Posts Tagged ‘Design’

A Very Pinteresting Place Indeed

Monday, April 13th, 2015 by Matt<

Are you ready to have your proverbial Pinterest related socks blown off? Good!

Because Eyeful are very proud to announce the launch of our very own Pinterest page.

We’ve already got all sorts of boards, pins, images, videos and links all live and ready to wow Pintrested people.

On Pinterest we have:

Pinterest Pic

The Board with Innovations

This is where you can find some great examples of projects that our designers have created in their downtime. None were produced for clients, they are all 100% the designer’s own personally inspired pieces.

It’s a place where new things get tried out and programs get experimented on.

The results can sometimes be ridiculous, but as you see here, for the most part they are simply sublime.

The Board with Awesome Animated Videos

This board hosts a selection of customer stories that we’ve created using nothing but a voiceover and PowerPoint.

The really nice thing about these videos is that they show what it’s like to work with Eyeful and the positive impact we can have on our customer’s presentations.

And because they are 100% created in PowerPoint, they are a really great source of inspiration and an example of just what’s possible when the only program you’ve got access to is good old Office.

The Board with the Blog

If you’re reading this, then you are all too familiar with the Eyeful blog and its collection of presentation musings all aimed at ridding the world of terrible presentations. Well, we thought we might share these with Pinterested parties who are searching for their own presentation ideas.

What’s Next?
So that’s what we have on there right now. But as they say, this is just the beginning! The dream is for the Eyeful boards to grow into a presentation go to place where you can find everything from advice on planning your presentation right at the beginning, right up to design inspiration.

Things like examples of dry content such as graphs and tables that have been re-designed and infographic examples of real work – basically all types of inspirational content to help create better presentations going forward.

The next update will be the addition of the Eyeful Lookbook – which is an online brochure of example presentation look and feels. Keep an eye out for this being added later this week…

So it’s going to be a really handy page absolutely bursting with useful presentation related material that you won’t want to miss – so follow the page now!

If you have any suggestions or requests for useful boards and pins just let us know.

Or if you’ve had a look and are already having a funny tummy feeling about just how great your next presentation could be with a little Eyeful magic, then just give us a ring.

Story Season – What Is Your Favourite Customer Story?

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 by Matt<

In this week’s edition of Story Season we join the Eyeful team for the final time as they reveal their own favourite presentation that used story in a significant way.

In here we have some pretty interesting examples, ranging from a book tour presentation for “The Wisdom of Phsycopaths”, how a brewery used a time travel concept and a presentation that tells the story of Noah’s Ark in a very visual way…

And we’ve included clips of the actual presentations so you can really see how it’s possible to merge story and presentations together.

We hope you enjoyed the video and found some motivation and ideas on how to take your next audience on a journey through your own presentation story.

If you need any help with authoring the perfect presentation story, then just get in touch.

Story Season – What Does Story Mean to you?

Friday, March 20th, 2015 by Matt<

In this chapter of story season, we enter the Eyeful rabbit hole and meet some senior members of the Eyeful consultant and design teams and get their own personal take on how stories and presentations are linked.

In this first episode of a three part series, we share the minds of the people who work with business presentations on a daily basis. Discover how they simplify the process and gain some inspirational ideas for your own presentations.

Over to Team Eyeful…

In the next edition of Story Season the team talks about how story (or lack of) can have a major impact on presentations…

Stay tuned for this or if you’d like to speak to an expert directly, then just give us a ring on 0845 056 8528.

Has PowerPoint 2016 for Mac Been Worth the Wait?

Friday, March 13th, 2015 by Matt<

Mac retro

It’s amazing to think that PowerPoint was originally created for the Mac OS, back in 1987…

…When today PowerPoint is very much PC first and Mac second. This week we got our hands on a beta version of PowerPoint 2016 for Mac and put it through its paces.

It’s fair to say we normally get pretty damn excited about new versions of PowerPoint. But sadly when comparing this it to PowerPoint 2013 on the PC, there was nothing really new about it.

