In an early post on design, we wrote about the importance of color coordination when designing your slides.
If you already have a design template to work within (as is the case with corporate presentations) the color options and grids are already decided for you, making life, in one sense at least, that much easier.
However, for those who have to invent as they go along, it’s worth keeping a few key points in mind:
This is basic. And crucial. If the color of the text on the slides is too close to the background color, readability will be an issue. So go for contrast. If your words are in a dark color ensure the background is light. And vice versa. Personally, we feel reverse text (i.e. white on black) is harder on the eye, and therefore avoidable, especially for text-heavy presentations.
If this seems like a contradiction to the first point, it isn’t. Some colors clash – and some harmonize. And if you’re hesitant about trusting your own judgement, you can find enough examples online of color wheels and color contrast calculators to help you make the right choices.
Every color comes with a connotation. You don’t have to be an artist or a design guru to get this. Everyone knows that blue connotes calm, white peace, red love, yellow happiness, purple royalty… and so on. Some colors feel harsh, some bland. For a powerful impact you need to choose bold colors, and yet, be sure you’ve got them right! For example, if it’s a presentation on children’s toys, you don’t want too many somber colors like grey and black, you want to go for the brighter, primary colors that convey the brand personality.
This is related to the personality you want your presentation to have. For a professional tone, the color palette will be more discreet, muted, no hot pinks and neon greens! For a more fun presentation, you can go a bit wilder – but remember not to swerve madly from one tone to another. Keep it consistent with your message and your promise, and you will make the right impression!