Powerpoint Masters

Many clients ask Opus Design if we know Powerpoint. It’s not something that you see on many designer’s websites or resumes. But Powerpoint presentations, despite Edward Tufte’s objections, are a huge part of business communication. It has become a standard request after a new logo and business card…so of course we do Powerpoint!

A great template starts with designing a smart, functional “master slide.” Powerpoint masters are pages that dictate the basic style and structure of slide layouts. There’s not usually a lot on a master; a title, text box, page number, maybe a company logo or other brand graphic. But the font, text size, and color decisions you make for the master, will be inherited by all subsequent slides in one form or another. You can get to the master page by clicking both SHIFT, and the full slide icon at the bottom right of the screen.

Powerpoint slide view toolbar

Once you do, you’ll see on the left side of the screen, a large slide, followed by some smaller slides. At the top is the MASTER, and the others, which are slightly indented from the left, are the LAYOUTS.  Items that you change on the master, will be changed throughout your presentation. Items you only change or add to a  layout, will only affect the slides with that particular layout.

Here is a view of the master and layouts for a non-profit called Groundwork Lawrence. Opus worked with GL to design their powerpoint template and an information graphic to communicate how they work and impact the community of Lawrence, MA. GL has 4 main program areas for which we created some special graphics which appear on different layouts.  Here you see a layout which contains trees (Open Space Environmental Improvements) and another in the large view, with tomatoes (Fresh Food and Healthy Living). When GL wants to talk specifically about their Farmer’s Markets and Youth Gardens, which are part of their Fresh Food and Healthy Living program, they can use the “tomato layout.” Designing multiple layouts is a nice way to give their powerpoint presentation some variety and flexibility.