May 25th 2020
There are many reasons why sometimes you may not be motivated by a job. Over the course of this blog i'm sure we'll cover a variety of reasons (and excuses) why certain jobs didn't work out, but in this first one I want to talk about design programs and how sometimes we're defeated by them before have even started a brief.
Im a firm believer that no matter what design program you use (I mean proper design programs here, not Microsoft Paint!!) you can still deliver great results. To back this up, I want to talk about Powerpoint....you know...the dirty program that ranks up there with Comic Sans for us designers. However, I'm going to throw something out there....
Don't get me wrong, its never my first choice to exhibit work, but is that because we're not using it in the correct way? I have argued until in blue in the face that PowerPoint is not a tool for showing tonnes of text. I believe PowerPoint should only show key information to support the presenter, not a complete manuscript of their presentation. How many times have you been in a presentation where the presenter is just reading off the slides behind them? Its dull right?
In my experience, often its not the presenters fault. Sometimes its the designer who just want to get the job finished as soon as possible to go onto something more creative.
Think about it. Have you ever handed over a piece of work because you just wanted to get it out the door? Because of this, were you too narrow in your thinking? Can you honestly say you utilised all your skills and did a good job? As a Junior I was terrible at this! I couldn't wait to get off the 'less creative' jobs to go and work on the wacky colourful ones. Only when I started to mature as a designer did I realise that its in these 'less creative' jobs that you refine your skills and acquire the essential skills all designers require.
This is why I don't mind PowerPoint. Don't just be constrained by thinking you have to design everything in it, if you think that, then you've already lost. As a designer you should always be thinking about how you can improve something, no matter what program your using. Would you use Clipart in somebody's presentation? I bloody well hope not! You should be using programmes like Illustrator or Photoshop to not only make the presentation as visual as possible, but to really make the presentation jump off the screen.
I recently came across this while designing a presentation for a client. We decided early on that she didn't want to have slides upon slides that she would then have to subject the audience to. After looking at her storyboard, we decided to make it as visual as we could with only key points and figures on screen at one time. To support this we used really engaging illustrations (made and exported out in Illustrator) to compliment the already bright colours of the company brand. The end result was a highly visual, engaging presentation that didn't distract from the presenter but actually supported her arguments in a much more memorable way. I didn't look at the brief and think....Oh great, PowerPoint. I looked at the brief and instead thought...OK, its PowerPoint, but how am I going to use other programs and my experience to maximise this brief?
Trust me, programs like PowerPoint are not going anywhere. It's up to you if you want to let its boundaries frustrate you, or whether you want to smash them and potentially give something to a client they would not expect and blow their mind.