Be moved

Warning: you will seriously fall for this commercial if you remember your first Sony Walkman.

Sony recently aired a new commercial illustrating how their best products are the result of close collaboration between artists and engineers. It all started with the iconic Walkman and evolved into DJ apps, underwater earphones, video games and cameras. “Be moved” is the tagline of Sony’s campaign, “to make you feel something” their stated mission. There are also several familiar faces starring in the commercial, including film director Spike Lee.

I just love this commercial! Emotions meet technology, beauty complements precision, right brain needs left brain. The story it tells spans three generations of users that will relate to the images, the music, and these great products. Kudos for director Stacy Wall for creating such a powerful and emotional narrative.

From Sony’s slick new website: “We measure our success with the flutter of a heart or a bead of cold sweat”.

Read more on corporate stories.


1000+ thank you!

Something amazing happened to me this week. Three months after I started it, my blog reached 1000 page views.

One thousand views may not sound like much to you. Seth Godin’s great blog counted a mind numbing 4 million views in 2013. But you know what, to me one thousand views is a lot, and that’s all that matters. It means that some people, some real people were interested enough in what I wrote to spend a few minutes of their valuable time on it. These people went through the trouble of sharing it with their friends. And some of  them were even generous enough to share their thoughts with me from time to time.  

If you are reading this you are one of these people. THANK YOU for your incredible support, it means a lot to me!

Photo credit broterham@1996

The best slide I ever made

This slide is the result of many years’ studying presentation design. It summarizes everything we know of oral communication, visual information and the cognitive capabilities of the human brain. It can be applied to all types of presentations: strategic, scientific, commemorative, apologetic, M&S, motivational, etc. 

Substitute just one slide in your presentation for my slide and you will notice a remarkable improvement in the audience’s attention level. Change two slides and you will significantly boost the effectiveness and impact of your message. Swap three or more slides and you will have the conference room hanging on your lips. Replace all the slides with this one  and they will call you a presentation guru.

Here it is, free for you to view, to share and especially to use. 

best slide

Read more on slides and presentations here.


Special thanks: Edward Rice/

This is not a film review

Yesterday I had a remarkable experience. It started when I went to see Gravity, by all means a phenomenal movie. The structure of the story is classic, change the scenary and you get Red Riding Hood. Unexperienced space girl Sandra Bullock is sent on a dangerous mission (the magic voice of Ed Harris speaks from Houston), hell breaks loose and when all hope seems lost, space veteran George Clooney comes to the rescue and shows her the way home. It is the special combination of images and sound that makes viewing this film an unforgettable physical and emotional experience. Outer-space darkness and silence are alternated with crashing metal at brain-assaulting sound level, challenging the senses and sending heads spinning.

After a good night’s sleep I felt ready for more inspiration and visited an exhibition of Kazimir Malevich (1887-1935), one of the pioneers and founders of abstract art in Russia. The exhibition is one of the most important and comprehensive ever, and I don’t need to tell you that his work feels just as innovative and powerful today as it did 100 years ago. And this is when it happened. While I was walking along these incredible paintings, I realized that everything Gravity is about had already been painted almost one century earlier: black emptiness staring at us and challenging our sanity; man-made shapes hanging in a silent, endless space; and then the flying metal that will crash the life out of our bodies. 

There was no sound, but Malevich did not need it to send us traveling through time and space.

Read here more on movies. 

Art or Slide?

Corporate presentations have been around way longer than PowerPoint has. Italian frescos are a very inspiring source of such early presentations and were often used like corporate slide decks.

This organigram ante litteram comes from Siena and was painted by the hand of Ambrogio Lorenzetti in 1338. It took him almost 2 years for 6 “slides”, but hey, is your average presentation going to look so beautiful seven centuries later?

Read more on Art and Innovation


20th century deaths

The purpose of visual design is to help the end users benefit from the information. A good graph gets someone who is not inclined to look at complicated data, to actually spend time on it and learn something worthwhile. Look at this visualization of the major causes of death in the 20th Century. Did you know that tobacco killed 15 times more people than illegal drugs? Or that people were more inclined to commit suicide than to kill other people? And that 20% of all deaths in the world were self inflicted, through war, murder, and ideology?

We all know what good visual design is, and yet we still make bad slides from time to time. What’s the story behind your bad slides?
?1. I just couldn’t be bothered, bad slides are less work.?
2. It makes it look like I have done tons of work.?
3. My boss asks specifically for those bad slides.?
4. How am I to remember what I have to say if it’s not on the slide?
?5. What do you mean, bad slides?


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