Elon Alumnae Julia Altott Event, "Life After Elon"
In CUPID Studio, a workshop-style course providing students with hands-on practice to develop rhetorical skills while working with real clients, a classmate and I created a flyer for a speaking event on campus. We were not given any specifications regarding design or content, other than to include the obvious information detailing where and when the event was to be held. We gathered as much information about the event and speaker as we could find. We also observed flyers posted around campus to get a better idea of how to create an eye-catching visual that would stand out among the others while effectively relaying information to the Elon community.
This was my first fairly open-ended design assignment, so the choices I made were thought out extensively and did not come as second-nature as they would now.
Because of the nature of the event—discussing life after Elon—my partner and I wanted to maintain a level of professionalism while also appealing to the young audience of Elon students and representing a fun-spirited individual. Keeping these intentions in mind, we were careful in choosing color scheme and font. We decided to implement the colors of CUPID to show a connection with the department and a sans-serif font that had a young feel. We used line rules to separate the information for readability purposes and to tie in the color scheme we were implementing.
We chose the words included on the flyer very carefully. We recognized that the medium of a flyer requires conciseness; text heavy flyers do not serve their informative purpose as people will not want to read them. We highlighted the event title, "Life After Elon," to gain student interest. We built our explanation around it, making our description you-centered as to further entice students to attend because we assumed they’d want to know what they could get out of it. We also relied on the assumption that undergraduate students are constantly thinking about what they'll do next; presenting the event as an informal advice session on how to market one's skills in order to succeed after graduation seemed to be the best way to present it.
We included a picture of Altott to enhance the visual appeal and also make the flyer more personal. Luckily for us, the photograph presents Altott in a “fun” light, and makes her look like someone you’d want to get to know and, consequently, hear more about. Her title served the same purpose. Innovation synergist may not mean much to someone glancing at the flyer, but it makes a reader want to find out more, which is why we chose to include it.
I remember spending too much time stressing about the details when working on this project. I didn’t know very much about rhetoric, so I was trying so hard to make sure I consciously thought about each aspect of the flyer in a rhetorical light. I still obsess over details now, but making rhetorical decisions comes more naturally.
If I attempted the assignment again, knowing what I know now, I think I could have created a better document. It is likely I would have approached the rhetorical decisions similarly, but I have more experience with a variety of software programs now and could have used that to create a more visually appealing flyer. I still think the flyer was very effective, though, and feel proud of it as I look back and recall the thought process I went through when creating it.