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The 6 Presentation Design Trends of 2017

Presentation design has come a long way since PowerPoint first launched in 1990. Clip art and bullet points are a thing of the past. For 2014, trends point toward eye-catching visuals, digestible content, and audience participation.

The following are the six presentation design trends we’ve observed during the first half of the year.

Trend #1: Simplifying content with one-liners and illustrations

There’s no denying it: attention spans have become shorter in the postmodern age. We’ve all gotten used to ‘instant gratification and quick fixes‘. Google can pull up the information you need in mere seconds. Your smartphone can quickly give you directions when you’re lost on the road. The same ease should be applied when you’re sharing information through slides.

Presentation Design Trend #1: This 'Who We Are' slide contains only a short sentence and a diagram

Simplify slides by using one-liners and illustrations that emphasize your key points. Also, limit yourself to discussing only one concept per slide. We’ve seen Steve Jobs do it, but some people still make the mistake of including too much information.

Audiences are easily distracted if they can read every word you say on your slides. They’ll skip right ahead of you and zone out while waiting for you to finish talking.

Trend #2: Using full images as backgrounds

Visuals are a great way to capture wandering attention. The Internet is a great source for pictures that can help enhance your presentation design. And because the technology for photography has improved, you can make use of full images as backgrounds.

If you know where to look, the Internet can provide you with pictures that are coherent with the core of your presentation.

Take these slides as an example, and observe how the background images are balanced by the text and color choices.

The other colors in the slide goes well with the background image

The white font contrasts with the dark background image

Trend #3: Filtering images through photo-editing programs

Stock photography is a great option for presenters looking to enhance their slides with professional-looking images. However, a lot of it looks distant, staged or cheesy. The same is true for most photos available for free use on the Internet.

According to The New York Times’ Jena Wortham, thanks to the popularity of Instagram, editing photos to create a more authentic and nostalgic feel has become the norm.

Run the images you want to use through filters so your slides can have a personal but polished touch.

There's a stark difference between the original and the filtered image
Original image from Flickr

If you’d like to try this trend, there are plenty of photo-editing programs available aside from Instagram.

You can try web-based editors like PicMonkey, Fotor, or Pixlr. Photoshop is a classic, but it can be quite complicated for a first-timer. Whatever program you decide to use, just keep in mind that the photos in your slides should look unified. As much as possible, edit your images using the same filters and techniques.

Trend #4: ‘Flat Design’

The 'flat design' in the iOS7 interface

Apple’s release of iOS7 made “flat design” a mainstream concept. Before iOS7, the icons in your devices had a more texture and “real” look to them. Now, designers are opting for a more minimalist aesthetic that focuses on simple shapes and vibrant colors.

With the impending release of iOS8, you can expect this trend to continue in presentation design.

Trend #5: ‘Geometric Design’

We’ve seen geometric design dominate the fashion industry last year. Now, we’re seeing the same trend in presentation design. Because of its clean lines and sharp edges, geometric shapes and patterns allow for interesting accents that still look professional.

Presentation Design Trend #5: Geometric shapes add interest to a slide

Trend #6: Technology integration for audience interaction

Screenshot from presentain.com

Audiences these days are clamoring to be part of the presentation process. Audiences prefer to converse with the presenter, instead of being spoken at. Technology allows you to integrate audience participation in your presentation design. Apps like Presentain and SlideKlowd allows the audience to get involved with your presentation through their mobile devices.

With a swipe of a finger, they can ask questions, answer polls, and send follow-up requests.

 

References

GEOMETRIC FASHION 2013: Shape It Up!.” Runway Style Media. July 28, 2013. Accessed June 18, 2014.
Weatherhead, Rob. “Say It Quick, Say It Well – the Attention Span of a Modern Internet Consumer.” The Guardian. February 28, 2014. Accessed June 18, 2014.
Wortham, Jenna. “A Stream of Postcards, Shot by Phone.” The New York Times. June 03, 2011. Accessed June 18, 2014.

 

Featured Image by Steve Snodgrass via Flickr. Sample slides from the SlideGenius portfolio.

PowerPoint Design Inspiration: What To Do With Marsala

Pantone Color Institute, the world’s leading color expert, recently announced their pick for 2015 Color of the Year. While their choice was initially met with some reservations, the warm and earthy Marsala remains an intriguing choice. Thanks to the rich narrative that goes behind the shade, Marsala is sure to inspire designers and creatives of every kind.

Seeing where the trends are heading, presenters should also consider incorporating the rich Marsala into their PowerPoint designs.

The narrative behind the color 

According to Pantone, Marsala represents the hearty and enriching qualities of “a fulfilling meal”. Thanks to its red-brown tones, the color also emanates a “sophisticated, natural earthiness.” The editorial pictures released by Pantone picture an elegant group of friends dining comfortably together.

As stated in the press release by executive director Lee Eiseman,

“Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability… Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

marsala 02 marsala 03

Following this narrative, Marsala is the perfect color for slides that want to depict a sense of luxury and a down-to-earth feel at the same time.

It’s the perfect choice for presentations and pitches around real estate, apparel, and retail. It will also help if you consider your organization’s own narrative. Think of the qualities that make your brand unique. If it matches with the qualities that are symbolized by Marsala, then Pantone’s choice is an obvious win.

Working Marsala into a color palette

There are plenty of ways to pair Marsala with other colors. Pantone came up with a total of 7 palettes that you can use for inspiration.

As listed on their website, Marsala’s warmth allows it to pop beside neutral colors like taupe and gray. Thanks to its rich undertones, it also works well with the colors amber, umber, as well as shades in golden yellow, green, and blue.

Color Palette: Pantone Color Palette: Pantone 2

To use similar looking palettes for your PowerPoint deck, make sure you temper these shades using a more neutral background. A PowerPoint color theme requires that you choose 2 light colors, 2 dark colors, and 6 accent colors.

Some factors to consider

Because Marsala is a rich and highly-nuanced shade, it’s important that you keep your slides balanced with a more minimalist design. You also need to make sure that the projector you’re using is working well. Busted bulbs might not pick up its wine-inspired tones. You’ll end up with a brownish shade instead. The same is true for printers.

If you plan to turn your presentation into a flipbook, make sure you use a high-quality printer to make sure the color’s integrity is maintained.

Marsala is a rich and vibrant color that tells a complex story.

While it’s primarily expected to appear in fashion, beauty, and interior design, there’s no reason you can’t incorporate it in PowerPoint design. Allow its rich and sensual shades inspire your presentation.

 

Reference

Basu, Tanya. “The Problem With Pantone’s Color of the Year.” The Atlantic. December 4, 2014. Accessed January 20, 2015.
INTRODUCING MARSALAPANTONE 18-1438.” PANTONE. Accessed January 20, 2015.
Turn Presentations into a Powerful Marketing Tool.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 23, 2014. Accessed January 20, 2015.

 

All images from Pantone.com