Scaling communication with presentation systems

Splunk banner
Splunk banner speaker intro slide example

Project background

In most companies, slides are one of many channels of influence. But for disruptors like technology leader Splunk, presentations are the engine of persuasion because slides drive adoption of ideas and products.

Splunk’s new look was a far cry from its dated, 90s-era style. The new visual identity featured bright, vibrant colors combined with rich textures and fun patterns. But using a visual brand that powerful is a bit like driving a Ferrari – if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can get into trouble fast! Aside from marketers and event teams who are expert presenters, most Splunk staff aren’t graphic designers or visual storytellers. They needed a “pit crew” to help everyone in the company get up to speed and stay on track with the brand. That’s where Duarte came in.



The big challenge

Launching a bold and vibrant new visual identity

As Splunk grew, it needed to revamp its image to better reflect the company’s expanding capabilities. While the rebrand affected everything from ads to signage, Splunk’s new CMO considered slides core to the communication mix because they’re often the first impression people experience. So, her team hired Duarte to spearhead a presentation redesign, from the corporate overview to everyday decks, underpinned by a template that embodied the updated brand in slide form.

A sample of slides created

1 / 9 5

Splunk’s transformative journey with Duarte

Presentation templates are a smart way to empower employees to build on-brand slides. To give Splunk’s staff everything they need to make effective slides, Duarte designed a user-friendly presentation system that was as practical as it was beautiful. The goal? Enable anyone to create consistently effective slides in less time…including teams who were busy prepping for company’s 10th annual user conference in just a few months.

Our process

Before prescribing a solution, we start by diagnosing the problem. So, Duarte began with an extensive audit of Splunk’s slides to learn users’ goals and hopes for the new system, along with discovery sessions to learn the visual language of the new brand. We shared our report of findings and recommendations (in slides, naturally) to get the team’s buy-in before starting design.

Our insights

Studying hundreds of presentations, Duarte designers analyzed Splunk’s most common types of stories and visuals. Soon, we found patterns in the content they struggled to convey clearly. We saw busy charts and densely bulleted lists buried among customer quotes, technology diagrams, product screenshots, and endlessly wordy slides. Visualizing such a wide array of information meant the template needed to offer flexibility while enforcing clarity and consistency in communication.

Our approach

The presentation template system we designed contained a range of layouts mapped to Splunk’s top slide use cases, following timeless design principles from Nancy Duarte’s Slide:ology®. To speed slide creation, we included a toolkit of icons, shapes, imagery, and charts along with a fully transformed version of Splunk’s corporate presentation to show the new template in action. We also recorded an on-demand video to teach employees how to apply the templates to their own slides, on their own time.

The results

“Best New Enterprise Software Marketing of the Year”

Employees raced to adopt the Duarte-designed template system, applying it to sales decks, internal presentations, and everything in between. Thanks to a smart strategy, sharp messaging, and a slick new look, Splunk’s rebrand was awarded “Best New Enterprise Software Marketing of the Year” by Constellation Research. Kudos to Splunkers and their slides!