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?


mmcturn said...

What is the best way to learn Corel Draw? I know your book is great about the use of graphics but how can I learn quickly to manipulate and create graphics.

mmcturn said...

Forgot my email address:

Mike said...

Although I am not an avid CorelDraw user (I work mostly with Adobe) CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3 Essential Training (+CD-ROM) was what the Corel professionals I know recommend.

Also do a search on CorelDRAW training at Amazon. In my expereince almost any tutoril by a reputable publisher is pretty effective. I always look for tutorials (application of what I leraned) vs. descriptions of the tools in the software. Whichever resource you decide upon, please post your feedback so others may learn from your experience. Enjoy!

Stacia D. Kelly said...

What recommendations do you have when crafting a busy ad, like real estate advertisements? When you're trying to get all this data onto the page? I'm keeping down to two colors and two fonts, but it still just looks overly busy.

Love the blog!!!

Mike said...

Focus on the benefits and/or discriminators. The thing that should stand out the most should be what your audience most cares about. Make them the easiest to read and most appealing.

Regarding the rest of the "gotta-be-in-there" information: Change the relative value of the less important text. For example, if your benefit/discriminator text is black, make the other text gray. If possible lower the font size as well.

Good page layout uses a grid. Set up your page using a grid and assemble your page using the grid lines as your guide. The less "diagonals" (literal diagonals like lines or shapes you created or diagonals created with negative space or a virtual line the reader must follow to continue reading) in your ad, the more organized and structured it feels.

Use size, balance, color, and page density to pull your audience through the ad. Start in the upper left corner and take them for a ride but remember to get the most important information across first. If they are interested, they will read the fine print but first we want to give them a reason to be interested.

As Mr. Pablo Picasso once said, "Good artists copy but great artists steal." What he meant was to gain insights into what works and what doesn't through other's experiences. Basically, sift through and find other ads that work and pick 'em apart. Find what you like and why and use it in your ad design.

And thanks for the blog kudos. ^_^