Guest blog by Autumn Riley, Digital Learning Coach in Mansfield ISD.
Creating and designing a theme before building out a presentation or slide deck can help you to keep your messaging consistent throughout. You can use a fun topic theme (more on that in a bit) or stick with colors and an overall tone. It is very important to stay consistent throughout your presentation. This means using the same color scheme, font, and design elements throughout all of your slides. By doing so, you’ll create a cohesive and polished presentation that looks more professional and well-put-together.
For now let’s consider building themes with primarily colors and an overall tone.
First, consider the overall tone and message of your presentation. Who is the audience? What is the purpose? If you’re giving a formal presentation, you’d likely want to use a more professional-looking theme with a clean, simple design. On the other hand, if you’re creating a presentation for a creative project or for use with students, you might choose a more playful or colorful theme.
When it comes to choosing the number of fonts to use in your Slides, less is often more. The general recommendation is no more than two or three different fonts in order to keep your design looking clean and cohesive. These are typically a Title Font, a Body Font, and the third optional font is an accent or design font. While you can mix and match your fonts for these sections of your presentation, you want to stay within the overall tone you are creating. For example, you wouldn’t want an overly decorative title font in a more formal or clean presentation. On the other hand, if you are creating a presentation for use with young students, you don’t necessarily want to use a traditional font like Times New Roman.
Test out fonts together and see what looks nicely together. Practice writing out words that will be frequently used in your presentation. Letters like capital T’s and lowercase f’s can change a lot from font to font.
In addition to selecting your font, picking a color palette is important when creating an overall mood, tone, and or/vibe for your Google Slides Deck. There are several online tools to help you find color palettes:
- Adobe Color: This website allows you to create your own color palettes or browse through a variety of pre-existing ones.
- Coolors: A color scheme generator that allows you to create and save your own color palettes.
- Palette Generator: This website allows you to upload an image and it will generate a color palette based on the colors in the image.
- Colormind: A color scheme generator that uses deep learning to generate color palettes.
- Pinterest: Pinterest is also a great place to find inspiration for color palettes. You can search for “color palettes” or specific color combinations to find a variety of options.
- Canva: Canva has a wide variety of pre-designed color palettes, you can find them in the color section of the platform and you can even create your own. (They are called Styles when you are in a design.)
It is also a good idea to double check how the colors show up on your classroom (or presentation room) projector and/or to see how they turn out in print before finalizing your theme.
Fun Theme Inspiration
When it comes to finding inspiration for your theme, there are so many different places to start.
You can use a play on words like “Slide into Success with Presentation Themes” and create your theme around that. (Immediately, my head goes to baseball, so I would be designing with that set of colors and fonts. You could also use a playground and think of slides.) You can start with a picture, a movie or TV show, a song, or even a cliche expression to build your theme and presentation around. You can search slide template websites for inspiration, or really anything can be inspiration if you let it be.
One strategy is to write down the topic that your Slides will be about. Try thinking of rhymes or puns on that topic. Input those words/puns into Google and see what images pop up.
Here are some basic ideas for some “punny” Themes that you could build and customize for your presentations.
- “Tea-riffic” – A theme that uses shades of green and brown and uses “tea” as a metaphor.
- “Rise and Shine” – A theme that uses warm colors and uses sunrise or morning as a metaphor.
- “All that Glitters” – A theme that uses gold and silver or any glittery colors.
- “A-maize-ing” – A theme that uses shades of yellow and is perfect for a presentation on farming or agriculture topics.
- “Berry Good” – A theme that uses shades of red and purple and uses berries throughout
- “Sea-sational” or “Come Sail Away” – A theme that uses shades of blue and is perfect for any and all ocean metaphors.
These are just some fun ideas to get you going. Be as creative as you can be. Create fun puns and themes to match your topic. Inspiration can come from anywhere.
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