State of the Word 2012: Slides

WordCamp SF took place last weekend, and while I wasn’t there in person this year, I had the opportunity to work at a distance with Matt on his slides for the annual State of the Word presentation. I’ve put all of the slides as full-sized images on a new page of their own for those interested.

This year, we kept things simple with the design, palette and typography, blending monochrome and anaglyph-inflected abstract and landscape photographs (all taken from Matt’s huge backlog of images from his travels around the world) with a simple circular motif and various weights of the ever dependable Univers (I used the Linotype Univers, in case you were wondering).

I wanted the images to reinforce the increasing international growth (and internationalisation) of WordPress evident in Matt’s presentation by making use of real locations that Matt visited on various (mostly WordPress/WordCamp related) trips around the globe. At the same time, I really liked the idea of every image being a personal memory recorded by Matt, which creates an intimate connection between speaker and slides not often seen. These aren’t stock images, they’re the point of view of the speaker, just as much as the rest of the presentation is.

The palette makes use of off-white and almost-black with accents that draw on the anaglyph red-cyan pairing or simply play off the monochrome processed versions of Matt’s photos. The use of sharp, high contrast black and white brings a certain stark, documentary air to proceedings (the process I put to use is modelled after the unrelenting, once military grade Kodak Technical Pan), putting the emphasis squarely on WordPress as part of the real world; while the anaglyph theme was my attempt to bring a touch of artifice, that unpredictable “ghost in the machine” quality, to the look and feel of the slides, as a visual analogue for the interaction of the real and artificial that takes place when people meet software. Here I was looking for something both hyperreal and at the same time playfully disruptive of the visual lexicon of documentary realism.

Like all slides, they’re happiest in tandem with their speaker presenting in front of them, so if you have a spare half hour, be sure to check out the full presentation here (or over on WordPress.tv):

You can also quickly flutter through them over on SlideShare. For the pixel peepers, I’d welcome any feedback or thoughts you have on the contents of the full-sized slide gallery I’ve put up.

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