The Mac vs PC versions of PowerPoint have always been pretty similar, but the Mac one is always released later, I suspect it’s a case of nailing it for PC before handing over to the Mac team to develop.

PC                           Mac

Office 2003         Office 2004

Office 2007         Office 2008

Office 2010         Office 2011

Office 2013         Office 2016

But it’s never been released this late before!

So with such a delay, I was expecting to see something new and improved, rather than just a very late re-hash. But sadly, a rehash of PowerPoint 2013 it is.

So putting my personal view to one side, how good this program actually is and how much it will make your presentation creating life that bit easier will depend on your point of view…

If you are a loyal Mac user who is currently using PowerPoint 2011 and will definitely continue with Office for Mac then there is good news, because the new version is leaps and bounds ahead of the previous…

Visual Layout – this has changed a lot, it’s sleeker and the default screen ratio has moved from 4×3 to 16×9.

The menus have improved, the home tab now has some useful buttons for adding pictures, shapes and text boxes. This is really useful as these are probably your 3 main tools all handily grouped together – you don’t even get this in the PC version!

Inserting images now gives you direct access to iphoto and Photo Booth.

When CMD clicking, the format shape window now appears locked to the right, rather than appearing over the top of the item clicked on which is handy.

Template Structure – is the same as the previous version and is built the same as the PC version, meaning files can be worked on both new and old versions and across operating systems.

The Eyedropper Tool – this is a game changer. When you go to change the colour of an object you can select the eye dropper and hover over anything on the slide and the eyedropper will pick up the colour. So if you see a colour on a webpage or another document you like, you can copy and paste this into PowerPoint and use the Eyedropper to get the exact colour in just one click.

Auto Alignment Tool – Now upgraded so that when objects are dragged around the slide, lines appear showing you the alignment to other objects on the slide.

The Yellow Diamond – if you insert a rounded rectangle and alter the curvature of the corners, the elements showing you have the shape selected, vanish – giving you a clearer view.

The Combine Shapes Tool – a great feature that allows you to create unique shapes by either cutting one shape from another, or alternatively by combining them together.

Animation – has also been improved a lot, we now have the animation preview option, so rather than having to wait for all the other animation to play through, we can start at any point – a great time saver.

Motion Path Ghost – another awesome upgrade here, a tool that shows you exactly where the object’s animation will end.

So plenty of new features to keep Mac disciples happy.

However this new version of PowerPoint for Mac is just as much about what it doesn’t have as what it does. As the features that are missing when compared to the PC version (out for 2 years now) is just astounding.

There are a whole host of really key features missing:

The Quick Access Toolbar – is there, but it doesn’t seem to be customisable like it is on PC.

Selection Pane – a key tool to be able to hide objects on a slide and thus get to other objects layered behind – on PC for years, but still no sign of it for Mac users.

Custom Shows – miss the show and return function.

Animation – the timeline visual representation is missing, making it much harder to work with animations.

Save as Video – on PC you can save to WMV or MP4. On Mac it’s not even an option.

Some other less important features missing are:

Online Pictures – uses Bing to search for Creative Commons online images (use with legal caution) and insert directly into the slide.

Screenshot – a handy tool for inserting an image of any program you have open.

Photo Album – a tool that allows you to select a folder containing multiple images and load them all onto separate PowerPoint slides in seconds.

Zoom – in presentation mode on the PC, you can hit a magnifying glass and zoom directly into around 25% of the screen.

So it really does feel like Mac users of PowerPoint have been an afterthought.

It’s not all doom and gloom, if Mac is where your heart lays, then it is a good step forward. But when it comes to serious presentation creation, then your life will be harder than your colleague (or competitor) that has the PC version.

