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Poster (20%, 20 points)


Your task with this project--an infographic poster--is to develop an 11x17 color poster (vertical orientation) that introduces some figure or idea related to writing and rhetoric. This idea is influenced by the impressive collection of infographical posters created by Nathaniel Rivers, Associate Professor at St. Louis University, whose collection of work can be found on Academia and also on his website. You can focus your poster at the scale of an article or book, a key idea (perhaps something significant to your research insterests), or a person. Posters will include both textual and graphical elements (probably icons you either create or find in The Noun Project). As you choose your icons, keep track of where you find them. You do not need to cite them on the poster, but you should include a shortened URL on the poster that links to a Google Doc where you keep a list of the graphical elements you've incorporated. Additional considerations include legibility (i.e., the volume of text and its sizing; typeface selection) and color scheme (visit ColorLovers for palettes).

A draft of the poster is due in class on Monday, March 6. Bring an electronic copy to class for others to review that night. If you wish, you may also bring a printed draft copy to ensure that you are familiar with the printing process and to confirm in advance of the March 20 deadling that all specifications are consistent with the version you intend to prepare for final submission. Bring a final, printed version to class on Monday, March 20. Posters will be turned in electronically as PDFs in Canvas, in your Google Folder (shared with Derek), and by adhering the poster to the wall in Pray-Harrold 313 in class on the night of the 20th.

[Added] If you wish, you can develop a larger poster, such as 18x24, though printing will cost extra. As you develop your poster, you might find it helpful to visit this set of tutorials developed for the First-year Writing Program.

As the following video demonstrates, it is possible to develop the entire poster in PowerPoint. However, you may wish to explore other software to refine the graphical elements (e.g., Adobe Illustrator for the icons).

The video tutorial below, "Vectr and Noun Project Poster Icons" steps through the process of selecting an icon in the Noun Project, editing it in Vectr, and incorporating it into your poster template.


The poster is valued at 20 points (20% of your overall grade in the course). It will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  1. Idea/topical synthesis and arrangement: The poster's textual content is focused, coherent, and felicitous with the featured idea or topic. Elements are arranged purposefully, either hierarchically or adhering to some other rationale.
  2. Legibility: Text is readable from a distance of ten feet; all textual elements can be read. Visual elements are rendered cleanly (i.e., no visible image distortion or jagginess).
  3. Conceptual coherence: Discernable relationships/amplifcations between image and text.
  4. Contrast and aesthetics: Color scheme, type, and graphical elements reflect awareness of choices, consideration of reviewer input.

Each criterion listed above will be evaluated on the following scale:


EX: Exceptional. Applied the criterion with distinction.
AC: Acceptable/meets expectations. Applied the criterion to a satisfactory degree.
NI: Needs improvement. Minimally applied the criterion in the project.
NA: Not applied. Criterion was not applied.

N.b. This project sketch remains in-progress and may reflect more detail as you and your colleagues pose questions. Due dates will not change. -DM

Contact Information

Derek N. Mueller, PhD
Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing
Director of Composition
Department of English
Virginia Tech
Office: 315 Shanks Hall
Spring 2019 Office Hours: T, 12-3
Phone: +1-734-985-0485

"We need to become irritated at our favorite theories and theorists and tired of our usual list of visual objects. Visual studies should be ferrociously difficult, as obdurate and entangled in power as the images themselves. Complacency on that score leads back toward the fun house of aimless impressionistic writing about the joys of contemporary consumerism. There is so much more out there waiting to be understood" (201). James Elkins, "Envoi," Visual Studies: A Skeptical Introduction

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