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Brand guidelines in eLearning

An organization implements eLearning for their audience which may be internal (employees and contractors) and/or external audience (customers and business associates). To make a long-lasting impression on these groups, it is important that the look and feel of all digital and print material is consistent, including eLearning modules. Up to what extent can you really embed the corporate style guide of colors, fonts and aesthetic design in eLearning?

Since eLearning became a common mode of training in many companies and universities, most of them had an initial thought of implementing their brand guidelines into these modules. While this made sense, it is to be noted that brand guidelines were developed to commonly support:

  • Marketing communication - digital designs, brochures, posters, letterheads, etc.

  • Corporate presentations - for internal or external meetings and events

Marketing content or corporate presentations do not require learning, responsiveness, integration of quiz or games, etc., whereas typical eLearning courses stay on-screen much longer than presentations and need a lot more of the user's attention. The users must feel comfortable throughout the duration of learning.

Things to consider, when incorporating the corporate brand guidelines into eLearning:

  1. The brand logo should not be altered in any way.

  2. Brand colors must be used as far as possible, with exception to additional colors that may be essential to giving a visual appeal to the module. These additional colors however, should have a tone that agrees with the existing brand colors.

  3. While branded icons and infographics may be used explicitly, using different icons must not be a restriction.

  4. Graphic devices and other elements (photos, videos, etc.) used in building interactive eLearning modules must be in line with the branded graphic elements, and not have a total disconnect.

  5. Brand fonts are usually serif fonts, whereas eLearning modules generally use sans-serif fonts due to ease of use and readability.

  6. Typography used for eLearning should conform to the brand guidelines and may only be slightly altered for a purpose that is unavoidable.

If you are confined to using the Corporate brand guidelines, you could suggest the brand communications team at your office, to develop a linked set of eLearning brand guidelines, and be sure to give some space for creativity.

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