The LaTeX Beamer package is terrific for academic presentations. It has a comprehensive user guide, which unfortunately lacks details on specific dimensions. In particular, the question of creating new presentation themes is not covered in enough detail.
I constructed a presentation theme based on official University of Minnesota colors, available here. Perhaps more importantly, the files contain information on how one can make a new theme if necessary.

Another LaTeX-related resource that I have found to be incredibly useful in writing my dissertation is the LaTeX Wikibook.