Being able to make clear images and animations and using layout skills to make a document easier to read and to follow. Without it, Times New Roman 12 point with no columns rules the world, and we all suffer.
|Can layout a 4 page (A4) newsletter with columns, “pull quotes”, illustrations and cartoons without it looking dreadful, using scribus and with support from a more experienced user
|Can quickly design and implement an eye-catching (but not intrusive) “look for an 8+ page magazine in A4/A5 landscape etc. Able to do this under time constraints with minimal support
|Able to use/explain/justify and innovate in different formats, adopting/adapting things seen in other publications. Able to quickly produce a “mimic” format to demand. Able to develop novices and practitioners in the use of multiple software formats (not just scribus)
|Develop eye-catching work under extreme time pressure independently with minimal assistance and need for “re-dos”. Is aware of current trends and developments in the field, and is able to choose the “useful” ones.
Element Overview Essay
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The reason this is done badly, is because there are so many powerful software packages out there that people think that there’s nothing to it. But graphic design is an art. and people spend a lot of time getting good at it. And a gift to the amateur may not do a bad job, but if you really want something good, you need someone who does this for a living.
The consequences of bad graphic design is you lose credibility. And you lose the attention of people who might otherwise be interested in what you do. You can be too good at graphic design and look too slick where ultimately your legitimacy comes from. What you do at the grassroots as active citizens, not whether you can compete in slickness and glossiness with highly and perhaps overpaid, glib, smug dickheads. I won’t mention any names because there are, of course, libel laws in this country.
So the solutions are for one or two people in your group or to become good at graphic design. This will take time or you can to build alliances with people who are already good at graphic design and who are willing to do bits and pieces of work. For you, in exchange for beer or money or whatever, over time mentoring your folks.