Bright colors, large graphics and unique typography. All these elements can be found in Mary Kate McDevitt’s extensive portfolio. In this week’s Presentation Design Inspiration, we will look at McDevitt’s design and how you can incorporate her ideas into your presentation design.

Presentation Design Inspiration: Mary Kate McDevitt


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Right away, you know McDevitt is trying to share a message because her typography is huge and her color scheme is bright. This is very effective for capturing the audience’s attention and drawing their eyes to the message. Based on these examples of her work, McDevitt has a strong eye for illustration and typography.


McDevitt says she has a love for handmade design, and taking art classes as a kid helped her discover her passion for design. In an interview with Print Magazine, she says during high school, “I was always at thrift stores to find weird, used things and clothes. I still love anything old and anything with history. This inspires my work quite a bit as I tend to look at vintage ephemera for inspiration.” You can see her vintage inspiration in her typography and illustrations.

Having a distinct point of view helps set McDevitt apart from other designers. This is a great pointer for presentation design. Incorporate the images you love into your presentation, and it will stand out from other corporate designed decks. Draw inspiration from McDevitt’s hand-drawn images and fearless use of colors.

Most of McDevitt’s projects come from being a freelancer. This gives her a flexible schedule and time to explore new opportunities. “I’m so terrible at looking into the future. That is probably what I like best about being a freelancer – always new projects and always quick turnarounds,” says McDevitt. “I generally have an idea of the year ahead of me in terms or projects or travel, and beyond that I’m just excited to find out. And I enjoy the not knowing.”

McDevitt took her childhood passion for art all the way with her to college, where she attended Tyler School of Art. She now teaches a course there and is opening her own studio in Philadelphia. She hopes to hold workshops and sell her work at her upcoming studio. You can take courses from her on SkillShare as well. She has also worked as a judge for Print Magazine’s Typography and Lettering Awards and participants in speaking events.

You can see McDevitt’s work displayed on magazine covers, book covers, stationery and cards, and advertisements.She also updates her blog with her designs regularly. Her clients include Chronicle Books, Target, Sesame Street, Workman Publishing, Mental Floss, Johnson & Johnson, Nintendo, Penguin Books, Nike, Smart Ones, Evian, O Magazine, Smucker’s, and AT&T.

Looking for more presentation design inspiration? Check out the Ethos3 Portfolio and these blog posts:

Presentation Design Inspiration: Jessica Hische

Presentation Design Inspiration: Team Dream

Presentation Design Inspiration: Mikey Burton


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