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November 2007

October 2007

Creative pumpkin carving

Pumkin As we near the end of October it can mean only one thing: Pumpkins and plenty of them. It's also the time of year that Duarte Design displays its employee pumpkin carvings from its legendary Duarte Pumpkin Contest. Duarte added 21 new staff since last year so that have plenty of creative entries again this year. Not your typical jack-o-lanterns, but what do you expect from a group of talented creatives. There's even a "Presentation Zen" entry from one of the employees. Seven weeks before the book is even published it's already inspired someone to make some PZ-pumpkin parody.

Duarte redesigns their website
Speaking of Duarte, checkout Duarte's new website (just launched today). I think this site does a much better job of showing who they are and what they do (and why they kick butt). Take some time to meet the staff behind the name (looks like a fun place to work, doesn't it?). In the portfolio section you can see some good examples of their work. I love how they make their simplicity point right up front on the first page. Below are some screen shots from the site. Go checkout the site when you have some time. Let them know what you think.

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Picture8_2 Last_2

Update on the PZ book
Book I hope to be "done" with the book in two weeks. Before then I have to finish up the design of the last chapter and add a resource section and photo credit section at the back (I'm also writing some more text to give it a better "ending"). Before I am really done there will be more rounds with the proofreaders and production people and finally I'll need to manually adjust some text to make sure there are no rough line breaks, Widows, etc. The print process takes about a month, and it looks like the book will meet the deadline and be ready for sale at least a week before Christmas. Interestingly, pre-sales have already been amazingly good (amazing to me at least). You can order the book now on Amazon and other online sites as well. Thanks so much to all of you who pre-ordered the book!

I get by with a little help...
Mayumi Nakamoto, designer and co-founder of Recette a design shop focused on "food, communication, and culture," has been my assistant on the project since the beginning. I go to her office located in the Graphics Lab building in central Osaka once or twice a week to go over my designs and get InDesign tips. In the photo below we are going over some printed pages and deciding the proper thinkness of borders, color choices, etc. Here we are looking at the front cover wich I designed using a photo from iStock. The cover is done, but Mayumi will use her expertise in typography to kern some letters/adjust tracking, etc. in the "presentationzen" title. It is subtle, but it matters.

Going over the layouts with designer and InDesign guru Mayumi Nakamoto.

Presentation Zen (the book) progress report

Dec_17_07 Progress continues on the Presentation Zen book. In retrospect the writing was easy. What takes so long is the design of the book. When I submitted the proposal in the spring, Peachpit asked me to do the layout and design for the book as well as the back/front covers. The whole enchilada. It has turned out to be more complicated than I thought; there are just a million different things to keep in mind when preparing designs for print that we don't have to worry about in the online/display world. I've learned more about InDesign than I really wanted to. I have also discovered that I next need to write an entire book just on presentation design as that chapter could have gone on for 200 pages. We're already making plans to create a book in 2008 focused just on design principles and techniques with applications for presentation design (perhaps with a dvd) and I'll be producing a workbook just for the Japanese market in English for release in April with a Japanese publisher.

Getting there...
Here's where we are now on PZ: The text went through 2-3 rounds of revisions in Word with the editor in the summer (though I am still adding and cutting). I am now in the middle of submitting the layouts by chapter in PDF form (exported from InDesign) to the publisher and a proofreader checks the text and some in-house designers check the designs and offer up suggestions (they have great eyes!). The suggestions and corrections are sent back (placed on a server actually) and look like the pages below (the green boxes are the comments). Test InDesign files have been submitted too for the production people to test images and bleeds, colors, etc. This weekend all chapters will be completed and with the publisher for corrections. Then another round or two of corrections and final layout, and then sent to the production folks in PDF and InDesign with a ton of images. There was not room to include all that I planned to put in this book, so I'll put that online when I am done and can start writing for the PZ website again.


Below are the first 24 pages of the book. In the first two pages below you can see Guy Kawasaki's Foreword, the first Foreword ever (as far as I know) presented in the form of a printed PowerPoint deck.

iStockphoto deal
iStockphoto has been an enthusiastic supporter of the book (they'll be joining me at the Apple Store in Ginza December 11 (7:00pm) for an event as well). I'm a complete iStockphoto evangelist. The details are being worked out now, but if you buy the book you will get a special code entitling you to some free images and discounts from iStock. A special Presentation Zen page will be set up on iStockphoto too. I'll let you know the specifics when they are final.

Can't wait to get the book done so I can get back to blogging and "giving it away."