All About Haiku Deck Themes

As you know, when it comes to presentations we like to do things a little differently, and frankly, we’re not a big fan of typical corporate presentation templates. When you try to pack in logos and branding onto every slide, you end up taking up a lot of valuable space–and, in many cases, tuning your audience out.

In our view, your story should inspire your look. Playing with different fonts, image filters, and color palettes is a fun part of the creative process, and Haiku Deck’s one-tap themes make it incredibly easy to do just that, without a bunch of fiddling around with fonts and spacing.

Creative Inspiration

The Haiku Deck theme collection has been professionally (and lovingly) designed to make it easy to create beautiful, polished, easy-to-read slides in a wide range of styles. Think of it like trying on sunglasses–with a little patience, you’ll find the perfect theme to suit your unique style and mood.

Around here we all have our go-to themes. I am partial to Tabletop and Zissou, Adam favors Starship and Cinematic, and Kevin often chooses Five Seven Five or  Kalamazoo (which is his hometown, after all). But we all also like to push our creative boundaries and let our content inspire our theme choices.

For example, when I’m making something for work, like this press release, I often like to go with a really crisp, modern theme like Volterra.

Bringing More Beauty to Presentations – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

But for this deck, which I made to recap Ramsey Musallam’s thought-provoking closing keynote at Integrated PDX, the stark, atmospheric Orwell theme felt like it really fit the mood.

Are You Pseudoteaching? – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

And for this one, which I made for Mother’s Day, I wanted something that felt more classic and traditional (qualities I admire in my amazing mom), so I branched out with Clean.

Things I Learned from Mom – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Selecting a Theme

What’s fun about Haiku Deck is that you can try on different themes really easily. When you’re in Edit Mode, pull down the THEME handle and swipe or scroll left and right to view the available themes. The default is Five Seven Five, always a great choice, but there are lots of options to explore!

Haiku Deck includes nineteen free themes, all of which are available on both the iPad app and Web App.

In EDIT mode, pull down the THEME handle to explore theme choices

In EDIT mode, pull down the THEME handle to explore theme choices

Customizing Themes

Each theme has been carefully crafted to express a unique mood through a combination of font, image filter, and color palette.


Haiku Deck adjusts your font size and spacing automatically as you type. In general, your slides will look best with less text.

Tip: If your text starts getting very small while you’re typing, that’s a good sign that you need to trim it down, just like you might for a tweet or a text. You can always use the Public Notes feature to add more detail and richness to your slides while keeping your actual slide text to a minimum.

Adjusting Text Background and Font Color (iPad Only)

By default, the font color for all themes is white with a grey text background, but you can adjust this to a black font color and a white background. You can do this by tapping on the text on your slide to raise the keyboard. The options to adjust your text background and font color are right above it.

Image 2-13-14 at 4.16 PM

Haiku Deck for iPad: Adjust text background and font color

Adjusting Capitalization (iPad Only)

The default setting for most themes is all caps, but if you’d like to use a mix of uppercase and lowercase, you can adjust the Auto-Capitalization setting from the Main Screen.

Presentation Templates: Adjusting capitalization in Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck for iPad: Turn auto-capitalization on or off from the Main Screen

Image Filter

Each theme includes a specialized image filter to give your slides a distinctive, cohesive look (think Instagram filters). For example, Picaresque has an antique sepia filter, Volterra makes colors pop with a bright, warm, filter, and Cinematic has a grainy, atmospheric cool tint. To get a sense of the range, here is a sample image in Novella theme, then Strangelove theme.

Presentation Templates: Adjusting image filter

Haiku Deck for iPad: Sample slide with Novella theme and image filter

Presentation Templates: Using Haiku Deck themes

Haiku Deck for iPad: Sample slide with Strangelove theme and image filter

The image filter is ON by default, but if you prefer you can turn it off. This setting applies to your entire deck, not individual slides.

(Tip: Turning image filters off helps if you’re using Haiku Deck on an older iPad or experiencing memory issues.)

In Haiku Deck for iPad, pull down the THEME handle (top center) and adjust the IMAGE FILTERS toggle.

Presentation Templates: Adjusting image filters in Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck for iPad: Pull down the THEME handle to adjust the image filter setting

In the Haiku Deck Web App, click OPTIONS (bottom center) and adjust the SET IMAGE FILTER toggle.

Web App Image Filters

Haiku Deck Web App: Hover over a theme, then adjust the Image Filter toggle

Color Palettes

Each theme also includes a distinctive color palette for your charts and graphs. This setting cannot be adjusted, so if your deck includes charts, you might create one and spin through the themes to find one that works well for your content.

For example, here’s the same pie chart in Zissou theme, and then in Cinematic theme.

Presentation Templates: Integrated color palettes in Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck for iPad: Sample pie chart in Zissou theme

Presentation Templates: Integrated color palettes in Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck for iPad: Sample pie chart in Cinematic theme

Tip: Try sprinkling in solid-color slides to coordinate with your theme; find out more here. And, if you’d like to customize the background color of your slides, try out our custom color picker.

