Often I feel that I teach students all sorts of tricks and techniques to make their work look better, but that they fail to apply them to their work. Some of this is inexperience, but sometimes I think students just believe that it does not make a real different. To try and convince students that this stuff really does make a difference, I asked a class to come up with a fictitious company name (‘Bannnana’) and industry (‘fixing ears’). I then wrote these in Acorn, projected on the white board. With all the students watching I went through a 3 minute example of how to use font controls (font face, font size, kerning, line height, alignment) and colour (drop shadow, font colour, colour gradient) to make a design that has some impact. The resulting change is shown below. I think they now know that design does matter in terms of how people respond to their work: does it look like they just threw something on the page, or does it look considered?
Credits: the font is Grobold from dafont.com. My students chose the yellow colour, which I missed entirely, going for white. Inspired!