You’ve probably seen the rotating slide show that sits atop our home page. The slides promote upcoming events, book releases and new services. I’ve designed most of the slides, with some art direction and feedback from Chris Butler (who’s created a few of the slides as well). Since our website will be undergoing a redesign soon, I thought it would be a good time for a retrospective of previous slides as well as a peek at how they’re designed.
The initial art direction is usually brief and begins with an email: Hey Justin, could you create a slide for my talk next week for the AMA? The talk is called “The Four Stages of Content Marketing.” The link is here: http://www.mytalknextweek.com. Having such an open-ended directive can be a mixed blessing. “I can do anything I want!” quickly becomes “what am I going to do?”
For the design, I try to come up with a visual metaphor for the event subject. Sometimes I’ll mirror the graphics from the linked site so there’s some continuity between it and the slide. A typical slide design will take a few hours from concept to finish (like the example in the video) but if the image is complex or I just can’t seem to get the colors right, it could take a couple of days to complete. Once I’m satisfied with the design, I’ll send it off to Chris for review. He’s good at helping me pull back and see things with fresh eyes. I’m a big fan of the collaborative design process but sometimes it’s a challenge since I’m the lone occupant of our design department.
The slide featured in the time lapse video is a bit unique. It was the first one that featured two events. The HOW Interactive Design Conference was happening in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco about a month apart. Given the two locations, the concept presented itself and the design came together rather quickly. Once the D.C. dates had passed, Mark asked me to revise the slide to promote just the San Francisco event.
I hope you enjoy the retrospective. For extra credit, see if you can tell which slides Chris Butler designed (hint: there are 9).