Not Just for Slides: Using PowerPoint for Graphic Design

A significant part of my job involves creating graphic designs. While I can make my way around Photoshop, InDesign, and Premiere well enough when I have to, PowerPoint is my tool of choice for 99% of my design projects. I’m not telling you that PowerPoint can do everything those other tools can do but I am saying it can probably do WAY more than you think it can.

Let me start by sharing a few of the things I’ve created using PowerPoint to illustrate the wide range of graphic design possibilities:

Motion graphics and video

For most people, the easy to use animations and transitions in PowerPoint are much easier to master than complex video tools like Adobe Premiere, etc. For videos, PowerPoint gives you the ability to add audio narration, background music, animation timings, basic trimming/editing, and everything you need to create a professional-level video like this one.

Print and other physical materials

Another uncommon use of PowerPoint is for designing print materials. A good place to start with rethinking your documents is Nancy Duarte’s SlideDoc site. Be sure to grab the PowerPoint templates while your there. This is a recent example of a job aid I created in PowerPoint.

PowerPoint Print Design.png

In addition to videos and documents, I’ve tapped PowerPoint to design workbooks, folders, t-shirts, banners and more.

Nikki Hudson banner2.jpg


For me working in PowerPoint gives me most of the design possibilities I’ll ever need while also being faster and easier to use.  So think outside the slide and don’t get stuck thinking that PowerPoint is only for presentation decks.

Published by Mike Taylor

Born with a life-long passion for learning, I have the great fortune to work at the intersection of learning, design, technology & collaboration.

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