Sunday, March 18, 2007

Is the Law On Your Side?

The following is another question I was recently asked...

Q: Can I use photographs and art from the Internet in my proposals, presentations, or marketing materials?
A: As soon as you write a paragraph, take a photograph, or make a graphic you own it. According to a United States ruling, once you make something it is protected under copyright law. (The challenge has been proving who made it first.) With that in mind, everything we find on the Internet is copywritten. You may use it only if you are granted permission (for the purposes you intend), or your organization owns or has purchased the rights to use it. There are some websites that offer “royalty-free” graphics at no cost (certain government sites provide free images), but you need to make sure that the website allows free image downloads or else you could face a lawsuit. Also, photographs and art from the Internet are usually at a lower resolution (72 dpi) than you require for your proposals. To get crisp and clear graphics (no jagged or pixilated edges) for your oral and written presentations, you need to use images that are between 150–300 dpi. Otherwise, your graphics will look poorly rendered and give your presentation an unprofessional appearance.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Welcome to the new BDG Blog. If you have any graphics related questions or helpful hints/ideas, this is the forum to share them.

Recently, I was asked the following question:
Q: What are the top three proposal and presentation graphic mistakes?
A: Many graphics fail for three reasons: too complicated, unclear, and poorly rendered. A visual becomes too complicated when the author attempts to convey too many messages in one graphic or includes too much detail. An unclear graphic due to the lack of identification and/or explanation, happens when the author erroneously assumes that their target audience understands the subject matter on the same level that he/she does. The following graphic fails to identify key elements and explain their meaning. The author assumed that their audience knew more about the subject matter than they did. Poorly rendered graphics result in a host of negative outcomes. The worst of which are a loss of communication (or miscommunication) and the perception that image and the presenter are unprofessional.

Do you have a question?