As I mentioned before, I'm in the beginning stages of writing and designing another book, this one called Presentation Zen Design. For many of us, there is a hole in our education when it comes to communicating visually, and knowledge of even the basics of graphic design is missing for most people. This book intends to do its small part to help fix this problem by focusing on concrete graphic design principles and techniques in the context of presentation design, though the concepts and knowledge can be applied to other areas of one's professional life. This book is a deeper exploration of the Design section of PZ (chapters 5-7). The underlying guiding principles are the same -- restraint, simplicity, and naturalness -- but this time applied strictly to visual communication in general and graphic design in particular. My aim is to help the non-designer become a bit more savvy of a visual thinker and to give him or her the tools and understanding to apply this knowledge in concrete, practical ways immediately in presentations (and beyond). The look and feel of the book is very similar to PZ (e.g., exactly same size), but it will be even more visual. The book will be available in mid-November, 2009.
You can be a part of it (again)
I would love to hear your stories and suggestions. You can write to me here (or send a message to Twitter) or leave a comment below. What success (or failure) stories do you have using presentation visuals in your live talks at work or school? What do you think are still the most common design mistakes made by non-designers? Do you have any slides or other visuals (good or bad) that you can share, or can you point to particularly good examples? Your stories are important to me and I’d like to share them with a wider audience, even highlighting your visual examples were appropriate. I will not reprint your name or material in the book or use a slide, etc. without first confirming permission with you. Even if you want to remain anonymous I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions.
(The cover photo is an iStockphoto image by Alexander Gatsenko of some wagasa, Japanese traditional umbrellas, works of art that are simple and beautiful, yet complex and difficult to create.)