Saturday, April 18, 2009

Microsoft Illustration Styles for a Consistent look and feel in your document/ presentation

I usually advocate the use of stock photos, amateur photography in documents and presentations. That said, I cant deny the need for high quality illustrations to add pop to your imagery and visualization. I like Microsoft Online for the fact that they provide meta-files that you can group, ungroup and regroup to create custom images. This said, we don't want our images to look like they were created by completely different artists. So I've learnt to look for specific styles to keep the look and feel of my document consistent. The way to seek out thousands of editable graphics is to go to Microsoft Office Online and search for images as I've done below:



Here are some of the styles I recommend for your documents/ presentations/ e-learning modules. Some I admit are more retro than the others and may not appeal to your taste, but oh well!

StyleExample
1Filename: j0230758.wmf Keywords: boys, calls, children ... File Size: 17 KB
15Filename: j0287436.wmf Keywords: attorneys, courthouses, courtrooms ... File Size: 40 KB
68Filename: BS01319_.wmf Keywords: aquatic sports, divers, diving boards ... File Size: 16 KB
148Filename: j0412608.wmf Keywords: business, business concepts, businesses ... File Size: 19 KB
487Filename: j0240607.wmf Keywords: computers, computing, entertainment ... File Size: 8 KB
588Filename: j0280857.wmf Keywords: females, government, law enforcement ... File Size: 33 KB
707Filename: j0251579.wmf Keywords: broadcasts, communications, DJs ... File Size: 16 KB
792Filename: j0237326.wmf Keywords: 8 balls, balls, behind the eight ball ... File Size: 58 KB
802Filename: j0240397.wmf Keywords: business, businessmen, businesswomen ... File Size: 22 KB
925Filename: j0334218.wmf Keywords: furnaces, industry, maintenance men ... File Size: 9 KB
1268Filename: j0365658.wmf Keywords: business equipment, businesses, businesswomen ... File Size: 19 KB
1280Filename: j0437938.wmf Keywords: business women, independence, individuality ... File Size: 7 KB
1278Filename: j0406262.wmf Keywords: dumbbells, fitness, free weights ... File Size: 16 KB
1295Filename: j0387150.jpg Keywords: computers, computing, laptop computers ... File Size: 27 KB
1358Filename: j0396204.wmf Keywords: businesses, computers, laptop computers ... File Size: 17 KB
1366Filename: j0397412.wmf Keywords: business metaphors, business women, businesses ... File Size: 6 KB
1370Filename: j0397786.wmf Keywords: announcements, bulleting boards, bulletins ... File Size: 9 KB
1382Filename: j0428291.wmf Keywords: accomplishments, achievements, business metaphors ... File Size: 6 KB

StyleExample
1402Filename: j0415800.wmf Keywords: beverages, coffees, drinking ... File Size: 15 KB
1441Filename: j0415858.wmf Keywords: business, business concepts, businesses ... File Size: 10 KB
1445Filename: j0415926.wmf Keywords: beach chairs, computers, laptop computers ... File Size: 7 KB
1449Filename: j0412024.wmf Keywords: audio, DJs, electronics ... File Size: 18 KB
1450Filename: j0430051.wmf Keywords: apples, bites, biting ... File Size: 6 KB
1461Filename: j0415524.wmf Keywords: blessings, Catholicism, Catholics ... File Size: 73 KB
1511Keywords: Asian, brides, carpool, cars, clothes, couples, greet, grooms, honeymoons, Korea, men, persons, tuxedoes, wedding cars, wedding dresses, weddings, women
1534Filename: j0433690.wmf Keywords: athletes, balls, hands on hips ... File Size: 33 KB
1540Filename: j0431585.png Keywords: check mark, check marks, checklists ... File Size: 11 KB
1541Filename: j0433939.png Keywords: avatars, business, businesspeople ... File Size: 31 KB
1549Filename: j0434189.wmf Keywords: athletes, balls, Europe ... File Size: 21 KB
1568Filename: j0438093.wmf Keywords: briefcases, buildings, business people ... File Size: 151 KB
1576Filename: j0437721.wmf Keywords: abstracts, backgrounds, buildings ... File Size: 115 KB
1580Filename: j0438177.wmf Keywords: anime, bins, children ... File Size: 15 KB
1592Filename: j0440221.wmf Keywords: African Americans, African descent, book clubs ... File Size: 18 KB
1593Filename: j0440215.wmf Keywords: activities, athletes, athletics ... File Size: 4 KB
1597Filename: j0440017.wmf Keywords: athletes, balls, football ... File Size: 24 KB

All in all, I find Microsoft illustrations quite flexible when it comes to their use in documents and presentations, particularly because I'm not limited by the original composition and context of the images and that I can actually choose to combine element from different images to create the custom scenes that I want. Again, its important that these images are used in a consistent fashion so that your audience gets a uniform look and feel that doesn't ever look like a forced collage!

Read more about this in Tom Kulhmann's post here.

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