Let’s say you love the colour orange and you decide to use it as the primary colour is your slide deck. That could be a big mistake. Colour has psychological impact on an audience. For example, orange is disliked by both men and women and is associated with products that are cheap. So unless you are speaking to a crowd connected with Home Depot, personal preference might not be the best method to pick the colour scheme for your slides. Here’s a couple of tips.
Wheel your way into good colour choices
No doubt you have had the experience of seeing a colour combination that just didn’t work, they clashed. In picking a colour scheme for a slide deck we want something better than that, we want a palette that presents colour harmony.
Choosing our colours with the aid of a colour wheel will help us zone in on aesthetically pleasing combinations. Here are three basic ways to construct a harmonious palette from the colour wheel:
- Pick 3 colours that form an equilateral triangle (Triadic Colour Scheme)
- Pick colours directly opposite each other (Compound Colour Scheme)
- Pick 3 colours that are next to each other (Analogous Colour Scheme)
Don’t forget the ‘Kiss’ Rule (Keep it simple stupid)
For most of us we want our choice of colour to complement our presentation, but our palette is not to be the focal point. Simplicity is important. Reign yourself in to 3 colours: one background, one base and one accent colour. You can create that 3-colour combination by picking your background and base from analogous colours and then choose your accent from the colour that stands opposite them on the colour wheel.
One clarification to this approach. You always want any text on the slide to be readable. This can be accomplished by ensuring their is significant contrast between your background colour and the font colour. For example if your background colour is dark then you would pick the lightest colour in your palette for your font colour. If your background is light then use the darkest colour from your palette. However, if that leads you to something like yellow then add an additional colour for your fonts to ensure the text is easily read.
Are you intentional about the colours used in your slide deck? Share a tip about how you choose your colours.by