Tagged: advice

The absolute worst things to do with PowerPoint presentations

PowerPoint mistakes
I know how to read, goddammit—and I can read the slide faster than you can read it to me. Not to mention, you sound like an uninformed idiot that had an intern copy & paste text from Google into a slide.
In Worst Ways to Use PowerPoint, you’ll pick-up a few tips to make your PowerPoint/Keynote presentations much better. While most designers learn these tips early on in their career, sometimes we need a little reminder. But mostly I hope this gives you ammunition to share with a client or boss that thinks “more is better.”

How to create engaging images for social media

Engaging social media images

David Ogilvy, the father of advertising, was famous for spending an inordinate amount of time on headlines.

Back then, social media didn’t exist. If it did, Ogilvy would probably give equal time to creating the perfect complementary image.

The Buffer.com blog has some great tips for creating social media graphics. The article is meant for non-designers, but if you’re new to social media marketing, it’s worth the read.

Advice: When to use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign

I belong to a lot of design forums and Facebook Groups and the question I see more often than I care to think about is “which app should I use to do X?” Should I design a logo in Photoshop, build an ad in Illustrator or InDesign, etc.

If you’re new in the graphic design field, or just never used Adobe’s Creative Cloud applications, take a look at this 30-minute video from Adobe Evangelist Terry White.

There are always exceptions to every rule, but in general:

  • Photoshop is for photo editing.
  • Illustrator is for logo design & custom illustration.
  • All the pieces should be brought into InDesign for layout and export to Acrobat PDF files.

The ONLY design rule that (in my opinion) has absolutely no exception: Design your logo in Illustrator. You’ll thank me later.

The case for vertical video

Vertical video viewing

Does your business record vertical videos for social media?

In years gone by, recording and uploading video with the camera held vertically was looked upon with ridicule, producing big black bars either side of the picture and a narrow viewing angle, guaranteed to turn viewers off.

But times are changing.

While horizontal is the way to go on web pages and other presentation methods, social media is (and probably always will be) a vertical format. It makes no sense to fight it. SocialMediaToday makes the case for shooting vertical video.

It’s a designer’s job to ask good questions

This is some fantastic advice for designers of all disciplines, but particularly web designers. Ask good questions. The right questions. This is the foundation of a good creative brief.

My personal favorite is to simply ask “what is the goal?” The article even illustrates it almost exactly how I typically phrase it.

What's the goal

Janice Gervais at A List Apart covers that question and more, and ends the article with a bit of design truth: “Your work reflects your level of understanding.”

Tips for a better presentation

Presentation color
The late Steve Jobs was a master presenter. Part of what made him so good was the simplicity of his Keynote presentations. Here are 10 Presentation Design Tips from Envato that can help you create a more compelling presentation.

My two pet peeves: Color and repetitive obviousness.
Bad color combinations can absolutely destroy an otherwise good presentation. It’s easy to use a decent color palette, but a unique and bold color combination can really make your presentation memorable.

Repeating the obvious drives me batshit crazy. Please, for the love of God, don’t place your logo in the corner of every slide! And if you’re pitching company X for their business, don’t put their logo on every slide either—they know who they are, and they probably remember who you are since you probably just told them on slide one.

12 reasons hiring managers aren’t reading your resume

CareerBuilder recently surveyed 2,298 U.S. hiring managers and human resources professionals and asked what would make them automatically dismiss a candidate from consideration. Some of the biggest resume mistakes they communicated were:
• Resumes that don’t include a list of skills – 30 percent
• Resumes printed on decorative paper – 20 percent
• Resumes that detail more tasks than results for previous positions – 16 percent
• Resumes that include a photo – 13 percent
• Resumes that have large blocks of text with little white space – 13 percent

For graphic designers, those particular mistakes are inexcusable. As someone who has hired designers and production artists, one of my biggest pet-peeves is seeing a resume where the first item below the name/contact info at the top is an “Objective” paragraph. I immediately throw those resumes in the trash bin. I know what your objective is… it’s to GET THE DAMN JOB!