for the "100&change" grant report, consider the following suggestions:
read the text to get a general sense of the content.
read the text again, making notes of the concepts embedded in their language – what are they talking about in a big picture sense? stability, health, success, architecture, buildings, cities?
consider the design elements you have to work with – line, shape, color, texture, form, space, etc – and which might be applicable to this application.
ask questions of those elements: how might linework communicate concept X in the text? how might color communicate concept Y in the text? how might typeface choice(s) communicate concept Z in the text? see what you can do...
combine some of the above choices and get to work with some fast visual design approaches. set some body copy, select typefaces, color text, push the block around on the page, add hierarchy, play with scale and placement.
at this point you are composing; dealing with principles of design – center of interest, harmony/unity, repetition, balance, hierarchy, proportion, etc – so ask "how can design principle X communicate concept X from the text? example: how can balance show a sense of stability? these things are fairly subtle and not literal. give it a try and see where it gets you.
just like working a drawing, step back and look at the whole thing. print it out, see what you have. then fuss with details. macro to micro, macro to micro.
do what you can to fill in "graphic gaps" take some simple guesses and put in placeholder things, then we can ask k-state to provide that content.
regarding the diagrams and infographics, read the content that you do have and make as much sense of it as you can. give it some form. try to clarify processes, remember the infographic lecture notes from the other day.
have fun and enjoy playing with typography.