Friday, January 6, 2012

Powerpoint This!

One of the results of a career spent doing a little bit of everything there is to do is a small ad agency is that while I not an expert at any one thing in particular, I can do a lot of things passably well.  Which I didn't think was such a rare thing until I ended up at a larger corporation, where specialization is the norm.  So I spend half of my time wishing I were a bit more of an inspired designer, I also spend a lot of time taking on any project that needs doing.

In a corporate office at the turn of each year, that means Powerpoint, and I've honestly done too many presentations to count over the course of the last three months.  If I had to guess, I'd place the figure at somewhere around 25, with some of those being completely revised top to bottom several times (and usually under a vacuum-tight deadline) in the course of a day.

I'd always thought of Powerpoint as non-creative tools, but it turns out that these presentations are yet another thing that a mind trained to see all creative problems that need to be solved in terms of constructing a comics narrative can find a way to slice and dice quickly.  It's amazing how many problems in advertising and the larger world of design boil down to telling a story in words and pictures, you know?

I'm sure someone, somewhere has made a Powerpoint comic.  Or even a Powerpoint animated cartoon.  Keynote (Apple's more sophisticated Powerpoint-style app) is my go-to program anytime someone wants to make titles for an online training video.  Just throw something together, export as a .MOV file, and splice together in iMovie.  Huzzah.  But even still, I wonder if there's something there?  David Byrne used Powerpoint as a medium for a little bit, but he did so the same way he does everything - which is to say, ironically and with some condescension.  Is it a medium for real expression?  Or just for selling paint?


1 comment:

Samantha said...

An interesting post to read. I use to manage the unique design in every my presentation. I don't always have a bunch of time for design, so I use custom templates.