is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
Here’s how much I like Apple’s Keynote presentation software. I just used it the way I might have used QuarkXPress or Adobe InDesign: to create a document intended not for the screen or projection, but for printing, and being held in one’s hand.
The document is my final, outgoing treasurer’s report as I finish up my two-year term as a board member for AIGA New York. (My work isn’t quite finished yet, though, as I’m moving on to the national board.) When I started to create the report, I originally tried to use InDesign and Illustrator, but the prospect of using those lumbering programs seemed slow and tedious compared to Keynote, where all of the charting and graphing tools are built right into the application and are lightning fast.
There are no style sheets in Keynote, of course, which makes it an impractical tool for complicated documents. Also, in its final form, the report is intended for output on nothing higher in resolution than the laser printer in my office, as Keynote is simply not a serious tool for preparing print-ready documents.
Still, it suited my needs perfectly: fast, lightweight and no-nonsense. Keynote’s completely logical and intuitive approach to design is completely engaging and unexpectedly powerful, given how bare bones it is. Which, compared to the complexity of Adobe’s products, made the process of designing this document fun. That counts for a lot.+