Typography Guidelines to Create Clear and Crisp Presentations

Were you ever ridiculed or praised for your handwriting in school?

It happened to all of us. Some of us were even awarded marks for good handwriting in school tests.

Why is it so important?

Well, for basics, it makes the reader’s work easy, going through the content. Your work looks more attractive, legible, and easy on the eyes.

Presentations work the same way. Typography might sound too basic, but it can actually make a big difference in the success of your presentation.

Typography is the way text looks on your slides. Let’s dive into what it entails and how it can elevate the engagement of your presentations.

What Does Typography Entail?

Simply put, typography is the art of arranging texts in a way that it’s legible, attractive, and conveys the message in the best way possible. It incorporates elements like fonts, size of the text, color choice, etc., to evoke certain emotions in the reader.

Before we move further in the article, let’s come to the same page regarding a few terms in typography.

  • Typeface – AKA, the font family, is a collection of one or more fonts, each with a set of characters (letter, number, symbol, punctuation) sharing the same design features.

  • Fonts – That’s individual members of the font family. Each font has a distinct style, size, italicization, etc.

  • Serif – A serif is a little decorative stroke you see on a letter or symbol in certain typefaces.

  • Sans-serif – Typefaces that lack serif.

Now that we understand the terms, let’s see how everything applies to presentation designs.

Typography Tips to Elevate Your Presentation

Modern presentations are moving towards a trend of lesser texts on the slides, which makes taking care of typography all the more imperative. The following tips will help you integrate the typographic elements in the presentation design to make it efficient and appealing.

1. Choosing the Font

You can’t select any random font just for the sake of choosing. The fonts to your presentations are like you are dressing up for some event. You want to look clean and make a statement with your attire. Go through the following tips to select the right font for your presentation.

  • Keep your font selection simple. Don’t go for more than a couple of fonts for your slides, or you risk making it look too hotchpotch.

  • The main text should consist of simple, readable fonts. Don’t compromise the readability of your fonts for fancy.

  • You can go for contrast if you are using two fonts for your slides. For instance, you can create a classic contrast by pairing serif and sans-serif typefaces.

  • Your text should be large enough to be readable from the back of the room. You can keep the size around 30-40 for slide headers/titles.

  • You can use uppercase or title cases (slide titles and other short headings) to add emphasis to points. Different case styles can help differentiate between diverse content. You can go for 5-12% extra spacing between the letters with all caps and small caps.

  • Never try to distort a font (stretching or compressing it out of proportion) to fit at places where it won’t.

2. Take Help of Hierarchy

In typography, establishing hierarchy means arranging texts in such a way that it directs people seamlessly through the presentation. It’s like sharing a roadmap with people and directing them towards aspects like the most relevant and important information, what they are supposed to read next, etc. Here’s how you can use this principle appropriately.

  • You can use diverse font sizes for different things. For example, headers/titles should be bigger than body text. Information like footnotes and captions can be put in smaller texts compared to the body text.

  • When you want to showcase the order of something or maybe emphasize key points, go for bold or italic texts to show the highlighted part properly. However, don’t go overboard.

  • Use appropriate spacing between lines (called leading) and paragraphs, giving your text space to breathe. Inappropriate gaps will make the text look cluttered and untidy. For instance, line spacing should be 120-145% of the point size (used to measure font size, leading, etc).

  • Use different font weights (thickness of the font in relation to height) to emphasize the importance of keywords.

3. The Aspect of Alignment

The alignment of the text is one of the most crucial elements to create a visually appealing and coherent presentation. The right alignment will aid the audience in seamless navigation through the presentation. Here’s how you can get it right-

  • We are used to reading and writing left-aligned text. So, in presentation, especially for large chunks of text, left alignment will make your slides easy to read, clean, and organized, thereby making it easy on the eyes.

  • You can keep center alignment for titles/headers and short lines (to add importance and emphasis) but not for paragraphs.

  • Justified texts aren’t always the best option, always. It helps with alignment but can also create uneven gaps between texts, making the text block difficult to read. So, be careful in using that everywhere.

  • Avoid widows or orphans (lonesome words) on your text block. Rather, go for soft returns to create visually appealing and easy-to-read texts.

  • You can also go for grid design to help you place your elements appropriately in relation to one another. It will make your slide more logical and coherent.

4. White Space

AKA, the negative space, is the blank and unmarked space on a slide around portions of text and other elements. Often overlooked, it is critical to create a visually coherent slide. Here’s how you can appropriately use the white space in your slides.

  • Go for bigger margins on your slide deck. Margins are the blank space between the text and the edge of the slide.

  • When going for a colored background, use only half of space in the slide to add text; not the entire space.

  • Amplify the blank space by writing keywords instead of a sentence and elaborate further in your speech. If you have a lot of content, distribute it across multiple slides to keep both design and content in place.

  • Use white space to tell your story by grouping similar items together (spacing them appropriately). You can use the space to club similar and dissimilar items in a way that gives people an idea of the content.

  • Use the emptiness to draw attention to the most important elements on your slides.

5. Text Colors

Playing with colors (due to color psychology) can help you accentuate the hierarchy of the content. Also, keep in mind (when picking colors for your slides) that warm colors pop and cooler ones recede.

You can elevate the appealing factor of your presentation if you get this part right. However, messing it up is equally bad and might take you on a downward slope to complete chaos. Here’s how you can get the colors part right in your presentation.

  • A barrage of colors looks good in a rainbow but won’t do that much on your slides. Go for 1 or 2 accent colors for the text.

  • You wouldn’t want the text to merge in the background. So, make sure there’s enough contrast between the colors, like going for a dark-colored text on a light background and vice-versa.

  • Follow a similar color scheme throughout the slides. It will help reinforce consistency and make your slides look polished and professional.

  • You can use different colors to highlight any specific statistic.

6. Adding Personality to the Text

Typography can add some personality to your slide deck through these simple tips.

  • You can go for unique display fonts (like Helvetica) for headers and titles that showcase the theme of your presentation. However, remember to keep it comprehensible.

  • Kerning (letter spacing) can add elegance to your texts, making them stand out. So, play a little with letter spacing to add flair to your text.

  • Don’t go for a big block of words everywhere. Try to incorporate your text into attractive visuals to make your slides look more engaging and interesting. You can go for infographics and add texts in catchy images, illustrations, videos, etc.

Summing It Up

And we are done with the basic crash course in typography to help you create vibrant presentation slides. Follow the tips, and you will have both aesthetics and usability in your presentation design. Your presentation will be informative and visually appealing to drive the message home in the best way possible.

Alternatively, you might also be interested in text to image API from our online product family.

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