Updated Jan. 21, 2022 Published Nov. 19, 2021

13 Min. Read

Just like with clothes, games, and gadgets, graphic design trends come and go — and the hottest trends are usually reflected in slideshow presentations. From the clip art and text-heavy decks of the early 2000s, presentation design has evolved to become more simplistic, striking, and cutting-edge.

In 2022, the general rule of presentation design is simplicity — less text, more visuals. This year, we’re leaning into more animations, geometric shapes, doodles, and infographics, all while keeping things as striking and minimalist as possible.

Design is constantly changing, and in order to make your decks relevant, appealing, and stand out, you need to stay updated on what’s new! Your audience is also expecting your slides to be up-to-date, engaging, and appealing — enough to capture their attention and show off your credibility.

If you want to upscale your decks and make your presentation worth remembering, we compiled the hottest presentation design trends of 2022 that presentation designers all over the world are utilizing right now. These are tips and best practices that you can implement in your PowerPoint decks or Google Slides!

Hottest Presentation Design Trends in 2022

1. Simplicity and Minimalism via Negative Space

Some design trends come and go, but others stay relevant for decades — like minimalism. While we’re getting a little “maximalist” again this decade, simplicity really never goes out of style, especially when it comes to informative materials like presentations.

Today’s best presentations make liberal use of negative space. Negative spaces are the parts of a design that have no elements at all. It’s also known as white space, a term that arose from printing practices where the paper is usually white.

It’s a common design mistake to maximize space by filling up every corner with content. But you shouldn’t be afraid of blank spaces — used correctly, they are an important aesthetic and functional element of your design.

Slides with a lot of negative space work really well when it comes to information retention because they eliminate distractions and stick to the point. Your audience will be able to absorb information much more easily because their eyes are not being led astray by various elements within your slides. Instead, they’re immediately focused on the stuff that matters!

But take note, there’s a fine line between simple and boring. If other design principles such as alignment, hierarchy, and contrast are ignored, a design with a lot of negative space risks looking incomplete. Contrary to popular belief, minimalism isn’t just about making a design look plain and dull — it’s really about effective communication.

Designer Pro Tip: Instead of just slapping black text on a plain white background, explore other minimalist design elements, such as 3D graphics, text and image placements, minimalist photography, animated templates, and the rule of thirds.

Also, minimalism doesn’t mean you have to stick to Helvetica when it comes to typography. Serif fonts are making a comeback this year. For a formal look, go for classic, book-style fonts like EB Garamond and Libre Baskerville. For a more informal vibe, you can select friendly slab serifs like Roboto Slab and Bitter. Out of consideration for your audience, just remember to select fonts that are scalable — readable at most sizes, big or small.

And because your deck is so simple and striking, don’t forget to go all out in your delivery. Captivate your audience with good storytelling, make your speech more interactive, and adopt speaking best practices to keep their eyes and ears on you. Instead of just speaking for hours on end, make your presentation a discussion by asking questions, opening a dialogue, and involving your audience in the conversation.

2. Trendy Pastel Color Palettes

Colors play an important role not only in how good your presentation decks look, but more importantly, how you make your audience feel! They allow you to set the mood for your presentation, foster your audience’s expectations about the content, and match the nature of the entire talk.

In 2021, Pantone’s Colors of the Year were Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating, which are, respectively, a warm, reassuring gray and a sunny, positive yellow. These colors side by side look optimistic and aspirational, both much-needed reinforcements in these trying times.

But aside from this year’s “official” colors, this year’s trends also lean into monochromatic and pastel color schemes. Light hues such as pistachio green, blush pink, and baby blue are being used more commonly in many designs, including presentation decks.

Pastel colors and monochromatic palettes are a huge improvement to stark white backgrounds, adding a pop of artistry without distracting the audience from the content of your slides.

