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7 Awesome Gradient Backgrounds for Your Slides and How to Create Them

7 Awesome Gradient Backgrounds for Your Slides and How to Create Them

Anuj Malhotra

May 18, 2016

Gradients can be a tricky thing. If done right, they can make your slides look artistic and professional. If messed up, they can cause a disaster (read Death by PowerPoint).

 

We know plain white color can become a bit too boring. Solid colors are a safe bet. Rich, warm colors like orange can make your slides a visual treat or cool colors like blue can give a professional and soothing touch. But if you want to try something new this time and treat your slides the way photographer plays with shades and lights to click the perfect portrait, then gradient style is the one for you.

 

But hold your horses, guys! You don’t want to overdo it and end up winning an award for designing “the ugliest slide ever”.

 

You want to be the one that creates a nice gradient background like this:

 

Professional gradient background for slides

 

And not an ugly gradient like this:

Ugly Gradient That'll Blind Your Audience

 

Ewwww, right! You don’t want to be this culprit. That’s why we have handpicked some cool gradient styles for you. We’ll also show you how you can recreate the same gradient backgrounds in PowerPoint.

 

7 Awesome Gradient Effects for Your Slides

 

Gradient #1- Ocean Blue Effect (Radial)

Blue is the favorite choice for many business presentations. Try a different blue this time- basically blues since we are talking about gradients over here. The gradient background below gives a sense of mystery and innovation.

 

Gradient background radial effect

 

Check out the slide below now- When you choose a contrasting color like white and yellow (or any soft color) for your content, it shines and grabs audience attention. The slide looks professionally designed and forces the audience to notice your slides and read your content.

 

Strong contrast makes the culture of innovation slide look awesome

 

So, how do you create this background effect yourself? Follow these simple steps in PowerPoint:

 

  • Right click on the blank slide and click Format Background
  • The Format Background window opens on the right
  • Click Gradient Fill
  • Choose the Type as Radial from the drop down (see screenshot below)
  • Choose the Direction as From Center from the drop down (see screenshot below)

 

Right click and open Format Background

 

We now need to replace the default colors with the deep blue colors. Getting an exact match as the color we used might be a little time consuming. PowerPoint 2013 users are lucky- all they need to do is copy our gradient image and insert it in the PowerPoint slide. Next, pick the Eyedropper tool and extract the color. Here is the breakdown of the steps:

 

  • Keep 2 Gradient Stops- one in the start and one in the end
  • Click the Color drop down. From the Theme Colors window, pick the Eyedropper tool (see screenshot below).
  • Click on the image to extract that color and apply to your slide
  • Use the light blue color for the first stop and dark blue for the last (see screenshot below)

 

Use eyedropper to extract the colors

 

That’s it! You will get the exact same gradient effect.

 

PowerPoint 2010 users have to make one more effort- you’ll have to manually enter the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) values that we have provided below to get the exact color. Follow these steps:

 

  • Click Gradient Fill and keep 2 gradient stops- one in the beginning and one in the end
  • Click the More Colors option in the Color drop down (see the screenshot below)

How to customize colors in PowerPoint 2010

  • Go to the Custom tab and enter the following code (see the screenshot above)-
  • First Gradient Stop- Color Blue (Red-39, Green-145, Blue-197). Click OK.
  • Second Gradient Stop- Color Dark Blue (Red-9, Green-28, Blue 60). Click OK.

 

You can click the Apply to All button at the bottom of the Format Background window to apply the gradient background to all your slides.

 

 

Gradient Effect #2- Dark Teal and Blue Color Combination

Teal is the trending color in presentation design and others. A solid Teal color alone makes the design stand out. But you can also combine it with another color to create a vivid look. Check out the gradient below- dark teal and blue create a rich, seamless look that can be the perfect background for your title slide, if not all slides. The opening slide has to be a stunner and you can guarantee yourself that with this rich gradient.

 

Teal and Blue Gradient Background

 

Now see how this background transforms ordinary, dull content into an eye-opener and a powerful statement. Also see how the content has been distributed across the slide below- with the image covering one half of the gradient and your title and subtitle the other half.

