Data + Design Project

11 Design Tips for Beautiful Presentations

Wednesday 08.20.2014 , Posted by
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Presentations often receive a bad rap — for good reason. We’ve all sat through those long-winded speeches and hot mess PowerPoints, which completely undermine the point of visual presentations.

So, what differentiates a good presentation from a poor one? Content and design. While your speech may be perfect, the images you show can greatly add or detract from your message. Whether you’re using PowerPoint, Keynote or good old PDFs, these 11 tips will help you create well-designed presentation slides that effectively get your point across.

1) Skip the Stock Template

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Using the slide themes included in your software is presentation death. They’re overused, boring and usually pretty ugly. Create cleaner presentations by starting with a clean presentation and building from there.

2) Don’t Use More than 6 Lines of Text

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Packing too much information into a slide will completely undermine its purpose. Remember: The audience often has to process everything you say while they view the slide.

3) Ditch the Bullet Points

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Too many presentations are bullet point crazy. No one will remember 10 bullet points, but they will remember 10 compelling slides. Use each slide to build your case and incrementally tell your story. (Consider your slides to be an outline for what you’re saying.) Try to share one idea per slide.

4) Use Sans Serif Fonts

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With typography, go for legibility over fun. While you can use a creative font for a slide title, avoid using it for body text. Instead, stick to clean, traditional typefaces like Helvetica. And if you’re using a dark background, make the text bold for readability.

5) Size Fonts Appropriately

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Chances are you’re designing your presentation on a laptop—and that’s a much different size than the final presentation screen. When sizing your fonts, keep in mind that the text should be large enough to be read by the person in the back of the room.

6) Maintain a Strong Contrast Between Text and Background

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In order for your message to pop, you need a high level of contrast between your text and the background. If your background image features a lot of variation, portions of your text may not be legible. In that case, a stylish bar of color behind the text can bring the legibility back while adding visual interest.

7) Use No More than 5 Colors

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A harmonious palette can easily enhance the look of your entire presentation. No need for complex gradients or textures here; you can get excellent results with just the right colors. Use a tool like Adobe’s Kuler or a site like COLOURLovers to choose a good selection.

8) Use Contrasting Text Colors to Draw Attention

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It’s like bold and italic, but better. Use a single color in your selected palette to emphasize important points in your text. However, make sure not to overdo it.

9) Use Single Images

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Images help make your presentation more visual, but don’t get carried away with too many on one slide. It’s a presentation, not a photo album. Limit your designs to a single image with simple or no text.

10) Use Visuals to Increase Emotional Appeal

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Visuals are there to help support your message; they can enhance comprehension, retention and elicit an emotional response that increases impact. Use powerful visuals to get your point across.

11) Freeze the Transitions

There are plenty of clever transitions built into today’s presentation software, but most quality presentations eschew any distracting transitions.
No matter what your presentation content, make sure you are always using design to your full advantage.

This article originally appeared on Visage.co

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Every Sunday this Stylist Gives Haircuts to the Homeless

Wednesday 08.20.2014 , Posted by
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Even though Sunday is his one day off, New York City hair stylist Mark Bustos still cuts hair. He not charging money though – he’s here to do something good for the world. Walking the streets he looks for less fortunate people who would appreciate a new haircut, simply saying, “I want to do something nice for you today.” [Read more...]

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These Hermits Have Chosen To Live Alone In The Wild

Tuesday 08.19.2014 , Posted by
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Society is not always the most welcoming place for all types of people and some have chosen to live their lives outside of the norm. Russian photographer Danila Tkachenko captures the wild lives of people who have left communities behind to live alone in the forest. Working with the land, they create homes among the trees in the Russian and Ukranian forest. He has compiled his collection of photographs in a book called Escape. [Read more...]

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‘Stand Up’ Makes the Porta-Potty a More Agreeable Experience for Women

Tuesday 08.19.2014 , Posted by
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When it comes to using the bathroom at an outdoor festival, Sara Grossman may have just saved a lot of women from hovering. Stand Up, her pink origami funnel, takes the fear out of porta-potties (but unfortunately, not the smell). [Read more...]

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A Mouthful of Makeup: Artist Laura Jenkinson Draws Cartoons on Her Face

Tuesday 08.19.2014 , Posted by
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London-based makeup artist Laura Jenkinson has a hobby that will make you smile… really big. Using her face as a canvas, she’s been drawing cartoon characters around her mouth, and loaning them her teeth and lips… which look hilariously massive in comparison. You’ve never seen Nemo or Eric Cartman like this before. [Read more...]

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Fish, Frogs and Turtles Painted in Layers of Resin

Tuesday 08.19.2014 , Posted by
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We’ve covered Singaporean artist Keng Lye before, but his new work is even more astounding. It’s hard to believe these fish, frogs and turtles aren’t really alive, but each is created using carefully applied layers of acrylic paint locked in layers of clear resin. We wouldn’t be surprised if the frogs and fish jumped. [Read more...]

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Forget Body Painting: This Video Shows Real-Time Face Tracking and Projection Mapping

Monday 08.18.2014 , Posted by
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As one commenter on Vimeo said: “Someone get this technology to Björk immediately!!” Japanese producer Nobumichi Asai and Omote have created a perfect synergy between real-time face tracking and projection mapping – and the results are far out.

This video demonstrates the real-time transformation of a woman’s face from completely normal (besides some tiny tracking markers) into something shockingly different. In quick succession, her face changes from its natural state, to covered in thick makeup, and then to things far more psychedelic. [Read more...]

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Where Were People in Each State Born?

Monday 08.18.2014 , Posted by
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The New York Times has released a fascinating series of interactive graphics detailing where people in each US state were born. The extensive collection of 50 charts document domestic migration since 1900, based on census data. (That’s California’s data above)

Using color-coded ribbons for each region, including native residents at the top and foreign-born residents at the bottom, the graphics reveal telling trends over the last century, especially for those familiar with each state. [Read more...]

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These Tiny, Adorable, Embroidered Animals Are Done Freehand

Sunday 08.17.2014 , Posted by
1 Tiny Embroidered Animals by Chloe Giordano

Imagine spending 2-3 weeks to create something not much larger than a sewing thimble. That’s often how long it takes Oxford-based artist Chloe Giordano to design, plan, and embroider each of her tiny animals. With multiple shades of each thread color as well as using 2 different types of thread- embroidery and sewing- she achieves a depth and texture that give a realistic feel to each creature. The already adorable and peaceful forest animals look even cuter in this teeny tiny size. [Read more...]

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Recipe Photographs Give New Meaning to “Throwing a Meal Together”

Sunday 08.17.2014 , Posted by
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Berlin-based designer Nora Luther and photographer Pavel Becker teamed up to create a delicious series of recipes – where the raw ingredients are displayed floating in air. Thanks to some skilled high-speed photography, the ingredients are properly proportioned to create the meal, while the final result is left up to our imagination. [Read more...]

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