Our Full Catalog of Presentation Templates

It’s super easy to experiment with different themes as you’re making a Haiku Deck, but if you’d like to explore the full range of creative possibilities, be sure to visit our special collection of Pinterest boards. You’ll find a board dedicated to each theme, where you can view sample slides showing the full alphabet in uppercase and lowercase, charts and graphs, image filter treatments, and lists, as well as great decks that showcase the theme. Here’s the full lineup.

Free Themes (Haiku Deck for iPad and Haiku Deck Web App)

  • Five Seven Five: Your ideas unleashed, Floating on a summer breeze–Set your story free.
  • Volterra: Zip around in style with this theme’s classic curves and clean lines. Optional image filter makes colors bright and warm, like a favorite Pucci scarf. For jaunty journals or the perfect panini recipe, live La Vita Bella with Volterra.
  • Picaresque: The stylish sepia wash captures the imagination and steals the scene like a charmingly roguish hero. Whether you’re building out the backstory, presenting a retrospective, or bringing a magical new idea to life, Picaresque is pitch perfect.
  • Origami: Every colorful crane starts with a simple square of paper. This crisp, lighthearted theme with optional shadow-border filter is ideal for illustrating a blog post, enlivening a meeting agenda, or sending a personal message that’s truly a work of art.
  • Cinematic: Walk your big idea down the red carpet with this sweeping theme. Whether you’re storyboarding a script, thanking your supporters, or projecting your grand vision, Cinematic is the star of the show. Optional filter teases out the greens for a cinematographer’s touch.
  • Zissou: Chart your course and explore new depths of meaning with this boldly exquisite theme. Zissou is perfect for presenting a plan, telling a mesmerizing story, and sharing highlights from your adventures, undersea or otherwise.
  • Iditarod: Bold curves paired with flowing script make this bracing theme an all-season winner. Chill the image tones with optional muted filter. When you’re rallying your team or pitching for a place in the race, you’ll glide to a strong finish with Iditarod.
  • Foundry: Hardworking and tough, Foundry rolls up its sleeves to make your words pop more strongly. In this theme your words do the heavy lifting, while images fade to the background in a sturdy wash of color. Inspired by work shirts, tool sets, and hard hats, this theme says it’s ok to sweat over a great idea.
  • Nantucket: This fresh, bracing theme with an optional vintage fade filter will put the wind in your creative sails. When you’re summarizing a discussion or making a pitch, reel them in with Nantucket.
  • Starship: When it’s time to plot your course to the future, this theme takes you there at warp speed. Starship engages everyone’s inner geek and puts bold mission statements (or ship’s logs, for that matter) in your command.
  • Underdog: Get the crowd chanting your name with this hard-working theme that’s overflowing with scrappy heart. If you’re proclaiming your manifesto or rallying a roomful, Underdog is in your corner. Optional black-and-white filter for maximum punch.
  • Clean: Invigorate your ideas with this fresh, fluid theme that sweeps away the dusty cobwebs of dullness. Choose Clean to infuse your insights, innovations, and inspirations with sparkling vitality and clarity.
  • Kalamazoo: When you need a no-nonsense, straight-shooting look with just the right mix of magic and mettle, this theme won’t let you down. For stand-out status reports or noteworthy lecture recaps, tell it how it is with Kalamazoo. Optional filter boosts the mood with bluish tones.
  • Tabletop: This theme, crisp and clean as a well-chilled pinot grigio, pairs perfectly with precise language and tasty images. When you’re serving up meeting notes, spicing up a list, or selling your daily special, choose Tabletop to set the table with style.
  • Fedora: This timeless style with optional black-and-white filter makes every story look like a classic. Pull together a snappy top 10 list, a high-impact how-to lesson, or a heartfelt homage with Fedora.
  • Novella: This evocative theme with optional saturated filter is a colorful canvas for vivid verbs, punchy adjectives, and broad strokes. Set the stage, illustrate your brand values, and tell your stories like a literary legend with Novella.
  • Lucha: Give the same-old the smackdown with this exuberant theme that’s more colorful than a Tijuana dive bar. Grab Lucha to give the play-by-play of a larger-than-life event or to craft a visual resume that showcases your singular style.
  • Orwell: Champion your cause and exert mind control with this compelling theme. Wherever your vision falls on the dystopian-to-utopian scale, speak the truth and cultivate your own cult of personality with Orwell. Optional fade filter maximizes the mood.
  • Strangelove: The premier loves surprises, and so does your audience. Stop worrying and learn to love fist-shaking speeches with this roundly retro theme (sepia filter optional). When you’re in the hot seat for think tank findings, conspiracy theories, or war room briefings, let Strangelove be your fail-safe.

More Help

For more tips about creating and working with slides, be sure to check out our Edit Mode Tutorial. And if you have a question about presentation templates, Haiku Deck themes, or anything else, visit our support community for more resources and ways to get in touch with us directly.