EGC: THE GRAPHIC PROCESS

This unit talks about the Graphics Process.

Formulation of Design Policy

If you do not have a design policy that guides you, you are not likely going to be a successful designer. Designers and sub editors should have a design policy that is based on the needs of their audience. If you have a youthful audience, it is likely that your designs will make use of tiny and small letters without too much harm being done, and without the audience complaining about you. But if you have an elderly audience, you should be mindful that using small sizes of fonts will be detrimental. Therefore, it should be your policy that bold and bigger fonts should be used.

Defining your audience can be achieved in several ways. The demographic and income approaches are usually the most preferred. Here you are able to determine the age range of your audience members, and how much they are worth. It is vey important, however, to explore the psychographic approach where you are able to determine the lifestyle, behavior, opinions, activities cultural values, expectations as well as, the profile of the loyalty of your audience. This behavioral segmentation is very crucial because the knowledge of it helps media organisations deploy the necessary strategies for survival and profit.

Another critical element that must be determined in your research is the profile of visual literacy of your audience. This task proceeds on the basis that you yourself are visually literate. Visual literacy involves the ability of your audience to decode graphics. You also need to determine here, if your audience prefer more texts than visuals or the vice versa and which color they prefer! The issue of choice of colors sounds preposterous but it is true. In Nigeria, for instance, if you use too much of black, you may be giving a graveyard impression, while the green color suggests agriculture and sustainable environment.

Determination of Typography

The next stage in the graphic process is the choice of the typographic that best fits the findings of your audience research. Here, you must select those types that guarantee legibility, readability and communication. Some fonts seem to be emotionally or psychologically important. For instance, some think that when your audience comprises children, you should try using such fonts as Earwig Factory, Waker, Planet Factory 2 and the like. All these things should be considered when determining the appropriate fonts and typefaces for your audience.

There is a caveat here. Typography should not be done only from the point of your audience. The types that you select must be in consonance with your visual production and printings. Some typefaces easily come off upon printing. You wouldn’t want to use that font even if it is so perfect for your audience. The right thing to do is choose the typography that both support your printing and your audience. Fonts that fit the medium will always be available. Also note that typography is not just about choosing fonts. It encompasses a whole lot, including headlining, the white space and visuals.

Orientation of Designers and Sub Editors

The sub editor and the designer must be orientated towards the formulated policy and the selected typography since they are the policy enforcement staff. A staff may be relieved of his or her duty if she does not work in accordance with the guiding policy. A staff sacked for not working according to policy has cost an organisation a substantial damage.

Execution of and Evaluation of Policy

Execution of design policy is the last stage of design process. This is day today execution of the policy and typography. The crux of this task is the manipulation of text, visuals and the white space background. Besides that there should be regular evaluation of the graphics with a view to improving on it.

SOURCE:NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA

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