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Project Comms Spring Tutorials with Will & Sean

April 26, 2024 & April 30, 2024

BCNY’s Communications Department held its first in-person Project Comms Spring Tutorials with Communications Managers, Sean Small and Will Yturbides. Members learned about the field of communications and principles behind research, writing, and graphic design for digital content. Convening at the Manhattan Admin Office, participants learned about interviewing, research skills, color theory, typography, and intentions behind elements of communications. 

Understanding that each member is a source of knowledge and experiences, participants paired off into partners or small groups of three to practice the research method of interviewing. They were tasked with researching a topic that had memories attached to it, such as a favorite memory or why they like playing a particular sport. With the intention to learn as much as possible and gain potential quotes, an important part of interviewing and communications work, members exercised their listening skills while taking notes. They then switched roles of interviewer and interviewee after a few minutes. Participants- even those who already knew each other prior to the Spring Tutorial- found themselves learning something they had never known about their partners.  

Afterwards, members learned about the different aspects of writing for digital content, considering the pros and cons of different mediums (flyers vs. blog posts, for example). Then, using the notes they took from their previous interview, members drafted a mock blog post or social media caption with the intention of tailoring their writing to communications. After independently drafting, participants went back to their interviewing groups or partnerships and shared what they wrote. Through this process participants got to reflect on many important parts of communications and interviewing: how writing can sound different when read aloud, receiving constructive criticism from an audience or colleague, and connecting back to their memories when hearing their story being told by someone who interviewed them.   

Establishing the definition of graphic design as a craft where professionals create visual content using many techniques to communicate messages that meet specific needs and optimize user experience, participants analyzed numerous graphics. From logos to newspapers, books, posters, movie scenes, and album covers participants learned to dissect images and graphics by the elements incorporated in them. For example, when watching a video explaining the different ways color is used in the seminal animated film “Akira,” members saw how the color red was intentionally used to communicate agility in motorcycle chase scenes featuring a trailing light of red and orange, and characters’ anger in their clothing being red in some scenes and green in other. Afterwards, members applied what they learned. Using stencils, markers, and colored pencils, members illustrated aspects of their identity in a graphic square, taking time to consider how the fundamentals of typography, font, color theory, and hierarchy can add to their ideas. 

We are happy that members were able to learn a little bit more about the complex and interesting world of communications.  

See photos from the tutorials here.