How to Use PowerPoint Templates

How to Use PowerPoint Templates

At Createhive, we design many brand guides and templates for clients. One of the most common requests are PowerPoint templates. It is a great idea to have a base design for your collateral, having customized PowerPoint templates for your company will not only make it easy to create new presentations but will ensure your brand’s consistency throughout.

In this post we go over the basics on how to build a PowerPoint template yourself as well as give tips on how to implement your content using templates.

Building a PowerPoint Template

  1. Open a blank presentation, click the VIEW tab in the top menu, then in the MASTER VIEWS group, choose SLIDE MASTER. The slide master is the largest slide image at the top of the slide thumbnail list, to the left of your slides. All of the associated slide layouts are positioned directly beneath the slide master.

This group would be your first custom theme. It is possible to create multiple templates in one document. To create an additional template, select master slide (giant slide) and then go to Edit>Duplicate in the menu bar or use the keyboard shortcut (Mac: CMD + D, PC: CTRL + D).

  1. Style your template with fonts, shapes, colors etc. that you’d like to create for your template. Remember the master slide will retain every element so be sure to only put universal elements that will be featured on all slides there.

  1. When finished with creating a template, close slide master editor (click on “Close Master,” button highlighted on screenshot below).

Once back to your document you can access your template by going to the HOME tab, LAYOUT, and there you should see your template with all the slides laid out. Click on the slide you want to use and there you go!

Things to keep in mind when designing a template or two…

  • If you plan to not use native system fonts (Google fonts or purchased fonts), be cognizant when sharing this template with others who may use the template on their computers that may not have that font on their computer. Unfortunately PowerPoint 2016 Mac does not have a font embedding option but PowerPoint 2016 for PC does.
  • If you plan to add images into your template, high res PNGs tend to display the best.
  • You can create a custom color scheme with easy access for your template. There is a colors button in the Slide Master Template builder where you can pick colors for a custom palette.
  • Pay attention to what proportion you’d like to have your template. New versions of PowerPoint currently have a standard ratio and an ultra-wide option.
  • Always smart to have light and dark version for your template.
  • Transitions are always a nice way to help the flow of your presentation so keep those in mind as well.
  • If you are using images from the internet, be sure to check what their copyright laws are for the photos used.
  • More than not, a simple presentation goes a long way. Use everything in moderation from colors (try not to make your template all bold colors) to slide transitions to your text (give the audience key terms, not an encyclopedia). Breaking up text on separate slides is a great option when battling the issue of too much content on one slide. K.I.S.S!

Tips When Adding Content to Your Newly Made Template

Now that you have a great template in place, let’s discuss how to use it.

  • Best practice when starting a new project is to make sure the new presentation already has your custom template stored on it. A good option is to have a blank presentation with the theme on it and for all future projects to duplicate that file when creating new presentations.
  • If you are copying and pasting in slides from previous presentations, sometimes they will carry over remnants of a theme so be sure to strip all of that by reassigning your custom theme to that slide. (Home Ribbon / Layout)
  • Microsoft Office programs tend to keep content formatting if you are copying content from other sources (online, word document, etc) and sometimes that can be helpful but more than not, it isn’t. Best practice when copying content from said other source, as text for example, make sure to copy/paste it with clear formatting. A good way to do that is have open (WordPad for PC, TextEdit for Mac) and paste the info you copied from original source, then recopy content, the info is now stripped of all formatting.

Updating Your Brand – Biscottea

Updating Your Brand – Biscottea

BISCOTTEA has been with CreateHive for almost 7 years already. These shortbread cookies are sold all over the world and we are proud of being the studio behind their brand.

Updating Your Brand

This year we worked with BISCOTTEA to revamp their brand. Part of the challenge of updating any brand is keeping continuity between the old and new. Having a strong yet minimalist brand is key for an easy transition. In the case of BISCOTTEA all shortbread flavor package designs kept their stripes, yet colors were updated, and new photography (by Sunita Martini) now gives the whole design a new clean look. In addition we are in the process of designing BISCOTTEA’s new website and are excited of the upcoming launch.

Other than seeing them on shelves at Costco, Caribou Coffee, Delta Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airlines, and other big retails, BISCOTTEA is now sold on Amazon. I admit I’m bias but really, you must try their shortbread as they are so yummy!

Here are some photos taken by BISCOTTEA’s team of their latest convention. They shared their booth with other brands, many of which we designed as well. Derek Still, a co-founder of BISCOTTEA is the good looking guy in the photos.

