The Sketchbook Bio

TomBarkerSlides.001.jpeg
It’s not a photo album and it’s not a biographical sketch either. So, I gave it my own name. I call it a sketchbook bio and your presentation graphics app is the perfect tool for creating one. I’m using Keynote but PowerPoint or Impress will work just as well. The techniques are the same, but the actual commands will be a bit different.

I’m using Keynote’s Letterpress theme – one of the standard themes that comes with Keynote. I chose it because of the sage green color and the canvas textured background. Although Keynote themes come with a number of different layouts for title slides, text slides and image slides, I’m using only the blank slide for this project. It takes more time to build a slide, but I have more flexibility with fonts, image styles and element placement.

Most of the content in this project is created using text boxes and images.

TomBarkerSlides.002
This slide contains both an image and a text box.

SketchbookBio101.png

The challenge here was the photo. Unfortunately it’s permanently attached to the photographer’s frame and the edges of the frame weren’t in the best of shape.

Click the image to select it and Keynote’s Inspector displays the Style pane. I chose to use the blurred edge frame with its rounded corners and experimented with the blur feature until the worst of the frame’s damaged corners were smoothed out.

I then tilted the photo a bit and added a shadow – also on the Style pane – to add dimension. A simple text box holds the journaling associated with this slide.

Sketchbookbio102.png

Here I’m using a grungy line around the graduation photo to help camouflage the rough edges on this class picture. Choosing a color found in the photo for the line helps it blend in with the photo and doesn’t draw attention to my edge camouflaging effort.
To select a color from the image, follow these steps:
  1.  Click on the color block for the stroke element.
  2.  Use the color wheel option, then click on the magnifying glass icon to activate the color selector.
  3.  Move the color selector magnifying glass over the image until you find the color you want. Click to select it.

TomBarkerSlides.004.jpeg

In this project, I kept to a limited number of fonts: Enview for titles, Monaco for journaling text and Kiev for the photo captions. There was one exception . . .

TomBarkerSlides.007.jpeg

Of course a wedding photo needs an appropriate font.

TomBarkerSlides.009.jpeg

 

TomBarkerSlides.010.jpeg

 

TomBarkerSlides.011.jpeg

The last slide displays the sources used in my story. I didn’t want them detracting from the page designs so I placed them at the end.
One last tip . . . if you noticed, most of the text looks like it was pressed into the background paper. This is easily done by adding a shadow to the text. The difference is this is a light colored shadow instead of a dark one.

Resources

Because there are no multimedia components in this project, distribution options include exporting to PDF or exporting to images. If you choose the image option, you can then display them using a digital frame.
Software: Keynote from Apple’s iWork suite
Fonts used in the Barker sketch: Enview, BickhamScript Pro, Monaco and Kiev.

Create Graphic Books With Keynote

If you think Keynote (Mac, iOS) is only for presentations, you are missing out on a lot of graphic goodness. Keynote offers a broad range of features that can be used in all kinds of creative ways. Forget the bullet points and test drive its graphic features to create beautiful books, cards, blog images and much more.

KeynoteGraphics101.png

Scrapbooking doesn’t have to be cutsy. In this example, the notepaper layer tells how to layer the graphics, but it could just as easily be used to tell a family story. Keynote makes it easy to layer graphic elements like the textured background, the page from an old family letter and the vegetation. When you don’t have a photo to complement your story, look for other options.

KeynoteGraphics102.png

Keynote can also be used to introduce a blog post. This one is quite simple . . . an old family photo, a map of Savannah from an old book, a graphic and some cool fonts. The graphics and the title grab the eye and make your readers want to learn the rest of the story.

Historic graphics such as the map shown above are easy to find. My first stop is always Flickr Commons. Archives, libraries and many other institutions from around the world have posted their photo/graphic collections in the Commons. Even better, most of them are public domain so we can put them to good use. It’s doubtful you will find a photograph of an ancestor, but you can find plenty of images to add atmosphere to your stories. KeynoteGraphics103

This photo takes us back to Grafton Street in Dublin, Ireland, sometime around World War I. If you are telling a story focused in a particular place, check Flickr Commons to see what you can find. Both the British Library and Internet Archive are scanning and posting graphics from old books at the Commons that can also be quite useful.

KeynoteGraphics104.png

Even today’s photographs can be aged to fit your needs. Apps like Stackables [iOS – $2.99] and Distressed FX [iOS – $.99] can turn a photograph into a piece of art – aged or otherwise.

KeynoteGraphics105.png

Keynote makes it easy to combine your text with photos, maps, graphic images and ephemera to build a graphical storybook.

KeynoteGraphics106.png

One other thing that makes Keynote so useful for storytellers is that you can create your “little stories” as your research discovers them, then rearrange them in whatever order you want. And, when you are ready to share, all you do is export the entire “presentation” as a PDF document.

Your graphic book can now be easily shared with family and friends.

Create Eye-Catching Graphics With Keynote

My family history research has discovered some amazing stories, but it takes more that good writing to get most of my family’s attention. I have learned that a great photo can be an eye-catcher if the viewer knows who is in the picture. Few in my family would recognize the people in this photo, but a bit of graphic design turned a beautiful photograph into the bait that makes them want to learn “the rest of the story”.

This graphic was created on my iPad using the Keynote presentation app. Keynote is also a great scrapbooking/graphic design app and works wonders for creating graphics like these. The background of my graphic was a scan of an aged piece of paper I found in my grandmother’s things. The map of “old” Savannah came from an old Savannah history book found at the Internet Archive. I took a screenshot of the map page in the book and saved it to the Photos app. I then used Photos photo-editing tools to crop the map to the area I wanted. Once I had edited the map graphic, I copy/pasted it on top of the background on the slide. The graphic element under the bottom left corner of the photo came from a book of old graphics and illustrations. The fonts were the only things that cost me money. (I’m a font fanatic and look for any excuse to add to my collection.)

One I had all the components added, arranged and ready to go, I exported my one slide presentation to a JPG format. If my presentation has multiple slides, this export feature will export each slide as a jpg photo file.

The resulting graphic is now ready to become an eye-catching intro to the actual story. Yes, it’s that easy!

Have Fonts Will Travel

Have fonts will travel? They can with AnyFont!

Keynote is a fabulous scrapbooking and storytelling platform and Keynote on my iPad means I can be creative wherever I am. There’s just one tiny little problem. I love fonts and iOS only has a few fonts – or so I thought. Then I discovered the AnyFont app [iOS – $1.99]. This app makes it possible to install additional fonts on your iOS devices. AnyFont on iPhone You still have some limitations –…

View On WordPress