If you’re thinking of bringing pastel or monochromatic palettes into your presentation, use warm, pastel colors in your background and stick to white bold text.  Other color trends that you can use for your presentation deck include:

  • Gradients. Blend two or more colors seamlessly with gradients. This is a good way to bring your brand colors together.
  • Seafoam. Use calming cool tones and hues such as blues and greens.
  • Monochrome. Use single light to dark color schemes throughout the entire presentation. The best colors for a monochromatic theme are usually black and white.
  • Yellow and black. Together, these colors evoke a sense of caution, commonly seen in traffic and street signs. But they can become an engaging combination to attract attention. You can also add white to this combo to inject a sense of calm.
  • Shades of pink. The color pink works well for fashion and cosmetics brands because they have a sense of elegance and classiness.
  • Earth tones. The colors of nature are calming and captivating to look at. Consider using earth palettes, such as green, gray, brown, and beige.
  • Color cocktail. You can also opt to include various colors in your presentation. However, do so with care. Use only complementary colors and avoid going with hues that are too loud and distracting.

Designer Pro Tip: When choosing colors to use for your decks, keep two considerations in mind: your branding and your message. If a trendy pastel palette is miles away from your branding, then be yourself! Brand consistency is more important than passing trends. Just be sure to find an on-brand combination that’s easy on the eyes.

You can either go with monochromatic schemes that use various shades of one color or be more daring with complementary or triad color schemes. To find complementary colors, refer to the color wheel. Colors that are across from each other can work in conjunction. Triad colors, on the other hand, are three colors that together, form a triangle on the color wheel.

3. Nature-Inspired Presentation Design Elements

Nature has a special way of evoking feelings of calmness, relaxation, and serenity. In fact, we listed nature-inspired design as one of the top design trends of 2021! Color psychology suggests that a nature-related palette, which can include leafy greens, calm browns, and serene blues, can help people focus. There’s even a name for it — the attention restoration theory.

Studies also show that natural environments foster improved cognitive function and better use of mental resources. Because a lot of man-made environments are created precisely to attract attention, nature gives us a space to think for ourselves and revitalize our minds.

With these premises came the new design trend of getting inspiration from nature. From the principle of organic graphic design to botanical illustrations, presentations are making a design shift that leans into the great outdoors.

And because the great outdoors is, well, so great, there’s a lot we can pull inspiration from — soaring skies, calm sunsets, vast oceans, huge mountains, or lush forests are all available as instant creative prompts.

Designer Pro Tip: If called for in your next presentation, use the colors of nature, which can range from dark browns and light beiges to dark greens and warm yellows. You can also adopt nature-inspired elements, such as organic textures, wavy lines, and hand-drawn graphics. And here’s the good news: You don’t have to be subtle with it! Especially if it’s relevant to your subject, you can even add pictures or illustrations of flora and fauna to your presentation to bring in that touch of nature.

4. More Visuals, Less Text

Text is out, visuals are in. If you look at the most effective advertisements or social media marketing materials today, you’ll notice that copy is kept to a minimum. Instead, visuals such as graphics or photos dominate an entire poster, deck, or slide. This can be applied to presentation design.

As social media flourishes, people’s attention spans have also grown shorter and shorter — and visuals are a good way to catch their eyes. Visuals should be the center point of your presentation, with necessary text only complementing them or highlighting important key points.

Instead of bombarding your design with text, make them more attractive and engaging with graphics, animations, or images. Only include text when necessary, such as to add context to the image or display the main points of your discussion. Better yet, you can convert ideas into icons to summarize your text.

Also, be creative about how you incorporate images into your deck. There’s no rule that they have to be plain rectangles that take up half the space of a single slide! There are custom image masks that you can use to reshape images and lay them out to fit your presentation design. Image masks are a good trend that you should capitalize on to make your presentation more aesthetically pleasing and appear more well-prepared.

Designer Pro Tip: Be selective about the text that you include in your slides. Chances are, you can delete more than half of the content you have and turn them from deck content into speaking points. This also helps you shorten your presentation. Delete slides that distract from your main point and only include a handful that provides value for your audience. After all, you wouldn’t want to be clicking on your remote or laptop to change slides every few seconds.

5. Clean Data Visualization with Charts and Graphs

For years, designers have been emphasizing the need to convert hard-to-digest numbers, statistics, and data into organized graphs or charts. By simplifying data in this manner, your audience will be able to absorb key metrics better and gain more clarity on the implications of the data presented.