 

Economy Presentation Title Slide Design

 

Here’s how to create this gradient effect for your presentation slide:

 

  • Type- Linear
  • Direction- Linear Diagonal Top Left to Bottom Right
  • Angle- 45 degrees
  • First Gradient Stop- Color Dark Teal (R-1, G-170, B-147), Position 0
  • Second Gradient Stop- Color Dark Teal (R-1, G-170, B-147), Position 42, Transparency 10%
  • Third Gradient Stop- Color Blue (R-41, G-167, B-251), Position 100

 

Customize the gradient background

 

Variation of this gradient- Light blue and Light Green

Another aesthetic gradient background can be created by choosing the lighter versions of the above gradient colors. Have a look:

 

Gradient- Light blue and light green

 

Create professional, artistic slides with this background. Both these colors have a calming effect on the viewer and lend sophistication to your slides:

Principles of Design

 

Apply the following under Gradient Fill:

 

  • Type- Linear
  • Direction- Linear Right
  • Gradient Stop 1- Light Blue (R-128, G-180, B-244), Position 0
  • Gradient Stop 2- Light Green (R-201, G-247, B-239), Position 43%
  • Gradient Stop 3- Aqua (R-197, G-245, B-239), Position 100%

Steps to create aqua gradient

 

 

Gradient #3- Nude Colors

Want to make your slides look earthy, clean and sophisticated? Go nude! We mean your slides of course. Let different shades of skin color make your slide more human and sensual. It is the best gradient style if you wish to create picture quotes for social media.

 

Skin color gradient background

 

We tried out the monochromatic color scheme for this slide and it looked awesome (check the slide below). We picked the gradient color, went to More Colors and picked different shades of the tan to create an elegant look. You can insert a picture with a transparent background and add your content to create professional portfolio-like slides.

 

Create Picture Quotes with this awesome gradient background

 

It’s very simple to create this gradient:

 

  • Type- Radial
  • Direction- From Bottom Right Corner
  • Gradient Stop 1- Color Tan (R-225, G-210, B-203), Position 0
  • Gradient Stop 2- Color Tan (R-214, G-189, B-182), Position- 40
  • Gradient Stop 3- Color Tan (R-209, G-180, B-172), Position- 66
  • Gradient Stop 4- Color Coral (R-171, G-144, B-143), Position- 91

 

Use the tan color to create this gradient

 

Gradient #4- Blank + 10% Color

Allright, when you will look at the gradient below, you might wonder what is great about it. There is hardly any use of colors. That is exactly the purpose of this gradient- keep the background colors as close to zero as possible (but not plain boring white). Why? So that you can play with colors in the foreground. That’s right. When you wish to use bright colors in your content, shapes, visuals, etc. it’s best to use this gradient. It’s there and yet not there.

 

Soft gradient background using linear direction

 

Now, look how awesome the contrast looks when this minimalist gradient is contrasted with bright, colorful objects in the foreground:

 

Power of Visual Design

 

Breathtaking, right? But does the gradient background contribute much? It definitely enhances the look of your slide. It appears more natural as lights and shadows play their part. You can replace the grey with any of your corporate colors and use this gradient as a template to bring consistency in your presentation slides. Here’s how you create this simple background:

 

  • Type- Linear
  • Direction- Linear Right
  • First Gradient Stop- Color White, Position 0
  • Second Gradient Stop- Color White, Position 83%
  • Third Gradient Stop- Color Light Grey (R-231, G-230, B-230)

 

Customize the gradient background

 

Gradient #5- The Shine Effect (Rectangular)

Want to create an aspirational slide that motivates audience to reach higher in their personal and professional lives? Then the gradient that you see below is the one for you. Light piercing from one corner of the slide can be used for a revelation or simply a dramatic effect.

 

Rectangular Gradient with Shine Effect

 

The teal color has been used again (we are biased towards this color) but you can use any color of your choice. Remember the psychology of colors when choosing a one for your slides.

 

You can use this gradient either for title slide alone or apply to all slides. Ensure there is a strong contrast between the background and foreground. Check out the corporate ladder slide below:

 

5 Ways to Cimb a Corporate Ladder Slide

 

Follow these steps to create this background effect:

 

  • Type- Rectangular
  • Direction- From Top Right Corner
  • Gradient Stop 1- Color White, Position 0
  • Gradient Stop 2- Color Teal (R-110, G-224, B-219), Position 30%
  • Gradient Stop 3- Color Teal (R-27, G-191, B-183), Position 100%

 

1 White and 2 Teal Gradient Stops

 

Let us make a variation of the same slide with light colors in the background and bright colors for the ladder in the foreground. Tell us which slide would you prefer to see- the one above or the one below (the gradient effect is the same; only the direction and colors have been changed- direction being top left corner and grey instead of teal):

 

Climb the ladder PowerPoint slide

 

How do you decide whether to have a light gradient background or a bright one? Well, this one golden tip by Garr Reynolds will help you- Use a dark background with light text if you are presenting in a dark room. Vice versa, use a white background with dark text if you plan to keep most of the lights on. 

