Designing in Keynote

Posted January 15th, 2018

As a trained graphic designer, I have to admit that the Adobe Creative Suite has always been the first place to turn to when beginning to design something. That is, until Apple released their new Keynote shapes in late 2017. 

In December, as a board member for the La Crosse Public Education Foundation and co-chair of the foundation's annual Grants Award Luncheon, I was tasked with the job of designing the invitation package, as well as the program for the luncheon, with the theme of Community Schools. 

This was perfect as my school, Hamilton Early Learning Center, is one of the two schools in La Crosse that is on track to become a community school that will better serve our high-poverty students and will provide a stable foundation for them to grow and learn in. 

As I began thinking about the design, the new Keynote shapes immediately popped into my head. I remembered that they had a whole series of educational shapes, and thought that many of the community school pieces, including dentistry, medical, etc. could be represented through their other shapes.

I began with the school shape, and started filling in the windows with symbols for other aspects of a community school, and found that there were literally shapes for everything I was trying to symbolize. 

As a designer - that was HUGE. I didn't have to spend a ton of time creating/finding Photoshop shapes online, and could just start designing right away. It saved me a ton of time, looked great, and the best part - I could save the shape to my Keynote Shapes library. Now I have the shape, as a whole, to reuse over and over again. 

Using Keynote also made the file more shareable, and I sent it out to both principals in the community schools so that they can use it in the future. While I started this project by thinking of using Keynote as a fast tool to design with great shapes, the ability to save and share the imagery proved far more valuable.