As we have said many times, the success of a presentation depends heavily on good design. Here is a look at contrast in design.
Susan says, “Understanding and implementing some of the basic principles of design will help build your confidence knowing that you have used fundamental truths that improve communication.
The Design Principle: Contrast
Lucia has nailed the design principle of contrast in this photo. The most basic aspect of contrast, light against dark, is very obvious here . But she uses contrasting textures here, too: the crystalline smoothness of the snow against sharp spines of the cacti and again the softness of the snow against hard surface of the cacti paddles. She also captures contrasting shapes: the hard edged ovals of the cacti against the more flowing organic shapes of the snowfall. The content itself also shows contrast: desert cacti in snow, the sharp white spines of the cacti highlighted in a way made possible by the unusual presence of the blue white snow. This contrast could be used to illustrate many discussions about the unexpected, adaptability in nature.
The primary purpose of contrast is to excite, grab attention and build drama. This photo could do all three. Whether you use contrast in the design of your slides or select photos that use contrast to illustrate a point or an idea within your presentation, keep contrast in mind as a useful tool.”
Look for the Understated
Lucia says, “Yes, contrast is the main element here. I was tempted to create a black and white version of this photo, but decided the muted coloring was more effective. Notice how the subtle lighting of the winter sunlight creates a soft distinction from the shadowed areas. This understated feature forms a bed for the sharp contrasts that Susan described. When looking for ways to add contrast to your design, don’t overlook the understated visuals. They can add a delicate quality to your presentation.”
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