Well, loyal readers, you’ve made it through the week. This is the fifth and final post in this series on how I redesign slides. Here’s a reminder of what we started with.
Over the course of the week we’ve covered how to break slides up so there’s one idea on each slide, and how to choose a color scheme, a font, and images. Today we’ll be combining everything we’ve done so far into a finished product.
Step one is to resize our images. This may be as simple as changing the height and width to 800 pixels and 600 pixels respectively. But not all images are the proper proportions to do this and some may require cropping to make them work. It’s easy to do both using MS Paint, or a more powerful graphics editor if you have access to one.
Place Images as our Slide Backgrounds
I’m using the same slides we ended up with on Monday, the plain white slides with a few words of black text. I’m adding the images from yesterday (Thursday) in the order in which I attached them to the bottom of the post. My slides now look something like this.
Make sure that you remember the image attribution, otherwise you’ll be using these images illegally. I usually place the attribution in one of the corners of my images by adding a simple, subtle text box with the words “Image Credit:” followed by the image creator’s name.
Positioning the Text
The next step is to move the text to where we want it. Many people don’t move text boxes around, they just leave them wherever PowerPoint places them. This is usually not a good way to go. You can place elements anywhere on the slide, so it would be best to place it exactly where you want it to go. If you imagine a grid of four lines, two vertical, two horizontal, that divide the slide evenly into nine equal parts, it’s best to position items of interest where the lines cross. These points are called “power points” believe it or not and placing elements here is a technique used by graphic designers, photographers, etc.
The first step is to apply the font we chose on Tuesday (part 2) and get the font size set. This will help us figure out how much room the text will take up. We could position the text before we typeset it, but we’d probably just end up tweaking things and moving them around later. Remember that the font we chose was called “Savoye LET”. I’ve chosen a font size of about 72pt.
You also need to eliminate the bullets. You should really only use bullets if there are at least two of them. You can turn bullets off by highlighting the text and then clicking the button with bullet points on it, shown below.
The final step is to make sure your text will be visible when sitting on top of your image. If there isn’t sufficient contrast between the text and the background, I usually choose to place a shape behind the text to make the text stand out. I chose to set the type in the Yellow Green color from Tuesday (RGB – 159, 219, 67). This is a fairly light green when compared with the background images we’ve chosen, so I placed a simple rectangle behind the images. I formatted that rectangle by removing the line (set the line to “no line” in the “Format Shape…” dialog box) and giving it a gradient fill. I chose to give it a radial, centered background with two stops. The first color stop is the lighter brown from “Spring Garden” which is RGB – 56, 30, 16. The second stop I set to the same color then just used my color picker to darken it a bit.
Here are the finished slides.
Here’s the finished PowerPoint file for you to download so you can take these slides apart and see how they work if you like. (You need to have the font Savoye LET installed on your system or the slides won’t appear as they do here. You can download the font for free, here.)
So that’s how I work. Thank you so much for following along this week. I hope it’s been enjoyable as well as beneficial for you. If you have any questions about any part of this process that I haven’t answered sufficiently, please leave a comment below. Otherwise, best of luck creating your next set of slides!