Your slideshow's little black dress

July 20, 2011

Have you noticed something lately? More and more presentations are using black as the dominant color in their opening slides. Is this a trend or a coincidence? It has us wondering...can the opening slide be your slideshow's little black dress? Presentations Why Life Should Be A Video Game from Robert Barlow-Busch and Kill the QR Code by Abdulla Faraz opens with black then maintain the black background while adding large color photographs and white text.

Getting Effective Answers from Research Sessions continues a black background throughout the rest of its slideshow, also using white for the text content. And yet their earlier presentations, like App Publishing for Museums - iPhone, iPad and beyond do the opposite.

User experience designer Travis Isaacs opens with black, then abandons it in favor of full screen photographs in his presentation Keynote Kung-Fu: Black Belt.

Publicis Modem UK changes up their slideshow Google+ is here. What now? by opening with a black background, then switching to white background and black text.

It's important to remember that your presentation's opening slide will not only be viewed on a large projection screen or monitor, but also as a thumbnail any place it is embedded. This includes Facebook, Twitter, yours or someone else's website and on LinkedIn.

Design tip: when creating your opening slide, try viewing it in a thumbnail size to check how it will appear on a variety of platforms.

Let us know your thoughts on design trends such as the use of black backgrounds mentioned here.