Assignment: BLS Occupational Outlook


As you know, we are in dire economic times. The unemployment rate in Rhode Island is 9.9 percent. Particularly helpful to the unemployed is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook. The directory provides descriptions and other essential information of every common profession. The format for the printed version (online as pdfs) appears much as it did in 1976 – at least ideologically. Take inspiration from the collected book assignment and find a more dynamic way of designing the printed Occupational Outlook. Note the Web page version is at and the 2010 pdf is archived here.

This five-week project asks you to invent organizational systems that can be used for the more than 200 occupational entries. An overview of the project:

For next week: Model for how the overall work can be structured

* Week 2: Design the graphic matter for one occupation in that model
* Week 3: Updated design and model with a minimum of five occupations
* Week 4: Final group critique.
* Week 5: Revised copy due

In this first week you are tasked with understanding the content and building a “model” that communicates the structure of the complete work. What systems might be helpful in organizing the material in a clear but engaging way? How can the shape, binding, paper and other object-like qualities be used to create order and variety? How many volumes do there need to be?

Your book model can use blank paper or pre-printed material to help focus our attention’s on your systems. Be prepared next week to speak to the systems you’ve created and why.

The model should derive from close scrutiny of the material itself. Form opinions about what is valuable. Are photographs or illustrations helpful? If so, what kind? And treated how?

Go as far as you can within this research phase. Bring in books or examples on your laptop that show similar projects.

The trim size is up to you. Your model may be a miniature, if you like.
The book is double sided, full color capable.


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