Top Design Trends In 2018 And How To Use Them In Presentations

Top Design Trends In 2018 And How To Use Them In Presentations

If ultra violet is any indication of the design trends we’ll be seeing this year, I think it’s safe to assume they will be bold. As we fully dive into 2018, we asked our designer friends and coworkers to give us their opinions on what this year is going to look like and how we can use that to design better presentations.

While trends are usually a January train that everyone hops on, we’re more interested in how they speak to us creatively and how we can adapt them to our own vision of great design. In the digital era, our attention is shorter and our brains have so much information to process that something as simple as creative design can make the difference between people remembering you and your company, or being just another content creator.


Also read: Rock Your Presentations With Pantone’s 2018 Color: Ultra Violet


Read on for our interpretation of the biggest design trends of 2018 and how you can use them to create great presentations.


1. Images of the future

When we spoke about Pantone’s color for 2018 and what it means, we emphasized its intention to spark creativity and point to the future.

Ultra violet “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us towards the future.”

Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone’s executive director via

Our current environment will affect tastes and trends in editorial illustration, stock imagery, and beyond, or at least that’s what Brenda Milis, Principal of Creative Services and Visual Trends at Adobe thinks.

We’re living in a time when there’s so much uncertainty, so much is in flux. Many people are becoming politically active, but there’s also a type of creativity that envisions escape.” [I’m] seeing idealized, alternate worlds—they’re lush, tropical, almost utopic. There’s a reverence for the natural world, but with an intensity, an almost psychedelic twist. These artists are asking us to consider what is beautiful, and what is alive.


You’ll definitely want to use special effects on the images for your presentations. Corrupted images obtained using the glitch effect have been one of the most popular trends in the digital world lately.

Top Design Trends In 2018 And How To Use Them In Presentations

Images via


If you want to replicate this effect directly in your PowerPoint presentation, start by inserting the image you want to work with. Duplicate it 2 or 3 times, depending on how many glitches you want to show. Next, you’ll want to align all duplicates so that they are on top of each other. Crop each duplicate into different pieces that come together to form the original image. These will be the glitches you want to show. Apply a different effect (either an image effect, or changing its color) to each cropped image.


Top Design Trends In 2018 And How To Use Them In Presentations


Another special effect we’ll be seeing on images is the “ruined” effect or “art of destroying”. Everything from splashing, to scratching, to ripping off, or breaking the aesthetics of a composition will be considered trendy in 2018.


Top Design Trends In 2018 And How To Use Them In Presentations

Images via


And it only gets more creative from here on. other effects include “the color channels effect” or playing with color channels. The technique allows you to create  illusion effects that inspire a holograph, a hallucination or a distorted reality.


Top Design Trends In 2018 And How To Use Them In Presentations

Images via


Use this effect in presentations by drawing a shape and filling it with an image. Then, change the color of the image using image effects. Duplicate the image and move it just a bit before changing its color and giving it some transparency.


Top Design Trends In 2018 And How To Use Them In Presentations


Don’t be afraid to make your presentations stand out with bold imagery. Your cover slide is oftentimes the most important, especially if you want to promote your presentation online. Use these effects to create outstanding covers for your presentations, to illustrate multiple ideas or to create unique stories.

2. Gradients or color transitions

Gradient is not dead. Far from it. Even though this has been a longstanding element of all presentation tools, most people thought it obsolete or old school. Well, guess what, it’s making a remarkable comeback.

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Gradient overlays are a great way to make your images stand out and to create remarkable section dividers. Online publishers have already begun to use this more in their editorial images.


Top Design Trends In 2018 And How To Use Them In Presentations

Image via Fast Company


To recreate this design trend in a presentation, start by inserting an image on a slide and drawing a shape over that image. Next, format the shape to a gradient fill mode, select the type of gradient you want and the colors you want for each gradient point, and then apply transparency to each gradient point.


Top Design Trends In 2018 And How To Use Them In Presentations


3. Images of people

Photographer and Adobe Creative Resident Aundre Larrow thinks “we are going to see a growth in portraiture’s success, as we’ve all experienced landscape and travel photography fatigue.”

