Great Presentation Copy Guidelines

When creating a slidedoc, your slides need a different type of hierarchy than cinematic slides. The following guidelines are suggested for creating effective visual documents.

​The title introduces your presentation slide and should be the first thing that people read. Therefore, you want it to stand out in some way. For instance, it could be bolder. If you’re using a thinner font, you could put the title in all caps or make it very large. Just make sure it’s the first bit of text that people are drawn to.

​The subtitle goes right below your title and expands on it in some way. This copy should be significantly smaller than the title, but not smaller than the main text on the slide.

​Presentation Subheads label the different sections within each slide. They are the next level of text hierarchy, so they should be smaller than the title and subtitle. Your subheads might even be equal in size to the main copy on your slide, but you should differentiate them in some way.
For instance, they might be a bit bolder or a different color.

​The body copy, the main blocks of text on your slide, will take the most amount of time to read. So, think about consumability when picking a font. People don’t read words letter by letter. They see the entire word as a picture and understand text by connecting that picture with its meaning. When you make it difficult to recognize that picture, you’re putting a barrier between your reader and your message. Classic, clean fonts are the way to go here. Be sure to make the text big enough and dark enough, so readers don’t have to strain to see it.

Callouts are the small blocks of text that are used to point something out in a graph or diagram. This text can be equal in size to the body copy, but it also needs to be distinguished in some way. A classic way to set your callout text apart is to italicize it. You can also make it a separate color.

​A note about color treatments: It’s very easy to include too many colors as you’re trying to differentiate one kind of text from another. Try to avoid creating a text rainbow and remember color is only one of the tools in your tool belt. Weight, CASE, size, and italics are all good ways to set different kinds of text apart.

Anatomy of Text Hierarchy

structure of a Slidedoc slide