If you’ve sat through a PowerPoint presentation at some point in your professional career, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen some unappealing and downright ugly designs. They don’t work well in presentation, and they don’t do businesses a service, so why do these ugly slides exist? It’s simple: Too few people use strong graphic design in PowerPoint. They focus on information but ignore aesthetics. It’s time to break that trend and it’s easy to do when you harness the power of a grid structure.
Just like the name suggests, grid layouts are design schemes in which each slide is divided into horizontal grids or guides, vertical grids or guides, or a combination of both. Grids are standard in graphic design, and they can do a lot for PowerPoint too. Here are eight ways a grid layout can up the value of your PowerPoint design.
1. Grid Layouts to Keep You Organised
We’ve all sat through a PowerPoint presentation that just didn’t make sense. Using a grid of columns will help you avoid that problem because grids encourage excellent organisation from the get go. With a grid, you know exactly how many images and how much text you need for each slide. Working with a grid will help you break your presentation into balanced chunks that actually make sense, and that’s a huge win.
2. Grids Make it Easy to Create Balanced Designs
You don’t have to be a design pro to know that balance is important to your PowerPoint presentation. Unfortunately, creating PowerPoint slides that look balanced can be easier said than done. You’ve probably struggled to get text to align correctly or to get images to display in the same location on all slides.
Say goodbye to those worries with grid layouts. A grid makes it easy to put your elements in the exact place you want them on every slide. That translates into greater symmetry and visual strength without fuss. To see this is action, you can see a few samples of our work here.
3. Grids Help to Eliminate Ugly Clutter on Slides
Clutter might seem like a given when you’re creating a PowerPoint presentation, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s no need for too many graphics or too much information on every slide. Instead of placing elements willy-nilly, get into a grid design.
With a grid, you simply can’t place too much on one slide. You have to keep information organised. A grid lets you know exactly how much you can put on one slide and exactly where you should put it. There’s no risk that you’ll throw in unnecessary clip art or text elements when you obey the grid.
4. Grids Allow for Better Presentation Cohesion
An effective PowerPoint presentation is one with a high level of cohesion. The information across the slides need to fit together, and it needs to be organised in a way that help viewers relate different elements to one another. Creating cohesion can be a tough task, especially if you don’t have a graphic design background. Thankfully, grids make creating cohesion easy.
After all, creating a cohesive feel in your presentation is as much about subconscious cues as it is about the information you put on slides. Your viewers need to perceive that everything in your presentation fits together, and a grid layout will help you convince them. Because every slide has a consistent layout, the viewer’s brain automatically assumes all that information belongs together. It’s a neat trick that’s easy to pull off.
5. Grids Help You Apply the Rule of Thirds to PowerPoint
Photographers have long used the rule of thirds, sometimes referred to as the golden ratio, to improve the composition of their photos. At its heart, the rule of thirds helps you focus your eye and make good visual decisions. That’s why you can use it to make better PowerPoint slides.
To use this design rule, you need to divide your page with a series of three horizontal and three vertical lines. Now look at the points where these lines intersect. These are your focal points, or the places on the grid where you should concentrate on placing images and bold text.
6. Grids Allow for Flexible Design Possibilities
If you have to make a new PowerPoint design every week, you don’t want to repeat the exact same formula for every slide. Thankfully, grids are incredibly flexible. You can easily adjust a grid or choose a new grid-based template for every presentation you make. The rules of design and the advantages remain the same, but the visual results can be strikingly different every time thanks to the flexibility of grids.
7. Grids Make Collaborating a Breeze
Designing a presentation on your own is one thing, but what if you have to collaborate with others? When it comes to PowerPoint slides, working with a team can be a pain. We’ve all seen presentations where it’s clear that the slides weren’t all made by the same person.
If you must collaborate on a design, using a grid is a great way to overcome challenges. Everyone on the team can simply use the grid to determine how to lay out their slides. That means a cohesive design with no need to constantly check in with others to make sure that all the slides look the same.
8. Grids Make Your Job Easier
Grids improve the visual quality of your PowerPoint designs and that’s powerful on its own. What is even better is that grids actually make your job easier. With a grid structure, you’re not stuck making tough design decisions for every slide. You know where information and graphics should go. You know how to put them there. It’s that simple.
Harnessing the power of strong graphic design in PowerPoint doesn’t have to be difficult. Templates with pre-existing grids or columns make it easy to apply this design principle to your presentations. If you’re ready to see grids and guides in action, download this handy set of free PowerPoint templates before you start working on your next big presentation.