To put the difference into context, I asked one of our designers what he thought the impact would be if the Eyeful design team switched to using PowerPoint 2016 for Mac…

The knock on effect would be huge. We could manage without some features, but things like not being able to convert to video would be a huge loss for many of our clients. And things like not having a clear animation timeline the selection pane missing, would really slow production time. It would take us so much longer to do things that it just wouldn’t be a practical option to even consider switching. Jack Biddlecombe

If you are an ardent Mac user who is fed up of struggling with PowerPoint, then grab a cuppa, ditch the mouse and give Eyeful a call – we can take the hassle away and create you a stunning presentation, with clear content and messaging.

The Eyefulites are growing….

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 by Matt<

Newbies

Here at Eyeful your presentations are really important to us, we put a lot of time, energy and thought into every stage of the process – which is why we’ve strengthened the Eyeful team at every step of the way to ensure your presentations are given the full care and attention they deserve.

Stage 1 – Presentation Optimisation

At the beginning of every project you’re assigned an Eyeful Consultant – they get to know your situation, understand your goals and help you create a story-flow using our tried and trusted Presentation Optimisation process.

Joining us at this stage is new presentation consultant Duncan Cranmer, based in Bristol, Duncan is as frustrated by the poor state of business presentations as the rest of us… his mission now is to help Eyeful’s customers meet the issue head on.

Duncan is highly experienced in B2B sales, having worked in a variety of sectors from software, services into the NHS and latterly in sales enablement services.

Stage 2 – Storyboard Creation

The story-flow is then turned into a storyboard – by a storyboard developer such as Sam Potter.

At this stage we always go to paper before PowerPoint, as it allows us to step away from slides and truly consider the right content to go into the visuals of the presentation.

Sam brings with her considerable experience from the retail industry, gained in a variety of roles including 2 years in visual merchandising – Sam will put these skills into practice by turning story flow documents into fully fledged storyboards – which are then turned into fantastic presentations by our designers…

Stage 3 – Design and Creation

And for this part of the process we welcome the rather artistically talented Ed Geraghty and Helen Power – who should both be congratulated for getting through an exhausting (and long running) series of phone calls, interviews and tests!

Ed has 5 years of graphic design study under his belt and has most recently been working for a Midlands based design agency.

Helen joins after being a freelance designer in the sunnier climes of Australia.

All of Eyeful’s new recruits exude an excitement and hunger to push presentation’s forward which when combined with the existing extraordinary Eyefulite team only makes Eyeful’s position even better equipped to respond to your presentation needs.

Help us rid the world of yet another poor presentation, give us a call on 0845 056 8528 and our team will be on hand to help you.

Valuable Visuals are Nothing New

Thursday, August 7th, 2014 by Justine<

In 1914 the world was in crisis and nobody could predict the horror that was to come.

Communicating serious messages clearly and effectively was imperative and the drive to encourage enrolment in the armed forces was a real and urgent priority. The Parliamentary Recruitment Committee set about producing 150,000 posters featuring Lord Kitchener to communicate their very real need for recruits.

kitcher wordsI’m going to take an educated guess that the image above is not the one you were expecting.

In September 1914 a graphic artist called Alfred Leete was asked to design a cover for London Opinion magazine. This is the image you were expecting…

kitcher no wordsLeetes background in visual communication gave him the ability to create an image powerful enough to emotionally engage its audience and be easily recognised 100 years later.

Its impact was so great that it was immediately adopted as an official part of the war effort. The poster itself seems to have had a very limited distribution, it’s rarely seen in contemporary photographs and very few originals exist today – but its impact far outweighed its circulation.

It’s hard to reconcile the quality of an image that did its job so well with the realisation of what that job led to and the fate of so many of those who responded to its call to action.

On its own it is just a poster – a sheet of paper with an image and some text. It’s an object that was carelessly discarded, pasted over and left in damp cupboards until the mildew consumed it.

But, in context, it is one of the most powerful and in Eyeful terminology valuable visuals ever produced because it still has the power to make emotional connections, long after so many of its original intended audience have paid the ultimate price.

 

 

From Picasso to Presentations

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by Justine<

It’s a little while now since I dabbled in art but today the ever informative internet has thrown up another instance where art can help us to understand presentations better.

