One of the easiest ways to brand a SharePoint site is by applying a theme. Themes define fonts and the colors of links, headers, etc. within SharePoint.

There are two main ways to create a theme for use in SharePoint 2010

  1. Create a custom theme in PowerPoint and import that theme into SharePoint
  2. Create or modify a theme in the Site Theme UI in SharePoint

How to create a custom theme in PowerPoint 2010 and upload it to SharePoint 2010

  1. Open PowerPoint and select the Design tab
  2. Click the Colors drop down, and click Create New Theme Colors…
    SP2010-themes-1
  3. Set the desired colors for your Theme, provide a name and then click Save
    1. In this case I’ll use an extreme font color to help visualize the change
      SP2010-themes-2
  4. Click the Fonts drop down, and click Create New Theme Fonts…
  5. Select a Heading font and a Body font
    1. Note the Sample gives you a preview of how the fonts look
      SP2010-themes-3
  6. Provide a name and click Save
  7. Now to export the Theme click the drop down arrow in the Themes group in the Ribbon
    SP2010-themes-4
  8. Click Save Current Theme…
    1. Give your theme file a meaningful name
  9. Now switch to SharePoint
  10. Login with Administrator credentials and navigate to a root site of a Site Collection
  11. Click Site Actions, and then click Site Settings
  12. Under the Galleries section, click Themes
    SP2010-themes-5
  13. Click Add new item, browse to the Theme created above (ex. Bright Green.thmx)
  14. Click OK, then click Save
    1. Your theme should now appear in the Gallery

Apply a Theme in SharePoint 2010

  1. Navigate to the site you want to apply a Theme to
  2. Click Site Actions, and then click Site Settings
  3. Under the Look and Feel section click Site Theme
  4. In the list box select the Theme that you uploaded
    1. Note that the table to the left updates to provide some visual information about the selected theme
      SP2010-themes-6
  5. To preview the theme, scroll down and click Preview
  6. To use the theme in this site, click Apply
    SP2010-themes-7

Note: You can customize a theme without PowerPoint by going directly to the Site Theme dialog, selecting an existing theme and modifying the colors and fonts in the Customize Theme section.
SP2010-themes-8

In a future post I’ll show you how the concept of Themes has been updated in SharePoint 2013