Creating a Style Board to Enhance Your Course Experience

Guest Post by Kayla Rose of Kayla Rose Design

If you’re anything like me, then creating an amazing experience for your students or clients is a must and one way you can do this is through visual design.

As a designer, people hire me to create top of the line experiences for their students. I’ve designed entire membership sites, programs, and courses. Hiring a designer is ideal, but it’s not always possible because of budget or time. I’m going to share with you one of my top techniques to provide a great experience visually, by creating consistency using a style board, and show you how to make your own (without fancy design software).

Using a style board is a simple tool you can make that will create a seamless and cohesive experience for you students.

Let’s get started!

If you already have an existing brand, this will help you organize how you use your colors and fonts within your course. If you’re starting from scratch, this assists in achieving a unique look and feel.

What you will need:

Pinterest

ColorZilla  

Canva

Style Board Template

Style Board Example

Style Board Prep Work

Before we dive into creating your Style Board, we need to get all ingredients together. Each of these steps is a micro version of my process. Knowing that you are hard at work putting all the many pieces of creating a course together, I have simplified the process. I won’t overwhelm you and get into color theory, ideal clients or font hierarchy, after all, you’re not here to be a visual designer, you’re here to create a course. I’m going to show you how to achieve these in a similar way, except we are going to use templates, examples and Pinterest, to do the heavy lifting.

Step One: Creating Keywords

Start off with thinking about the 2 top words that describe how you want your students to feel while taking your course. Being thoughtful and connecting with their feelings is a sure fire way to enhance learning or any experience.

Step Two: Choosing Colors

Head to Pinterest and look-up color schemes that resonate with your keywords. For instance, searching “calm colors” will bring up many options to choose from, and if you have an existing brand, choose colors that will compliment them. I would pin no more than ten pieces of inspiration and choose up to 2 for your final style board. We will use the color inspiration to label each module you have. You can bring in interest, separation, and organization by color coding your modules. Not only in your digital classroom but also in your course materials.

Step Three: Selecting Your Fonts

My best advice for this (and just about anything DIY design) is to keep it simple. I love these font options, not only do they work well together but they are also free on Google (see example here). You can also use Pinterest by searching ‘Google Font Combinations.’ I would advise against choosing script fonts, curly fonts or creative fonts. Choose sophisticated fonts that are easy to read and won’t affect your learner’s experience.

Step Three: Selecting Your Fonts

My best advice for this (and just about anything DIY design) is to keep it simple. I love these font options, not only do they work well together but they are also free on Google (see example here). You can also use Pinterest by searching ‘Google Font Combinations.’ I would advise against choosing script fonts, curly fonts or creative fonts. Choose sophisticated fonts that are easy to read and won’t affect your learner’s experience.

Step Four: Selecting Images

When searching your images, mix your keywords in with your inspiration colors. For instance, ‘calm office’ or ‘light blue computer.’ When choosing your images, be sure they are relatable to what you are teaching and are high quality (you can see my example of a Crafting course image here).

My favorite places to search images:

Free
Paid

Create Your Style Board

Using the style board template and Canva, you can now put all the pieces together that you’ve just compiled.

  1. Create a new project > Use custom dimensions > 8.5in by 18in > Upload The Style Board Template and use it as template
  2. Write your feeling words at the top of the page
  3. Place your color inspirations on your board
  4. Use Colorzilla to find out what the colors are on your inspiration board: This is an excellent short tutorial on how to install and use it: Here
  5. Now use the shape tool to create the template squares and fill them will the colors you get from your inspiration. Choose one color that stands out from the rest as your button or action (as seen in the Style Board example).
  6. Add the two main fonts you chose from the Google list example, or that you found on Pinterest.
  7. Add a few images that you’ve chosen.
  8. Save.

Once you’ve gone through these steps, you will have a beautiful style board that you can use as you create your course. Not only will it make your life easier but it’s also one simple way to create a consistent experience for you student. Sometimes, the first board doesn’t look quite right, and that’s okay! Try again, adjust the colors, swap up the images and tweak it until you get there because you will get there!

Kayla Rose of Kayla Rose Design

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