  • Extremely market (audience)-centric

  • Fictitious Magazine Cover targets students unique interests

    • Forces students to put a great deal of information into a small space

  • Ads force students to consider interests of target markets and not just themselves

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Example Magazine Covers/Ads

  • Covers

    • Fictions Theme Magazine

  • Ads

    • Cola Marketing

      • Teens

      • Baby boomers

    • Stickman action figures

      • Students draw poseable stickmen using drawing tools

      • Ad is meant for boys and girls

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  • Great way to foster community involvement

    • Local Festivals

    • Kiwanis

    • Parades

    • Charity Events

  • Requires large format printer (or plotter)

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  • Also fosters community involvement

  • Power Verbs poster for local grade schools

  • Advertising for school events

    • Car Show

    • Open House

    • School Schedules

  • As with banners, requires large format printer

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  • Ultimate project for learning tables

  • Calendar for October, November, December because all the holidays

  • In Indesign, tables are non-intuitive

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Children’s Book

  • Students create a children’s book based on images they find in clipart or on the Internet

  • Sections, pagination options, & master pages

  • Usually 6-8 pages, less than 100 words per page

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Technical Manual

  • Students create a technical manual for a simple task

    • i.e. make a peanut butter sandwich, shaving

  • Utilizes complex book features

    • Indexing, glossary, etc.

  • Students draw illustrations on paper, scan them, and import them into the manual

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  • Excellent group projects

  • Covers all task lists items dealing with columns

  • Can be simple or complex

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Syndicated NewsletterGroup Project

  • Mini-Newspaper

  • Split students into groups of three

  • Have them go to news sites with AP articles and “syndicate” some of the content

  • Gossip column, headline stories, horoscopes, sports, weather, etc.

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Newsletter (cont.)

  • Any content that does not fit must be shortened to fit in the allotted amount of space

  • Students work together to create character and paragraph styles, pick a color scheme, and layout

  • At the end of the projects, team members rate one another

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CD Covers

  • Students create a band, then create the front, inside, and outside cover for a CD case

  • Smaller form-factor project

  • The band info sheet helps students learn how to associate ideas with imagery

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Letterheads & Invoices

  • The beginnings of DP

  • Letterheads are not complex

  • Invoices, timesheets, etc. are usually very complex

    • Usually give students a vanilla copy of an invoice which they must mimic and customize

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Photoshop Remarks

  • Number 1 most important skill: Cutting images out

  • Online tutorials work fine


  • Choose carefully as some are not well written

  • Play with Photoshop yourself

    • If you can’t do it blindfolded, how can you teach your kids?

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Some Photoshop Tutorial Suggestions

  • Create fire text

  • Splice multiple pictures together

  • Model “air brushing”

  • Collage

  • Texture filters

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Things to Remember

  • Walk around the room continuously while the students work on projects

  • Remind students of techniques they have learned

  • Sometimes, point out a design flaw

    • Not always, since students learn from mistakes

  • If a project is going bad, stop and re-introduce in another way

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Things to Remember (cont.)

  • Be patient

    • You didn’t learn DP in one day

  • Nobody is perfect

    • Use constructive criticism

    • Don’t make fun of a student’s work

  • Push, push, push the students to stay on task

  • When a student does good work with good designs, make a HUGE deal out of it

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Thank You!

Any Questions?