Sandy Johnson is a 20-year marketing communications veteran who has developed and successfully implemented marketing communications programs for clients like 3M Health Care, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and Porsche Cars of North America. Her strategic expertise and creative PowerPoint design and strategic consultation skills have made her a valuable resource for her clients. Visit Sandy’s site to learn more.
In this conversation, Sandy discusses the use of PowerPoint to create holiday cards.
Geetesh: What motivated you to use PowerPoint to create such awesome holiday cards?
Sandy: Like many businesses, each year at this time I would send some sort of print holiday greeting to each of my clients. At some point it occurred to me that, since my business is based on electronic messaging — PowerPoint — my cards should reflect that medium. Besides, it was an opportunity to stretch PowerPoint a little further than I might be able to do on a daily basis with my business clients.
So, I started sending out holiday greeting eCards (self-running PowerPoint presentations) around 2006. Around 2010, those who received the cards also received instructions on how they might customize each card with their own logo or name. Each year, this is my gift to my clients, thanking them for the work they’ve entrusted me with over the past year and giving them the opportunity to pass on a customized greeting to their customers. I also love sharing my cards with the technical community in hopes that users will better understand what PowerPoint can do — beyond the standard slide.
Geetesh: How much time does it take to create these cards – and how do you plan the concept and the animations?
Sandy: Honestly, I’m thinking about these cards all year, so I’m constantly looking for inspiration in print greeting cards, TV commercials and web sites that I run across. That’s the hard part — coming up with the big idea. If I’m passionate about an idea, I can’t get it out of my head until I start producing it. I rarely sketch these ideas on paper first (unlike client’s business presentations). Instead I go straight to PowerPoint.
Newer versions of PowerPoint have shortened the production process considerably. I wish I’d had PowerPoint 2010’s Merge Shapes and Create a Video features back in 2006. To answer your question about the length of time, I’ll use examples. I think it only took me a couple of hours to create a Valentine’s card a few years ago. On the other hand, my 2008 card probably took 20 hours because of all the masks I used for the ornaments– and because I built it in PowerPoint 2003 (it’s really a “mess” behind the scenes). I don’t think it would take that long today.