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5 Tips For Working With a Pitch Deck Designer

Your designer (and investors) will thank you for following these tips.

A pitch deck is a crucial element of your fundraising deck. It helps get introductions and meetings and communicate your company’s vision, value, and differentiation to investors. There are many resources online about what should be included in a pitch deck (including one Bread & Butter put together), but I want to focus on the design of a deck.

Good design is essential. It captures and maintains attention, communicates ideas effectively, and helps establish credibility. One of the best ways to get a well-designed deck is to work with a professional. Several firms and individuals focus on presentation and pitch deck design but a good designer can make a major difference even if they don’t focus on pitch decks.

At Bread & Butter, we’ve had great luck working with the company Sketchdeck on multiple decks and content. We’d also recommend you check out Mavity and PitchReady and searching for a solid freelancers who’s able to help you tell your story.

Great design can be an investment, and you want to ensure you’re positioning yourself to achieve an outcome that truly satisfies you. So, let’s go through a few things you can do to help ensure a wonderful outcome.

Button-up Content Before Design Starts

It’s essential to have your content in order before the design process begins. Being clear about what goes on each slide is one way to get a super professional-looking deck without lots of costly revisions and gives your designer a more thorough understanding of the story you’re trying to convey through the deck. Organized content will help them create a design that aligns with your overall message.

You can also save time and money by not completely redoing your content between each design revision. You’re obviously going to have changes, but I’ve seen founders scrap four pages while adding five more. These types of overhauls cause delays and increase costs.

Be Ready with Your Brand

The more branding elements you have ready for your designer, the more likely you’ll end up with a deck that feels authentic to your company. Plus, it gives your designer the tools to come up with a consistent and cohesive look for your whole deck. These elements include your logo, typography, and color scheme, but can extend to your brand positioning, values, and more.

Vocalize Your Vision

Even the best designers aren’t mind readers. It’s really tempting to tell a designer to just make something look great and wait for them to create something you’re happy with. This might work for some, but founders often have a vision of what their pitch deck is going to look like. If you’re expecting things to look a certain way, whether in regard to the full style of the deck or something smaller such as how graphs appear, the best thing you can do is express that either verbally or by sharing images that carry a similar vision.

Share the Context

It’s important to provide some details to your designer on how you’re planning to use the deck. Are you emailing it? Presenting it over Zoom? Presenting it at a competition in an arena? Give them context on the use case and overall message you’re trying to convey. If you want investors to walk away from your deck believing you’re capable of building a trustworthy brand a huge enterprise-ready organization, don’t miss out on the opportunity to use visual cues to your advantage.

Give Specific Feedback

When you begin to get versions of your design back, it’s essential to give specific feedback on what you like and don’t like. Broad comments such as “I don’t like it.” don’t tell a designer what they can change or add to create something you do like. Spend time identifying what different elements you do or don’t like and put effort into clearly communicating those details to your designer. 

Working with a professional designer can greatly improve the look and feel of your pitch deck, and there are many firms and individuals who specialize in presentation and pitch deck design. By buttoning up your content, being ready with your brand, vocalizing your vision, sharing the context, and giving specific feedback, you can position yourself for an outcome that will make a lasting impression on investors.

Stephanie Rich
Stephanie Rich is Head of Platform at Bread and Butter Ventures where she works to add continuous value to portfolio companies and founders. She is the former Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator in partnership with Cargill and Ecolab. She has worked with numerous early stage startups as a mentor and advisor, and has received the Techstars #givefirst award three separate times. She has hands-on expertise in bringing products and companies to market while building, cultivating and sustaining customer bases online and off.