Pitch Decks

Maximising Visual Impact: Key Graphic Design Principles for Pitch Decks

James Alberts
Co-Chief Guru

In the fast-paced realm of startups, securing funding is akin to an art form - a blend of compelling content and captivating visuals. Your pitch deck is not just a presentation; it's a visual story about your vision, ambition, and potential. It's here that graphic design becomes a game changer, turning a good pitch into an unforgettable one.

Visual storytelling in pitch deck design

The Art of Visual Storytelling in Pitch Decks

Imagine this: you're presenting to potential clients or investors, and within seconds (literally) your deck grabs their attention.  That might seem far fetched, but in today’s society where the human brain has an average 8s attention span, that’s really all the time you have to either entice them to read on, or skip to the next deck they’re reviewing. 

To hook them in under 8s is all about the visuals - crisp, clear, and compelling. They simplify the complex, evoke emotions, and keep your audience engaged. It's visual storytelling at its finest, turning your pitch deck into a compelling narrative of your startup's journey. 

While there are countless other reasons why creating visually impactful pitch decks will ultimately help your business, which we discussed before in our ‘How to Win Business Faster with a Pitch Deck Design Agency’ article, in this blog we want to stick with the visuals.

Here are our top tips from the DesignGuru HQ.

pitch deck design visual story telling

Graphic Design Principles for Maximum Impact

The magic lies in the method - the design principles that elevate your pitch from mundane to memorable. Think simplicity - a clean, uncluttered design that speaks volumes without shouting. Every element on the page is there for a reason, contributing to a clear message.

Visual hierarchy is key. Use size, colour, and placement strategically to guide the viewer's eye, highlighting the most crucial parts of your pitch deck. This is where your key messages leap off the slide and into the minds of your audience.

Consistency is your silent ambassador of professionalism. A consistent theme in fonts, colours, and styles across your pitch deck weaves a visual thread that ties your story together. It's about creating a brand identity that resonates with your message and values.

But let's not forget relevance. Every image, icon, and graphic should serve a purpose, enriching your story, not distracting from it.

This is on the assumption that we consider quality too. High-quality visuals are a reflection of your brand's attention to detail and dedication to excellence and shouldn’t be overlooked. You would be amazed how many pitch decks we are sent that contain blurred photos due to poor compression, graphics that are generic to more or less any business, and mismatching fonts. It all seems minor, but quality really does show like a coffee stain on a white T-shirt. 

maximise impact in visual storytelling

Crafting a Visually Engaging Narrative

Your cover page is your first impression, a visual handshake with your audience. It's where your logo, tagline, and a crisp overview of your product or service set the stage. 

Then comes the problem statement, articulated not just in words but through impactful visuals that paint the picture of the challenge your business is addressing.

The solution your company offers needs to be more than explained; it needs to be shown. Charts, diagrams, and graphics come into play here, making your solution tangible and understandable at a glance. Remember, as we discussed before; most communication is non-verbal, so being highly visual will help the recipient understand better. 

Market opportunity and business model (if relevant) are more than mere data points; they're stories of potential and strategy, best told through visual formats like flowcharts, diagrams, and infographics.

 Imagine you are pitching to WalMart about stocking a new sugar-free breakfast cereal. The buyers there receive 1000’s of pitches per month, so you need to be able to show why your product is better in a succinct and articulate way, which is often done with great visuals. 

For those on the path to investment, financial projections, graphs and charts translate numbers into narratives, showing trajectories of growth and success. It sounds obvious, but nobody wants to look at a spreadsheet. 

And when introducing your team, it's about putting faces to names, humanising the story behind your startup. Try and give it some uniformity, like we’ve done here, so it makes the prospect feel like the team is in harmony! 

Finally, your call to action isn't just a closing statement; it's a visually compelling invitation for investors to join you on your journey.

fine tuning a pitch deck

Fine-Tuning Your Pitch Deck Design

When selecting your colour palette, think of it as setting the tone of your narrative. It should align with your brand and enhance your message, not overwhelm it. There is actually some psychology behind choosing the right colour palette, and its not always down to personal preference. Check out this great colour palette by WordStream

When pitching it can often be tempting to choose a colour palette based on personal preference, but can you imagine a baby formula in black, yellow and red? Those are natures danger/warning colours! Similarly, can you imagine pitching a luxury line of watches using a fluorescent pink deck? There are certain pallets that resonate much better with certain products or services, so pay attention. A good designer already know this and this is why it pays to seek help from the pros.

The same goes for typography - readability is key, but also the visual representation of your brand.Some fonts, just look terrible and cheap. Others look like you’ve paid a $5,000 licence fee. The right font can make your content not just readable but memorable.

The layout of your pitch deck should be a testament to your organisational skills - orderly, logical, and professional. White space is your ally here, preventing clutter and ensuring your content breathes.

In maintaining visual consistency, every element - be it an image or an icon - should sing in harmony, each reinforcing your brand's story.


Your pitch deck is much more than a mere presentation; it's a visual symphony of your startup's story, ambitions, and potential. By adhering to these graphic design principles, you're not just showcasing your business; you're making a statement. It's about turning your vision into a visual journey that captures and holds the attention of those who hold the key to your future success. 

Remember, in the world of business, it's not just what you say, but how you present it that can make all the difference.

If you need assistance with expert pitch deck design, then check our DesignGuru, the one-stop-shop for Graphic, Video and UX/UI design. We offer a simple, fixed, monthly price from just £749 and don’t limit how many jobs you upload to your task list. Having worked with 100’s of SMB’s and countless Fortune500 companies, we have the expertise not only to elevate your pitch design to the next level, but significantly reduce your cost of production as well. Find out more.

James Alberts
Co-Chief Guru
James is a self-professed lover of the outdoors, dogs and fitness. A proud dad and husband. Serial ideas man & closet world-of-warcraft enthusiast.

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