8 May 2014

Why you shouldn't use your logo on every slide

One of the most common PowerPoint habits—especially in the corporate world—is to place a (company) logo on every slide. Unfortunately, common habits are not necessarily good habits. The purpose of this article is to explain why placing your logo on every slide is not the way to go.
Why do most people fall into this trap? When I ask around, the usual answer I receive is they do it for brand recognition. I believe some people confuse logos with brands. A logo is not a brand and placing a logo on every slide is not branding. Garr Reynolds—who is not only a Presentation Design expert—he is also Professor of Management and Design, wrote in this article:
“The logo is an important part of the outward expression of a brand [...] but the meaning of brand and branding goes far, far deeper than simply making one’s logo as recognisable as possible.”
He also shared a funny yet so true point: “We don’t begin every new sentence in a conversation by re-stating our name, why do we bombard people with our company logo in every slide?” 
Can you prove him wrong?     
I’m not campaigning for presentations with no logos at all, but I think there is another way to “sell” yourself (or your company) while keeping clutter away from your visuals. The solution is to put your large logo only on the first and last slides. If you want to make a good impression, make a good presentation. Your audience will remember you—and your company—because you made a great presentation, not because your logo was on every slide. On the other hand, if your presentation is boring, your audience will think of your company as a boring company, even if your logo is everywhere. Focus on making a superb presentation, not on bombarding people with repetitive elements which don’t add meaning to your message.     
It’s undisputed that Apple’s keynotes are one of the most well designed in the corporate world. Do they place their famous fruit on every slide? No way. Still, people recognise their slides. What they do make sure is that their logo is displayed when people walk in and out the conference room. They also display it to build breaks from one topic to another—using bumper slides—but never on a slide which includes other elements. 
By removing unnecessary elements like logos you will also achieve an invaluable benefit: you will free up space to make your visuals look more design-mindful
“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”  Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry 
I believe repeating your logo throughout your presentation has the only effect to add visual noise and, as a consequence, impair comprehension. It won’t help you sell your products or make your point better. Rather, it will make your visuals look like a commercial. Is that the purpose of your presentation? Remember, people don’t like being sold to. (By the way, I think it’s time to write an article on the purpose of a presentation. I’ll do it, promised) 
No presentation has the goal to sell, none of them, not even sales pitches. A presentation is not about the presenter, it’s about the audience. Now think about this: if a presentation is not about you but about them, isn’t it contradictory to place your logo on every slide? If you want to be remembered, just make a great presentation.