I just completed my first print design. Not that I expect this to be my bread and butter, it was a natural extension of a presentation design project I did.

It struck me how simple and fast it is to design a brochure when you start with a good PowerPoint presentation. You have the right flow, you have the right visuals, you have the right visual language. When you start designing print from a blank sheet of paper, people argue and iterate forever to get the wording of the text right, to do the layout, and then, oh, we need a few illustrations as well.

Here are some of the things I had to do.
  1. Teach yourself InDesign. Luckily it was not necessary for this small project extension, I had to go through this process to write my ebook
  2. Print the PowerPoint as a press-quality Adobe PDF to get huge resolution images. If required, remove foot notes, page numbers and other clutter from slides.
  3. Select the right charts from the deck. Out go the ones that describe the story flow, out go the huge-images-one-word slides, what you are left with are the diagrams, the flow charts, the data charts
  4. When you place a chart crop out the titles, foot notes and other distractions
  5. Go through an iterative process of writing text columns, moving images, re-formatting text until you are happy with the result
So my advice to brochure designers: start with a slide deck...

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