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Concepts 114


Using the Top-Down/Bottom-Up Concept

The top-down/bottom-up graphics can be applied to many concepts: giving/receiving feedback, service orientation, activity drivers, decision-making (as in the series example), and so on. These graphics will help illustrate these concepts like never before. There are two variations in this series: v1 contains graphics that have the arrow cut into the pyramid; v2 arrows are over the pyramids. Usage and animation demands will dictate which version you choose to use. For example: use v2 if you want to animate a top-down scheme and then a bottom-up scheme using the same pyramid.

The pyramids are segmented, making it easy to identify and label the levels. But apply text to this graphic sparingly. The graphic is meant to work with minimum text.

Customizing the Top-Down/Bottom-Up graphics

Adjust size

Be sure to group the graphic and resize as a group. Hold the shift key down if you wish to rescale the graphic.

Color variations

Choose colors from your presentation template or that complement the template colors. You can choose colors that will provide high contrast between the pyramid segments and the arrow or a tone-on-tone, muted color scheme can be just as effective.

3D variations

3D can be awkward to use with the arrow for both versions of this graphic. The layering is tricky to make the graphic appear consistent.


Shadows in PowerPoint 2007 look nice, but the shadows in PowerPoint 2003 don't provide the same polish and tend to obscure segments of the graphic.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients can be very nice, especially when used with the segments of the pyramid. A gradient can define the segments instead of using lines. Also, a gradient applied to the arrow can make it appear to grow in intensity as it progresses. You can also import a photograph into the arrow if you wish and then tint it. The effect can be dramatic if the right photograph is selected.


If you choose to animate the graphics, use the v2 variations. Show the pyramid first and then either wipe or fade in the arrow. Simple reveals can also work: download the animated example for this series to see how this works.

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