You don't have to grow your own food, build your own house, hand-copy your books anymore. The same is true for graphics design in your work environment. Your objective is to make yourself understood in an effective way, and it should be possible to do that without studying for a second major in design.

How do you survive in a world where you open presentation software and see a starting page that is exactly the same one as a professional designer uses? Don't be too ambitious.

A super sophisticated visual concept executed by a layman designer looks much, much worse than a highly minimalist and simple chart created by stealing a poster layout from a famous Swiss graphics designer from the 1960s.

Look at your chart, look at the 1960s poster. Yours looks bad, the poster looks great with around the same amount of words on the page. Make it look the same. Add white space, increase font size, decrease font size, take out the top banner, eliminate colors. Inevitably, your chart will start to look good again.

Once you figured it out and got a chart that works, keep using the same format to save a lot of time to create presentations in the future.

Oh, and feel free to steal layouts from my presentation app SlideMagic.

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