Posts Tagged ‘Design’

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.

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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.

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Between The Covers of The Presentation Lab

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 by Justine<

A couple of weeks ago our illustrious MD Simon Morton shared his thoughts on why he undertook the task of committing our presentation expertise to paper. Writing The Presentation Lab: Learn the Formula Behind Powerful Presentations was a huge undertaking and while it’s impact on us, and our customers, is already being felt, it’s impact on the larger world of business communications is still to come.

Modern presentations are the product of years of advances in software and technology and making them visually stunning is easier than ever before. Not only that, but there are a plethora of books telling you, minute step by minute step, how to get PowerPoint ‘popping’ – The Presentation Lab is not one of them.

So once you’ve stripped out the whizz bang of visual impact, what’s left to fill a book?

Well, for those of you who like your presentations to connect and engage rather than dazzle and stupefy, there’s a whole lot of great stuff to get your teeth into and here’s a quick look at what’s on offer….

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It’s a Lovely, Lego Christmas Here at Eyeful

Friday, December 13th, 2013 by Justine<

Regular readers will know we feel a certain affinity with Lego. We’ve used the eponymous little bricks as a Presentation Optimisation metaphor , we loved how they were used to honour Felix Baumgartner’s amazing jump and now we’ve found an excuse to include them in our advent calendar….happy days!


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The Annual Eyeful Advent Is Upon Us

Monday, December 2nd, 2013 by Justine<

There’s no denying the fact that Christmas is on its way and regular readers will know that we love a bit of seasonal silliness mixed with a smattering of businessy stuff.

This year we’ll be getting festive with a series of offers, insights and jolly japery that we hope you’ll all enjoy.

For those of you who simply can’t wait to see what we’ve got up our sleeves this year, here’s a selection of highlights from Christmas past….

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Clever PowerPoint & Cute Cats – What’s Not To Like?

Monday, October 28th, 2013 by Justine<

Here at Eyeful we love to push the boundaries of PowerPoint because, in the right hands, it can create some truly amazing presentation visuals.

Whilst much of the world is happy to blame PowerPoint for poor presentations we believe that’s akin to blaming cars for speeding. The brilliance (or otherwise) of a presentation is not about PowerPoint (or Keynote, or Prezi, or the infamous napkin) it’s about getting the best from whatever tool you’re using. And, if we may say so ourselves, when it comes to squeezing every ounce of brilliance from the seemingly mundane, we’re just the people for the job.

Here’s an example of what happens when we give one of our PowerPoint aficionados the seed of an idea and the opportunity just to have fun.

No story, no compelling message and no structure, just the chance to make PowerPoint work that little bit harder as well as play around with some video clips of cute cats.  Happy days.

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Whistleblower – The Results Are In

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 by Justine<

It’s been a while now since we opened our doors to all those who have suffered in the face of poor presentations and if we’re honest, we still haven’t quite recovered.

Our whistleblower campaign was, depending on your perspective either a resounding success or an embarrassing failure.

While we’re sure that the whistleblowers themselves felt better we’re also sure that anyone who gives presentations could well be in for a shock.

It’s taken us a while to fully digest the responses and while we’ve kept you entertained with some of the ‘highlights’ it’s only now that we can reveal the full horror of want we uncovered.

So grab yourself a cup of tea and a biscuit and click through this link to hear our MD Simon Morton and marketing guru Justine Smith reveal all….

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James – What He Did And How He Did It!

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 by Justine<

A few weeks ago we told you all about our first work experience student and admitted publically that we had completely failed to assign him any filing or refreshment duties.

So what did James do during his time at Eyeful Towers?

Well, James joined our resident übergeek Matt and produced something just a little bit special.

So without further ado, here it is for you all to enjoy…

And if that wasn’t exciting enough Matt has also put together a little behind the scenes tour showing just how he and James put the whole thing together.

If you’re as excited as we are about what can be achieved when PowerPoint teams up with some friends and a smattering of Eyeful magic, simply drop us a line and we’ll help you get your message across in ways that you never imagined.

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How Refreshing

Monday, July 8th, 2013 by Justine<

We all feel better for a bit of pampering. Treating ourselves to a new haircut, buying the latest tech or going on holiday has been clinically proven (honest) to make us feel better. And when we feel better we’re more sociable and productive.

It’s the same for your presentation; if its feeling dated and unloved it’s unlikely to be doing its best for you. But there’s no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater – if you’re presentation content is still topical then maybe it just needs a makeover.

Our Presentation Refresh service is an excellent way to give flagging presentations a new lease of life.

It’s like taking your presentation on a luxury spa weekend and ordering champagne at breakfast……

 

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Calling All Whistleblowers….

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 by Justine<

The recent leaking of NSA presentations has got us scratching our heads here at Eyeful Towers.

Poor Presentation causes International Incident’ is not a headline we ever expected to see, yet it’s actually happening…..

Online Espionage aside, we were wondering just how bad presentations can be, and decided it was time to give a voice to all those who have suffered in silence.

So as Edward Snowden continues his search for exile in far flung corners of the globe we’re offering you the opportunity to whistle blow without incurring any airfares.

Simply click through this link and tell us about the worst presentation you’ve ever seen. You don’t have to name names if you don’t want to, we’re interested in the crime not the criminal. Just tell us what made the presentation so bad and we’ll try to set the world to rights on your behalf.

If you’re unsure on what makes a bad presentation, or you’re unfortunate enough to have never seen a good one, take a peek at our 10 commandments below to see what’s what.

As if saving you the trouble of planning an escape route wasn’t enough, we’ll pick one of you out of the hat to receive some chocs and flowers as a thank-you.

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