You’ve thoroughly thought out your presentation’s key points, sourced some point-making illustrations and helpful icons and settled on colors and fonts, what’s next? Making sure your presentations many elements are well aligned.
Best-selling author Garr Reynolds points out that all elements in your presentation are visually connected by an invisible line. When this principle of design is well understood and applied, it creates a visual hierarchy, a sense of unity and coherence, a well-organized layout and easily comprehensible slides. To many, alignment might not seem like such a big deal, but it’s one of the keys to cleaner and more sophisticated presentations.
Text Alignment and Images
When deciding how to align text in a slide, consider your images. Text and images should complement each other visually, to strengthen your message. For example, if a particular image has a balanced composition, side to side, center alignment might be the best choice for your text. This is something that has to be worked out slide by slide and image by image. You’re going for a look that’s pleasing to the eye and doesn’t distract from your message. See the image above, as an example.
Header and Body Text
The same text alignment should usually be used both in headers and in body text. If you left-align the header, doing the same with your body text gives a balanced look. Please note that I said “usually,” though – this is one design tip that doesn’t always have to be strictly followed. If you find that mixing alignment gives a noticeably better impact, in certain slides or in your whole deck, go with what strikes you as most effective for your purposes.
Grids and Guides
Though the major presentation software programs have an automatic text alignment feature, they also allow users to change alignment when needed, to achieve better layouts. In PowerPoint, for example, you can choose to display the ruler, grids and guides when building a slide, to make it easier to arrange elements harmoniously. In Google Slides, you can either snap objects and text boxes automatically to the pre-set grid or guides, or position them manually.
Space and alignment are two different but inseparable design elements. When setting alignment, be sure to allow enough space between individual slide elements. This helps your audience to distinguish between elements, and to focus on the objects and messages you want them to. If a slide is too crowded, it becomes difficult for viewers to comfortably absorb and understand what you’re trying to show them.
Keep these alignment guidelines in mind as you work with your Slideshop templates. They’ll help you build a more visually striking presentation – one that connects with your audience and creates a positive, lasting impression.