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  • Writer's picturescott kim


SYMMETRY. Reflection about a horizontal axis. TEACH reflects to become LEARN.

INSPIRATION. For the companion book to The Visual Almanac, a multimedia publication from the Apple Multimedia Lab.

STORY. In 1988 I visited the Apple Multimedia Lab in San Francisco. Researchers there were just finishing up the Visual Almanac, a pioneering video disk plus HyperCard stack for teachers that demonstrated some of the ways multimedia could be used in education. Commercial products that have spun out of the Visual Almanac include Wacky Jacks, Countdown, and Planetary Taxi.

The second chapter of the companion book to the Visual Almanac talks about the big idea of using multimedia in education. One of the key points is that multimedia can encourage students to become creators of information, not just passive consumers, smudging the line between teaching and learning. Someone familiar with my work asked me to provide a typographic illustration for that concept. I submitted several ideas, and this one was chosen.

The version of TEACH/LEARN published in the Visual Almanac is monochromatic and two-dimensional. The three-dimensional color rendering and animations were done just recently, prompted by Oregon educator Lucy MacDonald, who runs online class for educators on how to use multimedia and the internet in their teaching. Lucy had seen the TEACH/LEARN design and wanted to use it in her work. Her request prompted me to make this 3d color version, which I hope to include in a set of full-color Inversions posters later this year.

The 2d art for this image was produced using Adobe Illustrator. I used KPT Vector Effects to give the letters dimension, and Adobe Photoshop to layer the elements and give them transparency.

You can buy a poster of Teach-Learn at my Cafe Press store.

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