8 THINGS EVERY ART DIRECTOR SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PRESENTATIONS

Most ADs don’t work on a lot of presentations – probably because they don’t want to. Some people would rather hide under their desk than deal with presented materials. I realize that I’m weird. I actually like presentations. I think it has something to do with creative restricti
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DON’T DESIGN WHAT’S THERE – DESIGN WHAT SHOULD BE THERE

The other day I bumped into an ECD (executive creative director) that I had worked with at another agency. We got to talking about the first project we partnered on.  It was a slide presentation – a really bad one, as I recall, and I kind of put my foot in my mouth. I remember it clea
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PRESENTATIONS IN THE REAL WORLD

When I was a kid my father went back to school for his MBA. (For a while I thought everyone was saying “NBA,” but then I realized that he’s actually not so tall and couldn’t secretly be a professional basketball player.) Anyway, after his classes he would come home and try to explain
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THE DETAILS AREN’T THE STORY

“What’s the big idea?” Surprisingly, people don’t get offended when I ask this question, and I ask it all the time. I guess it’s clear in context that I’m not upset when I ask it. Because the big idea is really important. It’s probably easier
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WORKING WITH CIRCLES IN YOUR DESIGN

I sometimes think my co-workers think I’m crazy. I try hard to make presentations look like anything but presentations. Or, more to the point, not look like typical, ugly presentations. It’s an uphill battle – some people don’t see the point in the process, though generally most peopl
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CASE STUDY: HIERARCHY AND SIMPLICITY IN DESIGN

Today I want to talk about hierarchy in design. Hierarchy in design is the decision you make about what’s most important on the page and giving it the most weight. It’s about deciding what matters to your audience and what doesn’t. When you know what’s important, it’s easy to ma
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FONTS IN POWERPOINT: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Let’s be honest. PowerPoint presentations are often boring, and nearly always ugly. As an art director with an inexplicable interest in presentations, I often tell people that the two biggest things you can do to improve your presentation is to simplify your story, and use a better gr
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HOW DO I MAKE MY PRESENTATION BE WIDESCREEN?

More and more, people are seeing the beauty in a widescreen presentation. If you’re presenting on a plasma or LCD TV, it makes perfect sense. But even projected, a widescreen presentation can really sing. How do you set it up? First you have to determine the resolution of whatev
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PRESENTATION TYPES – A GENERAL GUIDE

I have heard lots of theories about how many words (ideally) should be on a slide. It seems to me that the question isn’t entirely the point. There are different types of slide presentations, and different “rules” for each. Beyond that, the expectations of the audience and the n
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CASE STUDY: FIXING A “WHY US?” SLIDE

Here’s an equation I spout all the time: A complicated idea + Design = A better looking complicated idea. The key to better slides is to look first at the story. Once the story works, the slides design themselves. Here’s a quick case study with lots of screen grabs. First
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