At BrightCarbon, we know that visual presentations improve audience engagement and help to get your message across, and we apply this theory to all our sales presentations, training presentations and eLearning. However, there are instances where only text can be used to convey your message.
This article will walk you through 10 tips and tricks for improving the way you use typography in your sales presentations and other design projects. Let’s get started!
Match the mood to your sales presentation message
Non-designers often stress out about finding the right font for a sales presentation, and for good reason. The choice of the typeface can make or break your presentation. This is because every font has its own mood or personality.
Serif fonts have little strokes called serifs attached to the main part of the letter. Because of their classic look, they’re a good choice for more traditional projects.
Sans serif fonts don’t have that extra stroke. Hence the name, which is French for “without serif”. This style is considered more clean and modern than serif fonts. Also it tend to be easier to read on computer screens, including smartphones and tablets.
Display fonts come in many different styles like script, blackletter, all-caps and just plain fancy. Because of their decorative nature, display fonts are best for small amount of text, for example titles and headers.
The biggest mistake that people make is assuming that the first two font styles listed above are boring. This causes them to jump to something like the fonts on the bottom because it feels more unique and interesting. If you are moving your first steps in the typography universe, remember that the first two styles above are not boring, they are safe. They are great looking typefaces that have been professionally designed to make you, and your sales presentation, look good and that’s exactly what they do.
Use one font
Using two fonts successfully within a layout requires an understanding of the chosen fonts in order to be confident that they are complimentary. In general, avoid using two fonts of the same classification. For example, do not use two sans serif, serif, or script faces together. The reason? Contrast. Stay with one font within your sales presentations until you achieve mastery of that font.
Justify left is easier to read
For some reason, non-designers tend to instinctively centre align everything. Somewhere in life we learn that if something is centred then it is balanced and therefore better. In reality, center alignment is the weakest, hardest to read alignment and should be used very selectively.
When in doubt, set your type flush left, ragged right (left edge is hard, right edge is soft). Why? In western culture, people read from top to bottom, left to right. By justifying type left, the eye is able to find the edge and read copy much more easily. Avoid indenting the first line of a paragraph for this reason.
Create a typographic hierarchy
Hierarchy is used to guide the reader’s eye to whatever is most important. In other words, it shows them where to begin and where to go next by using different levels of emphasis in your sales presentation. Establishing hierarchy is simple: just decide which elements you want the reader to notice first and make them stand out. How?
Skip a weight
Go from light to bold, or from medium to extra bold when changing font weights. The key to great design is contrast. Slight changes in weight change make it harder for the audience to notice the difference.
Try mixing bold for the headline and light for the body copy for greater contrast in your sales presentation.
Double point size
A good rule of thumb when changing point sizes, is to double or half the point size you are using. For example, if you are using 30 pt. for the headline, use 15 pt. for the body copy. For other uses try 3x or 4x the point size for something more dramatic.
In your next sales presentation avoid vertical text
Roman letters are designed to sit side by side, not on top of one other. Stacks of lowercase letters are especially awkward because the ascenders and descenders make the vertical spacing appear uneven, and the varied width of the characters makes the stacks looks precarious. The simplest way to make a line of Latin text vertical is to rotate the text from horizontal to vertical. This preserves the natural affinity among the letters sitting on a line while creating a vertical axis.
Group by using rules
Use rules/lines to group related blocks of information. This will also make dissimilar objects appear more orderly.
Space and meaning
Don’t place elements along the edge or corners of a page/slide unless to deliberately cut elements off. Negative space is a good thing, so let your design breathe. You can also express the meaning of a word or an idea through the spacing, sizing, and placement of letters on slide.
Pick a professional font for your sales presentation
If you want to bring a more individual personality to your presentation, there are many professionally designed fonts available from online resources. Sites like OpenFoundry have a range of free downloadable fonts for professional use. Or, have a look to Google Fonts for more than 800 font families open-source and 100% free for commercial use.
Check for clashing colours or backgrounds
For type that has good readability, it’s important that the text has sufficient contrast with the rest of the slide. But there are a couple things that can tone down contrast.
If you’re applying colour to your typography, you’ll want to make sure it complements other elements in the design, including the background. Colours that are too different or even ones that are too similar can be hard on the eyes. Instead, try tying in the text colour with an existing colour scheme for a harmonious look.
A background that has a lot going on can make any text hard to read, and you don’t want to frustrate your audience with a design where they can’t find the information they need. Instead, try creating a simple color bar behind the text that will increase the readability and you will still maintain a stylish looking slide.
Break the rules
Typography, like life, is governed by rules. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Even if a lot of graphic design relies on imagery of some kind – illustration or photography for example, type on its own can be manipulated in order to lend a more illustrative, expressive air to a design, with a greater impact in some instances. Play with your type and have fun!
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