Every other project, I encounter other designers (web, print) at clients, and sometimes we end up having discussions about my project. Feedback I often get:

  • I use very basic fonts
  • I use old fashioned shapes, I do not use icons
  • I frame images on slides rather than letting them "bleed" of the page

Part of this is personal taste, part of this has to do with the world of presentations, which is different than other design disciplines

  • Fonts:
    • Presentations get edited by many people, on many different operating systems, all the time. These machines are unlikely to have the required custom fonts installed. Brochures are designed once and sent to print, presentations are live documents edited by groups of people.
    • Presentations are business documents that need a calm and professional look. Cute fonts might look nice on one page, but 40 pages in (once you got down to next year's budget data), you get tired of tehm
  • Shapes and icons
    • Icons work in UI design, or on small mobile phone screens. Icons work if the user can remember them, see them often, repeatedly (the floppy disk to save a file for example). Icons that are less clear (a factory to visualise business), or cliche (dollar signs to show revenue). These icons take up space and do not add much value
    • Basic shapes without sophisticated borders and straight angles are calm, easy on the eye, and are very efficient to hold text and can be edited by non-designers
  • Framing images: there are a few types of presentations slides. Big images is one. But there are also tables, graphs, text pages, and girds of images/text boxes. While big images might look good bleeding of the page, it makes the design look less consistent with the other pages in the deck. Hence that I frame them most of the time, to make the title pop out of the slide without the need for semi transparent text backgrounds. Have a look of some of the classic graphic designers from the 1960s, they often frame images as well in white space.

Art: Jan Steen, Argument over a card game, 1625