Graphic Design for Developers and SharePoint Designers – Part II

Your company’s SharePoint site should be personalized to reflect your brand and culture.  How your site looks can impact how much it’s used.  One of the easiest ways to complete this personalization is by incorporating graphics that “match” your organization.  Sometimes you have a great set of graphics and icons to start with, and sometimes it can be difficult to find “exactly” what you are looking for. In these instances I have to create my own graphic from “scratch” or by using a few found images. 

For example, I recently worked on a project where I needed to create a graphic representing travel across the world. I combined an icon of the earth and found another graphic of an airplane and used layers to put them together.

In another instance I had to create an icon for a “Stoplight” chart. I couldn’t find the exact type of stoplight that I wanted on any sites, so I improvised and created my own.

I first started with an icon of a book, or bible, with a cross on it. Using Photoshop, I removed the cross and then proceeded to make three layers of colored circles for red, yellow and green.

Another strategy when you need to create your own icon or graphic is to incorporate Webdings or Wingdings. They offer many simplistic designs that could fit a variety of your needs. Here is a great reference PDF that gives you the correct alphabetical character for the icons you can use:

Here are two I used for a mockup in a website redesign project.
Sometimes you find a great image though and need to do a little editing or customization. In another example I found this cute typewriter, but the crumpled up paper beside it was not the image I wanted to convey. I removed the extraneous paper, removed a few lines of the fake text, and added a logo to the top of the paper.
I hope these little samples will help you with your graphic needs, but please contact us at the SharePoint Center of Excellence if you need any design assistance with your sites!


About Michelle Schafer

Michelle Schafer is an Analyst with over 15 years of experience in web technologies. Her background is in communications and graphic design. For the past 6 years she has been working in agile software development teams doing web content management, knowledge management, technical writing, requirements, design and testing. Michelle received her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Middle Tennessee State University and a Master’s in Publishing with an Electronic Publishing concentration from George Washington University. She is a mother to two daughters, enjoys volunteering and tries to achieve a balance in her work and family life.