There is a reason you love TeachersPayTeachers. There is a reason you love to create in Canva. There is a reason your friends ask for a copy of that last presentation you created. You appreciate and can create well-designed content.
Consider the Instagram posts, TPT products, and Tweets you see which you recognize before even peeking at the author. That product is likely a result of a style guide. You have a style guide; it may not be a formal style guide, but you have your favorite fonts, colors, and filters.
Realize you Need Design
Everyone needs design. Not in the way you typically use the word design, but more like an instructional design.
A well-designed experience builds and promotes patterns in learning. Learners can learn easier because the design guides them through the desired sequence, the order of any document, site, media.
Check out the design possibilities of the UNC identity site. These components made available via this site to faculty potentially make the process of learning more transparent for students. It will also model for staff the best practices of creating content.
A well-designed and implemented brand enables the person viewing the content to recognize the content as authoritative, authentic, and then look past the design to the content quicker.
Identify the Audience
The audience for good instructional design is more than just students. Teachers benefit from positive examples of instructional design as well.
Part of teacher preparation is NOT typically instruction in design. And if you are old enough to remember textbook selection committees you may agree that while educators used to only evaluate content, we are now asking teachers to use a different skill set of content creation hen talking about design.
It is reasonable to expect that not all teachers come with the skill set for design creation. So it is reasonable to train some and not others in this new facet of educational content creation.
When the style is immediately recognizable, you’ve built a great brand, and your content is likely easier to learn with and from. Your brand is likely simple yet powerful to the learner.
This is difficult. Just as when students understand a concept very well they can describe it simply, aim for evolving to the point of simplicity in your designs over time. You will become more refined in your designs, your designs will become more simple as your understanding increases. Again, not everyone needs to create, but all educators need to appreciate it.
Style Guide Components
When you create your Style Guide include these basic elements:
Consider incorporating premade fonts combination, color palettes, and royalty-free graphics to either use as-is or combine to create original graphics. Online services such as Canva.com allow for creation, replication, storage of content. Replication and storage are important for iterations of content. For instance content across social media/other platforms should retain the same look and feel. And storage is important to come back to repurpose previous content, to further your brand.
Share the most important elements of your teacher style guide in the comments.