Good presentation design is essential to any communication strategy, especially when dealing with other businesses. When talking to a potential client, it can be extremely difficult to succinctly explain who you are, what you specialise in and why this makes your brand unique — this is where appropriately designed digital presentation materials can help. Broadly speaking, we categorise these as materials that are sent to other companies — this can include things like company profiles, product literature, digital brochures and catalogues.
Put simply, presentation design allows a business to present itself clearly and consistently in a format that can be easily understood. These tools also enable better relationships compared to traditional marketing materials like flyers or advertisements — business audiences tend to disregard these are they do not typically like to feel like they are being sold to.
Digital presentation materials are also fantastic ways to collate and distribute product details that might otherwise be lost. For example, many print specialists now circulate their product data via PDF or through a microsite. This ensures that information is up to date and easily accessible. We believe it is always better to present information in an open and honest manner, placing brand values, story and proposition at the heart of all information design. From here, more complex service and product information can be introduced.
In addition to this, companies such as FoilCo do a great job of showcasing their CSR and sustainability programmes with bespoke digital presentation materials. These are placed on their company website and circulated via email to interested parties. These can then be shared with third parties and clients that are keen to learn more about their process. Most importantly, though, is that the materials are presented in a beautiful format that is easy to understand and pass on.
Recent examples of digital presentation design include Justin Brogan SS22 lookbook, the Heath Diamonds product manual and Halley Stevensons reproofing information.
There are various digital presentation materials — these include presentation decks, visual presentation software, digital marketing kits, live broadcasts and product demonstrations.
Presentation decks (also known as presentation PDFs) are probably the most common form of digital presentation design. These documents are typically designed in a similar way to brochures or books. These are, however, intended for digital display, making information design much more accessible and easier to distribute. This also gives designers the opportunity to use version control to keep all information up to update. This is particularly useful when producing a lot of content as it can be difficult to audit or recall older materials.
Digital presentation decks vary in length, size and structure, however, the two most common formats are; a) standardised A format (typically A3 or A4) and b) screen-size (typically 16:9 in ratio).
It is also best practice for presentation decks to be designed for email distribution. While many mailboxes allow for larger attachments, we always recommend that documents stay under 5MB in size to prevent bounce-backs. This size restraint is also useful for recipients as a 5MB document won’t block up an inbox, leech storage space or become annoying to download over a mobile network.
The most common presentation deck examples are created in either PowerPoint or Keynote. PowerPoint presentations are the traditional solution as most businesses have some capacity internally to produce these. Keynote is a more intuitive evolution of PowerPoint but still has some limitations. As a design practice, we design all of our digital presentation materials with professional software such as Adobe InDesign and XD. This allows much greater flexibility when producing the final materials, however, this does mean most professionally designed presentations are ‘uneditable’ by a commissioning client.
When commissioning a piece of digital information design, we always recommend that appropriate software is used. PowerPoint and Keynote are acceptable for short, visually simple presentations, however, for anything more complicated we would always propose that it is created using the Adobe creative suite.
Some recent examples of digital presentation decks include the Max McCance product brochure and the Halley Stevensons reproofing catalogue.
A visual presentation is typically a digital showcase that may be shown at an exhibition or used to deliver a talk or presentation. These presentations are often designed using specialist software such as Prezi, Haiku or ReadyMag and can be shared via digital media such as Slideshare.
Visual presentations typically consist of a series of interactive slides that are linked together in order to tell a story — this makes them incredibly useful for explaining information concepts and processes quickly. They often consist of embedded images (or screenshots) with expressive typography and interaction design to explore a storytelling narrative. The main difference between a visual presentation and a presentation deck is this narrative — a pdf deck can be digested at the readers own pace, while most visual presentations will dictate the pace and order in which information is delivered. Visual presentation software such as Prezi also lends itself to top-level information, rather than detailed content, which may be more suited to a PDF presentation.
Another area of presentation design is the digital marketing kit. This toolkit is a useful collection of resources that can be used by marketing professionals to talk about a brand with confidence and consistency. A marketing toolkit will often include a general press release template with a branded ‘boilerplate’ description, a summary of the visual guidelines and any relevant product information. It is common for these kits to also include visual assets such as product photography.
Live product demonstrations are an emerging area of product presentation, particularly for SAAS (software as a service) businesses. Brands such as FreeAgent, Xero and Quickbooks all employ live product demonstrations to show potential customers how their product works. These demonstrations have traditionally used screen-sharing technologies such as Zoom or Google Hangouts, however, we have used a range of innovative new products that are specifically tailored to product demonstrations. These solutions focus much more on product features, allowing for more flexible screen-sharing and information sharing.
If your business would benefit from a fresh approach to digital design, please get in touch and we will be happy to advise on the best route forward. We recommend that a strong brand identity is defined to ensure all online materials are unique, consistent and effective.