If You Want Brand Consistency, Manage Your Logo on PowerPoint Slide Masters

Shufflrr allows you to apply a PowerPoint Slide Master to any new presentation. The image below shows how to drag any slide to apply a PowerPoint Master Template to any new presentation within Shufflrr.

apply Powerpoint master template

This seems easy and it is. But, a little more knowledge about how PowerPoint Slide Masters work can help when implementing any Presentation Management Strategy. Here is a how to manage your brand by using images and logos on your PowerPoint Slide Masters.


You may have observed an omnipresent company logo in many slides — and that raises a question: do you really need to have a company logo on all your slides? First, it takes a fair amount of space. Secondly, the audience knows which company the speaker belongs to since that information is almost always placed on the first slide. Also speakers do introduce themselves and their companies — so do all slides need that extra branding? All these questions are fair, and there are equally fair answers for them. You should certainly add a company logo to your first slide, and then place a more subtle or watermarked logo on the rest of the slides — or even no logo at all. Fortunately, PowerPoint makes it easy to add a logo to all your slides — and then make sure that some slides have no logo at all or even a more understated version of the logo.

Before you begin, you must get your logo in a graphic file format that PowerPoint can understand — it’s always better to work with a vector file format such as EMF or WMF rather than the bitmap file formats that PowerPoint supports.

Tip: Learn more about the differences between graphic file types in our Bitmaps and Vector Graphics tutorial.

Make sure that you have two versions of the logo: one should be the regular, prominent logo used company-wide. Additionally, make sure you have a more subtle version of the logo that does not stand out. Look at Figure 1 below, where the Indezine logo on the left is prominent enough to stand out. The same logo towards the right has less saturated colors and will fade well with the background so that your other slide content can get the attention it deserves.

Indezine Logo
Figure 1: Logo with prominent and subtle look

Note: Most company logos are in either Adobe Illustrator’s AI or EPS file formats — these are the industry standards and most logo designers and in-house graphic designers will certainly have a copy of your company logo in these file formats. Unfortunately, both these file formats are not PowerPoint friendly. Although PowerPoint can insert EPS files, more often than not, the results can be unpredictable. Ask your design team to export the logo files to EMF from within their dedicated graphic program — also ensure that you get both the regular and subtle versions of the logo.

Follow these steps to learn how you can add these logos to your Slide Master:

  1. Launch PowerPoint, and access the View tab of the Ribbon — click the Slide Master button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2.
    Slide Master button within the View tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 2: Slide Master button within the View tab of the Ribbon
  2. This opens Slide Master view, as shown in Figure 3. Here, within the pane on the left, you’ll find one large slide thumbnail that represents the Slide Master (highlighted in red within Figure 3), and several smaller slide thumbnails below representing individual Slide Layouts (highlighted in blue within Figure 3). To add a logo or a graphic to your entire presentation (including all Slide Layouts within the hierarchy), you need to select the Slide Master.
    Slide Master view
    Figure 3: Slide Master view
  3. With your Slide Master selected, insert your logo — choose the subtle version of the logo. Since a logo is a picture file, you place it in the same way as you insert a picture. By default, PowerPoint places the logo right in the center of your Slide Master, as shown in Figure 4, below. Also notice that the logo shows up within all the Slide Layouts (refer to the Slides pane on the left in Figure 4, below).
    Logo inserted within the Slide Master and Slide Layouts
    Figure 4: Logo inserted within the Slide Master and Slide Layouts
  4. Now, you can resize and reposition the logo to an appropriate location on your Slide Master, As you can see in Figure 5, below — we resized the logo and placed it at the bottom left of the Slide Master.
    Logo resized and repositioned
    Figure 5: Logo resized and repositioned
  5. Right-click the logo next, and choose the Send to Back | Send to Back option from the contextual menu, as shown in Figure 6, below. You need to do so because all slide content within placeholders needs to be above the logo.
    Send to Back option selected
    Figure 6: Send to Back option selected
  6. Now you can hide the logo from some individual Slide Layouts. You do so for two reasons: firstly, you may want a clean slide without a logo for some Slide Layouts— typically the Blank and Title Only layouts are good candidates for removing the logo altogether. Additionally, you may want the prominent version of your logo for the Title Layout — to do that, you first need to hide the subtle version of the logo we just added to the Slide Master.
  7. Select the Title Layout (or any other layout) — as shown in Figure 7, below. Then access the Slide Master tab of the Ribbon, and select the Hide Background Graphics check-box, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 7. The Hide Background Graphics check-box shown in Figure 7 is not selected; you just need to click on the check-box to see a right mark on it which indicates its selected status.
    Hide Background Graphics check-box to be selected
    Figure 7: Hide Background Graphics check-box to be selected
  8. This action will hide the subtle logo from your Title Layout, as shown in Figure 8.
    Logo hidden from Title Layout
    Figure 8: Logo hidden from Title Layout
  9. To now add the prominent variation of the logo, select the Title Layout and insert the logo (picture). By default, this logo is also placed right in the center of your Title Layout, as shown in Figure 9, below. Also notice that the logo shows up only within the Title Layout (refer to the Slides pane on the left in Figure 9, below) — you’ll notice that this prominent logo does not show up within the Slide Master or even the other Slide Layouts.
    Prominent version of logo added within the Title Layout
    Figure 9: Prominent version of logo added within the Title Layout
  10. We resized and repositioned the logo to an appropriate location on the Title Layout, as you can see in Figure 10, below. Finally, right-click the logo, and choose the Send to Back | Send to Back option from the contextual menu (refer to Figure 6, earlier on this page).Prominent logo resized and repositioned
    Figure 10: Prominent logo resized and repositionedSimilarly, you can choose individual slide layouts and select the Hide Background Graphics checkbox to hide the logo or any other inserted graphic from that particular layout. When done, access the Slide Master tab of the Ribbon, and click the Close Master View button located on the far right (refer to Figure 4, earlier on this page). This will get you back to Normal View.
  11. Access the Home tab of the Ribbon and, click the Layout button to bring up the Layout drop-down gallery you see in Figure 11, below. Notice that except the Title Layout, which has the prominent logo, the subtle logo is visible in all the other layouts.
    Slide Layouts with the logo added
    Figure 11: Slide Layouts with the logo added
  12. Save your presentation often.

About the Author

Geetesh BajajGeetesh Bajaj is an internationally acclaimed PowerPoint, storyboarding, info-diagramming and presenting expert who has been awarded the Microsoft PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional) every single year for 16 years now. As an MVP, Geetesh interacts and collaborates with the Microsoft PowerPoint product development team.

He is also on the Board of Directors for the Presentation Guild, a presentation industry trade association, based out of Cincinnati, USA.

Based out of Hyderabad, India, he believes that any presentation is a sum of its elements—these include abstract elements like story, concept, color, interactivity, and navigation—and also slide elements like shapes, graphics, charts, text, sound, video, and animation. Geetesh has authored six books.

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