6 ways of using your brand to build an eLearning style template
Unsure of what direction to go with your course theming? Find out how to make every course in your library look appealing and consistent with brand guidelines: Read this extract from our guide ‘How to Create Visually Stunning eLearning: Design Tips That Work Every Time’ and learn how your brand, and your learning platform’s style templates can come to the rescue.
Using your organization’s brand colors, fonts, and other design elements in your course layouts is the definitive answer to the question “where do I start, visually speaking?”. This is because:
- It’s familiar to your audience
- It makes eLearning content feel more legitimate
- Your marketing team designed it to be an effective persuasive tool
- It can be easily implemented
- It will help you get approval from any brand compliance team or leader in your business
Most eLearning authoring tools will allow you to create a central style template. This can be applied to all future courses in your organization, allowing you and your contributors to:
- Create a new course with a great-looking, brand-compliant layout in a matter of clicks, thus saving you time and promoting consistency
- Easily tweak the template to quickly correct any errors or to align with new guidelines
- Duplicate the template as a basis for brand variations such as different departments that use different key colors
Also on the blog:‘5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Interactive Screens’
Branded templates 101
Putting your brand into a style template is easy, especially if you already have guidelines on fonts, colors, and logos. Here are six easy ways:
1) Check your style guide
Most organizations will have a brand style guide that documents the important visual aspects of the brand.
2) Use only 1 or 2 font styles
Stick to a maximum of one decorative font for headings, one non-decorative font for body text. Use size and color to add emphasis and character if needed. Look out for stricter policies on size, emphasis, kerning, paragraphing, and color in your style guide.
3) Build a brand palette of 3 or 5 colors
You need one or two main colors, one neutral, and a less frequently used accent color or two. Use your brand’s official Hex/HTML, RGB, or HSL color values.
4) When in doubt, look at your website
Your brand’s HTML colors will likely be in your website’s HTML code, and it can’t hurt to take line spacing and graphical elements such as navigation icons and use of whitespace from there too!
5) Get your logo right
Ask around for a full-color high-quality source file, preferably a .svg vector of your logo. Your brand style guide may have useful advice on using the logo on dark or light backgrounds, or specific logotype or logomark variants of the logo for use at smaller scales or narrow aspects.
6) Work with brand variations
You may already have color variations for different departments. In this case, it’s best to perfect one version of the template before duplicating it. More drastic brand variations will usually depend on compliance and leadership, so give them a heads up first.
More on perfecting your courses:‘3 Things to Know About eLearning Measurement and Tracking (And 5 Ways It Makes Content Better)’
Are there alternatives to using a brand?
For special cases, you could go in a different direction with color, font, and general aesthetic choices to create a different effect. Alternatively, you may simply lack a convenient brand identity in the first place. Here are some alternatives you could try:
- Topical palettes: If your training focuses on specific industries or topics, there may be scope for a palette around this. For instance, you may turn green for an environmental awareness drive, or to appeal to learners from environmental organizations.
- Appeal to a certain audience: If you’re narrowing in on a specific demographic, you could build a theme targeted at them—brighter colors for younger audiences, for example, or primary colors for preschool teachers.
- Creating a mood: Muted colors put minds at ease, while vivid and bright colors get people excited—match the mood of the message you want to deliver.
- Be guided by your image color palettes: If you have a good set of images already picked out, you may be able to select main, neutral and accent colors using your photo package’s color picker tool.
- Fall back on color theory: In the absence of brand colors or other guiding factors, you can always use a color wheel to pick an appealing analogous, complementary or monochromatic color scheme.
Keep reading for more on creating great-looking eLearning
Our full guide, ‘How to Create Visually Stunning eLearning: Design Tips That Work Every Time’ collects even more tips that will help you get the most out of the visual design of your courses. Topics covered include:
- What bad visual design looks like (and how you can fix it)
- Why everything starts with your learning objectives and target audience
- How to choose the right images for your courses
- The technical considerations for image and video hosting
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