Designing in PowerPoint – how to brief a designer.

Designing in PowerPoint – how to brief a designer.

Posted by Nicola Adimaly on 23rd Aug 2018

Preparing a brief for a designer can be achieved by constructing a simple and to the point overview document. Your document should outline your requirements and key information that you would like to be included. As well as a brief, it is also important to share your brand guidelines if you have some. Alternatively, you could share some other branding collateral as examples of brand application.


How do I brief a designer?

Firstly, use a program like Microsoft Word or PowerPoint to consolidate your brief. Jot a few notes about what you would like to achieve and your target audience. Let’s take the requirement for an outdoor banner as an example.

Example:

We have office space for rent in our building. I’d like a large banner that can be fixed to the fence outside and be visible from the road. I’d like it to be approx. 3m in length. The banner needs to be simple and ask those interested to enquire within.

A designer, or banner printing company, will be able to use this information to select the correct product for you. In this example we would recommend a 3m x 1m outdoor PVC banner, hemmed and eyeleted so that it can be attached to the fence. Printed with UV inks our outdoor banners can be used in all weather. In order for the text to be seen from the road, a designer will instinctively know that font sizes will need to be large, and the design should not be crowded.


Can I mock up my banner design in PowerPoint?

Yes. It might not be ‘print ready’ or high resolution, but it will give your designer a clear brief. If you have an idea of what you would like on the banner and text, then it makes sense to share your thoughts with your designer. There is no harm in mocking up the design yourself. This will give your designer a clear brief and they will be able to simply recreate your design to print ready standards. This will in turn save you time and money as you will be asking your designer to artwork your design, rather than designing from scratch.

Top Tip: Remember a designer is a professional and an expert in design. Although you may have an idea of what you would like your design to look like, be open to their suggestions and improvements.


How should I layout my banner in PowerPoint?

There are two routes we recommend when using PowerPoint as a design tool. One is to use shapes to place an outline of your banner in the middle of the page and use the outside space to add design notes. The other is to custom set your page and treat the page like your available banner design area.

Remember, PowerPoint pages can be used in Landscape and portrait orientation. So be sure to check your page set up settings and use the orientation that best suits the format of your output. This will often differ between a roller banner, often known as a pull up or roll up, which is tall and narrow therefore, you might use a portrait page in PowerPoint. Where as an outdoor banner that might be wide and narrow therefore, a landscape orientation would be better suited.

To amend your page set up in PowerPoint follow the below instructions:

  • In the top-left corner, choose "File."
  • Select "Page Setup."
  • Type the height and width of the background you'd like, and click "OK."
  • A dialogue box will appear. Click "OK" again.
  • Your background is resized!

Top Tip: Set up your page before adding anything to your page. Otherwise any objects and shapes you may have already created will be skewed.



Can I use PowerPoint to design multiple outdoor banners?

Yes, of course. You can set up templates and master pages in PowerPoint, therefore if you are designing or mocking up more than one banner you can use this functionality to save you time. This allows you to simply duplicate the page and make the necessary changes. This also allows you to save just one file rather than multiple files.


Will my logo be high resolution and good quality in PowerPoint?

If you add your logo or any imagery to your design in PowerPoint be sure to also send the original files to your designer or printer. Programs like PowerPoint and Word can sometimes down-res your assets which will result in pixelization when printed. The program can also shrink the quality of the logo or image when saving or emailing the file. The best way to avoid this is the send the originals.


What is PowerPoint maths?

PowerPoint maths refers to the 1-6-6 rule when designing a PowerPoint presentation. Each slide should have one main point, no more than six bullet points, with no more than six words per bullet. As a general rule, less is more and keep it simple rule... we like it. Banner design is similar. Keep it simple. If you want someone to be able to read your banner from a distance, or from a moving passing vehicle, you need to keep the information to a minimum. A passing car will have seconds to gleam the information. From a distance the text must be large therefore naturally limiting the space available.

Top Tip: When designing a banner - if you are shrinking the font size to fit in a longer sentence, then you should stop. Revaluate your text and cut the copy down.


What information should I include on my outdoor banner?

Key items you might wish to include on your outdoor banner are:

  • Company logo
  • Headline and/or body copy
  • Image if needed
  • Call to action
  • Contact details

What is a 'call to action'?

A call to action is a piece of information that instructs the reader or viewer to do something in reply to your message. For example, ‘pick up the phone and call us today on...’ or ‘visit our website for more information’ or ‘enquire inside.’


What contact details should I include on my banner?

One or two methods of contacting you is helpful to the viewer/reader. We suggest directing enquiries to a website, email or a telephone number. Don’t be tempted to include too many ways of contacting you, as it will weaken the overall message and take up valuable design space.


What fonts should I use in PowerPoint?

Legibility is key. Check out our blog Fontastic for our favourite fonts for maximum readability. Also, try to stick to no more than two font types/styles. Plus, refer to your brand guidelines.


How do I align objects in PowerPoint?

Take the guessing out of finding the centre or aligning shapes to the right. Use the PowerPoint functionality.

Align objects by following the below instructions in PowerPoint:

  • Select all objects by holding down "Shift" and clicking on all of them.
  • Select "Arrange" in the top options bar, then choose "Align or Distribute."
  • Choose the type of alignment you'd like.

How do I crop an image in PowerPoint to let my designer know that I want my image inside a shape?

Besides creating custom shapes in PowerPoint, you can also use the many shapes available. Plus, you can drop your images into them. If for example your brand uses imagery in circles, you could add a couple of circles in a corner of your banner design and crop existing brand imagery into them.

Here’s how to crop imagery into a shape in PowerPoint:

  1. Click on the image and select "Format" in the options bar.
  2. Choose "Crop," then "Mask to Shape," and then choose your desired shape.
  3. Ta-da! Custom-shaped photos.


There are so many more tips and tricks in PowerPoint that you can use to design. Microsoft PowerPoint is by no means a professional designers choice, but... it allows us all to be creative and in turn prepare better design briefs for designers. The better the brief, the greater the output.

Our friendly team are always on hand to help. Whether we are art-working from your mock up, or designing from scratch, our team will always check your artwork files before printing. Our team of designers design banners day in and day out. They are highly skilled and instinctively know what font style and sizes would look best. Plus they are experts in navigating your brand guidelines. We’ll use your PowerPoint brief to create a high-resolution print ready PDF before printing.

Once your order is with us, simple sit back, have a cup of tea and let us take over. Delivering your beautifully printed banner to your doorstep. With a great range, offers and fast delivery we won’t disappoint!

Find out more about our design service, browse online or simply chat to an expert call 02380 700111.

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