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Democratized Design

The accompanying presentation is available here.

Fellow Toastmasters. Let talk about design. We are in the information age. Which means we are overloaded with information. And when too much information is there, it is presentation that matters. Bad design is dead design. While we are not designers, the art world has been democratized enough for us to leap from bad to above average just through a 5 minute toastmasters speech. So lets get started.

I will be taking you through a journey where you will shake the feeling of not being a designer, learn some basics of design, the rules of being successful using the internet to design, and then I will demo some tools I use to make a poster and then we hopefully all be confident that we can design something.

Before going into making one - please raise your hand if you have ever designed something - What did you make? Lets broaden your horizon - did you ever design a facebook post - a birthday card - an invitation. Yes, these are all posters of some sort. Requiring the same skills.

Ok, so we all have been designing. But the problem is we don’t know anything for the design. We feel like an imposter in the world of design. That is not a tough challenge. We do need the basics but the truth is we don’t need the long design school to be better than an average facebook designer. We need that to be good. For being better than how bad we really are, we just need the basics. And the experts have put them up all there.

On the screen you should see the summary of the design that we amateurs need. On the left is the list of font styles an what emotion they represent while the right, it is the colors. While we don’t get the theory behind it but it is good enough in most cases that gray is for calm and brown for friendship.

Another thing to remember are the rules and the tools. First the rules, like not using copyrighted stuff. You can filter labelled for reuse images from google and also search them directly in sites like flickr, pixabay and unsplash. So lets talk about what I am going to demo today - today we will be making two posters, one for the open house in january and the other for the holiday party at the end of the year. From the looks of it, both of them are elegant and professional. How many hours do you think, I spent on them today? less than an hour to get them out. How - by using the right tools.

Here is the first tool I am going to show - canva. In canva all you need to do is search. Searching for open house gives so many results, mostly brown for friendly but all clean and professional. The one here is what I selected for this poster. Adding text is easy - canva gives a lot of options - all perfectly tailored with the correct fonts and sizes. We just need to select and type. A few clicks and it is ready. One click download.

The next tool is spark. It is very close to canva but with a few differences. The template selection is not as vast but spark provides support for websites and videos. Spark also provides dynamic design update. So if we have the content in one posted and we want to try out another design, we just click. And sometimes like this one, it actually turns out well. You can play around with styles for individual elements like this text and images and this tool provides a lot of customization options to play with a specific design. And as I have been rotating the poster is ready.

Now that you see how easy it is to design effective posts, I want you all to take this lesson back with you and try these tools. Waiting to see some great content.

Here are the posters from this speech #

Open House Poster

Open House Poster

Christmas Poster 1

Christmas Poster 1

Christmas Poster 2

Christmas Poster 2


Here is the video:

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