How much does it cost to visually improve, rework, or redesign a scientific slide deck?

Because we’re so often asked about the costs of editing an existing scientific slide deck, this article will explain exactly how we calculate them. It’s best demonstrated with a sample slide showing the differences between a fix-up, redesign, redraw, and visual storytelling-treatment. This “input slide,” provided by a client, already contains all the content arranged in a table. We’ll show how the content of this one slide can be presented using a variety of methods. You’ll find the costs of these four options for this example in an infographic at the end of the article.

Fix-up treatment

The simplest and most inexpensive way to improve an existing slide is a fix-up. With a fix-up, the existing content is transferred to a slide master provided by the customer. This means that the headlines, references, page numbers, and company logo are placed in the correct positions, with the colors already defined. With a fix-up, no scientific conception is required; a graphic designer works on the slides right away.

The fix-up option is used when all the content is already on the slide and only the overall appearance needs to be changed for aesthetics or to match the slide master.

Redesign treatment

If the content on the slide is complete but hard to understand, the slide has to be redesigned. Scientific expertise is required here because the content has to be understood before it can be redesigned. Reworking text layout or adding new icons or simple visual elements to the slide can achieve a completely new level of comprehensibility.

The redesign possibilities are many, but they all have one thing in common: we are trying to present the information in a more comprehensible way, whether through graphics, a better table design, or strong key messages instead of vague headlines.

A redesign reorganizes existing content to make it easier to understand. An experienced medical content developer reworks it in close collaboration with a talented graphic designer.

Noneditable content – time for a redraw treatment

If the content on the input slide isn’t available in editable form but only as a screenshot or scan from a publication, you can’t edit the table or adapt it to the color scheme of the slide master. The solution is a redraw—the manual rebuilding of predefined content. This makes a lot of sense for extensive tables, data charts, and even simple graphical representations. When the data is made editable after the redraw, it can be easily adapted, animated, and updated if needed.

Visual storytelling treatment

If the content provided on the slide is difficult to understand or it needs a new focus, the touchstone for scientific slides comes into play: visual storytelling. In this approach, we come up with a coherent visual story that can better convey the content. Experienced medical content developers consider how the story can best be told and develop a concept that is discussed and agreed upon with the customer. After this idea has been approved, the various visual elements are created and incorporated into the slide in accordance with the slide master. Visual storytelling slides are of course more elaborate than those in other styles of editing. The investment in visual storytelling treatments is worthwhile, though, because it makes your message more accessible to your target audience across the entire slide deck.

A visual storytelling approach can be used to illustrate complex topics like molecular processes or the design and results of a study. The conception of these slides requires medical and storytelling expertise as well as close collaboration between medical content developers, graphic designers, and the client.

Additional option: animation and sequential build-up for even more accessibility

In an animation or sequential build-up of the slide content, information appears step-by-step at a pace that’s easy to follow. This adds even more value to the slide and often to the entire deck because the cognitive load is made more manageable. This option can be applied to all of the options above, whether fix-ups, redesigns, or visual storytelling. Sophisticated animation can be created using just the onboard tools in PowerPoint.


Our example shows that even a single input slide can be treated very differently depending on its intended use. If you’re interested in the prices for the individual treatment options, download the infographic below!

Download infographic

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