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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Full Bleed vs. Framed Images

Most presentation designers suggest using full bleed images. This term comes from photo printing and means that instead of laying down ink right up to the border, the image goes all the way to the edge of the paper. Full bleed images in presentations take up the entire screen space.

Framed images, in your presentation, are set within the boundaries of your screen, rather than going right up to the edge like a full bleed image. Frames break up our sight lines. Our eyes naturally move around an image rather than fixating on one point. Frames define the area where our eyes will move and break up the natural flow.

Sometimes you may want to have an image that is not full bleed. For example when Steve Jobs presents the next iPhone he does't blow the picture up so that the phone fills the entire screen. We need perspective to deal with it and to understand what's going on. But notice that there are no borders dividing the phone from the rest of the slide. This helps to preserve the flow through the slide.

One good reason to use frames to separate the images in your presentation might be if you're showing a juxtaposition. You want to highlight the difference between the two images, so a frame is helpful in getting the eye to focus on each image as it's own entity.

I'm not against using frames in presentations, but it needs to be done with a purpose.

How do you like to show images? What rules do you occasionally break?

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