I’ve been working with A-FRAME CONTENT AND MARKETING for a couple months now on the Recharge Marmora Tourism Plan. Through our research we've seen a lot of reports, documents, and business plans...and one thing I keep saying to my partners is “at least ours will look and read much better”.
Never underestimate the power of simplicity. Just because PowerPoint has an emboss function doesn’t mean you have to use it. Does everything need a drop shadow? No. If you aren’t a designer, even if you are, less is often more.
When I was gallivanting around with a downhill mountain bike crew in my 20’s, as their videographer, and editing video for the first time, I didn’t use the star swipe just because it was there. I kept the transitions and edits simple – because, I wasn’t really versed in the art of editing. Most of you writing these presentations aren’t really designers, so you can hire one, or follow these tips for better looking, easier to read documents.
DO create a template for a consistent look and feel. Consistency is clean and clean is professional. You can break up the style by using a unique design for your section title pages or headers. You don’t want it to be monotonous, but you do want it to all read as part of the same story.
DON’T crowd your page with so many images that they become meaningless. Focus on one image if you can, and if you can’t group your images together neatly. Get inspiration from your favourite magazines; look around for examples of clean design in everything you read.
DO create a colour pallet to use throughout the paper. The colour pallet should represent your brand. If you’re brand doesn’t have a colour pallet, you should. That’s crazy. Whoever is reading your final document should know where it comes from just by looking at a page, not necessarily because they are looking at your logo.
DON’T overuse the Quick Styles functions available in the program you’re using. I remember working on a presentation deck for a client of mine and when they gave me the deck it was full of embossed boxes, drop shadows, strokes, and transitions on every page. It was as if the computer was just invented and we were mesmerized by all the things it could do. It looks tacky, dated and unprofessional. Don’t do it.
DO create your presentation for the expected audience. If you are speaking to your audience the PowerPoint is there to emphasize what you are saying, not to have them read what you are saying. If your work will be read try to put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Where are they going to be when they read this? How do you keep their attention in that situation?
DON’T get off topic. Be vigilant at answering the questions you were asked.
DON’T complicate things. Be concise and to the point. People don’t have time to read more than they have to.
And on that note I shall end this rant.
…Oh ya, fonts…don’t use stupid fonts.