ITGS Syllabus

Friday, June 16, 2006

Topic 97

Use of appropriate fonts, sound, images, video to convey a specific message by Harsh Sharma

In today’s world, collecting data or information is almost as easy as going to a convenient store and buying a pack of gum. Through Internet, a person can collect and view any kind of data right from his home. However, the raw data doesn’t have any value until it’s properly represented and conveyed. Word and Excel do a great job of collecting and organizing data, however, it is upon the person to choose the right font, sound, image or video to convey his message.


Fonts play a huge role in how you want your message to me conveyed. I remember spending an hour once to select the right font for a dodgeball tournament flyer. Microsoft’s products provide a user with at least 300 pre-installed fonts! The most commonly used ones are “Times New Roman” and “Arial”. This is because these two fonts represent sincerity and seriousness and most people write reports or assignments using Word. For example, let’s say a father was writing an invitation for his son’s birthday – he would NOT use “Times New Roman” because nobody would want to come to a boring, sincere party and that’s what “Times New Roman” represents.

Another example is when people create flyers or brochures. The fonts used should be a combination of funny and sincere fonts. So for the heading, a person should use a font that puts a lot of emphasis, such as “Britannic Bold” and for subheadings, a person should use fun fonts such as “Jokerman” and then for the text under subheadings, “Times New Roman” should be used. This would represent that the place is fun and the person in-charge of it is serious about it. Therefore, it is very necessary to use the correct font or you might lose a business deal or have an empty party!


You can’t just depend on the fonts to convey your message especially when it comes to presenting to a group. One of the reasons why I chose to write on this topic is because I have experienced all of this myself – I have spent hours trying to find the right font or the music to play along with my presentation. For instance, last year for ITGS presentations I always used music to attract people’s attention and it had to be the right music. It had to be music that wouldn’t distract anyone and it had to be music that would attract them to pay attention to the music.

Therefore, I remember choosing “End of innocence” because it just plays in the background providing a nice rhythm and tone to the presentation and it’s not loud enough to distract anyone. Also, be careful with “Microsoft PowerPoint”, which provides a lot of sounds that could really disrupt your presentation. Sounds like “Applaud” and “Buzz” take your presentation in a different way. Therefore, be careful with the type of music/sound you choose and believe in “KISS” (Keep it simple stupid). Don’t overdo it but do it a little bit because it helps. For example, if you are presenting a package honeymoon tour then playing “My heart will go on” in the background wouldn’t hurt!


The following phrase pretty much illustrates the importance of pictures - “A picture is worth thousand words”. Again, I remember putting up pictures of half naked celebrities during a PowerPoint presentation in ITGS class. Mr. Jamieson said, “In all my years of schooling, nobody has ever done that before but it’s a great idea. Everyone was paying attention to the presentation!” Perhaps it wasn’t the presentation that they were paying attention to but at least the half naked pictures got their attention.

What we are trying to do here is to convey our message and if you have to use half naked pictures to do that, so be it. St. Mary’s students usually don’t listen to other people’s presentations so you have to have something different in your presentation that would attract them. However, images should be relevant to the topic and help the audience learn more about your topic. I’ll go back to the Honeymoon package tour example – if the person adds a couple of pictures of the honeymoon suite or a beach along with Celine Dion music – people are bound to choose that tour. Therefore, use pictures that are relevant to the topic so that the audience has an idea of what you are talking about.


Personally, I haven’t had any experience in the video category but I would assume it to be the same as images because they both help see the audience what the presentation is about. Back to the honeymoon package, if the person adds a video of a couple enjoying a nice time and laughing in their suite or on the beach – that would really help sell the package. Or let’s say, a school is trying to get more students and the principal is presenting the school to a mass audience. A nice, compiled video of the current students playing, studying, eating lunch and mingling with each other would really help parents see what the school is about.

So the point I am trying to make here is that fonts represent whether it’s a fun thing or a sincere thing and music adds a rhythm and tone to the presentation. Images and videos however let the audience imagine and vision what the thing is about. If all these four things are used in the right way, you are bound to have a perfect presentation or that perfect invitation to your birthday party.


Blogger sam_shobeiri said...

This is a great topic. I think all these things are what makes computer and the internet interesting. That it isnt just text in its raw form, but there is alot of other factors that will get your attention.

January 07, 2007 9:12 PM  

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