Pitching Ideas: 8 tips from Network’s design team for a better creative presentation

Blog_6-16-14_visualFor a creative team, developing new ideas is a daily part of your work. The ability to articulately express and convey those ideas could mean the difference between a successful or disappointing meeting of the minds as you present your ideas to your team.

Network’s design team routinely presents ideas and concepts to our magazine teams–be they clients, editors or fellow designers. And we consistently work to refine our presentation style so that our ideas shine through.

Here are a few take-aways from a recent design team exercise in presenting ideas:

1. Put yourself in the audience’s shoes. Ask yourself: “If I were seeing this concept for the first time, what would I need to know?  What would help this make sense or help me make a good decision?”

2. Don’t present something you are not proud of. Always put your best foot forward.

3. Be confident in your ideas and vision. If you’re not, how can you expect others to be?

4. Be prepared. The more prepared you are, the more apt you are to clearly and confidently get your ideas across.

5. White space is a good thing–in the conversation! Give others time to digest and provide feedback. You’ve had oodles of time to soak in design options and this is the first time they’re seeing them.

6. Be convincing. You are the greatest “salesperson” of your ideas.

7. Pay attention to schemata (the collective way in which we organize the world) and use it to frame or help explain a concept.

8. Pitch your vision. Don’t describe what is literally happening in the comp or visual you are presenting.

See the design team put their ideas to good use in Network’s portfolio of recent work.

Leave a Comment July 15, 2014

Top Tweets from AM&P Annual Meeting

Sessions, social media and selfies dominated this year’s Association Media & Publishing Annual Meeting

Network not only had two of our leaders involved in the board and planning committee, we also exhibited at the conference.

Throughout the event, many attendees, exhibitors and AM&P volunteers alike expressed their thoughts via open tweets using #AMP14. We’ve compiled the top tweets (and some of our personal favorites) that help to capture the spirit of the event.

1. Hot debates. Many education sessions spurred lively Twitter conversations and debates, including the tweet below that reflected on the status of print in today’s digital


2. Making connections. Not only did AM&P attendees interact via Twitter, but this year the conference hosted multiple tweet-ups, which helped attendees move their networking off the screen to foster in-person connections.

3. Selfie central. AM&P’s tight knit community demonstrated connectivity through a multitude of selfies. Watch out Ellen – association publishers and editors may be giving your Oscar tweet a run for its money!



We loved connecting, meeting and networking with everyone this week at AM&P.

Learn more about Network’s custom media services for associations.

Leave a Comment May 23, 2014

T+D magazine wins 2014 EXCEL award


Network is excited to share yet another EXCEL award with the American Society of Training and Development, this one honoring feature story design.

The winning feature story design showcases the 2014 design updates of the magazine as well.

We spent a few minutes with Jenni Sweitzer, lead designer on T+D magazine, to hear from her about what makes a winning spread.

What is your typical process when designing a magazine or magazine spread?

Jenni: First, I need to make sure I have all my essentials for brainstorming: coffee, chocolate, and some music (preferably Luke Bryan – don’t judge). I’ll usually turn away from my beloved computer for awhile and read through the article, headphones on, coffee in hand – initially just a read through, and then going back and highlighting or making a list of key words or concepts that I should focus on when searching for art. Before I start searching for art, I always take into account the style of the magazine and how we’ve approached similar themes in the past. After all of my prep work, it’s time to hit the Internet for some inspiration and see where it takes me. Sometimes I will come across an image and immediately put it on a spread – knowing it will have impact on the page for the reader. Other times I will pull some images and incorporate additional elements such as illustration or type to make the image work well with a concept.

What do you like about this particular feature story design?

Jenni: Color. Lots of bright color! The image has so much impact on the page, it almost hits you in the face (in a nice way of course) and pairing it with the simple upsized type only adds to the impact. This feature was in the first redesign issue of T+D, so we really wanted to show off the new color palette and type choices. Having worked on this magazine for a few years prior, it was a great experience to put a fresh perspective on the feature art.

What does it say about the magazine to you?

Jenni: There is so much stock photography out there, especially of business people working together, that – if used too much – can make a magazine look stale after a few issues, especially when you explore similar topics throughout the year. Using something abstract that still conveys your idea is a nice change of pace that really was a good fit for the magazine without being too out there.

Congratulations to Jenni and the entire T+D design team for this win! Network will be celebrating at the Association Media & Publising Excel Gala on Monday, May 19. Will we see you there?

Find out more about Network’s design and editorial services here.

Leave a Comment May 14, 2014

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