From Metaverse- and NFT-inspired designs to authenticity, expressive artistry, and boldness, the changes occurring in presentation trends are substantial and numerous. 

As 2023 unfolds, it reveals an unmistakable hunger for realism, inclusion, and relatability in the branding field. Naturally, those who incorporate these traits into their communications designs will stand out, winning the hearts of people and businesses.

We asked our graphic design wizards and pitch deck experts to distill the key broad themes and trends for this year into actionable pieces of advice. These bits of wisdom can serve as your presentation design inspiration, as well as sparking ideas for your brandbook or a pitch deck for VC fundraising.

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7 defining presentation design trends for 2023

As we move into this year, we are witnessing modern aesthetics transitioning from 2022’s maximalism – with its dopamine-spiking colors, nostalgia, and multiple pallets – to 2023’s bold, personal expressionism. 

Let’s zoom in on practical applications of these trending styles and explore how to use them for your PowerPoint slides inspiration (and other purposes).

#1. Expressive & inclusive artistry

Slogan: Key theme of 2023

Expressive artistry embraces the freedom to express a wide range of diverse personalities, characters, and styles. 

This inspiring trend is rooted in society’s obvious desire to connect and relate to each other, which shows itself in the unprecedented spread of authenticity and groundedness in culture.

Expressive & inclusive artistry

How to incorporate it:

  • Choose unique styles loaded with colors and self-expression – think optimistic color palettes, photography, and video influenced by travel, creative progression, and unapologetic individuality.
  • Embrace inclusive design and visuals that represent people of every age, race, gender, orientation, and a range of visible and invisible disabilities as active members of society.
  • Include authentic illustrations with a familiar, homey look and feel.
  • Use bold fonts and expressive visuals.

When it is a great fit: This trend bodes well with consumer brands or mission-driven B2B firms, so consider all direct-to-consumer (D2C) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies in areas like health or fashion.

Tips: If you’re going for this emotional style, make sure to always complement it with a more plain and unpretentious layout. You can feed your inspiration on websites like Getty Images. And forget about stock images!

#2. 3D realism 

Slogan: Going mainstream

3D realism (not to be confused with 3D illustrations) is here to give objects and people a sense of depth and show that beauty can be found in imperfections.

3D realism absorbs us into its playful and exciting world, where design elements feel even more relatable and close, but in an almost childish way.

3D realism

How to incorporate it:

  • Use an eye-catching, bright color palette with rich use of candy colors.
  • Include characters and objects that look like toys.
  • Make sure visuals have bumpy, plasticine-like surfaces.

When it is a great fit: This trend is great for B2C companies in creative and e-commerce industries, as well as AR/VR startups.

Tips: Look for unique imagery that you can combine with the expressive and inclusive artistry trend. Don’t incorporate this trend if you’re targeting an older audience or work in a serious industry. 

#3. Nature-inspired design

Slogan: Still here

While the refreshing trend of design taking inspiration from nature is still going strong, there have been a few changes in how we go about it. In 2023, this trend will explore new ways to convey tranquility, inner peace, and harmony.

Nature-inspired design

How to incorporate it:

  • Color and photos are no longer enough to create a convincing look and feel. Now you need to add nature-inspired graphic design elements and botanical visuals.
  • Mix together real nature and fictional reality.
  • Go for a minimalist aesthetic with earthy shades and hues.
  • Use muted earth tones, natural materials, textures, and shapes.

When it is a great fit: This approach will align with all environment-focused ESG companies and B2C companies that sell goods and natural cosmetics. 

Tips: To nail this trend, think beyond imagery and look for unconventional ways to incorporate the theme in the layout. This trend works well with vintage and earthy vibes.

#4. Hyper-minimalism & vivid minimalism 

Slogan: Full mainstream

Hyper-minimalism is going full mainstream in 2023, all because of its unmatched versatility. This universal theme is a safe yet trendy presentation design idea for pretty much everyone.

Hyper-minimalism & vivid minimalism

How to incorporate it:

  • Get rid of patterns, ornaments, and decorations to create breathing room for what really matters.
  • Focus on primarily white, light beige, and white-ish tints from the color wheel to convey the feeling of cleanliness in its purest form. 
  • Ensure that any areas with color are bold and vibrant – monochrome with a sudden pop of color continues to be an in-demand look.
  • If appropriate, combine this style with 3D realism for more depth and catchiness.

