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Archive for June, 2014|Monthly archive page

Microsoft Offers Webinar on Office for iPad

In Tutorial on June 20, 2014 at 11:32 am

Here’s a video that will help you learn the basics for getting up and running with PowerPoint for the iPad.

PowerPoint Design Trend – White Text on Full Bleed Image

In PowerPoint Design Trend on June 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm

I often look to web graphic design trends for inspiration in presentation design.

One trend we’re experiencing in the wide world of the web is the use of white text over a full bleed image. This approach can give any presentation a simple, yet sophisticated look. And, creating a PowerPoint template to support consistent use of font types and text and image positioning is pretty easy.

A word of caution to lovers of this design: make sure the white text is sufficiently contrasted against the image for a projection environment. If there isn’t a strong contrast, you’ll need to use built-in PowerPoint tools to subtly enhance the contrast without compromising the elegant look.

To ensure sufficient contrast between text and the background image, add a subtle drop shadow to the text.

To ensure sufficient contrast between text and the background image, add a subtle drop shadow to the text.

Even though we've added a subtle drop shadow to the text on this slide to bump up the contrast, this image may NOT be the best candidate for this type of slide design.

Even though we’ve added a subtle drop shadow to the text on this slide to bump up the contrast, this image may NOT be the best candidate for this type of slide design.

Flat Design in PowerPoint – Trend or Revolution

In Design Opinion on June 3, 2014 at 4:59 pm

I often look to web graphic design trends for inspiration in presentation design.

Flat design has taken the web design world by storm for several years. It’s so pervasive in web design that I hesitate to call it a trend. That said, I welcome this simple design approach that uses flat shapes and icons that can be created with rectangles, circles, triangles and other shapes without busy shadows and gradients. I believe it’s use in presentations borders on revolutionary.

Rooted in two fundamentals of design, simplicity and readability, I welcome this style to the world of PowerPoint design where it is imperative that we tell our message effectively. Here are the main reasons I think flat design was made for PowerPoint.

1. Flat design is universal and easy to recognize. Can you remember a time when public restrooms were identified with anything but these symbols?

Flat design is universal

Flat design is universal

When thinking in terms of slide design, easy to recognize graphics that are universally understood will go a long way in supporting the presenter (instead of forcing the audience to gaze at the slide in bewilderment)

2. Just like flat design lends simplicity to web design, it allows for a cleaner layout on your slides – without shadows and 3D elements you’ll find more white space and organization on your slide. This design style drives a minimalist approach with typography, white space and color.

Before flat design

Before flat design

After flat design

After flat design

3. Flat design is fairly easy to create using native PowerPoint tools. The top image below (yellow shapes) shows how basic PowerPoint shapes were used to create the next (blue) graphic.

Flat design elements can be created using basic PowerPoint tools

Flat design elements can be created using basic PowerPoint tools

Flat design created from basic PowerPoint tools

Flat design created from basic PowerPoint tools

While flat design may be a trend in the web design world, I find it a revolutionary approach to presentation design. The tenants of simplicity that this style brings to presentations could be responsible for eliminating death by PowerPoint. I hope it stays around.

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