In my last post, I gave some basic advice on PowerPoint slide design. Now let’s add some elegance.

1. When you add text to a photo, make sure it is easy to read. You can add a mask (a rectangle of partly transparent colour) between the text and the photo. In the example below right the transparency is on a gradient so that it fades seamlessly into the photo.

signposting-bad signposting-good

2. Make blocks of colour more interesting by adding a subtle gradient and removing the line round the outside.

insultation-solid-bars insultation-gradient-bars.

3.  Use shapes with rounded corners. A book on the technical aspects of blogs that this was a “Web 2.0 design sensibility”! I think they just look more classy.

shoe-angled shoe-rounded

4. Experiment with asymmetry. As a non-designer, I used to think that everything had to be symmetrical – often centred on the page. But symmetry can be boring. Compare the two slides below.

symmetry1 asymmetry1

So you don’t have to be a designer to be able to design good PowerPoint slides. These are just some of the techniques that I’ve gleaned from looking at other people’s slides that I’ve liked. You can do the same. If you’ve got some design tips, do share them in the comments.

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