Size does matter

Yes, it does, at least when it comes to Powerpoint. I have written about the right size of fonts, but actually, applying the right sizes is crucial to all objects and shapes that you use in Powerpoint. It sounds self-evident, but the sizes of the different objects you put on a slide must match. It’s all about proportions, that is, the size of the objects in relation to each other.

Would you put a 200 sqm² house on a 300 sqm² lot? Would you put a flat-screen TV the size of a laptop in your 60 sqm² living room? No, of course not, because it just looks stupid. There is no rule for this, it’s just common sense. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to lose this common sense as soon as they open Powerpoint. So, please, please, apply the same kind of common sense that you would apply to building or decorating your house.

What does that mean? It means, for example, that two text boxes that have the same importance (the same logical level) must have the same size. It also means that the size of objects and shapes must reflect their respective importance. That is, more important objects should be bigger than less important ones. It means that a shape that contains three words cannot be as big as another shape that contains three bullet points followed by whole sentences. It means that a shape that is supposed to accentuate a message or to link two thoughts (typically, e.g. an arrow or a chevron) should never be as big (or even bigger…I’ve seen it all….) than the message itself. And it means that you should never design any objects that are so small that you need to search for them with a looking glass. If something is so unimportant, better leave it out in the first place.