Because of their ultra-helpful synergy of text and graphics, data visualization should be the general practice in presentation design. But wait — we’ve been using charts and graphs in slideshows since forever. What makes it a trend now? Well, we now know that larger elements, less text, and fewer variables can make charts and graphs much easier to digest. In other words, a chart in a printout document can remain complex, while its slideshow counterpart is much simpler.

With simpler and cleaner data visualization, there’s a lower risk of overwhelming your audience. Instead, you give them the chance to understand and analyze data more efficiently.

Don’t overuse charts and graphs — keep them to a minimum and discuss the results instead of parading them all over your deck. You can also consider using animated charts or tables to help support your presentation. Learn more about what not to do in presentation design.

Designer Pro Tip: Take key data from your studies and incorporate them into infographic templates, customizable animations, and clean charts, graphs, or bubbles. Stick to the important numbers and forego the unnecessary variables. The goal is to make data easy to digest and remember.

6. Use of Motion Graphics and Illustrations

Again, PowerPoint presentations are now all about less text and more graphics. Today, we’re light-years away from the old stock clip art that can be messy and distracting. Now that there are so many free resources available for relevant stock imagery, there’s no excuse to be tacky!

But for presentations that truly matter, such as B2B proposals or sales pitches, you can take it a notch further by using custom-made motion graphics or creative illustrations.

Custom graphics can make your deck more interactive, intentional, and meaningful. They don’t have to be too complex — you can go with fun but simple patterns, bold geometric shapes, or strikingly asymmetric (but still reader-friendly) layouts. Elements like these can help your slides stand out and make an impact.

In an effort to make presentation slides look more playful and human, designers are incorporating custom drawings or hand-drawn illustrations. Decks with these elements look more creative, making them a good option for marketing or design presentation topics.

But remember not to overuse animations, motion graphics, and illustrations in your presentation. They’re there to accentuate, not overpower, your content.

Designer Pro Tip: You don’t have to know how to draw to incorporate these into your presentation. There are various templates that you can use, as well as royalty-free graphics that you can customize. Or, you can subscribe to a creative service like Design Pickle for access to unlimited design requests and revisions.

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7. Neon Colors on Dark Backgrounds

At times, white backgrounds can feel like the easiest choice in the world. But you don’t have to fall into that trap — dark backgrounds are an easy, low-effort way to make your presentation instantly more professional.

In recent years, we’ve seen design pioneers begin embracing the concept of “dark mode”, utilizing darker backgrounds such as pure black, dark gray, or even deep shades of red, blue, and purple.

To complement dark backgrounds, the most common choice for text color is, of course, white. But you’re not limited to white or light gray text! Neon colors like green, pink, blue, orange, or purple can add a dash of liveliness to designs with dark backgrounds. The result is a captivating, futuristic, and attention-grabbing slide that just can’t be ignored.

As a bonus, dark backgrounds have also been shown to reduce battery consumption, so this design trend means your presentation can be a cool, low-energy, high-impact production. Dark backgrounds also reduce blue light exposure, making it more comfortable, serene, and less straining to the eyes of your audience.

Designer Pro Tip: Instead of using a white background and black text to emphasize important information, select a deep background color and highlight key phrases with on-brand, neon colors.

Design Your Best Presentation!

With good design practices, your presentation can captivate your audience, making them more engaged and interested. Following these PowerPoint design trends can spell the difference between your audience remembering your talk or leaving with no memorable insights.

Your PowerPoint deck helps you build a narrative and contributes to the overall success of your talk. It’s a communication tool that can increase the energy in the room and help your audience absorb and retain the information that you are delivering.

Take these presentation design trends and choose one that reflects your brand or expertise well, while keeping in mind the type of audience that you’re speaking to. With the latest and most effective presentation design practices in your arsenal, you can create your best presentation deck to date that will maximize your talk and provide more value to your audience.

If you need help designing your slides, Design Pickle is here to help. We provide unlimited graphic design and illustrations solutions for marketers, agencies, and entrepreneurs. We can create custom PowerPoint & Google Slides decks for your next presentation. Check out Design Pickle’s pricing or schedule a consultation today.

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