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PowerPoint Design Lessons from Iconic Brand Logos

A logo is crucial for any brand. The most iconic ones are easily recognizable, encompassing the story of an entire brand. Consumers don’t need to take much time to discern it. A good logo can tell them a lot about a certain product or service with just a single look.

The same thing should be said about your PowerPoint design. Like McDonald’s famous golden arches and Nike’s Swoosh, an effective PowerPoint deck can speak volumes without being too complicated or overwrought.

Here are a few PowerPoint design lessons we can learn from the most iconic brand logos:

Be consistent with your message

In 2010, Gap launched a new logo on their official website, but it didn’t last long. Customers took to social media to complain about the change. Loyal fans threatened to stop shopping at Gap stores. They felt the new logo didn’t portray the classic American feel they’ve come to love about the clothes. A week later, after an attempt to crowdsource a better design, the company reverted back to its original logo.

 

powerpoint design lesson: gap new logo vs old
The current Gap logo was momentarily replaced until fans took to social media and complained.

Gap’s mistake was to move away from the message their consumers love most about their brand. The stories their clothes told was that of timelessness. The new logo certainly felt disjointed from their identity.

Similarly, your PowerPoint design should always be coherent with the core message you want to impart. Choose colors, images, and other design elements that are consistent with the theme of your presentation. For example, if you’re presenting in a more corporate setting, it would be inappropriate to use loud and bright colors.

Tell a good story

Did you know that Apple’s iconic logo was inspired by Isaac Newton’s discovery of gravity? Seems pretty fitting for a company who has pioneered several innovations in the past several years. Apple’s first logo showed a picture of Newton under an apple tree and incorporated a quote from Wordsworth that said, “Newton… a mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought…alone.” Steve Jobs later asked to have it replaced with a sleeker and simpler design that still represents the same narrative.

powerpoint design lesson: apple logo black
The Apple logo has changed through the years but it kept its iconic single icon.

As we’ve mentioned previously, a presentation can benefit from a great story. But you can also apply the same philosophy to your PowerPoint design by following the example of Apple’s logo. Enhance your slides with images or illustrations that have their own story. Choose an icon that may have symbolic significance (like the apple), or a picture that is composed with its own narrative. Don’t go with easy choices like cheesy stock photos.

Keep it simple

The original Google logo was created in 1998 using GIMP, a free graphics program. It showed the word Google in the Baskerville typeface with each letter in a different color. The logo evolved over time, but it kept its simplicity. Today, the Google logo is among the most recognizable. Despite its minimal design, it tells a powerful story. Ruth Kedar said of her design: “We ended up with the primary colors, but instead of having the pattern go in order, we put a secondary color on the L, which brought back the idea that Google doesn’t follow the rules.”

powerpoint design lesson: Google logo 2013
The Google logo was updated to follow the ‘flat design’ trend in 2013.

Just like Google’s logo, your PowerPoint design should remain simple. It’s not just about keeping your design easy on the eyes. It’s also important to make sure that your audience can easily pick up your key points without getting distracted by too many elements.

 

References

Ellis, Blake. “New Gap Logo Ignites Firestorm.” CNNMoney. Accessed July 21, 2014.
Weiner, Juli. “New Gap Logo, Despised Symbol of Corporate Banality, Dead at One Week.” Vanity Fair. Accessed July 21, 2014.

 

Featured Image: Miguel Vaca via flickr.com
Logos from Wikimedia Commons 

Dilbert on PowerPoint: Serious PowerPoint Lessons from a Silly Comic Strip

Dilbert creator Scott Adams is one of those people who was able to take a personal setback and turned it into something awesome – he turned the inanity of his workplace experiences into a successful professional career. Currently, the Dilbert comic strip runs in 2,000 newspapers in 65 countries and printed in 25 languages. Adams has also published several books compiling the strips and a number of actual business books that feature his characters. Not bad for a former bank teller and failed entrepreneur.

To the uninitiated, Dilbert draws its humor from ordinary office situations. It pokes fun at the silliness of rank and file employees (at least in its own world) while throwing witty potshots at the self-importance and absurdity of the higher-ups.

One of the most common office-related topics that the comic strip has tacked is PowerPoint presentation. Some of the strips about it are actually funny. When you look beyond the ridiculousness, however, you will see that there are serious lessons in there somewhere. Here are just some examples:

Add Value to Your Slides (Make sure your audience will get something from them)

dilbert on powerpoint

Make Your Slides Interesting (Or risk putting your audience to sleep)

dilbert 2

Don’t Read From Your Slides (and avoid bullet points, if possible)

dilbert 3

Impress the Audience with Visual Aids (Such as Pie Charts)

dilbert 4

Use as Few Slides as Possible (But Don’t Over Do It)

dilbert 5

 

There you have it. Comic strips can make your day as you sit back and read the morning papers. But when you think about it, they do more than just entertain. Just take these Dilbert strips. Hopefully, these samples would inspire you to create or design PowerPoint presentations that won’t put your audience to sleep or make them think of harsh things to do to you. When in doubt, you may just leave everything to the professionals.

Dilbert on PowerPoint: Serious PowerPoint Lessons from a Comic Strip

Dilbert creator Scott Adams is one of those people who was able to take a personal setback and turned it into something awesome: he turned the inanity of his workplace experiences into a successful career. Currently, the Dilbert comic strip runs in 2,000 newspapers in 65 countries and printed in 25 languages. Adams has also published several books compiling the strips and a number of actual business books that feature his characters. Not bad for a former bank teller.

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To the uninitiated, Dilbert draws its humor from ordinary office situations. It pokes fun at the silliness of rank and file employees (at least in its own world) while throwing witty potshots at the self-importance and absurdity of the higher-ups.

One of the most common office-related topics that the comic strip has tacked is PowerPoint presentation. Some of the strips about it are actually funny. When you look beyond the ridiculousness, however, you will see that there are serious lessons in there somewhere. Here are just some examples:

Add Value to Your Slides (Make sure your audience will get something from them)

dilbert on powerpoint

Make Your Slides Interesting (Or risk putting your audience to sleep)

dilbert 2

Don’t Read From Your Slides (and avoid bullet points, if possible)

dilbert 3

Impress the Audience with Visual Aids (Such as Pie Charts)

dilbert 4

Use as Few Slides as Possible (But Don’t Over Do It)

dilbert 5

There you have it. Comic strips can make your day as you sit back and read the morning papers. But when you think about it, they do more than just entertain. Just take these Dilbert strips. Hopefully, these samples would inspire you to create or design PowerPoint presentations that won’t put your audience to sleep or make them think of harsh things to do to you. When in doubt, you may just leave everything to the professionals.

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