A quick guide to branding your slide deck…tastefully


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When most of our colleagues put together slide decks, they’re asked to ensure that it’s branded appropriately for the organisation. And most of our colleagues would just insert the company’s logo on each and every slide, right?

Firstly, I heavily advise that you don’t put your logo on every slide. Main reason is that it can be distracting to your audience and clutter the visual aesthetic of your slide.

How else can we brand our slide decks!?

You can consider other elements of your brand that can tastefully get your slide deck back on message!

Consider your brand colours

Consider the colours that are used in your brand’s logo and stationery. If you have a brand guide, use that to get the exact colours that you need. In this process, don’t jeopardise the legibility of your slide decks. If your brand colours are neon yellow and brilliant cyan (heaven help us), use mostly neutral colours and photography, and then add a ‘touch’ of your brand colours to your slide deck.

Consider your brand fonts

Consider the fonts that are used within your branding. If you have access to those fonts, please go ahead and use them on your slides. Again, your brand’s style guide should inform this, but if you don’t have one, you can use resources like Font Matcherator to find out what they are.

If you don’t have access to your brand fonts, you can use a font that resembles the one used in your company’s logo. Most presentation producers when in doubt will use Arial, Trebuchet or Georgia as their go-to font as most audiences see these as neutral and won’t negatively affect the brand.

A word of warning if you’re using custom fonts that aren’t native to Windows machines.
If you’re anticipating that your slide deck will be used on someone else’s machine at the time of presentation, ensure that when it comes time to save the slide deck, that you embed the font within the presentation. You can find out how to do it here.

Consider your brand shapes

Consider the use of shapes from your logo. Depending on the complexity of the design, you can try to replicate this in Powerpoint. Use opacity and transparency to make these shapes blend in the background. If your logo is quite complex, see if you can attain some of these files from the designer. What you can do is create abstract elements that are visual nods to your brand, but aren’t front and centre of the audience’s attention.

So where can I insert the logo?

Garr Reynolds, author of ‘Presentation Zen’ states:

“If you must use your logo, do so only on the first slide and the last slide. Putting your logo on every slide is like shouting your name before every new thought you have.”

So there you have it – the first slide and the last slide. Craig Hadden from Remote Possibilities asserts that we shouldn’t talk over our logo. If we place the logo on a black background at the bookends of our slide deck, the audience subconsciously associates your brand with your presentation (and you don’t even have say a word about where you came from).

By considering your brand’s colours, fonts and shapes, you can tastefully brand your slide decks to look classy without shouting your name before every new thought. 

Some extra handy hints

  • If you’re going to set up a slide deck in between presentations, your audience will see your desktop. Ensure the desktop background contains your company’s logo.
  • If you anticipate that your presentation is going to be shared on social media, place a hashtag or Twitter handle in a black bar at the bottom of each slide. It’s unobtrusive and a classy way to give context to people who aren’t in the same room of your presentation.

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