by Maresa Molloy, Instructional Designer at Aurion Learning
If a picture is worth a 1000 words, then it is important to ensure that you add the right pictures and images to improve your e-learning rather than distract from it. Simple – right? Well, actually yes.
This article contains tips and advice to ensure that you get the picture to maximise your e-learning environment.
Knowing your photos from your icons
There are three main types of images:
- Icons –They are multi-use clip-art type images such as, Important, Test Question, Review Point, or Key Fact. iconfinder has a good free range of icons to use.
- Graphics – a graphic is a designed image and are very specific. Graphics can be charts or graphs; they can be illustrations or word art.
- Photographs – Finding the right photo that portrays everything that you want and are trying to represent can be a powerful tool, however, these images can be hard to find, particularly if you are not a professional photographer! We have listed below an assortment of both paid for and free images that you can use:
Finding your images:
If you would like to find free images, you can use the Creative Commons area on Flickr or stock.xchng. You can also use Compfight to help you search for photos that you can use. Remember to read the guidelines on proper attribution!
Now that you have you images, it is important to remember the following:
Don’t over egg the pudding.
After you have spent hours pulling together the content for your e-learning environment, the last thing you want to do is to clutter the page with images. Equally, images should not be there to take up space. Take a moment before adding an image and ask ‘What is the purpose of this image? Ensure that it has relevance and reinforces what it is you are trying to get across.
It is important that your images work with the content of your e-learning programme making it easier for participants to focus and don’t serve as a distraction. It is also worth noting that the images also need to work with each other.
by Colette Boyd, Graphic Designer
A successful brand says many things to its audience and to tamper with that can be dangerous (remember the Consignia fiasco); get the rebrand wrong and it can at best alienate your existing audience and at worst fail to gain a new one.
Listen to your existing brand
So to start the whole rebranding process, we listened to what the success of the existing Aurion Learning brand was telling us and used this as a basis to build on.
The existing brand told us that our customers associated Aurion Learning with reliability, professionalism and creativity. We needed to retain this aspect of the brand to appeal to our existing market but also think about what we wanted the new company branding to say to new customers.
How do you want to appeal to new customers?
We looked at our current service offering and thought about how to reflect this visually. This posed a challenge because the Aurion Learning service offering is varied – we offer different things for different clients, depending on their learning and development needs. We deal with serious learning content and technology that need a careful hand and serious tone and at the same time we must have the creative ability to take e-learning material and breathe life into it.
Creating the brand
Visually we decided to build on the existing brand giving it a new twist by retaining the clean typography of the existing logo but transforming an element of it into a more visual or “logoized” version. The concept behind this is the idea transforming the “on” part of the Aurion Learning logo from simple typography to a button highlight the fact that Aurion Learning is always “on” always ready to support and deliver to its clients. We also integrated the idea of transformation into an accompanying strapline for the website and promotional materials- “transforming learning and development in your organisation”.
We are a confident organisation and wanted to reflect this in the branding, so the logo sits on white with no decoration or fuss because it doesn’t need it. The colour palettes are limited but bold. The primary palette consists of two colours, grey and orange. Grey reflects the professional ism, stability and calm side of the company and orange reflects the energy and vibrancy and warmth of its staff. We incorporated the curve of the button into the stationery and online materials. We also wanted to showcase our creative talents by introducing a series of characters that guide you around the website and reflect our service offering. There is a trainer, an instructional designer a designer/ developer and a marketing consultant.
We rolled this design ethos over the whole brand incorporating it into the website, blog, internal systems and corporate stationery. We think it is a success.