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Chart of the Month – October 2011 – Quadrant Variation

Quadrant Variation Chart

This chart conveys a lot of information, but the layout is simple. It would even work as a company's visual mission or vision statement. The next time you need to let people know who you are, this might be the way to do it. Of course, the layout can be used to describe any number of things, so let your imagination go. Notice that there is no chart title? It's not really important to introduce this graphic, since it is self-interpretive, which makes it a good candidate to become one of a company's defining signature graphics.

We called it a quadrant variation, and it works very well that way; but you could actually use any number of divisions. So, lets take this apart so you know how to develop your own.

  1. The 4-way arrow is a standard PowerPoint shape
  2. The text in the 4-way arrow and around the perimeter of the circle is WordArt. Refer to this FAQ if you need an easy way to work with circular text in WordArt: How do I easily create perfectly round WordArt circles? The top two circular text WordArt elements are arcs that fit over the circle and the bottom two circular text WordArt elements are arcs that fit under the circle. You should have four separate WordArt arcs; one for each text blurb. You just need to rotate each one into position using the green dot handle
  3. The photos have been imported into segments of a 4-piece pie, which you can get in the Segments Category Segment 033 – Non-Data-Driven Pies
  4. Once the photos have been imported into the segments, format the segments with a 25-point soft edge
  5. The shadowed circle is a white-filled circle with no line color and an offset center shadow applied (PowerPoint 2007 or 2010 only).

Make sure you select photos that can retain their impact after you import them into the pie segments and soften the edges. You'll probably need to resize the photos and crop them to get the best effect. This will probably take the most time when developing these charts. The steps above are fairly quick to complete.

Enjoy developing this impactful and elegant graphic.

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