PowerPoint: Another tool, another evil.
When most designers and other creative individuals hear the words "PowerPoint," their knee-jerk reaction is often a cringe, a scoff, or some other negative response. Among its most outspoken critics is the one and only, Edward Tufte, an expert in and critic of information graphics and the presentation of visual information. In Tufte's words, "PowerPoint is evil" and should not be depended on (or maybe even used at all) for the display of visual data.
Power Point is Evil, Wired issue 11.09, Sept. 2003
The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Pitching out corrupts within, essay available for purchase, $7
PowerPoint does rocket science – and better techniques for technical reports, essay excerpt
On the other hand, David Byrne (the former lead singer for the Talking Heads) touts his PowerPoint designs as pieces of art worthy for display and presentation. Having experienced frustration with this medium himself, he decided to embrace the medium rather than reject it, and describes his results in WIRED's aptly titled article, "Learning to Love PowerPoint."
Learning to Love PowerPoint, Wired issue 11.09, Sept. 2003
David Byrne's PowerPoint Art: Musician Uses Business Program for Ironic Avant-Garde Art, NPR.org music feature (Includes a gallery of Byrne's images)
David Byrne really does ♥ PowerPoint, Berkeley presentation shows, Bonnie Azab Powell, UC Berkley News, March 8, 2005
PowerPoint, as with any medium, has its benefits and drawbacks; one can't achieve the same effects with charcoal as they can with watercolor and letterpress effects can not be replicated through a digital printer. However, the challenge as designers is to use a medium to the best of our ability, exploiting its strengths and overcoming its weaknesses. After all, if we aren't creative, who will be?