Scientists have confirmed that Picasso’s The Blue Room is actually painted over an earlier image of a man with a moustache. This is not an unusual phenomenon, many artist did this as part of the creative process and to reuse expensive materials, indeed Picasso’s own Woman Ironing also hides a moustachioed gent (but Picasso’s penchant for hirsute men is not what we’re here for).

While it’s easy to assume that the original image was painted over with something better and was therefore inferior and not worth investigating, it’s important to remember that newer and better are not the same thing.

Fashions change in art as in everything. Anyone who’s ever bought an old house will know that peeling back layers of wallpaper can be a real journey through tastes that time forgot (and then remembered – and then forgot again). Sometimes things are replaced for nothing more than whimsy and in the case of a struggling artist I suspect that hunger or impending homelessness could also be great motivators to produce something more marketable.

Presentations are subject to the same kind of trends and pressures, often with similar results.

First there were the text heavy slides that included every minutia of the information that we wanted to share in painstaking detail. Then bullet points came along, allowing us to dispense with the standard rules for forming coherent sentences without a second thought.

It’s not that long ago that we all got very excited by clipart and merrily inserted images hither and thither, thus making the whole thing prettier.

Then there were transitions, animations, imbedded videos, motion paths – the list goes on and on. As each new thing arrives it is greedily incorporated into presentations and as its star wanes it is replaced.

But somewhere in amongst all this ‘improvement’ is every presentations ‘moustache man’.

He’s been painted over a hundred times but he’s still important because he’s the reason you have a presentation in the first place.

The problem is that as presentations become more and more advanced they can become more and more removed from their purpose. We’ve seen many variations on this over the years and the results vary from the plain ugly (Presentationstein) to the gravely misguided.

While art conservators employ the latest high tech to find out what’s behind the old masters getting to the heart of your presentation will be much easier, all you need to do is look at it through your audiences’ eyes and ask a few simple questions:

Does my presentation have a natural flow or story?
Is all the content relevant and necessary?
Do the visuals support that content effectively?
Is there a clear call to action?

If any one of these things is missing, obscured, or unclear it might well be that it’s been painted over and the result of this can also be demonstrated by art.

Whilst cleaning a 17th century painting of a coastal scene, restorers found a beached whale that had been painted over. While it’s easy to understand that a painting without a dead animal as its focus would be eminently more market friendly, restoring it did explain the ‘hitherto slightly baffling presence of groups of people on the beach, and atop the cliffs, on what appears to be a blustery winter’s day’.

Whether removing, enhancing or replacing content is for the best aesthetically is always going to be a matter of opinion, but when that process interferes with the integrity of your presentation, and prevents it from making sense, you’ve got real problems.

If you’re worried that your presentation message might have got lost along the way, we’ll be more than happy to help you, simply get in touch to find out how.

Here Come The Girls

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 by Justine<

Being one of the best presentation consultancy and design companies is about having the best people and we’re always excited to welcome new talent here at Eyeful Towers.

2014 is turning out to be a big year for us and with new challenges on the horizon our team at Eyeful Towers is growing again.

So without further ado, here are the latest members of the Eyeful family (L to R) Lorna Boyer, Hannah Clarkstone and Harri Kaol.

 

Here come the girls
After initially advertising for one designer to join our in-house team we came across two outstanding candidates and never able to let great talent walk away, we employed then both; Lorna’s background is in graphic design and photography and Hannah is a graduate in Multi-Media Textile design.

Harri has left behind a world of underfloor heating and plumbing to take up the challenge of project management and appears, thankfully, to be suffering from very few u-bend withdrawal symptoms.

We’re really chuffed to have them on our team as we pursue our aim to rid the world of Death by PowerPoint – one presentation at a time….

Visually Speaking, The Signs Are Good

Monday, April 14th, 2014 by Justine<

The power of visuals is something that pervades everything we do here at Eyeful. When we optimise a presentation it often involves taking concepts or data and developing a visual that clearly expresses the content and it’s very often a case of less is more.

