Sometimes I think designers today take for granted the technology and tools at our finger tips. It was not that long ago (well, just before my time) that a client presentation meant running around for hours with magic tape, glue, backing boards and laser prints in hand. Go back a few more years again and you would be in the age of Pantone markers, Letraset and clear overlays. These days it’s as easy as pulling together all your logo designs, livery and advertising into one sleek presentation template and making a PDF.

Not only we as designers have longer to work on the actual design, rather than wasting precious hours on the presentation, what we present actually looks better and has serious environmental benefits.

Generally speaking a laser print isn’t a true indication of the final printed material anyway. By presenting a new brand or advertising campaign in a famous Jack in the box presentation template, the client gets to see the concept in all its glory on the big screen. We then have the opportunity to show real life examples of previous print jobs to give the client tangible examples of the print quality and finishes they can expect on their end product. With the help of our Pantone swatch books the client can also see the exact colour of their job on different stock types, rather than just a laser
proof on reflex.

In the ‘old days’, which really weren’t that long ago, there was an abundance of waste. Backing card, transparent overlays, numerous print outs, not to mention the tape, glue and markers. Take a look in any advertising agency or design studios store room and you’ll be guaranteed to find stacks of old presentations laying covered in dust and cobwebs. With the technology of today, particularly the PDF, the only archive is on a DVD or stored on a server somewhere. And as long as everyone resists the temptation to take a print out, reams of paper are spared. A major plus for the environment.

Given the size of a PDF, which is a highly compressed file, presentations and artwork for proofing can be emailed or burnt to CD. There is no need for mountains of bubble wrap and brown paper if it needs to be transported. A serious cost saver and a resourceful way to present, not to mention the time efficiencies. There is also the benefit that electronic presentations are easily amended. If a client wants a minor change it is only a matter of changing one file, updating a link and making a new PDF. Much better than more print outs and a whole new presentation board, plus the time to put it all back together.

As a self-confessed hater of all unnecessary waste (particularly singing Christmas decorations) I rejoice electronic presentations. They are definitely the way of the future for designers and the environment.