So lately I've been lingering in a few Facebook groups and have noticed that usually once a week members of one particular group share their work in progress---websites, designs, logos etc to get some feedback. Very cool, especially when you see people being supportive and encouraging.
Overall, while there is some stellar work, I've seen more work that has nailed the concept, but is off in the execution of it. The designs, images or graphics being used don't match their message and frankly aren't doing their website (or brand) any justice.
One website in particular that caught my eye was off to a great start with a lovely three-colour scheme, soft images and and an organized layout. Easy to use and navigate. However, when it came to her services page, I had a bit of an Eeeeek moment, but that also led to two Eureka! moments.
What was the Eeeeeek moment?
The owner of the site used icons to represent her services---Writing, Web Design, and E-commerce with blurbs about each one. The concept: fantastic; the implementation: needs improvement. The icons that she used clearly came from various designs sets with a mismatched colour palette unrelated to her her brand and her site colours. It's not a critical issue, but it is just one of those tiny details that derail the brand and brand image.
THE FIRST EUREKA! MOMENT
I added a comment with my feedback and suggestion, but it made me think, she's a new entrepreneur, probably on a shoestring budget and doing the best she can do. I realized that she may take my words of advice, but may also not know how to implement it.
So what did I do? I sat down with my morning coffee and before I finished the first cup I had created eight simple icons for her. I ended up sending them to her as a little surprise gift. Besides, who doesn't like surprise gifts, right? Call it paying the design forward.
For those who are curious to know, these were three of the icons that I created for her. The colour palette matched her site and now she had a consistent icon set to use for her services.
THE SECOND EUREKA! MOMENT
Turn this into a teaching moment. So, here we go. How to make your own simple icons in PowerPoint. In November, Office 2016 released a new collection called "icons" which can be inserted into your documents much like shapes or graphs.
What you need
How to make your icon
Let's assume you want to recreate the icons above.
1. Open up your document to have a blank page
2. Go to Insert > Shapes and insert a circle. Change the colour fill to your palette, no outline.
3. Go to Insert > Icon (and select from over 500 different icons under various themes)
4. Click on the icon you want (it will be inserted as black)
5. Resize the icon. Hold the SHIFT key as you do this to keep the proportions the same!
6. Click on the icon and the Graphics Tools Menu will appear.
7. Select the dropdown of Graphics Fill and you can change the colour to white. Now once you do that it will blend in with the page, but it hasn't disappeared.
8. Drag your icon over the circle.
9. Click both objects and Align center and middle, then Group.
10. Right click on the grouped images and Save as Picture.
And you are done.
To repeat, simply copy your grouped items, ungroup, delete the icon and repeat from step 3 onward.
But I don't have Office 365 or the the icon feature
If you don't have Office 365 and don't have the icon feature, you can still follow the same steps. If you get your white icons online and save them as PNG or SVG with transparent background, you can replace step 3 with: Insert Picture and then proceed with steps 4 through 10.
If you have any questions, drop a line, leave a comment.
Video Tutorial on this is coming soon, for those visual learners.