The Designer’s Corner


Dave Underwood here. Welcome to The Designer’s Corner. This semester I’ll be working with your instructor to help you feel more at ease with communicating visually.

Technology is  changing how we do virtually everything. And the way we use emerging technologies professionally is in constant flux; no one really knows what the landscape will look like five years from now. I feel certain, though, in making one prediction: tomorrow’s effective communicator will be competent and comfortable working across a broad range of modalities. Those who content themselves with working exclusively with text or with presenting their work in a less-then-professional manner will be handicapped. We don’t want that.

When we communicate visually, we come to the conversation speaking loudly, clearly, and immediately about trust. Start with a poorly-designed presentation and you start in deficit… your work isn’t entirely authoritative, no matter how much care you’ve put into the core content. It’s not fair, but there you have it. Why not start the relationship with your audience on higher ground? It’s not all that difficult and, as I’ve said, it’s increasingly expected.

I’d like to help you feel more confident in how you design. Whether you’re producing a presentation, a website, a printed piece or an academic poster, there are established tricks to doing better work more easily. I’ve put together a talk on design that will aid you in making good choices and in avoiding common, fatal design mistakes:

For help, specifically with presentation design, check this out:

You can find more help on my CU website, also called The Designer’s Corner!

Let me know what you think. Have I left unanswered questions? Made unfounded presumptions? And, most importantly, do you feel at least a little better prepared now to tackle your class design assignment? I hope so!

Dave Underwood

Dave Underwood is a designer who lives in Boulder, Colorado. He has worked with elements of visual communication for over twenty-five years, both as a freelancer and as a service provider for faculty at the University of Colorado. Dave’s duties at CU have included illustration, promotional and academic design, motion graphic production, and most recently, assisting instructors with multimedia assignments. Dave’s primary interest lies in helping students understand why good design matters, and building on this foundation, in helping them successfully achieve beauty and professionalism in their work.

When he’s not busy shoving pixels into their proper place, Dave enjoys bicycling Boulder County’s back-roads and playing blues in its seedier nightclubs.