Keeping corporate identity in PowerPoint

Using a PowerPoint theme that consistently applies elements from your branding to each slide makes presentation creation easy. Here are some tips for setting up a good PowerPoint theme that allows you to spend your brain power on content, not on design.

We’ll use the default Office theme to start. This is likely the default theme that gets applied when you create a new presentation. If it’s not, select it from the Themes gallery on the Design tab. Now, right-click on the slide thumbnail in the Navigation pane and select Layout. In the flyout menu, you’ll see several layouts that you may assign to this slide. You can also take a peek at the slide master underlying this presentation.

Whatever is applied to these layouts appears on your slides. So, for example, if you wanted a logo to appear centered over your presentation title each time, you would adjust your Title Slide master layout. Click on the View tab, then in the Master Views group, on the Slide Master button.

Now, click on the first layout under the one that is outdented to the left. That’s the Title Slide layout. It’s best to use a high-quality image and insert it as a picture (Insert tab, Images group, Picture button). If your image is too large, reduce the size and reposition where you’d like to see it always appear.

Let’s start creating our custom corporate design theme, by clicking on the Themes dropdown button in the Slide Master tab and choosing Save Current Theme. Name it for your organization. As we make changes to this slide master, we will continue to perform this theme-saving operation.

To have our logo appear on the bottom right of the remaining slide layouts, click on the next layout in the navigation pane. This is the Title and Content layout. Copy and paste the logo from the Title Slide layout above.

Then, resize and reposition it. Bottom right is prime real estate on a slide, so use it intentionally for logos, website URLs, toll-free phone numbers or action phrases. This is the place audiences’ eyes come to rest most often and for the longest period of time. Now, just copy and paste it to any other layout. It will land in the same position and be the same size.

Next, consider if you want to duplicate layouts (some with the logo and some without). This leaves room for content that might be cut off at the bottom, which is worse than no logo at all because it’s frustrating to look at.

Now, click on the Colors button in the Background group and then Customize Colors from the menu. Choose colors here that are complementary to your branding and name it at the bottom of the dialog box before saving.

Lastly, click on the Fonts button in the Background group and select fonts that are closest to your branding, or choose Customize Fonts and select precise fonts for heading and body.

One last time, click on the Themes dropdown button and select Save Current Theme. To test your theme, create a new blank presentation. Then from the Design tab, in the Themes gallery select your custom theme, which should be at the top of the gallery. All your slides will display the right colors, fonts, logos or other branding.