If you’re like me, you are not a graphic designer. I have no eye for color and no sense of what does or doesn’t look good. Therefore, my presentations can sometimes be either boring, because I’m afraid to use a provided design, or horribly garish as I create a background that is downright ugly.
Slides Carnival Saves the Day
The good news is that Slides Carnival has some absolutely beautiful templates for PowerPoint or Google Slides that are free and easy to download and, more importantly, have been created by someone who is a graphic designer. The templates are available in the following categories:
- Playful (Be sure to check out the Jachimo design, which looks like a comic book.)
What I really like about these templates above others I’ve seen is the fact that each one comes with a great explanation of the thought process behind the colors and fonts selected. This is a fabulous way for someone like me or your students who have no experience in design to get a better understanding of how professionals put together a blended look. Each template also comes with not just a “front” slide, but up to 25 different slides built around that particular design theme.
You can download the set as a PowerPoint slide and then upload it to Google Slides or export it in PDF or JPG formats. New templates are added monthly and they also offer a “template of the month” that fits a theme for that time of year. So be sure to revisit them often.
More Free Templates
Thanks to Julian M., here are some additional offerings:
- Free Google Slides Templates
- Free PowerPoint Templates
- More Free PowerPoint Templates
- PowerPoint Templates
If you or your students are in need of graphic organizers that help them to complete projects (and not just slide backgrounds), you can find them in this blog post.
Of course, you can’t go wrong with these from Google itself. While they tend to be more content specific (science project, student certificate, status report), there are some nice designs available. And this is a fabulous virtual museum template from David Lee that would be great for a student project.
This is a good Google Slides design for schools. It downloads as one presentation, but includes a variety of template choices in it. The same company offers this free open book presentation template, an orange presentation, a blue origami business background, and a creative banners one on black. They also provide a very nice gradients background that can again be used to help students discover what makes a graphically interesting and alluring template.
Digital Graphic Design teacher Mike Macfadden created these Google Slides designs for his students to use and also shares them with you. There are currently 15 of the simple but effective templates available.
There are some well-designed templates for Google at Slide Model. They lean toward business presentations, but could be used for other purposes as well.
And Even More Free Templates
- Orange Presentation (very modern)
- Gradient Backgrounds
- 30 Free PowerPoint Education Templates
- Simple Pastel (good for younger audiences)
- Open Book (nice red notebook)
- Origami Background (in blue and white)
- Creative Banners (includes a cool paper airplane)
- Our blog about even more free templates!
Pear Deck Critical Thinking Templates to Use with Google Slides
Pear Deck is a great add-on to Google Slides and provides tons of interactivity for student learning. They now include some fabulous templates even in the free (Essential) pricing plan. As Eric Curts explains “In the add-on panel there is a new section titled “Featured Content“. At the moment the content being featured is a collection called “Critical Thinking“. When you click on the section you will see thumbnails for all the new slide templates.”
How to Create Your Own
Finally, once your students have investigated the world of design, they may be ready to create their own masterpieces. Alice Keeler offers a nice how-to article on creating presentation templates in Google Slides.