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How to build a SharePoint Intranet #2 Branding

Learn how to create a SharePoint Online Intranet with these step-by-step tutorials. In this second part, we'll show you how to brand your Microsoft 365 Organsisation and Intranet Site Collection.

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SharePoint Online Intranet Theme


Welcome to the second entry in our blog series, "How to Build a Microsoft SharePoint Online Intranet." In this episode, we will focus on branding your SharePoint Intranet to match your organization's identity and create a consistent user experience. If you missed the first part, you can find it here: Create a SharePoint Intranet Site Collection.

Branding your SharePoint Intranet involves customizing the look and feel of your site to reflect your organization's brand, including colors and logos. In this part we will focus on the basic branding for your organisation. In one of next episodes we will dive deeper into the new SharePoint Brand Center.

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Set Organsisation Colors and Logo

This is a global setting and affects the logo and the colors of the navigation bar, buttons and other surfaces in Microsoft 365.

  1. Access the Admin Center

    • You need to be an administrator to access the Microsoft 365 admin center. Navigate to and log in with your admin credentials.
  2. Open the Organization Profile

    • Once you are in the admin center, go to the Settings tab, then select Org settings. Under this menu, click on Organization profile.
  3. Set Custom Theming

    • In the Organization profile page, you'll find options for setting up your organization’s theme. Click on Customize theme.
    • Here you can upload your logo, set the navigation bar color, text and icon colors, and more. The logo you upload here will appear in the Office 365 portal for all users in your organization.
    • Upload Your Logo: Click on the upload area to select and upload your organization's logo. Make sure the logo meets the recommended size and format specifications.
    • Choose Your Colors: Select the primary color for the navigation bar and other UI elements. You can typically use a color picker or enter a hex code if you have specific branding colors.Microsoft 365 Organization Profile Settings
  4. Save Changes

    • After you've set your logo and colors, review the changes to ensure they reflect your corporate branding accurately. Then, click Save to apply these settings.
  5. Verify Changes

    • It might take some time for these changes to propagate across all Microsoft 365 services. Check different applications (like Outlook, SharePoint) to see if the new branding appears consistently.

Create a SharePoint Site Theme

In addition to the global organization theme, you can create custom themes for your SharePoint sites. This allows you to apply unique colors, fonts, and styles to your Intranet landing page and other sites.

  • Create a New Theme

  • To create a custom theme, you can use the SharePoint theme generator or directly define JSON for the theme.
    1. Use the Theme Generator: Visit the SharePoint Theme Generator at Themebuilder. This tool helps you design your theme by selecting colors and seeing the results in real time.Microsoft SharePoint Theme Builder
    2. Generate Theme JSON: Adjust your primary color, body text color, and background color, among others. The tool will generate JSON code that defines your theme.

  • Add Your Custom Theme via PowerShell

    1. You need to use PowerShell to upload and apply your custom theme to your SharePoint site.
    2. Open SharePoint Online Management Shell: You'll need the SharePoint Online Management Shell or PnP PowerShell. If not installed, download it from the Microsoft website.
    3. Connect to SharePoint
       Connect-SPOService -Url 
    4. Use the following command to add your new theme
      Add-SPOTheme -Name "Your Theme Name" -Palette $themePalette -IsInverted $false

      Here, $themePalette is the JSON you generated from the Theme Generator.

  • Apply the Theme to a SharePoint Site

    1. Once the theme is added, you can apply it to specific SharePoint sites.
    2. Go to Your SharePoint Site: Navigate to the site where you want to apply the theme.
    3. Change the Look: Click on Settings (gear icon) Change the look Theme.
    4. Select Your Custom Theme: Find the theme you added and select it, then click Apply.

  • Tips

    • Testing: Always test how your custom theme looks in different parts of your SharePoint site, as some elements might display differently.
    • Updates: If you update your theme, reapply the JSON using PowerShell to update the theme in SharePoint.

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