Portfolio Showcase

Portfolio Showcase

Took us long enough but the shelves are finally up, showcasing some of our design work. It is a such great feeling to see the final products on display! As designers it does not get any better than that.

Please don’t forget to send us final print materials of our designs, so we can proudly add it to the shelf rotation!

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

This year is not over yet but Sunita and I wish to thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts. Not only for trusting us with your design projects but for being so nice to work with on a daily basis :). We are very blessed to have such an amazing bunch of clients!

A few shout outs for 2016 that we’d like to mention:

  • This year we moved to our new Redmond office. It was a scary move, but ended up being great for the studio. This is proof that even rough situations can lead to great opportunities. Our current office better reflects our studio’s mindset: colorful and inspiring. If you haven’t had a chance to visit, what are you waiting for?!
  • Another big thanks to Pyramide Production for giving us the opportunity to collaborate on the Microsoft Book of Dreams project. This project got the attention of MS CEO Satya, and he recognized the project’s success at the MGX keynote presentation.
  • Thanks to Biscottea for trusting Sunita’s great photography skills. This makes them the first official client who took us on for product photography. You will soon see the results on shelves word-wide!
  • Thanks to Novo Fogo as this year we celebrate seven splendid years of working together! Thanks to their amazing team and products, our designs are displayed not only in the best bars and restaurants in the states, but also in many hotel chains, and even on luxury cruise ships! Now let’s hope we can get some free stays in any of those amazing locations :).
  • We have another great bee, Archit, joining our creative hive. Thanks to him we can expand our horizons in web development, SEO, and many other tech based services that we could not handle before. Thank you Archit for being a such great addition to our team!

Thank you all, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!



Copyrights Common Sense

Copyrights Common Sense

First I must admit, this blog post, in particular, is being written not only from my professional designer’s point of view but from a very personal place as well. Copyright matters affect me on both levels and evoke strong feelings about honor and courtesy, even before consideration of the legal aspects.

In the follow, I won’t get into the laws and formal regulations, as there are enough articles written about that. Instead, I will try to appeal to your common sense.

Copyright Concept:

To simplify the concept of copyright into a few words is very simple: “I create it, therefore it is mine.

Most of us are very familiar with the concept of ownership:

  • If someone takes something from us without our consent, we consider it theft.
  • If we want something that belongs to someone else, either we buy it or we will ask for permission to borrow it, take good care of it, and return it to the owner as agreed.

So why when it comes to copyright, do so many people disregard these basic rules?

The problem:

Copyright infringements have increased along with internet growth. The internet brought us closer to endless resources, textually and visually. With so much data and material within reach, the lines of ownership become blurry. Adding to the problem, is the sense of anonymity users have, that in some cases translate to a lack of responsibility of how they act over the web.

More and more I see a shift of how people perceive “ownership”. What once was “I create it, therefore it is mine,” has become “I could copy it, therefore it is mine to use.” Well, not really.

As a designer I have been asked many times to integrate images or other artwork (provided by a client) into my designs. When I ask the origin of the material I often get the answer, “From Google or Bing image search.” My reply is always, “Sorry but I can’t use it, unless you purchase the license of usage.” Then, I have found myself with very disappointed and often angry clients who have a hard time understanding why they need to pay for something that they can just copy and paste to their own computer. After all, it was there for all to see.

Copyright common sense:

After years trying to simplify a good and short answer to explain what is wrong with that scenario, I came up with this analogy:

While browsing the web you like one of their images/articles, so you decide to take it and use it in yours;

Is the same as:

While eating in a restaurant you like their chairs, so you decide to take one to use in your home.

Even then, some people can’t shake the idea of paying for something that they could so easily copy and reapply to their use for free, thinking that after all it is the internet, who will know? But ask yourself, is it committing a crime suddenly ok, because your chances of getting caught are low?


Photographers, designers, writers, marketers… we all work very hard and put a lot of effort into what you see as a final product. Some materials may have been published independently while others may have been commissioned by clients. We are all happy that you like what we did, so much so that you would like to use it for your stuff too. What now? Ask us for permission. You may be requested to pay a one-time fee, or a licensing fee for repeat usage, or simply credit the maker. There will be times you may not receive permission to use the material at all. But there may also be times you are able to at no cost.

If you can’t locate the author, too bad. That does not mean you can use the material, it just means you need to keep looking till you do. Or try creating your own original material. In summary, I hope people will apply the same common sense on ownership ideals on the web as they do in real life.

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