 

Gradient 6- Forest Green

Designing a presentation on any aspect of environment? Then this gradient is the one for you. It is the perfect background to evoke suspense. Since dark green also represents greed, ambition and wealth, it adds meaning to environment conservation slides. The gradient below is a mixture of this dark green and light green which symbolises growth, harmony and renewal.

 

Gradient 6- Forest green

 

We used this gradient to create a slide on deforestation. You can use it as background for a presentation on green cover, green energy, biodiversity or in a creative way such as a presentation on the greed for wealth.

 

Deforestation impact on environment

 

Follow these steps to create this gradient background:

 

  • Type- Radial
  • Direction- From Center
  • Gradient Stop 1- Light Green (R-67, G-104, B-28), Position 0, Brightness minus 54%
  • Gradient Stop 2- Dark Green (R-37, G-45, B-31), Position 35%
  • Gradient Stop 3- Dark Green (R-37, G-45, B-31), Position 100%

Steps to create forest green gradient

 

Gradient #7- Blood Red

If you have already gone through our previous post on colors, you would know that red is the color of energy, passion and excitement. Dark red carries both positive and negative connotations. Negatively, it indicates danger, malice and wrath. So, how you combine different shades and tints of red will depend on the theme of your presentation and the feeling you wish to evoke in the audience. The gradient below combines different shades of dark red to represent sin and danger:

 

Gradient 7- Blood Red

 

This gradient is the apt one for a slide on sins of customer service or any other wrong practices that you wish to highlight. The background adds meaning to your content and reinforces the message that certain behaviors are dangerous and are to be avoided at all costs!

 

7 Deadly Sins of Customer Service

 

Create this background in 2 minutes by following these steps:

 

  • Type- Radial
  • Direction- From Bottom Left Corner
  • Gradient Stop 1- Dark Red (R-134, G-0, B-0), Position- 0, Brightness minus 30%
  • Gradient Stop 2- Dark Red (R-72, G-0, B-0), Position- 45%

Steps to create blood red gradient

 

Hundreds of gradients can be created using different colors, directions, transparencies and so on. For the brevity of this post, we have shared just 7 gradient backgrounds that are sure to lend sophistication to your slides.

 

And hey, gradient backgrounds is just one awesome background option for your slides. There can be many more which we will share in another post. Which gradient did you like the most? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

P.S. Here's a pre-populated tweet to help you share the post with your followers!

 

UPDATE:

After receiving many requests from our users to download these slides, we have uploaded the presentation to Dropbox. You can download it for free and use the backgrounds to create awesome slides. Click the link below to get these ready-made gradients:

Download Gradient Backgrounds Now

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88 thoughts on “7 Awesome Gradient Backgrounds for Your Slides and How to Create Them”
  1. Louise McNicoll
    Louise McNicoll
    Can you download these gradients as slides?
    1. slideteam
      Hi Louise, since these slides are not available as downloadable products, we will send the same to you on your email address. Thereafter, you can pick up any gradient slide, right click, Format Background and click Apply to All to save time. Thank you for showing interest in our designs. :)
      1. Monica Curry
        I would also like to receive the slides if possible.

        The tips and tricks you send a phenomenal!

        Thanka for all that you do!
        1. slideteam
          Hi Monica, super glad you like our work. We have sent you the copy as you requested. :)
    2. Jen
      Hello slideteam! This is definitely a refreshing way to inject life in a presentation (especially intense ones.. content-wise). Would it be possible to get a copy of the slides as well?
      1. slideteam
        Hi Jen, sure! True, a nice background can infuse life into a dull slide. Glad you liked them. :)
  2. Tobias Jürgens
    Tobias Jürgens
    Love these gradient backgrounds. Could you send them to my email address as well? Thanks.

