Taste vs. Aesthetic: Foodie Culture & Presentation Design

Maria Ranahan Our Blog Leave a Comment

Like many people, my phone sometimes feels like a mere extension of my hand. Because of this, I live in a world of Pinterest boards and Instagram feeds, which source me daily with inspirational quotes, unwanted updates on my childhood friends, and a little bit of promotional bullshit. With the exception of a few season finale spoilers, I truly do love being a part of these online communities. Recently, I’ve started following a lot of food bloggers.

Like, a lot.

When I scroll through my Twitter feed, I see an endless stream of restaurant check in’s and pictures of ice cream cones. I see a spectrum of recipes that span from chocolate chip cookies to cocktails. I see beautifully filtered photos of avocado toast—that somehow look elegant despite the crater-sized bite that someone took out of it.

Perhaps what’s most interesting about this foodie culture is the method of sharing. Think about it—what good is a picture of food? I can’t lick my phone screen and taste how good that Sunday brunch hollandaise sauce is. I can’t scroll through your feed and get a waft of your $5 latte. The last time I checked, the most important part of food was how it tasted, not how it looks. Right?

Right. But there’s something to be said about the scope of this online foodie community that tells us perhaps taste isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to food. Presentation is pretty important too.

Here at SquarePlanet, we believe that content is the most important part of any presentation. Over and over again we preach, shout and hammer into our clients heads the importance of creating stories that engage. If some terrible, technical malfunction left you without your slides minutes before your keynote, could you still illustrate a narrative in the eyes of the audience? Content to a presentation is taste to a meal… the most important part.

Content to a presentation is taste to a meal… the most important part. Click To Tweet

However… aesthetics matter too.

When it comes to presentation development here at SquarePlanet, it’s a collaborative process. Designers take the delicious little stories that the content curators write, and then they make them look like something you’d actually want to eat.

I may be blurring metaphors here, but you get the point.

While content development is incredibly important and should consume the bulk of your time when planning a presentation, it’s important not to overlook the benefits that a truly aesthetically pleasing slideshow can have. A well balanced presentation has kick-ass content and an elegant deck… and much like the online foodie culture, good graphics create an attractive shareability that will draw more and more attention to your presentation.

As a writer, I truly envy and appreciate the work that designers create. And while we at SquarePlanet hone in on the importance of content, we don’t want to overshadow the benefits of good presentation design. While taste matters, so does appearance. It’s important to find the right balance between the two, fully understanding that just because a presentation is beautiful, doesn’t mean it’s meaningful. And just because a presentation is well thought out, doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a good graphic or two. Sprinkle on some confidence and a practice round or two, and you’ve got the recipe for success for your next presentation.


What can you do next?
Learn The 10 Commandments of Presentation Design

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Who Wrote This Masterpiece?

Maria Ranahan

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Maria is a Chicago based writer who works at Blackbox & Cards Against Humanity. She will watch your dog and drink your whiskey. Follow her on Twitter @MariaRanahan.