Sunday, September 07, 2008

Cover Shots - updated

So I now live in fear of three "shorties" posts in a row, so much so that I posted images from this entry last night to keep that from happening knowing I would come back and and later. Sad.

As I posted earlier, I submitted my review binders a couple of days ago. They firmly live in the world of "never finished, only published" as when they went it there were still hundreds of little tweaks I could have done. I'd started out this time thinking I would make the whole thing into three .pdf files and then have them printed, two sided on glossy paper, full bleed and then book bound rather than do the binder thing again. I didn't.

Still, I try to wind up with something polished and professional. This time around there's only one entry in all of the binders that's a xerox, and I only did that because the xerox machine can automatically do 2 into 1 printing and I could not figure out how to do it faster with an original. Everything that has color in it gets printed in color, and all the photos and this time some of the simpler images went on photo paper. In my every day life I try to stick to one or two fonts and that helps these aggregations a lot. Last round I put out such a nice package that the next several people to come up got a "go see David" instruction from my boss. For a few weeks I thought maybe graphic design might be a good direction for me.

The covers. Last time I used photos, they seemed to properly indicate my involvement in the program and a certain lightheartedness. This time that didn't feel right. When I turned these in I saw that the other binders that were there already hadn't done much of anything coverwise. So I guess really I didn't have to do anything, but I do think that coming up with something interesting helps the case - as much as maybe it shouldn't - and every little bit helps.

As the previous post said, I used the Wordle web app to generate the cover images. The cool part though was determined by the text sources used to make the app go. The range and size of the words it picks are determined by the composition of the source text. All in all I think these came out real neat. The first binder is anchored by my personal statement, so I used the personal statement to make the image:

While I was procrastinating leading up to the project I kept thinking it would be necessary to go through the source documents and remove any word I didn't want to appear. It probably would have made sense to delete: needs, never, accusations, and insular from the document. Looking at the whole composition though I don't think it was fatal.

The second binder deals a lot with service, so for the source text there I used the PTM Option Briefing to the School of Drama Advisory Board - of which I was the author:

Turns out many of the same problem words are here, things like without, unable... Still I think it says something that my personal statement of teaching philosophy and the option report to the advisory board live in such a close world of language (alright, it says I wrote them both and have a limited vocabulary). To me that indicates a real positive relationship between myself and the program. I guess it's up to the various committees to decide if a positive correlation ultimately is a positive thing.

I think the third cover came out the best. Volume three is largely a portfolio, so I used my resume as the source text:

This one has some things that come out as cryptic, but nothing that really looks negative. I particularly like how "positively-engaged" shows up, having nothing in the source text to do with me as a person: "a positively-engaged tracking system" but yet still complimenting me in the new context.

If you haven't, you should click on the images to see them full size. They are really cool.

I went a little more conventional on the back cover:

I used the same image on all three volumes on the backs. I think it conveys a nice sense of the breadth of my career as a professor. I'd briefly thought about going back to photos here, but this seemed more professional.

Is it odd that in some ways composing this package seems like doing a brochure for myself?

I hope not. In the end I carried that theme all the way to its logical conclusion, composing a "but wait! there's more! kinda page for the inside from cover:

Would you tenure that person?

Last time in my personal statement I had done a "I'd like to draw the committee's attention to these specific items" thing. I didn't do that this time, so I thought this teaser page would do the job. Maybe I'll get lucky and they won't even look at anything after scanning that page. Only time will tell.

How much time? I am lead to believe the school decision will be made by the end of October, college by November, and then the University sometime in the early spring. Cross you fingers with me.

1 comment:

Joey said...

What site did you make those on?