Graphic Designer Gives NSA PowerPoint a Makeover

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The following blog post is by New Tech City host Manoush Zomorodi.

Imagine this: You flash your top-level security badge, settle into a government conference room as the lights dim and begin to watch a slideshow explaining the latest NSA surveillance plan, code-named PRISM.

Well, if you're anything like presentation designer Emiland de Cubber, you'd be laughing from the start.

"When I first saw them, I thought it was some kind of a joke because they were summarizing all of the PowerPoint clichés," De Cubber told me when we reached him in Paris via Skype.

On this week's New Tech City, De Cubber tells us what's wrong with the NSA slides: "All the corporate mistakes of presentations...enormous logos, illegible fonts, cheesy charts and stuff like that."

Content aside, De Cubber's ruthless design sense resulted in some beautifully crafted slides:

"I start by removing stuff. I really think that each items on the slides must struggle for its life and struggle for its presence on the slide. And if it's useless, let’s get rid of it."

Since his upgraded slides went viral, the freelancer has been featured in FastCo Design and The Huffington Post and received over 150 offers to complete freelance projects.

De Cubber's slides are also a perfect example of "native advertising," the trendy term for "an ad whose form and delivery is identical to the content environment in which it is served," as ReadWrite puts it.

No Facebook banner ad could have given De Cubber this amount of exposure or demonstrated his professional skills so well. This is "personal branding" done right.