Learn simple PPT design tips and tricks to build great presentations people will care about.
“Design has the power to do more than sell a product, but that it can make a difference through altering perceptions, emotions and actions for the good of us all”. I Shot Him Design Studio.
PowerPoint has probably been generating more bad design and pain that perhaps any other digital tool in history. Now, it’s (almost) over. In this first PowerPoint tutorial, we will learn three generic rules that will get you on the way to design professional PowerPoint templates and creative presentations at the same time ! These rules are just an introduction, but they are the key to successful PowerPoint presentation design.I believe that to start building awesome PowerPoint presentations, you must master size, typography and color scheme. Let’s get started !
PowerPoint slides are usually sized 10 inches (width) * 7.5 inches (height). Resize them 12*7.5. Open a PowerPoint document, go to Design > Page Setup. With presentation slides of 12 inches width, or more, you will have more freedom. But watch out, more space doesn’t have to lead to more text, pictures and graphs but to better optimization of the slide. Still wondering why you should do it? The screenshots below shows you the extra space you’re getting.
People often stress out about finding the right typeface for their PowerPoint presentation design and they are right. Fonts can just make or break your PPT presentation. Take a look at the fonts below: they’re an example of how typography powerfully works at shaping your presentation design.
I advise you pick ONE font for all your content slides. The default font I use myself is Calibri, it’s modern and it’s safe. Helvetica is a fine options too. You can use ONE additional font for your cover slide or slide title. But as combining fonts can be tricky, there’s one rule here: don’t choose another font which style is relatively close to the first one, it will cause visual confusion. Make sure the second font you chose contrasts with the first one, just like that:
Which one is yours?
For all your presentation slides, try to keep a big font size. Whether your plan to show your PowerPoint presentation at a public presentation or not. First, you will increase your audience visual comfort. Second, it’s a great exercise to help you develop effective presentation skills, as you will have to learn how to summarize content. I personally use a minimum of 20 for important parts, and 14 to 18 for less important parts. To comment charts or graphics, 12 is the minimum. Even if you have a lot to write, keep in mind that you don’t need to write down everything to communicate important points. Keep it short. People are busy. Less is more.
♥ Font Squirrel is my favorite source of FREE, high-quality and designer-friendly fonts. To install new fonts on your computer: On Window, download the archive > click Start > Control Panel > Font > Paste your font files.
3. Color Scheme
Many people think that PowerPoint presentations shall be full of colors like children birthday cakes, but, unfortunately, they shouldn’t. Only pictures are allowed to have as many colors as possible. I recommend the use of TWO or THREE colors. For all your content slides, use of black for core text (in that case, your PPT background shall be white or light grey) and use the ONE or TWO additional colors to highlight important keywords, statements or figures. Colors picked must be visible, contrast between each other’s and with your PowerPoint background. No like that:
♥ Not inspired or just wondering which colors match well together? Try out Kuler, Adobe’s awesome color palette generator. It’s free and you can choose y from thousands of pre-built schemes.
For additional color picker tools, check out PIKNIK.
Check out the video tutorial explaining these 3 rules here.