Slide Design: Learn From Print Ads

When it comes right down to it, the success of any presentation comes down to a sell. Maybe you’re selling a product, or a brand, or maybe an argument. Why not, then, steal some hints from those that make a living making sure products get sold: advertisers.

Great ads rely on attention-grabbing images, brand cues and limited copy. Consider these gorgeous ads from Bold Detergent:

Slide Design Example

Bold has created images so powerful and clear that no words are needed. They simply include a brand cue to drive home the point: Bold Detergent dissolves your messiest stains.

Visual images lessen processing burden and are more attention-getting and memorable than words. Is it any wonder, then, with all the cognitive benefits, the best print ads are those high on visual impact and low on copy?

Here’s another example:

Slide Design Example

Attention grabbing, memorable and clear. With only 7 words!

Slides are no different than print ads: they aim to sell. Thus, slide design should abide by the same principles.

1. Use powerful images. The more visual your slides, the more engaged your audience will be. Depending on your purpose, it may be appropriate to work in humor. And put away the clip art: The more professional your images, the more credibility you will garner.

2. Limit the copy. Ever hear the internet expression “TL;DR”? It’s shorthand for “too long; didn’t read” and you can bet that anything more than a few necessary words will get the same treatment during your presentation.

3. Use brand cues. Does the template you’re using reflect the brand identity you represent? Are you incorporating fonts, logos and other distinctive assets to remind your audience just who is behind the moving and visually engaging show they are experiencing? You should be.

By creating slides that have the impact of great ads, you are creating mental images in the minds of the audience. Associate your brand and your sell will stay with your audience long after you’ve left the podium.

Further Reading/Happy Clicking:
BuzzFeed’s 12 Best Print Ads of 2012
AdWeek’s Best Print Ads of 2011-2012

4 thoughts on “Slide Design: Learn From Print Ads

  1. Jay

    Completely agree with your premise, but…To me the tomato dissolving visual, graphic though it is, clearly says one thing: Bold dissolves food. Think it would have been more effective with the addition of a stain. So that the still simple graphic would be, for example, tomato, into red stain, into dissolve.

    1. Bethany Auck | SlideRabbit Post author

      Perhaps its a subjective opinion but I enjoy the abstraction of the concept, especially as a visual aid (maybe rather than a stand-alone ad). We had a comment from the designer of the Bold launch campaign on LinkedIn who called these ads a “concept fail,” but I can’t help but love them.

  2. Pingback: Slide Design: Picture This | VisualSugar

  3. Pingback: The Value Of The Visual | VisualSugar

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