Here’s my first poster attempt using Smore.
Here’s my final Glogster poster.
Discuss the tool you selected for your finished product, and why you chose this tool. You might mention any comparisons with other tools during the practice stage.
For my project, I tried three different digital apps – Smore, Canva, and Glogster. I chose the poster I created in Glogster as my final product. What I liked most about this tool was the flexibility it afforded me in being able to completely customize a template to get the feel that I wanted. In Glogster, I could create a poster completely from scratch (which I did) or use parts of an original template (which I tried). In Glogster, I loved how you had several options for changing the font style, color and size. This was one of the biggest limitations in Smore; for the headline, you had about 3 different font options, but for the rest of the text, you were only able to make it bold, italics or underlined. While you couldn’t change the font style, color, or size at all in Smore, you could in Canva.
What really aggravates me about Smore is that it forces you to order the different pieces of your poster in a very linear fashion. You had to drag the components (text, video, event, image, etc.) into the poster, but then you were only able to stack each of these components on top of each other. In Glogster, on the other hand, you could shift all of these components anywhere you wanted on the page, adding to the creativity and making it easier to create an aesthetically pleasing design. Certain features in Smore, especially, were very non-customizable; for instance, the event box was very scripted and you were unable to change the layout regarding how these event details (who, what, when, where, etc.) appeared.
Canva was highly frustrating because there were very few “free” text boxes, images, and layouts you could use, which meant you had to import a lot of original content; ultimately, I gave up on Canva for this very reason because it made the program far too limiting. In Glogster, you could import content; however, there was a much wider selection of text boxes and images you could readily use that were free. Another aggravating feature about Canva is that you are not able to upload video or sound as far as I could tell, only images. And once you imported images or clip art, it seemed like the controls for re-sizing these images and adding different colored borders and frames were very restricting.
Describe your experience in using the app you selected. Did you feel your creativity was supported or constricted? How so?
As mentioned, I felt my creativity was pretty well supported in Glogster. For instance, I was able to replace the originally very scary Jack-o-lantern faces with not-so-scary, imported pumpkin clip art. I was able to move all elements (images, text boxes, etc.) around freely. However, one of the bigger limitations I had was being forced to scale my imported clip art and the text boxes to predetermined proportioned sizes. If it was up to me, I would have made the pumpkin clip art images longer instead of more squarish, but it wouldn’t let me do this; I would have also made the rope text box wider and narrower. I finally decided to create a poster without using a template because as nice as it was to have the templates make everything seem so easy, it really restricted your creative thinking about you to design a poster that really conveyed the feel you were intending. I was also limited to using only the text box styles that were available with the program; while there were a lot of options, there didn’t seem to be many that really created a Halloween feel, but at least I could make all the text boxes look uniform in design. One of the really cool features I could add with Glogster was creating colored, shadowed box frames around all the images and then blur all of the font to create a spooky feel.
Address your reasoning for using specific media in the poster. How did your plans for images, fonts, layout, etc. turn out?
I really liked that I was able to embed a video for the two Halloween activities that were a little more involved (DIY slime and make your own scary potion). This really helps patrons get a clearer idea of what these activities involve to entice them to come and to help them gauge whether or not these activities are appropriate for their kids. I think my Fertigo font style looked relatively spooky and I liked how the black background accentuated the white, orange and green font color scheme. Because I was proportionally restricted by how much I could re-size the imported images text boxes, I do feel the poster might look a little crowded in places; however, I tried to balance the composition by positioning a video, image, and text box clip on the left and the right sides of the poster with one text box and image in the center and two equally sized pumpkins in each corner. I also wish I could have found a different text box for the Halloween Family Story time title box as the rope just really takes up unnecessary space and doesn’t really add to the Halloween feel; that way, all of the font in the center of the poster could have been bigger as well. And I would have liked to have found some kind of unifying border to go around the whole poster that had a particularly Halloween theme; this would have required eliminating some of the other text boxes or graphics to give the poster a less is more feel. However, I feel all the media and text utilized are crucial for giving the viewer a flavor of what to expect.
Are there alternative media available? If so, why have you opted to use those selected?
Yes, there were certainly different images and videos to choose from. As mentioned, I wanted to find a video for the DIY slime and witches potions so that people could understand what these kinds of projects entailed. The images were all taken directly off Pinterest as exact replicas of all the activities we’d be having, so they were crucial to include as well. The pumpkins provide a more juvenile, less threatening feel for the poster, which is crucial for targeting the audience I intended to come to the event.
What design decisions you made in this project make you most proud? Why? Which ones, if any, would you change? Why?
I liked how I was able to group the text box, image, and video that went together by highlighting each group with the same color blurred border around each element. For instance, the slime video, text box, and image are all united by a similar green color border around each element. The two pumpkins in the corners are held together by a similar color orange border box. This special touch gave the poster some uniformity and cohesiveness. I also thought the three unified wooden text boxes with the pointed arrows really gave the poster some cohesiveness.
I really am not crazy about the green rope text box choice used around the title “Halloween Family Storytime.” I thought it was just way too big of a box, but the font size was just not big enough; again, this had to do with poor proportion limitations. As mentioned, I would have made all of the font in the center of the poster a larger size, taken out a couple images, and added a juvenile Halloween border around the entire poster to simplify the design and make it a bit less cluttered.
How would you use this poster in your library or school? How might this poster fit into other components of an advocacy campaign?
I would print 8 ½” X 11 “ copies of this poster to place around the library (over the water fountain, on the front desk, near the preschool and school age books, and on the front door of the library). It would be really cool to create a QR code for this poster; people could then scan over the code on the printed 2D poster hanging on the wall, which would provide them with access to the library’s website, specifically the children’s services tab. Certainly, this poster could be part of an advocacy campaign that advocated for the value of children’s story times and hands-on, informal learning at the public library as a way of encouraging literacy.