Just like anything, good design becomes possible for anyone to achieve once they understand a few fundamentals. In this post, I’m going to walk you through my own fundamentals that I use to design pitch decks.
This post will only focus on the design aspect of decks, not what to include, how to pitch, etc. There are already many great resources out there to learn those skills.
I think simplicity is best so I’ve narrowed things down into 4 main principles which each contain a few sub-points within them. With that being said, let's start with non other than, simplicity.
The more points you try to make, the weaker they will become and the less likely the viewers/listeners are going to give you what you want. I’ve found it helpful to brain dump on each slide, and then slowly narrow down my points until only the strongest ones are left. This way of thinking should directly apply to how you design the slides.
Visuals are often far easier to understand than text. You don’t need to be able to read a certain language to understand them.
Often, you can find an icon to represent topics or points. The Noun Project is a great resource to find icons.
How are most languages formatted when written in a book or an article?
Left to right, top to bottom.
This is the flow that your brain (and 99% of other’s brains) are trained to quickly follow to interpret a new piece of information. Don’t try to fight this. Organize each slide’s content with this in mind.
If you take one thing away from this post, let it be this.
Never use a single font size and weight throughout a pitch deck. Get creative, use really large font sizes, use extra bold, use thin, use your brand’s different colors, etc. You can vary your font sizes and weights to make certain things pop out or “fall into a certain category.”
As a general rule, never go below 16px font size font size for any deck. Realistically, you should try to stay at or above 24px.
Guides help you keep content aligned and consistent throughout your deck. If you don’t know how to use guides, watch the video(s) below:
For reference, I use the following guides in every deck:
Find the “middle ground” with how you use different colors and type throughout your deck. There is no hard and fast rule here but strive to find the middle ground between always using the same colors, typeface size, typeface weight, etc and always using a different color, typeface size, typeface weight, etc.
The point is to make your content stand out but to still stick to a consistent style which will help the viewer/listener become familiar with your layout.
I think there are three different types of pitch decks (for raising $$$ at least):
Is your audience fairly technologically advanced? Do they understand your industry? Etc.
You should always keep in mind who the audience is that will likely hear or see your pitch in order to correctly tailor the amount of detail in the pitch so that they can understand your ideas.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or would like help designing your pitch deck, please reach out to me at hello(at)danstrangfeld.com
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