Icon of two pages layered representing a design style guide

Presentation design style guide

What is it?

A presentation style guide is a document that outlines design and formatting principles for creating consistent and visually appealing presentations within an organization or for a specific project. It serves as a reference tool for designers, marketers, and other stakeholders to ensure that all materials and communications adhere to the brand's established design principles.

It's often a subset of a more comprehensive brand guidelines document, tailored specifically for the context of presentations. It takes the overarching brand identity and design principles outlined in the brand guidelines and adapts them to the unique requirements of slideshows. This includes defining the appropriate use of colors, fonts, logos, and imagery to ensure that presentations maintain the same visual identity as other brand materials.

When to use it

  1. Anytime slide templates will be shared with others for editing and updating.
  2. Long-term working relationship with a client who consistently requires presentation design services

Remember to

  1. Create templates and guidelines that balance consistency with flexibility for different content needs.
  2. Ensure the style guide aligns with brand and messaging for a consistent brand image.

Step-by-step: How to create a presentation style guide


Select the format

Depending on the project's needs, scope, and budget, choose from formats for the style guide. Design guidelines can be digital or printed, and can be static (PDF) or interactive (web). There's no standard page size, so choose the final size and orientation based on a few draft layouts.


Define the contents

The presentation style guide should encompass elements relevant to maintaining consistency and a cohesive look in the presentations. This includes defining key components like slide layouts, typography, color usage, imagery, and any specific design elements required for your presentation project. Adapt the guide to include other presentation-specific elements based on the project's requirements. We've got a free checklist below that can you download and use as a starting point.


Develop the style guide

With the outline in place, create a style guide that is both informative and practical but not overwhelming. This involves providing dos and don'ts, guidelines for quality assurance checks, examples, as well as suggesting workflows and resources to maintain consistency. Remember, clarity, conciseness, and practicality are essential to create a useful guide.


Test and refine the style guide

Before finalizing the guide, share it with users to verify clarity and comprehensibility. Confirm that it includes all essential information and gather insights on how it can be enhanced for easier understanding and use.


Ensure accessibility and distribution

Make the style guide easily accessible and usable by hosting it on a preferred platform, and share it with all relevant project team members.

Checklist coming soon