3 Presentation Design Trends Every Presenter Should Know

April 14, 2014

I don’t know about you, but I love staying current. It’s fun to know the latest and greatest, and this holds true even for a topic that seems unchanging, like presentations. Whether it's with photos, fonts or otherwise, these are presentation features that change and transform over time.

Here are 3 presentation design trends that are here to stay (at least for now):

Filtered Photos

Gone are the days of overly sharpened, hyper-realistic photography in presentations. People are now more interested in having images conjure up feelings of authenticity and nostalgia. This means that candid scenes are “in,” and staged photos are out.  Photos that portray a seemingly natural moment give viewers a sense of comfort, and allow them to relate. We've seen this trend come to fruition through the popularity of apps such as Instagram and VSCOcam. Just remember to not go overboard and apply too many filters to one image.  Occasionally photos look great with multiple filter effects. However if you are not a photography aficionado, use only one filter to be safe. Whether you use a retro filter to make a scene feel like a timeless moment, some lens flares to provide a more natural element, or just a slight lo-fi/high contrast filter to give colors depth, your filtered photos will be a stunning addition to your presentation.

Flat Design

Sick of the skeuomorphic, Web 2.0 look of the 2000s? Over the past couple of years there has been a real push for simplicity and a strong focus on color. Enter flat design. Flat design is effective in all forms of design, whether it be UI design, infographics, logos, or presentations. The minimalism of this design style makes it much easier to represent and receive information, which is why this style is a perfect fit for presentation design. Forget the clutter of shiny highlights and overdone textures -- with a flat design style you are given only what you need.

Geometric Design

Right now, some designers are calling back to the times of protractors and rulers with the geometric presentation design trend. Focusing on the beauty of shapes, designers are using straight lines and experimenting with basic forms to create complex, yet pleasing-to-the-eye patterns. Think of it like digital origami. This trend requires great attention to precision and detail, and results in an elegant piece of art. This sophisticated style is a refreshing and unexpected twist on traditional presentation design.

The world of presentation design is always evolving and changing. It sounds exhausting but it’s a good thing. It keeps our presentations fresh, engaging, and innovative. I encourage you to test a few of these ideas with your next presentation. More importantly, have fun with it!

READ MORE: 5 Presentation Predictions for 2014

About the Author

Scott Schwertly is the author of How to Be a Presentation God and CEO of Ethos3, a Nashville, TN-based presentation boutique providing professional presentation design and training for national and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to branded individuals like Guy Kawasaki.

If Scott is not working with his team building presentations, you will find him in the pool, on the bike, or on a long run. Scott lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and three dogs. He has a B.A. and M.B.A. from Harding University. Find Scott on Google+.