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Advertising

What the template says about you

What the template says about you

These food packaging make overs illustrate what is wrong with many of today's presentation templates: they make you look like you are "that kind of company". But remember, the hipster customer segment is likely to be a lot smaller than the mass market. Think about your audience, and whom you want to look like. 

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How important is the logo?

How important is the logo?

Many early stage startups that need an investor presentation do not have a proper logo and graphical identity yet. Is this a bottleneck for a presentation?

Not really. I do not believe that you need to put your logo prominently on every page of your presentation. Hence, it is not very important in presentation design. The most important design element for a presentation is color. The color scheme will decide how your slides look.

So, pick a color scheme you think is appropriate for your business. It can be done very quickly. Every investor will forgive you if you decide to change it later. In the early days, you can simply use a text logo without any design to show your project's name. If you are not sure, a temporary project name can be a better solution than a poorly chosen brand name. That brand you chose late at night while brainstorming with the founding team might work great for you, but could be less optimal for your target audience.

Obviously if you are launching in the market than logo, identity and picking the right color becomes (a lot) more important.

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"Messaging"

"Messaging"

People ask me whether I take care of the "messaging" of presentations as well. I do, but I do not really connect to the concept. Maybe it is because I come from the world of engineering and consulting, not advertising.

"Messaging" is often used in a marketing context for a consumer audience, not an investor audience. Should we emphasize that this gadget is beautiful, or powerful? In marketing presentation you would say "now in 3 gorgeous colors." In an investor presentation you would put a competitive analysis that show that the marketing strategy will focus on esthetics. 

"Messaging" is often the basis for a design process that revolves around words and sentences. How should we call the benefit exactly. What slogans to use. I tend to think visual, and like to brainstorm concepts visually.

"Messaging" can sometimes come in the form of a prescribed flow of a presentation, we finished the messaging, now "just implement it". Not my kind of brief.

"Messaging" can also mean sorting out the company/product positioning. This is a big piece of work that usually falls outside the scope of a presentation design project. No story, no presentation.

Source: http://tpdsaa.tumblr.com/post/3106513440/submitted-by-copyguy

Source: http://tpdsaa.tumblr.com/post/3106513440/submitted-by-copyguy

So do I do messaging? It depends.

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Different interpretations

Different interpretations

Here is a picture of a bill board snapped by a friend on Facebook. Venn diagrams are very useful in presentations. But there can be a catch.

There are 2 possible interpretations:

  1. Intended: we are just so much bigger than these good things
  2. Version b: our values do not really include all these good things

Have you key slides checked by a few different people, especially if they go in front of many eyes.

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Tone down the ambition

Tone down the ambition

Below is a professional print ad for Audi, trying to convince us that its heritage of cars is still present in today's models.

The concept is a very simple one. The way it is visualised is highly complex. To pull off something like the above requires a significant investment in a designer who knows what she is doing. Any attempt to DIY it will make your slide look amateurish.

But if you are not a global car brand with a million dollar advertising budget, you can still get that visual concept across.

  • A simple time line of cars
  • Overlapping circles with car images
  • Shapes around the current car with images of vintage cars

You can relax the ambition level of the type of visualisation you want to use. You cannot compromise on the professionalism of your slide.


Image from WikiPedia

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Hillary's stock campaign video

Hillary's stock campaign video

The video in which Hillary Clinton announced her intention to run for President is too well executed. The messages are incredibly clear, you can almost reverse engineer the PowerPoint slide that contained the briefing bullet points for the script. 

But the execution is also staged and lacking raw emotion that it is unlikely to resonate with voters. I don't think it will leave a negative impression, just a neutral one. It sounds and looks like almost all advertising we see around us. This review on the Huffington Post captures it correctly.

In a similar way, Apple product videos, once admired, now almost look funny after the many parodies

A better way to do this? Interview "real people" on camera. It is a lot harder to do though.

It is a warning sign for those who think that big budget productions (videos, presentations) automatically translate into audience impact. The more people have been disappointed by slick presentations, photoshopped ads, spectacular videos, the harder it is to convince them that in your case they should believe you.

P.S. What do I think about the campaign logo? I don't think it is very pretty, but it will be very recognisable as an avatar on social media sites. Functional.


Art: The Peacemakers (1868) painting by George P.A. Healy

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