Peter Zvirinsky is slide designer and the founder of InfoDiagram.com, a website for pre-designed presentation slides and PowerPoint visual elements. Peter also runs Prezentio.com, a slide design company where they create tailor-made presentation slides for various companies. Peter loves changing textual information into simple diagrams and he wants to inspire others to use this visualization process in everyday life.
In this conversation, Peter discusses hand drawn elements created by his infoDiagram site.
Geetesh: Your hand written symbols set has an amazing collection of hand drawn elements such as scribbles, lines, shapes, icons, etc. How will slides created using these elements help audiences understand concepts better?
Peter: Thank you for appreciation, Geetesh. Indeed, we have spent quite some time preparing all these sketch-like icons and shapes.
These hand drawn elements serve as an unconventional way to make a presentation more personal and eye-catching. They help to understand the concepts as a unique instrument to underline the key message of a slide.
According to Presentation Zen guidelines by Garr Reynolds — one slide should represent one idea. If you have a slide with more information elements, perhaps a longer text, a table or a data chart, you still should show the audience where the one key message is.
This is where handwritten elements are handy. They are a nice way to point out that key message. For example, you can underline the key data bar in your chart by a charcoal oval, arrow or speech balloon.
When using such additional elements, people should not forget about design consistency. Don’t mix more than two handwritten styles in one presentation. For example, use only charcoal style or only ink style elements.
Geetesh: The hand-drawn elements in this collection include actual slide elements such as charts, shapes, tables, etc. — but they also include highlight elements such as a highlighted circle, arrows of all types, and even symbols of people. Can you tell us about a few ways in which we can use and combine all these elements?
Peter: With pleasure. Our goal was to create a comprehensive toolbox, based on our design experience and customer feedback.
These are some ways how our handwritten elements can be used:
- As underlining scribbles (arrows, ovals, speech balloons) — as you would do when scribbling a note by hand on a printed document. You can emulate this manual note-taking in PowerPoint slides.
- As illustrative icons (people and chart icons) to visualize your theme, enabling people to make easier mnemonic association with the slide topic.
- As progress indicators — indicating sections in the presentation or presentation timeline in an organic way.
- As building blocks for creating whole diagrams, visualizing a specific process, structure or relationship.
You can check more examples in my blog Simple visualization of ideas where those elements are used to illustrate interesting Seth Godin blog posts, for example. If anyone wants to contribute with his or her own examples, I’ll be glad to talk. Feel free to contact me via infoDiagram contact page.
In general, the handwritten set serves as a motivation to use drawings in presentations. When you have such collection and examples of usage, it is easier to start creating visual diagrams or illustrations and, thus, create presentations that are memorable and easy to understand. Using hand drawn elements can go beyond PowerPoint slides. Our handwritten icons have been used for e-books and blogs illustrations.
I think we all love to draw from our early age — just take a look at kids. Yet, sometimes we feel we lack the skills to create nice-looking visuals. Typing a text slide is faster than creating its visual representation. That’s where we want to help people by giving them ready-made sets of elements, as well as visualization examples.
If you like the idea of adding those sketched elements to your slides, you can try it right away. There is the special 20% discount off the price of all our handwritten PowerPoint icons and shapes for Indezine readers (use code ind2013 in the purchase form valid until the end of March 2013). If you are not convinced yet, get a free sample from our infoDiagram.com webpage first.