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Tutorial for

Concepts 020


Using the Umbrella Concept

The umbrella concept has so many uses that we've given you three series examples instead of only one. Umbrellas can be used to show protection from, shield against, safe place, cover, overarching thought, and many more.

Customizing the Umbrellas

Adjust size

If you want to change the size/shape of an umbrella, be sure to group it and resize the entire group. To scale, hold the shift key down as you resize. If you use more than one umbrella in your presentation, resize all of the umbrellas together to they are uniformly sized.

Color variations

This example shows that each of the umbrella segments can be individually colored. We usually don't encourage using color for differentiation, but with this framework it works. If you decide to use one color for all of the segments, you'll need to apply a line color so the segments are differentiated.

3D variations

Don't use 3D with these frameworks. 3D flattens the umbrella and it ceases to look realistic.


Don't use shadows on this type of framework. Shadows just make the pieces look flat.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

The example on the left above was created with patterns and gradients. Duplicate the segments of the umbrella and put the duplicate set to the side. Apply a pattern to the original set of segments. Then apply a gradient to the duplicate set and make the segments partially transparent (50% is good). Then overlay the gradient/transparent set over the patterned set. The pattern adds interest and the gradient adds volume. Adding a photograph below is a good option as well, as in the example above on the right.


Animation should be simple. Use fade in reveals and the like. Since there is no way to animate the way an umbrella opens from a closed state, simple is best. Don't have the segments fly or zoom in, as it tends to diminish the umbrella concept. You'll notice that there is no downloadable animation scheme for this series. You don't have to animate; but if you do, simple is in order: perhaps just a fade-in reveal.

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