    Keep up the good work Slideteam ;)
    1. slideteam
      Sure Tobias, we'll send them to your email address. Glad you liked them. :)
    2. Monica Curry
      Can I ask for the slides as well?

      I love all of the tips and tricks you share!

      Thanks!
      1. slideteam
        Sent! It is our pleasure. :)
  3. Nancy
    Love these backgrounds. I am just practising them, however love to create my own text with it. Please can you send the slides, much appreciated. Thank you
    1. slideteam
      Sure Nancy, we are sending them right away. Hope you are able to create awesome slides with these backgrounds. :)
  4. Dawn
    Could you send them to my email address as well? Thanks.
    1. slideteam
      Sure Dawn, it is on your way! :)
  5. Kit Howard
    Really liked the slides! Some of them (like the forest green at the end) I didn't think I liked until I saw how you used it with the text. What a tremendously greater impact than plain old bullets!
    1. slideteam
      Yes Kit, surely small tweaks like the background and distribution of content can transform the look of a slide. Bullet points is pure laziness. Glad you liked the slides, including green one! :)
  6. Career Evolve
    Career Evolve
    I think that I am #inspired! Thanks for sharing and I saw 2 examples that I am going to re-create for a presentation that I am developing this week. Very timely information.
    1. slideteam
      That's great to hear Career Evolve. We are glad we could be of help! :)
  7. Josh Laena
    Hi Team,
    These slides are truely awesome.
    Can you please send them to me.
    Many thanks,
    Jsh.
    1. slideteam
      Hey Josh, yes we will send them to you. Glad you liked them. :)
  8. June Ho
    Hi Team,
    These gradient backgrounds are great.
    Appreciate if you could send them to me. Thanks!
    1. slideteam
      Hi June, yes we are sending them to you as well. Glad you liked them, thanks. :)
  9. Robert Bateman
    Robert Bateman
    Nice job! Please send the gradient backgrounds to me as well.
    Thanks, rob
    1. slideteam
      Surely, Rob. We have updated the post to include the download link. But will also send you a copy. :)
  10. Arvind Singh
    Amazing. Absolutely professional one. If possible please share with me also in the mentioned email id
    1. slideteam
      Thanks Arvind. No problems, we'll send the same. We have also updated the post with the download link. :)
  11. Melissa Comtois
    Melissa Comtois
    I would also love a copy if you'd be willing to send!
    1. slideteam
      Of course we'd be willing to, Melissa. It's already on your way! :)
  12. Susan Leung
    Can u send me the slides, love it do much
    1. slideteam
      Sent Susan, we are happy you liked them that much! :)
  13. Maryanna Bell
    Maryanna Bell
    Very nice. I'd love to have the slides as well. Thanks!
    1. slideteam
      Hi Maryana, we have sent you the slides as requested. :)
  14. Angela Hlavka
    Angela Hlavka
    This is great - can we also get the slides...thanks
    1. slideteam
      Sure Angela, we'll send you right away. You can also download it from the blog post as we have updated it to include the download link. :)
  15. senta
    Just love the tutorial. Can you send me the slides as well.
    1. slideteam
      Hi Senta, we have sent you the copy of the slides. You can anytime download from the post itself too, we have updated it to include the download link. :)
  16. very nice and attractive tutorial, i'd love to have the eslides
    very nice and attractive tutorial, i'd love to have the eslides
    very nice and attractive tutorial, i'd love to have the eslides. thanks in advance
    1. slideteam
      Sure, we'll send a copy to you as well. :)
  17. Annamma
    loved the article and the slides, can i get a copy of these brilliant slides too?
    1. slideteam
      Hi Annamma, we have sent you the same. Glad you loved them. :)
  18. Kogepan
    Hello~ may I have a copy of these wonderful slides as well? I am helping my colleague to enhance her presentation and these would serve as great foundation for her. Much appreciated for your share in advance! Thank you!
    1. slideteam
      Hey Kogepan, we have sent you a copy. Hope they serve your colleague well in creating awesome presentations! :)
  19. Cindy Murphy
    Love the gradient options. Are these available in slide format?
    1. slideteam
      Yes Cindy we will send you a copy of the same. :)
  20. Monika
    Dear Team, thank you for keep sharing with us these gorgeous inspirations. I always learn something new from You. I was wondering whether it is possible to send me a copy of these in slide format, as well?
    1. slideteam
      That's great to hear Monika. Yes, will send a copy of the slides to you as well. :)
  21. Muhammad Faheem
    That's all amazing stuff!!!
    can you please provide me Gradient#5??
    1. slideteam
      Yes Muhammad, we will send you a copy of all gradients including Gradient #5. Glad you liked them! :)
  22. Patty
    look forward to receiving all your tips. May I also have a copy of the slides? Thanks so much
    1. slideteam
      Hi Patty, sending you a copy of the slides. Hope they help you create awesome presentations! :)
  23. Krithika
    These slides look cool!!! Can you pls send the slides by email?
    1. slideteam
      Thank you. Yes sure!
  24. simon
    hi - from bored to excited. Pls send me copy of slides?
    1. slideteam
      Hi Simon, sure check your inbox! :)
  25. Girish
    Hello Team!
    Wondering if these are still available. If yes, please send me a copy of these in slide format.
    1. slideteam
      Yes Girish, we will send you a copy of the same. :)
  26. Abraham Pasalo
    I had been a subscriber last year. Can you avail the new slides format, all of them are just what I need in my forthcoming in-company training.

