Week 3: Using Canva for graphics & stories

Before we start, let’s have a quick look at visual hierarchy, and how our eyes move around an image.

How we see

The way we as humans see the whole of a thing instead of its parts – Gestalt psychology – is key to understanding the principles of good design.

With Gestalt psychology in mind, consider now the fundamental elements of design (and how they apply to some epic and very recognisable brands!):

Finally, Canva has an excellent outline of its 20 essential design elements. They’re illustrated (natch) so they’re easy to understand 🤓

  1. Make a simple design using Canva to promote the Off Campus site, TAFE Radio, or your own WordPress and social sites. Your design should be optimised for reading on a mobile screen, and should be made using a mobile.
  2. Take a story in the news and turn it into an infographic. A couple of excellent examples are The WSJ’s The Depth of the Problem, which shows how difficult the search for the missing aircraft MH370 was, and Inside the mind of Kanye West by columnfivemedia. Some examples from former students are here, here, here, and here. (Notice how the stories that really suit infographics are often explainers – what is happening, who’s involved – or how tos – recipes, how to change a tyre, etc.)
  3. Please upload your work into your class exercise folder and pick your best examples for placing into the Stories for Off Campus folder (create a folder in there in your name, and pop your story inside). If you’re pitching for Off Campus or the social sites, email Verity to let her know 🥰

Journalism students note: these exercises may be submitted as part of your News Conference portfolios for assessment 😊


Tools for building graphics

    • Design templates: Canva
    • 60 awesome free tools (via Canva, including info on where to find illustrations, photographs, fonts and more)

Infographics and stories

More really useful video tutorials from the series “Beginning Graphic Design”



Layout and Composition



And finally, Principles of Design: Rhythm


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