In an increasingly, visually cluttered world, recognition is key. From your website to your business card, when someone looks at marketing materials from your business you want the visual association to immediately lead back to you.
When creating a presentation with one of our native shape-based Keynote themes, you can easily recolor the master slides with your brand’s palette. If you have typographic specifications in your brand guidelines, you can change the default typeface(s) to match as well. If your font isn’t in the list of system and iWork installed fonts, make sure it’s installed on your machine and, please note, if you’re passing a Keynote file to someone else, they will get a warning if that font is not installed on their system as well.
We have several themes that are great candidates for this treatment, but for this exercise, we'll be recoloring OM '08, a print-inspired favorite. If you don’t have OM ’08 handy, jump over to our Trial Editions page and download OM ’08 LE so you’ll have a theme to follow along with.
Put your palette close at hand.
It's not as if everyone viewing your presentation has a color meter on hand, checking to make sure you used the exact color of red in your presentation, but if you can get it right every time, why not? Before you start recoloring your theme, put your brand palette in the Color Well so it's easy to access.
Though it’s perfectly acceptable to use the Magnifying glass to pick colors from a palette or image when you’re prototyping, it’s best to input the actual numbers, RGB or CMYK, when creating a presentation for your company: color sampling will not result in a true color, but rather the closest match for your machine's color profile setting, so you’ll want to stick to the specific color values outlined in your branding guidelines rather than sampling them with the magnifier. After you've entered a color, drag the swatch from the Color Fill to your Color Well.
Once you’ve added all of the relevant colors, expand the navigator in your keynote file to show the Master Slides (or click on View > Show Master Slides in the Keynote menu).
Recoloring the Master Slides
There are two ways to recolor shapes in Keynote: from the Graphic nib in the Inspector, or via Drag and Drop from the Color Well. Drag and Drop works well for everything except stroke and shadow; if you’re recoloring objects that have no stroke or shadow, Drag and Drop is a quick method. Simply drag a color from your palette and drop it onto the object or text you wish to recolor.
For more extensive changes, you’ll want to use the Inspector. From the Inspector, you have access to edit everything from your document’s resolution to Quicktime control. To open the Inspector, go to View > Show Inspector (Alt+Cmd+I), or click on the Inspector icon in the Keynote toolbar.
Select the Graphic nib in the Inspector - it’s between the Type Inspector icon and the Metrics Inspector ruler icon. Select the object to be changed, then select the Fill, Stroke, or Shadow as needed and click the new color in the Color Well. With this process, if you’re changing the color of multiple objects on a slide to the same color, you can group-select them and change them all with a single modification.
Repeat this process to recolor the remaining master slides. If you choose to just alter the slides you are using for your presentation, remember if you decide to use another layout, you’ll have to go back into the Masters and alter that slide before using it in your presentation. If you’re using charts, tables, shapes and additional text other than Title, Body, and Slide Number, be sure to recolor those items accordingly. You can find more information about modifying the extended theme defaults in the Keynote User’s Guide, available on Apple’s Support site.
This technique works well with nearly any of our print-inspired themes, including Sonoma ’08, Palo Alto ’08 and Tribeca. Color customization is just one of the many options enabled by the latest Keynote architecture. We’ll be providing more useful tips and tricks on getting the most out of Keynote here in the near future, so stay tuned for more Keynote Basics :)