This week our class is going through the second half of an InDesign workshop. As part of their "backgrounder" assignment, the students are required to do research on the theme of social media within businesses and industry. They have a total of four options to choose from and each option, roughly speaking, centers on figuring out how social media (twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, etc.) are used in whatever specific industry they choose. The example I like to give is to look at the footwear industry: what type of social media presence do Nike, Reebok, ADIDAS, and other have? Do they focus on one specific site or do they try a broad approach?

One of the sources I had them look at was the attached pdf "White paper on white papers".

The company, appum, specializes in creating white papers (another term for backgrounder) for companies. Essentially, it's a way to outsource company documents.

This is why we're focusing on InDesign in 420: getting hands-on experience creating these documents is essential to understanding the fundamentals of document design. The pdf is a way to look at the process of creating white papers by looking at a sample white paper (see attached file from Appum's website).

File:White Paper on White Papers.pdf

The two column layout automatically shows that this isn't just a "research paper" that students are used to. Rather, this is a document that members of the business community can understand through layout and design. The magazine format helps to visually set it apart from most other documents. Different visual elements, such as the colors and pull out quotes, help add extra "pop" and keep the interest of the reader at a superficial level. The organization of the text, through headings, subheadings, and bullet points, helps point readers eyes to the main topic points of the document and allows you to scan it for your own needs.

Alumni Liaison

Sees the importance of signal filtering in medical imaging

Dhruv Lamba, BSEE2010