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Case Study: Creating Design Templates for a Travel Agency

You are the presentation specialist for a large web conglomerate that has just acquired TravelTime, a full-service travel agency. As part of the acquisition, there will be any number of presentations to be developed for the top executives to take on a road show, for human resources managers to use in training the in-house staff, and for sales and marketing to use as they visit vendors.

The TravelTime executives who have been absorbed into the conglomerate come for their first visit to your office and bring with them the TravelTime presentation template, which they have been using for a while, as shown in Figure 2-37.

Figure 2-37

Figure 2-37 A common PowerPoint template would use a picture in the background of the text placeholders.

They're excited because they've figured out how to put the picture into a rectangle AutoShape and reduce its transparency.

"See, it doesn't really overwhelm the whole slide," the President of TravelTime says. "What do you think?"

Before you respond, here is the new corporate logo for TravelTime that your major advertising firm has designed (see Figure 2-38).

Figure 2-38

Figure 2-38 This more professional-looking logo is what should be used in the new presentation templates.

What might your response be in this situation?

Think about it before you begin reading the next section.

Key Issues to Consider

You might respond as follows:

  • Have we reviewed the overall website of our company?
  • We've been asked to redesign the template to fit within our overall brand without compromising your identity.
  • We've actually invested some time with a high-power marketing firm to redesign your logo and rethink the brand.
  • Why don't you let us work with the elements we have and see what we come up with?

The executives aren't entirely sure, but they're new in the company after all, so they're will to see what develops. Before they leave, you show them the new corporate logo that the advertising agency has designed (refer to Figure 2-38), and they're impressed. You tell them that you'll provide some new branded templates for their division in a week.

The first thing you need to do is to load the logo TIF file into an image editing program and analyze some of the key colors, using the color picker to determine their RGB values:

  • The dark brown from the spyglass has an RGB of 93 51 29.
  • A darker blue from the map is 94 123 139.
  • The gold from the globe and spyglass is 140 116 82.

Then you resize the logo to fit into a slide set so that it won't be overwhelmed. You do this in the image editing program by taking the width and height dimensions down to 15% of their original size and maintaining the original aspect ratio. (The aspect ratio of an image is the relationship between its height and width. If one of these dimensions is altered without a corresponding change to the other to keep the ratio constant, the image becomes distorted. Better image editing programs have settings when you are changing dimensions to keep the aspect ratio constant.)

In a blank white slide, you enter the Slide Master view and resize the Title and Bullet placeholders so that they fit into a smaller area to increase the white space. You remove the footer, slide number, and date placeholders and line up the title and bullet placeholders by using the Align Left command under the Order panel of the Draw button of the Drawing toolbar (see Figure 2-39).

Figure 2-39

Figure 2-39 Clean up the Slide Master by creating and realigning smaller placeholders and removing extraneous placeholders.

Thinking about the logo and its placement for the corporate executive template, you decide to offset it with a thick blue vertical bar. You keep the dark line color but change the Fill color of the bar to be identical to the blue that you selected out of the corporate logo, as shown in Figure 2-40.

Figure 2-40

Figure 2-40 Use the Custom Colors tab of the Fill color tool to match the RGB values of the corporate logo.

Now you bring in the resized logo TIF image by clicking Insert > Picture from File (still in the Slide Master view) and line it up with the colored bar as shown in Figure 2-41.

Figure 2-41

Figure 2-41 Inserting the logo into the Slide Master will make it part of the uniform look in the template.

For the Title and Bullet text color, you once again use the Custom tab, this time in the Text Color tool, to match the dark brown from the logo. See Figure 2-42.

Figure 2-42

Figure 2-42 Refine the text colors in the new template according to the color values of the logo.

You add a Title Master and make it unique by extending the vertical bar all the way to the bottom and adding a larger version of the logo in another part of the slide, resizing the placeholders once again within the grid to allow for more white space, as shown in Figure 2-43.

Figure 2-43

Figure 2-43 A unique Title Master can make use of a larger version of the logo and slightly different configuration of the same elements.

After leaving the Slide Master and checking the results with a new slide, you enter the Color Schemes Task Pane and use the Custom Color Tab to apply logo-centric colors to other elements in a new Custom Color Scheme based on the slide, including Text and Line colors, Title colors, and Accents, as shown in Figure 2-44.

Figure 2-44

Figure 2-44 A new custom Color Scheme will let you use the specific RGB color values for the various slide elements.

Then you exit the Options panel and make sure that you apply the new Custom Color Scheme to all of the slides in the presentation you just created. To round out the set, you add a Quote Slide (without a title) and format the quote box and author reference to coordinate with the template, as shown in Figure 2-45.

Figure 2-45

Figure 2-45 Different types of slides like a quote slide will adopt the look of the Color Scheme; but they can also be individually refined for their respective types of content.

Just to be sure, you change a layout in a slide for a chart and open a generic column chart to see how it reflects the overall design and look. It looks like Figure 2-46.

Figure 2-46

Figure 2-46 With the custom Color Scheme applied, all charts and diagrams will also reflect the overall design decisions.

Then you save the new presentation as a template file. And then you make slight modifications in the template for HR and sales (see Figure 2-47), saving each as a different template (*.POT) file.

Figure 2-47

Figure 2-47 With some modification, different branches of the company can have their own design looks within the overall brand.

When you bring back the TravelTime executives and present the new templates, they have the usual comments but can see that the new clean look will work as part of their new corporate structure, and they agree to implement the design throughout the new division of the conglomerate.

Only one issue may remain: The size of the logo on certain slides may overwhelm the use of images and pictures to tell a story. You agree to make a special picture and diagram slide within the template for the various divisions, where only the solid bars are present, to accentuate any use of images. We'll see how that might work in the next chapter.

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