Presentation Transformations: a look into how a Startup Founder’s ideas were brought to life through the power of design.
In this fun little series, we will take a closer look at how our projects go from boring to beautiful in a matter of days. It wouldn’t be possible without Crisscross Creative’s amazing design team or the trust of our fantastic clients, so thanks to them we have something to discuss here.
For our first Presentation Transformations deep dive, we will explore the deck we created for our client, Sublayer. In summary, the CEO, Scott, needed a deck to present at an upcoming Demo Day that would get potential investors excited about his company.
Let’s discuss the steps that Crisscross Creative and Scott took together to drastically transform his deck from point A to point B, shown below.
Step 1: Meeting & project discussion
Scott reached out to Rylee, the founder of Crisscross Creative, through LinkedIn. He gave a brief description of his project at hand and mentioned he had been referred by a friend (woo! we love referrals). The first step to a successful project is getting on the phone and talking through the major items.
Q: What will the deck be used for and who is the audience?
A: It’s a demo day presentation and will be given on stage to a live audience in a couple weeks.
Q: Do you have a brand established for the company?
A: We have a logo, and a colour or two, but we would be happy to start with a new look for the brand that your team comes up with.
Q: Is the content ready to go?
A: It is just a skeleton deck with basic images to represent the content on the slide. There is a script that coincides with each slide and explains what I will be talking about while the slides are showing on screen.
A snapshot of the ghost deck we started with.
Step 2: No brand, no problem
Great, so now we know the basics. At the end of the meeting, it’s important to establish next steps from both parties to ensure everyone is on the same page. Since Scott didn’t have a brand to work with, but was keen on creating a new look for the deck, he was tasked with sending over inspiration items that he admired and would be happy to model Sublayer after.
“web3 / retro / cyberpunk / retrofuturist style” is what the team was given as well as these images that really got the wheels turning for the design team. One image shows colours he would love to see in the brand, the other was the current team shirt with the existing colours. He also provided many other items and links that were helpful in creating concepts for the presentation design. We encourage clients to provide as much as they can, especially when there isn’t a brand to work with, so the team knows which direction to go in.
*Note: we were not creating a brand or brand guide for Sublayer, we were only designing a deck in a new look that could provide a foundation for the brand once fundraising begins.
Step 3: Style concepts
A very important step in all of Crisscross Creative’s full redesign projects.
Once we have all the information from the client, the design team starts to form two different concepts that the deck could be designed in. For Sublayer, we designed one concept that was closely related to the original colours and logo that it started with (greens), and the other concept was the futuristic purple design that Scott had dreamed that Sublayer could look like one day. We designed 3 slides from the deck in the two concepts and presented them to Scott (2 shown below).
Both designs turned out great, but the Sublayer team decided to move forward with Concept 1, which was the new colour concept. This gave us a great starting point for designing the rest of the deck in this style. We were very excited to show the Sublayer team the first draft of the final product.
Step 4: Refine
Another important step in the design process is receiving feedback and making changes. It’s difficult to nail a project 100% on the first try, but doing style concepts definitely makes it possible to achieve, which is why we do them.
On many occasions, after the first draft is fully finished and delivered, there can be content changes, add ins, takeaways, and refinements to the style of certain elements we put in – and that’s okay! We believe design is a collaborative process between two teams and we are more than happy to put in the time to make changes until our client is 100% happy with the final product.
In this project, we were on a very tight timeline schedule due to Demo Day Event date. However, Scott was able to get in a practice / walk through using the newly designed deck. He received super positive feedback about the design as well as some feedback on the content itself, which led to a few changes and new slides being added.
Crisscross Creative quickly designed the new slides, and pretty soon the deck was ready to go! But wait.. there’s more!
Step 5: Animation & Presentation
There is something unique about this deck that I haven’t mentioned yet. We surprised Scott with a suggestion and added animations to the deck! We felt it was absolutely necessary since there weren’t a lot of words on the slides, it felt a bit flat. Since he would be presenting this to a live audience on a large stage, we thought we would give the audience some enjoyment and bring the content to life.
It was as if animations were made for this deck! The slides fully lit up the screen, which hopefully encouraged the potential investors to perk up and listen to what Scott had to say while he was presenting. We love how the deck look so polished in the end and gave an amazing first impression to anyone listening to him present.
This is a quick screen recording of the animated Demo Day deck that Scott used to present Sublayer to potential investors.
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