Iconography is an art form that can turn a boring presentation filled with information and facts into a beautifully designed and engaging slide deck. By turning facts into visuals, you will not only keep your audience engaged, but you will also increase their retention rate by a whopping 42%! Couple that with the fact that the most popular presentations today have 37 or more visuals throughout, and you can see why turning boring information into stunning visuals can set your presentation apart.

At Ethos3, one of the ways we make your presentation come alive is through icons. By effectively using icons to enhance your stats and data, your presentation won’t just be a jumble of words on a screen. Here are 4 tips for creating impactful icons.

Keep it simple.
Icons are meant to clean up your slides and help communicate your information in a concise manner. You can quickly negate this outcome if your icons become complex and complicated. Stick to simple lines and single colors when creating or selecting icons. This will keep your slides clean and your message clear.

Recognition is key.
The point of an icon is to communicate simple information in a visual way. In order to accomplish this effectively, the icon must be easily recognizable. You may think that an icon looks cool and interesting, but that does not mean it is the best choice to communicate your information. Think through the lens of your audience and ask yourself this question: If I knew nothing about this information, would I be able to understand it based on this icon?

First impression matters.
Different visuals elicit specific emotional responses from viewers. It’s important to think through these responses when selecting the icons you will use in your presentation. For example, using an icon of a hammer and wrench can initially communicate that something is broken. In the same way that you must think through recognition, it’s important that you think through the subconscious feelings your audience will initially feel as that feeling will carry throughout your message.

Don’t reinvent the wheel.
After thousands of years of humans creating works of art, it’s unlikely you’ll see anything truly unique or original these days; every piece of art is inspired by someone else at least a little bit. When it comes to using icons, the same is true – you don’t have to create everything from scratch. There are plenty of online options to find stock icons for purchase or use for inspiration. Creating custom icons is great, but that doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel every time.

Icons are a powerful tool to communicate your information. It’s time to stop settling for bullet points on a slide and start creating beautiful and engaging visuals that lead to greater information retention and audience engagement.

Unsure of where to start with your design? Contact the team at Ethos3 today to find out how we can help.

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