When it is a great fit: This is the only trend that you can apply to any project. However, it has the most success around enterprise B2Bs and “serious” industries like medicine, healthcare, security, hardware, and tech. 

Tips: Use only high-quality visuals. Combine this style with something else (e.g., 3D realism). Don’t be afraid to throw in bold colors. As a rule of thumb, use the famous “Apple look” to guide your hand.

#5. Motion graphics and AI

Slogan: Hit or miss

Our future looks more and more like a blend between real life and Al, AR, VR, and MR. Of course, brands have taken notice and are already leveraging these elements in their visual communication to create fully immersive brand experiences.

Motion graphics and AI

How to incorporate it:

  • Use animated graphics to demonstrate product applications.
  • Convert images to AI-generated graphics. 

When it might be a great fit: This style should work well with startups in VR, AR, Metaverse, Telecom, and creative industries. 

Tips: Start experimenting with AI-generated images, but be careful, as this can be a massive hit-or-miss endeavor. Just be consistent and double down on the practice.

#6. Nostalgia and retro-futurism

Slogan: Weird mainstream

Our collective need for escapism has officially manifested itself in this chaotic, sometimes blatantly trippy graphic design trend that covers the 80s, 90s, and 00s nostalgia from a new angle.

Nostalgia and retro-futurism

How to incorporate it:

• Make a comeback by using grainy textures and serif fonts. 

• Use nostalgia-driven typefaces and dynamic retro color swatches.

• Reimagine risograph printing by using desaturated colors and abstract graphics. 

When it might be a great fit: For some projects targeting Gen Z in the B2C sector; however, we wouldn’t recommend using this style for pitch deck slides design ideas since, in our experience, investors find it difficult to digest. 

Tips: This style requires a lot of custom work and can take time to implement organically. Go about it lightly, experiment with one layout, and use it only when you’re confident it matches your business’s personality.

#7. Dark modes

Slogan: It’s back

Already the go-to for fintech startups, the dark theme is taking over a wide range of industries and will soon become a popular vogue and a persistent trend, especially for app designs. Why? The dark mode is one of the best presentation design ideas for showcasing professionalism, creating a sense of security and certainty, and making your slides stand out.

Dark modes

How to incorporate it:

  • Minimize pure black and consider dark shades of colors like gray.
  • Use less-intense colors to minimize strain on the eyes. 
  • Make sure there’s still enough contrast and color. The theme pairs well with opaque brand elements.
  • When appropriate, pair it with minimalism and non-flat designs.

When it might be a great fit: It meshes well with most B2B companies, specifically ones in the Web3 space, fintech, hardware products, and consumer electronics. 

Tips: Think beyond simple dark modes and use them for sleek UI/UX, product designs, etc.

You should take a look at a complete Waveup guide on design trends in 2023
Free download


How do bold and vibrant colors impact presentations?

Color is a powerful tool that affects how humans perceive information. Colors and their combinations hit our emotions way before we even begin to analyze what’s in front of us. Therefore, understanding the psychology behind color allows you to find the perfect context for delivering your idea. The brighter the color, the stronger its emotional charge. Thus, sprinkling bold and vibrant colors throughout your presentation can help establish a stronger emotional connection, create an optimistic mood, and load your message with more power.

What are abstract and geometric shapes, and how can they be used in presentations?

For some projects, using photo content might not be your best option. That’s when graphic design comes into play, introducing geometric shapes and patterns for your presentation layout ideas. You can even combine and merge different shapes into one picture. Real objects can be simplified into abstract forms that help to better сapture the essence of your presentation.

How do textured backgrounds enhance the visual appeal of presentations?

Textured backgrounds are a great way to hint at what your content is about or set the desired mood. Textures help to transport a person to a particular place or time; for example, natural textures can remind us of the forest or a desert, while old, paper-like textures take us back to ancient times. But there is a nuance: textured backgrounds only work well when your slides contain a small amount of content. For example, if your presentation is already loaded with text or diagrams, textured backgrounds will make it feel heavy and hard to digest.

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Content Writer

Hi there! I’m Anya, a Content Writer at Waveup. I’ve been working with startups in various industries for over 4 years, soaking up the knowledge and learning from their business strategies. Now, I collaborate with the best minds here at Waveup to pick up their expertise and share it with the readers.