Optimize My Brand

Strategy, tactics, ideas and tips from Creative Company.

Brand templates for staff in Microsoft Office

Define brand fonts and colors in Office®

Most offices still use the Microsoft Office® suite–Word, Excel and PowerPoint, plus Outlook and others. But did you know you could synchronize your brand’s colors and fonts in each application?

Brand templates for staff use brand guidelines

A brand identity style guide is the foundation for consistent corporate letterheads, PowerPoint presentations and day-to-day communications.

Brand templates for staff use are designed to support brand standards every day, whether creating letters on company letterhead or PowerPoint presentations.

When your brand designer has established the font system and color palette, here’s how you can ensure it’s the default choices throughout Office.

You can also read our step-by-step instructions for creating letterhead templates in Word here.

Set up your Theme for brand templates

Your brand designer has chosen brand colors, brand fonts and default fonts. (They should, as part of the system.) You’ll likely have a choice of licensed branded fonts, only available to designated users, or default fonts, available on any computer.

Note: Google fonts are now readily available without licensing, and expand the range of fonts available to anyone. 

You should also have a color palette defined–at least two core colors, and a range of supporting colors for different applications. These colors should be provided to you in brand guidelines (an example is above) in different values:

  • CMYK – the percentage build for full-color, offset printing (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black)
  • PMS colors – Pantone Matching System for ink colors in both a C (Coated) and U (Uncoated) number
  • RGB colors –  for computer monitors, composed of three numbers for Red, Green and Blue

Use the RGB colors for your Theme. The theme will pre-configure those fonts and colors in your system. Once you’ve done this in Word, it will carry through to menus in PowerPoint and Excel, too.

  • Go to “Page Layout” on the menu. On the far left is a section called “Themes” with a menu for colors and one for fonts. You’ll use these two to create a standard set of fonts and colors.
  • Click on colors to drop the menu down. Choose “Create New Theme Colors” at the bottom to open your options. There is a long menu of colors, which you can change individually to match your brand’s color palette.
  • Click in each color box and a palette will come up. Click on “More colors” and open a menu with spaces to insert your RGB values. Use the numbers provided for each brand color.
  • Name the set of colors for your company theme and save it.
  • You can also create a different set of colors and save it under a new name. This will give you an option when you open a document, as you can pick whichever theme that works for that project. You’ll notice there are many pre-configured themes, too.
  • Next click on the Fonts menu to open it. You’ll only have an option to specify headings and body fonts. Choose the branded fonts if you have them on your system. Otherwise the default fonts. Name and save these fonts, too.
brand templates for staff make it easy to create PowerPoint presentations

This is a PowerPoint slide background created for the brand identity system for Salem Health. With a unique background, and different choices, branded presentations make a bigger impact.

When it comes to defining the sizes, line spacing, bold or italic versions of your chosen fonts, that is done within branded templates for staff, in each application. We give you instructions for Word document templates here. With a company letterhead set up on a template, letters become quick and simple.

To use the designated theme, when you’ve opened your document or presentation, check the theme in the Page Layout menu in Word, or the Design menu in PowerPoint.

Note: Branded or default fonts?

When you save your Word document on a company letterhead template, you can send it electronically … no paper needed! And it will support the corporate letterhead template standards.

However, if you have licensed fonts on your system, it’s likely your recipient will not.

To maintain brand standards, save your letter or document as a .pdf before you send it. This is true for PowerPoint, also. If you take your presentation on a Flash drive to insert into another computer, your fonts will default, usually to Arial or Times. Just another reason to set up default fonts (something besides Arial and Times!) when defining the corporate letterhead templates and brand standards.

Brand templates for staff … brand adoption

Brand adoption, as the last phase of brand optimization, ensures tools, templates and training help staff live the brand every day. Visual consistency reinforces your brand’s value, and templates streamline day-to-day communications, from agendas and memos, to company letterhead and presentations. Read more about our brand optimization process on our website, or use the link below to download the overview.

Use the links below to see other examples of brand templates for staff, brand refresh and brand guidelines:

Download the e-book - 10 Steps to Optimize Your Brand

About the author

Jennifer Larsen Morrow

Jennifer's four decades of work in the industry, starting as a designer and adding marketing, copywriting and digital marketing, has generated response for clients since 1978.

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