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5 Essential Presentation Design Tools for Artists

Ways to elevate your creative portfolio and leave a lasting impression

A creative professional presenting in front of a gallery of photography

Presentations are an essential tool for teaching, business meetings, public speaking engagements and personal portfolios. Why, then, do so many presentations contain unnecessary texts, images, and slides? Although a presentation is a handy tool for organizing your data into digestible pieces, the structure is often considered less important than the content.

For artists, however, presentation design is crucial for showcasing their work effectively and leaving a lasting impression. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore five essential presentation design tools tailored to artists, helping you choose the right one to elevate your portfolio to new heights. Let’s look at the most popular tools, like PowerPoint, Canva, Prezi, Google Slides, and Adobe Spark, and discuss how to choose the one that suits you best.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Tool

By choosing an appropriate presentation design tool, you may create eye-catching slides to amplify your message. Here’s what to look for:

  • User-friendliness: the tool should allow for creating great slides, even if you are a newbie. 

  • Feature set: tools with advanced features typically come with a heftier price tag.

  • Compatibility: ensure you can use them on your OS, devices, etc.

  • Affordability: if you aren’t planning to use the tool frequently, opt for cheaper products.

Tip: Head over for further insights on how to make a lasting impact with your presentation.

Top Tools for Presentation Design

1. Microsoft PowerPoint 

PowerPoint is among the most popular presentation tools worldwide. It can boast a staggering 30 million PowerPoint presentations created daily. PowerPoint has an extensive template library, graphic assets, and robust editing tools. So, it remains one of the most versatile tools on the market. It suits best traditional businesses, educational presentations, and anyone with a Windows PC.

2. Canva

The platform has more than 170 million monthly users, which makes it one of the most successful web-based design platforms worldwide. With a vast collection of highly customizable templates and graphic assets, Canva is a great place to create your presentation. It's also easy to use: an intuitive interface allows you to use Canva without previous knowledge, while drag-and-drop functionality is a time-saver. It is bestfor creating eye-catching designs and presentations with minimal effort.

3. Prezi

Prezi doubled its audience base to more than 100 million registered users and reached a valuation of over 300 million dollars. If you’re a fan of non-linear presentations that allow changing sequences of your demonstration on the go, Prezi is a definite must-try. Zoomable canvas and other features will help make your presentation dynamic and engaging, while a vast template library has numerous customizable layouts and thousands of graphic assets. It is the best option fornon-linear presentations with high audience engagement and memorable storytelling. 

4. Google Slides

Google Slides is a free, cloud-based presentation software that is perfect for collaboration and co-authoring. Although Google Slides has a pretty basic collection of templates and graphic assets, its main perks include a user-friendly interface, accessibility across devices, integration with Google Drive, and real-time co-authoring. It is suitable for seamless collaboration within teams working remotely. 

5. Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is an easy-to-use design platform that is perfect for creating short video presentations. The platform offers an intuitive interface, a wide range of layouts, and professional themes, and allows you to integrate animations and voiceovers into your projects. If you like making dynamic multimedia presentations, Adobe Spark is a no-brainer, and great for users who like to create interactive presentations with voiceovers, animations and music.

How to Choose the Best Tool for Your Needs

Some tools boast numerous advanced features that require time to learn, while others have easy-to-use interfaces and are tailor-made for newbies. Here’s what to consider when choosing one:


Tools for business use with advanced features are typically more expensive than individual plans with limited functionality. And some presentation tools like Google Slides are completely free!

Presentation complexity

Look for drag-and-drop functionality for easy-to-make projects and tools with advanced features for professional projects.

Need for collaboration

If you’re working remotely, look for cloud-based software enabling real-time co-authoring as well as the ability to leave comments.

4 Presentation Tips for Artists

Creating an impactful presentation goes beyond choosing the right tool. Here are some detailed tips, examples, and actional steps to help you make the most of your portfolio presentations, whether it's in person or online.

Digital artist presenting artwork in a class lecture.

1 - Less is more

When it comes to showcasing your artwork, less is often more. Avoid overcrowding your slides with too many images or text. Instead, focus on highlighting your best work and letting it speak for itself (because a picture is worth a thousand words). Choose a few key pieces that represent your style and skill level, and feature them prominently in your presentation.

Actionable steps:

  • Select a few key pieces from your portfolio that you're particularly proud of or that best represent your style.

  • Limit each slide to one or two images to avoid overcrowding.

  • Use whitespace effectively to draw attention to your artwork.

Example: If you're building an illustration portfolio, be selective about which pieces to feature in your presentation. Instead of cramming them all onto one slide, create separate slides for each illustration, allowing viewers to focus on one piece at a time while you focus on telling the story behind their creations.

2 - Consistency is key

Maintain a consistent design theme throughout your presentation to give it a polished and professional look. Choose a color scheme, font, and layout that complement your artwork and stick with them throughout your presentation.

Actionable steps:

  • Choose a color scheme that complements your artwork. Consider using colors that appear in your pieces.

  • Select a font that is easy to read and matches the style of your artwork.

  • Use the same layout for each slide to create a sense of unity and cohesion.

Example: If you specialize in character design and your character art features bright, bold colors, you might choose a colour scheme that includes those colours for your presentation. You could also use a playful, whimsical font that matches the style of your characters or the world they live in.

3 - Showcase your process

Give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your creative process by including sketches, drafts, and works-in-progress in your presentation. This not only adds depth to your portfolio but also allows viewers to see how your ideas evolve from concept to completion.

Actionable steps:

  • Include sketches, rough drafts, and works-in-progress alongside your finished pieces.

  • Provide brief explanations or captions to give context to each stage of your creative process.

  • Highlight any unique techniques or methods you used in your artwork.

Example: If you're building an animation portfolio, you might include storyboards, character sketches, and animation tests in your presentation to show how you develop your ideas from initial concept to final artwork. You could also provide brief explanations about your creative process to provide new insights for the viewer.

4 - Practice, practice, practice

If you're giving a lecture, attending an interview or speaking publicly, rehearse your presentation multiple times to ensure smooth delivery and build confidence. Practice speaking clearly and confidently, and be prepared to answer questions about your artwork. Taking art portfolio classes is another effective way to practice your presentation skills while getting professional advice from experts in the field.

Actionable steps:

  • Rehearse your presentation in front of a mirror, or record yourself, being mindful of your tone and pacing.

  • Take portfolio classes and role play your presentation with a mentor to identify areas for improvement.

  • Anticipate questions your audience might have about your artwork and prepare thoughtful answers.

Example: Before presenting your portfolio to a potential client or employer, take the time to rehearse your presentation several times. Practice speaking about each piece in your portfolio, highlighting its unique features and explaining the creative process behind it. The more you practice, the more confident and natural you'll feel when it's time to present.

Final Thoughts

When crafting your creative presentation, remember that the tools you choose and the way you present your work can make a significant difference in how your art is perceived. By selecting the right presentation design tool and implementing these tips, you can create a portfolio that not only showcases your talent but also leaves a lasting impression on your audience. Whether you're presenting to potential clients, employers, or peers, use these strategies to elevate your portfolio and make your art shine.

Presentation design is crucial for creating easily digestible and memorable projects that help present your ideas and messages clearly. Not all presentation tools will suit your needs, so consider multiple factors, like their functionality, ease of use, price tag, and compatibility. Remember that presentations shouldn't be boring; with the right tools, you will create content that will animate your audience and make a lasting impression.

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