Scenario: The year is 2025, and what we used to call the internet was wiped out by the great sunspot storm of 2023.

Your assignment is to find a born-digital, web-native publication and bring it into a physical format as a means of preserving it for after the (imaginary?) media apocalypse.

In the process you should formulate an idea or perspective about how the translation of your content into a new form addresses an aspect of publishing we've discussed (form, content, context, audience, distribution, filtering, framing, amplifying, etc.).

Due to our remote instruction we will be using print-on-demand services to print and bind our publications.

  • Identify a native-digital publication (construed in the broadest possible sense) experience, or curate a collection of native-digital content
  • You may also identify a born-digital archive
  • You may approach this curatorially and bring together a variety of sources of types of content from the internet
    • Create a physical artifact publication output from the born-digital publication, considering:
    • To what extent is the visual character of each similar or different?
    • What is lost? Either through media-specific limitations or intentional choice: e.g. video or animated gif becomes a series of stills, hyperlinks are lost or become another way of navigating a text in print
    • To what extent are the distribution mechanisms similar or different? Make a diagram distilling means of distribution similarity/difference
    • Parsing video or audio content, e.g. a podcast or youtube video

Sample Content Ideas:

A Website that hasn't been used/updated in a long time
    - An out-of-commission blog, for example

Audio/Visual content
    - How do you translate audio into a physical form
    - What can you do with a transcript that you can't do with the video

Technical Components:

Use Adobe InDesign or comparable Desktop Publishing Software to generate a print-ready PDF in CMYK color space.
Use a digital-native workflow to output a print-native artifact.

Don’t have Adobe or InDesign? Here are some alternatives:


We will use print-on-demand services, specifically NewspaperClub and Lulu

Digital Tabloid: 289mm x 380mm (11.38" x 14.96")
Digital Broadsheet: 350mm x 500mm (13.77" x 19.66")

Formats: Book/Magazine
Vary from Pocket Book: 108mm x 175mm (4.25" x 6.875")
to Letter/A4: 210mm x 297mm (8.27" x 11.69")

Lulu Pricing Calculator:
Lulu Setup Specs and Support:

Schedule and Due Dates

Sat, February 13: Introduce Project
Sat, Feb 20: Project Proposal Presentations 

Sat , Feb 27: Draft 1 due, group critique
Sat , March 6: Draft 2 due one-on-one & peer-to-peer critiques
Sat , March 15: Final Design Review

Sat , March 22: Final Submission of files to NewspaperClub/Lulu

Further Reading & References

Part 1 Guidelines: Project Proposal

  • Prepare a presentation of three (3) ideas for your final project. Use google slides or a similar presentation tool.
  • Create the presentation as follows:
    • Slide 1: The question you are asking: your hunch or intuition. It could be helpful if the question starts with “how might we” or “what are some unexplored ways to.” It could be more abstract, like “how might we rethink the relationship of author and reader?” Or it could be more concrete, like “what are some unexplored ways to explain to a low literacy person how to vote?”
    • Slides 2-9: on each slide, note an idea, the content, and the audience. You can do this in words or in a combination of sketches, diagrams, and/or words.

You will develop one of these ideas into a project. The purpose of this project is to apply all steps of the design process - research, ideation, prototyping, iteration, and presentation - towards a conceptual project.

In order for it to work this way, the following must be true, everything else is up to you:
  • The project should demonstrate, frame, or respond to a dilemma about publishing that was either discussed in class or sparked from the readings.
  • You should take into account what you can do, and slightly aim outside or above what you think you can do. Carefully decide each aspect: what is the print-on-demand format, the content hierarchy, the color, etc. Do not use any defaults, assuming that the nice engineers at Adobe or on an online platform know more than you do. Think about distribution and time in addition to any visual or physical artifacts.
  • The content must be preexisting. If you spend time writing or transcribing, you will not have enough time to focus on the design of the project.
  • Your project does not have to be useful or marketable. It just needs to demonstrate an idea about publishing. That idea could have something subversive about how you manipulate money, but being profitable is not a goal for this project. Your idea should not be a business plan. Do that after school.
  • You should have a specific audience in mind for the project. (Not “adult women 25-55” - this is not a marketing class.) Think through what your audience knows and values, and how you want to change their thinking.

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