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I have been asked to come up with a PowerPoint slide template for use by multiple speakers from a single group.

The key element that was requested is a footer. The footer should have some unifying text, plus (perhaps) a logo or four and slide number.

My own preference (and limit of my design knowledge) is to follow principles outlined by Ed Tufte - only include necessary information. So, the template will probably have a very slight off-white tint and a footer, then the content will be open.

However, I have two (or three) key questions:

  1. what information makes a footer useful and elegant?
  2. how much control can (or should) I exert on the design of individual slides?
    • how can I gently exert this control (either through creation of a template with limited options, or through written instruction)?
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1 Answer 1

To only include necessary information is a great start. Now, because you were only asked for a template, you have to bear in mind that people will autonomously insert and delete stuff and make it look... well, different from the original one.

A light background will help any text or images look better (any strong color can be problematic to combine), and it's great for readability. The footer should include the group's identity (brand, company or name of the group), probably name of the speaker and maybe the event's title. All of these (except for the logo if it's an image) should be editable.

When asked for a PP template before, what I did was creating a file with 4 or 5 pages:

1) Opening page

2) Template for a list of elements (text)

3) Template for a single text with title (could be 3 levels of titles)

4) Template for images presentation (image + text, thumbnails, depends on what your clients need).

Once you have the opening page and the general style, it shouldn't take you too long to complete these templates according to their instructions. All they have to do next is grab the page that is convenient and duplicate/paste it in their presentations. You could write a very to-the-point manual about how to do this, in PDF format for example, and with the same brand/identity... in there you could include what colors and sizes are safe to use for text, or give recommended instructions like margins or images handling.

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