I worked with Family Abuse Services (FAS) in service learning course Publishing. FAS is a non-profit organization working to aid and prevent domestic violence in Alamance county. My class was divided into half, and each took part in completing a project for the organization. I was part of a group invested in creating a template for FAS’ biannual newsletter. I joined this group originally because of my experiences with Quark Xpress and Adobe InDesign; layout programs have always been interesting to me, but it was a surprise to learn that we could use neither. Working with FAS was my introduction into learning to work with the tools a client or community partner has access to, not just what technology I knew how to use. We created a four page newsletter template and each wrote two articles to be used in the newsletter.
The graphic mode is used to frame additional information on an intra and supra level. Graphic mode on a supra level remarks on the cohesion and unifying of the four page document through the gray and purple colors established in page one. Purple was chose as a color scheme because the purple ribbon recognizes domestic violence. With the graphic mode on an intra level text becomes dependent on shaded boxes (graphic) because it frames the information (intra) rather than treat the box as if it were the main focus (extra level). Incorporating the modes and levels of coding visual communication while mapping out the newsletter made our group critically assess why certain elements of the newsletter were useful. One the first page of the newsletter alone we were able to create placeholders for two stories, the FAS Mission Statement and the Board of Directors list. Although we would have this project for the semester our goal was to create a newsletter template that was uniquely theirs but could be easily edited and used by staff with limited experience with Microsoft Publisher.
Our second goal was to identify and adapt a positive tone when addressing domestic abuse. This was a challenge for our group because none of us had a connection to domestic abuse outside of working with FAS. “Voices” became the name of the newsletter when we changed our tone to that of a domestic abuse survivor. We even were able to include the story of a survivor on page 3.
At the end of the class, my articles were saved for the following newsletter. The experience changed my way of seeing design as being what about what I thought was most visually appealing and more about tone the message is being translated as. The project also opened me up to learning programs used on multiple systems in order to be able to fit the needs of my client in the future.