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“Ooooo, she said a bad word!”, this is something my 10 year old would say. But, in this case C.R.A.P. isn’t what you think it is, it’s simply an acronym for 4 principles of graphic design coined by Robin Williams (no not the actor), author of several design books. It is stands for:
When you know C.R.A.P, you can be assured that your presentations (be it marketing materials, presentations, websites, etc) will have the framework it needs to be a killer presentation. Sorry to tell you that this alone “does not a killer presentation make“, if you’re content sucks so will your presentation (but that’s topic can take a whole book to address). I’m not going to be talking about how to make great content, rather how to organize your content in a visually appearing manner. Over the next few posts I will cover each of the concepts one by one.
Today’s topic is “Contrast“
Contrast adds visual appeal to your presentation or design. The result can be so visually appealing that you are able to achieve a higher impact than you anticipated. Contrast is about conflict – you know like black and white, night and day, oil and water. I’ve created contrast in my sub-heading by using a different color for the word Contrast. It makes it jump out at you and forces you to focus on that one word.
Contrast can be created using different methods, it’s not only about color it can be created by using a different font for two terms, adding texture that is contrary to what you are displaying, using items that may represent the same idea very differently, by using lines, images, etc. You really need to let your imagination flow.
Just to give you an example of contrast, here is one slide from a PowerPoint presentation I was asked to doctor up. This is the original slide, there is too much going and it fails to use contrast effectively:
By using contrast correctly and not overdoing it the slide begins to look a bit more professional. There are other ways Contrast could be used in this slide but if you struggle with design, this is a simple way to make it work for you.
My first challenge for you it to create 1 slide in PowerPoint and apply the principle of contrast. In my next post we’ll talk about “Repetition”.
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!
Jennifer Jackson of jenniferjackson.edublogs.org/ posted sent me a comment asking whether or not contrast could be achieved with the use of an image. My reply to this is absolutely, you just have to decide first the purpose of your slide because different purposes would warrant a different design. I used the black and white example on top just to contrast the “oh so busy” original slide. The one major thing I’m against is the use of extraneous elements, such as text in the footer, images used just to take up space, and images that really aren’t as relevant as you think.
So as I promised Jennifer, here is sample where I used an image to create contrast. This particular slide is for a presentation made by a presenter.
This particular slide puts into use all 4 C.R.A.P. principles – you have contrast created by the shadings in the image that flow from dark to light, you have repetition through the repeating towers, alignment in the towers and text, and proximity in the text. So you can achieve a clearer message and still use the principles without being tacky.