    Thank you,
    Abraham
    1. slideteam
      Hi Abraham, sure. We will send you a copy of these slides. :)
  27. Jabeen Ahmed
    Hi, I know you must be fed of these requests, but I would be happy to have them as well.
    [email protected]
    1. slideteam
      Hi Jabeen, no we are happy to receive every comment. Yes, we will send you a copy right away. :)
  28. Ayman
    Hi Team,
    These slides are brilliant.
    Can you please send them to me.
    Many thanks,
    A.
    1. slideteam
      Yes Ayman, we will send them to you. Glad you liked them. :)
  29. Siddharth Kapinjal
    Siddharth Kapinjal
    Awesome ppt!! Can I have a copy of the slides too??
    1. slideteam
      Sure Siddharth! We'll send right away. :)
  30. Syed Wahid
    Really loved it, please send over to me as well
    1. slideteam
      Sure Syed, glad you loved the designs. :)
  31. Roger
    Hi, can you send me these brilliant slides? Thanks a lot.
    1. slideteam
      Sure Roger! :)
  32. Chryssa Dislis
    Chryssa Dislis
    I have a subscription to your site for work, although I am reading the blog from home. I love the tutorials and tips - really informative, well written and usable. Absolutely top class, you should be very proud.
    1. slideteam
      Thank you so so much, Chryssa! Such words of inspiration keep us going. :)
  33. Tammie Larson
    Good Morning! Could you please send me the slides?
    Many thanks-
    Tammie
    1. slideteam
      Good morning Tammie, sure we'll send them over! :)
  34. Vishwanath
    It is interesting. Request to send me the slides
    1. slideteam
      Sure Vishwanath! :)
  35. Cordelia
    Hi there, I know its been awhile since this was published but I would love to have the slides as well! Thank you in advance!
    1. slideteam
      Sure, Cordelia! We'll send them over :)
  36. Barbara
    Beautiful! May I have these too?
    1. slideteam
      Sent! Glad you liked them.
  37. Kim Webb
    I'm not sure how I got added to your email list, but I'm sure glad I did! We aren't supposed to click on any links in emails unless we know the sender or get it approved from IT. Your slide teasers were so good on the emails you sent that I went through the proper channels to get Slide Team approved to click on! Kudos to your marketing team too. I made my own envelope slide thanks to your great instructions. Would love to have these background slides emailed to me as well. We use PowerPoint for every meeting we have here at our Cooperative. Thanks!
    1. slideteam
      We are so happy to hear that, Kim! Thank you for walking the extra mile to get that approved from your IT team. We'll keep sending you very useful presentation tips. Also sending you the background slides that you requested. :)
  38. Andy Yeo
    May I have a copy of these slides as well.

    Thank you very very much.
    1. slideteam
      Sure Andy, will send over a copy to you. Most welcome. :)
      1. Andy
        I had received the slides, thank you very much for your generosity
  39. Krish
    Hi there, I would sincerely appreciate if you could send me the slides too! Much thanks.
    1. slideteam
      Hi, we will surely send the the slides to you. :)
  40. Jose Dias
    Hi, in fact is awesom gradient background. Could you please send me to my email.

    Thanks in advance
    1. slideteam
      Most welcome! We will surely send. :)
    2. slideteam
      Yes, will surely send. :)
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