Maintain Visual Consistency in Your Documentation
A styled, cohesive document has the power to influence its readers, not just inform them. Leverage the power of branding in your documentation, and learn how to style graphics so that all your visuals reinforce and leverage your brand.
Show Your True Colors
If there’s one thing technical communicators can learn from marketing professionals, it’s the power of branding. It increases confidence in the quality of the content and the intentional design of the information. For this tutorial, I want to show you how to maintain visual consistency in documentation just by styling the graphics using Snagit.
Instead of eye-balling brand colors, or settling for the default colors in Snagit's tool styles, take two minutes to create a Snagit style theme with your brand colors. This way you're always choosing from arrows, shapes, and text styles that are on brand. Check out this video tutorial to learn how to create a quick style theme.
Your brand is more than color. You likely have other stylistic markers that make up your brand identity. Does your company use drop shadows, or do the graphics look flat? Are there round edges incorporated in your logos and designs, or are the edge angles sharp? You may think these visuals effects are too minor to matter, but when you include them in your documentation it adds a level of professionalism.
To edit a shape, annotation, or text style in Snagit, click on the tool and select a style, then adjust its properties. Once you fine tune your look, save the quick style so that you can reuse it later. Want to be an all star? Do this for all your styles and then export them for your whole team or company.
Apply Borders and Effects
So far, we've talked about how to stay on-brand while editing in Snagit, but sometimes your documentation style guide needs to go into more detail. For example, when you add visuals to your documentation, you have to consider the layout.
Decide whether or not you want to add borders to your images to create visual boundaries on the page. You also may want to decide how you want to style cropped images. Do you want to apply a torn-edge effect to indicate that the image was cropped? These and other effects are functions in Snagit Editor in the Effects pane. Deciding up front how you intend to use effects will again help you create a consistent look and feel and strengthen the appeal of your document.
We cover the essentials in these getting started tutorials.
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