Basic Principles of Typography for Presentations

In the world of design, there are some "rules" you should follow. However, you still need to be creative. As Pablo Picasso said, "Learn the rules like a pro, break them like an artist" — and typography is no different. Being a central component of well-designed presentations, the typography you employ and how you present it matters. Let's talk about basic principles of typography for presentations

What Is Typography?

Typography is the art of using text to make content clear, legible, and visually appealing to readers. From font style to structure, appearance to formatting, there's a lot to consider when creating presentations.

Typography is the "body language" of your presentation, which is why you need to optimize readability, functionality, and positioning.

  • Choosing the right typography will help you develop brand recognition. If you use a specific font for your website and signage, this is a good jumping off point when designing your presentations. Consistent typography allows you to establish your brand's voice and personality. Do you want your audience to view your presentation as serious, fun, casual, etc. or a combination?
  • Typography will affect how readers perceive and digest content. This is especially important when you're not presenting the deck itself but sending it out for others to review. You need the presentation to do the talking for you. This can influence audience decision-making and conversion rates.
  • Good writing and verbal presentation skills hold the attention of your audience. However, good typography aids your writing by either calling attention to certain things or, more subtly, not calling attention to itself in the form of amateur, clunky text styling.

The Type of Presentation Matters

There are two primary types of presentations; those given in person and those sent out for your audience to read on their own. When developing your presentation, think, "will the slides be read as a sole source of information, or will they be projected and elaborate upon?"

If you are physically presenting a deck, the slides should have a lot less text. Sharing too many details on one slide will confuse and overwhelm your audience. Use short sentences and bullet points to convey your most important message. This will allow you to elaborate verbally and portray your presentation's themes without distraction.

Tips for Presentations

Less Is More

Stick with one or two complimentary typefaces for your presentation to ensure a more consistent tone. When selecting these fonts, avoid those that are overly ornate. Creating a presentation that comes off as unprofessional or even somewhat cheesy is the worst thing you can do to establish credibility. If you choose a decorative font, make it easy to read. Simple fonts aren't dull, so don't be afraid to use them! It's more about the words you use and how you design your message. For example, playing with text size and color contrast can have a dramatic effect when trying to highlight keywords.

Outsource Your Presentation Design

Designing a presentation is a time-consuming process. If you lack design experience or adequate time, your best option is to hire a freelance presentation designer. That way, you can remain focused on what matters most—your growing business and upcoming presentation!

Function Over Fashion

Don't underestimate the importance of function when it comes to text. Yes, a presentation should look good, but the message can quickly become lost if it isn't legible or pleasing to the eye. White space is your friend, avoid large blocks of text, and choose legible fonts.

There is a lot to consider when creating a presentation, and typography is just one component. From visual hierarchy to data visualization, a lot goes into the development of a winning presentation.

Partner with Kristian Olson Art & Design to help you take your upcoming presentation to the next level! I have over 20 years of experience delivering next-level designs for a variety of clients. Get in touch with me today!

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