How to create stunning charts for your presentation slides! Part 2

by Oliver Adria on 09/04/2009

charts_bringing_you_down1Go here for Part 1 on creating stunning presentation charts

Shadow
A technique I like to use a lot is to use shadows. But not too much – using drop shadow is like using make-up: Just putting on a little bit can make it look better, use too much and it will probably look horrible. The difference is not hugely visible, but to me even the subtle difference is nice.

added_shadowJust a touch of shadow to emphasize – like make-up

Background Color, Axis and Gridlines

Now we’ve done a lot to improve the charts and the next few steps will depend on taste and preference, but here is how I like to further work on charts. I would change the background color to a very light color and to be able to see the grindlines I would make them white.

After that I would remove the labels on the side and add them on top of all the bars, so every time someone sees a chart bar, their eyes don’t have to wander to side of the axis to be able to read the values.

added_bg_colorAdding some background gradient and making the gridlines white

added_labels_on_topDeleting the labels on the side and putting them on top of the bars makes – in my opinion – the charts more readable

lots_of_bars_4601Here is a reminder from where we started

Some more examples on applying the same techniques on different charts
pie_chart
line_chart

Try out some techniques and just play around with PowerPoint or Keynote (or any other slideware software you use) and see what suits you.

More
Seth Godin’s take on creating charts

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