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I'm looking for design recommendations for titles on slides. My inclination is to treat it like I would a section header on a website or in print - that it should be bold and grab the reader's attention. Thus, use a heavier weight or a different font. Is this accurate, or do others have advice that might pertain specifically to titles on slides?

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It depends what your slides are used for and where they will be used.

Some projects using slides are meant to be projected on a giant screen; the titles and texts need to be very clear, big, readable and have enough room to not look too busy. In this case, bold, dark, and big is better yes. Make sure there's lot of contrast, and avoid busy backgrounds.

If the slides are for LinkedIn slideshare for example, they will be very small; you'll also need to make sure it's easy to read at very small size! In this way, creating very small slides or one like the one mentioned above will require the same attention to readability.

If the slides are used for a project that will be shown on a normal computer screen, full size, you can be more artsy and use thin fonts... the same way you'd do a website or a printed flyer. This is probably the kind of slides that will leave you the most freedom to create whatever you want.

In all situations, don't forget who will look at the slides! Some market might prefer bigger and clearer kind of fonts because of potential problems with their vision, and others won't have any issue with any kind of fonts. For example, if you prepare slides for an association serving people suffering of dyslexia, it might not be wise to use certain types of script or fancy fonts!

Final tip: When you'll set up your slide template and prepare a draft for it, make a test using the longest and the shortest titles in the document! This way you'll see what space you'll need for extremely short or long titles, and everything in between will fit perfectly.

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  • This is great - thank you! Would you mind speaking a bit more to the contrast between the title and the text of the slide. I try not to have text-heavy slides, but now that I'm looking at them with a bolder title, it looks a little heavy on the title part, rather than on the content. Is that appropriate? Oct 9 '15 at 13:43
  • @allie Where will the slides used for? Yes, it's appropriate. If it's for a presentation, I'd say the titles need to get the emphasis since the speaker will take care of mentioning the content. The goal of the title is to remind people "hey! we're talking about this right now" or to make the reader interested enough to read the content. The eyes should go first on the titles, then the content. The color should have a nice contrast with the background color too; titles in yellow, light orange, beige, etc. should maybe changed to something darker unless they're very bold
    – go-junta
    Oct 9 '15 at 13:55
  • My two main applications are presentations and lectures, so if you have anything additional to add for those two areas (in case you think they should be different), it would be appreciated. Thanks for the advice! Oct 9 '15 at 14:06

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