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Guest Stevie B

Presentation Board Layouts.

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Guest Stevie B

Hi all,


I'm new to the forum, this being my first post, and i was hoping you might be able help me regarding the A2 presentation boards i need to submit for my final major project this year.


Basically,everytime it comes to creating presentation boards for the projects i've completed throughout University, i struggle to gather any inspiration on how to lay it out. They always turn out ok, but look relatively amateur and almost too obvious that it's comes from a student, rather than a professional...


I look through the projects on here and the boards created by alot of you guys look so effective and original. Now i understand about the whole grid system and 'simple is better' theory, but are there any other tips/info/help you could give me on how to design and layout a more effective board?


My renders normally turn out ok, so they tend to help the board stand out, but it's more photo placement/size and text layout.


Thanks, i appreciate your time.


Steve :P

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You'll probably hear designers fairly often say "If you're not a graphic designer don't try to be one" (also applies to web design and lots of other associated mediums).


The easiest way to improve your boards is to prepare them early enough that you have a few days to show them to people and revise them (this goes against the normal student timetable of finishing the renderings at 3am the night before and then putting the boards together by 4). Ask some people what works well and doesn't.


In general I think theres a couple rules that you should follow:


1. Don't let your graphics overpower your work. Super stylized ink splotches and zig zags can sometimes work, but often times excessive graphics just distract from your project. The graphics on your page should really just serve as a garnish - a nice little way of setting off a very nice project.


2. Download a good set of clean and easy to read fonts with good variations within it. Bold and Italic shouldn't be the only choices you have. Popular fonts like Futura and Helvetica are available with a wide range of weights + condensed and extended formats. Choosing the right one (and some good variants) to denote text that has different levels of importance is a great way of layering information. Bold pieces of text can be used sparingly to set off really key points.


3. Don't overuse text. Many designers (Especially young ones) think that by typing out elaborate paragraphs they'll sound smarter. When you're putting in text blocks put in your initial idea then come back the next day and re-read it. Chances are you can cut down at least 25% of the words without losing any of the value or meaning in your sentences. Be concise, to the point, and avoid trying to use words like "Synergy" and "juxtapose".


4. Whitespace is your friend. Most people are tempted to cram AS MUCH information as they possibly can on to one board. It usually means information is overwhelming and goes overlooked. Give the viewers eye visual room to breathe and take a break. It's often better to have 2 sparse but well laid out boards then one overcrowded one.


5. Use other media as reference. Check out magazine ads, newspaper spreads, other peoples portfolios, etc. There are tons of books out there as well with great info and examples of color, type use, etc.


Hope that helps.

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Guest Stevie B

Brill, thanks Cyberdemon, i really appreciate the time you must have spent replying!


Like you say i do tend to leave things last minute and so end up going with whatever i've put down on the paper without testing it's effectiveness through other's feedback.


The last couple of nights i've spent an hour or so trying to create really minimalistis looking boards focusing on the effectiveness of white space. But i just constantly end up crowding the board up. I think i get worried that theres not enough there, even though i know it shouldn't be jam packed. I see some examples that are quite busy and they still look effective.


My second board basically needs to convey the two prime functions the design has, user interaction, and main features. Do you have any set guidlelines you would tend to follow if you knew you had to cover these areas?


I've been uses boxes to represent images to see which layout could look good. For example i was thinking two larger boxes in the top left to middle area for the functions, a vertical row of small boxes down the right hand side to snapshot features, and then medium sized boxes running along the bottom of the page to show user interaction. But even that odesn't look that effective.... :eh:


Thanks again :)

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