What do you see on your Facebook and Instagram feed? People, people, people. Your mind is used to seeing them everywhere now and a presentation is just another communication medium. Seeing these people helps your audience connect emotionally to what you’re describing.


Top Design Trends In 2018 And How To Use Them In Presentations


Illustrate the people in your ideas, in your statistics, make your presentation more human. Even if you have a business presentation and you think you couldn’t possibly make it into a story if you’re describing technical products in services. You actually can, and you should.

Products are a part of much larger, powerful business and customer stories — stories that can be developed with as much care and intent as UIs or design systems or the actual product itself,” Donna argues. “In that story, your customer is your hero, and your product is their sword. The better the sword, the better the story. The better the story, the more successful the product, the business, and the teams building that product.

Donna Lichaw, author of The User's Journey: Storymapping Products That People Love


Also read: 23 Free Resources For Presentation Design


Look for creative commons portraits on image websites like and


4. Colors and patterns from the 90s

Millennials are now the main audience for most products and services. That includes presentations. Electric hues, color schemes from the 80’s and 90’s as well as abstract and geometric patterns will seem familiar to them.

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Geometric shapes have been and will remain a pillar of presentation design. The use of shapes to create designs will continue to be a major factor in 2018. The geometric designs that will pop out the most will be ones that are combined with other popular design elements and provide unique visual experiences.

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This design trend can definitely add visual excitement as well as a touch of nostalgia to your presentations.

You can find a multitude of these graphics on websites like or Search for ‘geometric patterns’ or ‘colorful patterns’ and use these as backgrounds in your presentation. Don’t forget to respect attribution of the graphics.

You can also opt for the DIY approach in your presentation software. Using Microsoft PowerPoint, create a geometric shape that you want to have as the base of your pattern. Duplicate it until you fill out the entire slide. Then, change the color of the shapes to the colors you want to use.


Top Design Trends In 2018 And How To Use Them In Presentations


5. Go for bold typography

When it comes to typography in 2018 you’ll soon find that the bigger and bolder, the better. Creatives will be opting for artistic effects, extra-large font sizes and huge headlines. Helvetica-inspired sans serifs will be the go to.

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Leverage this design trend in your cover, headings and section dividers.


Also read: 84 PowerPoint Shortcuts To Improve Your Presentation Game


For our clients’ presentations, we like to use extrabold and black variations of fonts in all caps for statement slides. Some of the free fonts that we use and recommend include: Open Sans (Extrabold), Lato (Black), Bebas Neue or Chunk Five.

Here’s an example using Open Sans:


Top Design Trends In 2018 And How To Use Them In Presentations

and one using Bebas Neue:

Top Design Trends In 2018 And How To Use Them In Presentations


6. More UX, better UX

According to Adobe, UX (user experience) is only increasing in importance, as it has been doing for the past few years. The people who are visiting your website, using your app and reading your content expect fast, personalized and intuitive.

In terms of presentation design, your audience is your user. How well you know them is key to delivering the right information, in the right format. We’ve talked about the importance of audience research and creating a coherent experience for them rather than just showing them some slides.

UX shows us that that we must design with the user in mind. Every slide, every color and every shape is part of an experience that needs to cater to your audience’s needs. If they expect fast and precise, use short sentences, illustrative icons, charts and graphics. If they want to know your story, structure your presentation with a clear introduction, 3-4 main ideas and an ending. Treat every slide like an essential part of the story and connect them using images, stories and relevant fonts.

Consider making your presentations more interactive and allowing the user/viewer to visit a section of the presentation that is of the most interest to him. You can do this by creating an overview slide with the key sections of your presentation and linking each section to the slide from where that section begins.

Here’s an example we did for one of our clients:


Top Design Trends In 2018 And How To Use Them In Presentations


Well, there you have it: 6 design trends that are going to transform your presentations and future-proof them. Which one sparked your creative interest?


Are you ready to take your presentations to the next level?

Our team can help with everything from researching your project, writing the content, designing and building your slides, and even creating handouts.

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There are 1 comments

By Javier Pena | January 25, 2019 at 8:03 am

good article! thanks a lot. do check out for premium and free PowerPoint templates.

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