With so much technology available many people are tempted to fall in the trap of using every visual trick available to make an impact on their audience but when those images are conveying information a deeper connection is needed.

In the past we’ve looked at how graphics can convey messages effectively and as today is the 83rd birthday of a seminal tome on the subject I thought it was time to have another look.

Now I’m sure some of you will be expecting me to introduce you to a long forgotten publication by an early visual innovator, and indeed when this book first hit the shelves in 1931 there were a lot of sculptors, architects, painters and designers pushing the boundaries, but you’d be categorically wrong.

Today we are celebrating the birthday of The Highway Code.

The kind of informative visual imagery that The Highway Code contains is the sort that is easily dismissed. We see road signs every day and once the L Plates go in the bin, we often pay little conscious attention to the messages they convey. But that’s where their genius lays, road signs use simple visuals to convey concepts that need to be fully received and understood without distracting from the task a hand – in this case driving.

When it comes to presentations your visuals need to perform at a very similar level, they need to communicate their information clearly without distracting your audience from your message.

There have been vast leaps forward in information technology since the road sign was invented and while we do now see the occasional variable message or ‘matrix’ signs we haven’t really welcomed them. Sometimes their information is useful but here in the UK (where we seem to have a particularly low tolerance for things we deem unnecessary) they are often derided as being a ridiculous distraction. For example the nothing-to-report message ‘Tiredness Kills – Take A Break’ is often countered with the observation that taking your eyes off the road to read the flipping sign could also be quite dangerous.

That’s why traditional road signs are a thing of beauty and should be an inspiration to anyone who wants to get their message across clearly without and causing a distraction. But before you all go splashing out £2.50 of your hard earned money on this inspirational masterpiece there are a few things that you need to consider.

The messages that road signs convey are clear and in order to get the same effect from your presentation visuals you also need to have clarity of message, it is often unnecessary to pass every minutiae of detail to your audience and decided what stays and what goes is all about understanding your audience.

Getting it wrong is easy and even the best intentions can lead to the presentation equivalent of this…

 sign

It’s also important to remember that simple is not the same as clichéd. There are some visuals that are best consigned to history we’ve seen them all before and unless the message you want to convey is ‘couldn’t be bothered to find a better visual’ they are best left alone.

Fortunately, here at Eyeful we’re always on hand to help you get it right, we have training courses to help you find out more, specialist consultants who can guide the way and the best designers in the business to bring your presentation to life. (And for those of you who’ve already opened Amazon in another tab to check out The Highway Code, we’ve a book that you might be interested in too.)

Simply drop us a line to find out more.

Launching Eyeful Extra

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 by Justine<

Here at Eyeful we know that our success is down to keeping our customers happy and we love looking for new ways to spread a little more Eyeful magic.

Always striving to be exceptional – we’re really excited to be launching our latest extraordinary example of ensuring an excellent customer experience – Eyeful Extra.

Alliteration over, here’s what it’s all about.

From March 1st 2014 every job we do will benefit from a package of additional support and expertise completely free of charge. For the first three months after sign off of your completed presentation our experts will be on hand to help you with technical support and minor amends for up to two hours. We’ll even contact you after one month to remind you that this service is included.

We’ve never ‘locked down’ our presentations because we know that despite the love and attention we lavish on them, they don’t belong to us, they belong to our customers. We give our customers the ability to make their own amends and Eyeful Extra means that our expert designers and technicians will be on hand to support that process, ensuring that every presentation remains as effective and engaging as the day it left our studio. Or, for those of you who prefer not to tinker, Eyeful Extra gives you the option to simply let our experts do their thing.

And because we believe that every cake should have a cherry on the top, if you don’t use any of your Eyeful Extra time, we’ll send you a Presentation Lab resource pack full of great presentation ideas and useful goodies.

Visit our web page or speak to one of our project managers to find out more.