Illustration with laptop and mobile device showing a 4-step checklist

Rise 360 has always been a fantastic tool for creating courses fast. And with the templates and other flexible options, even people without graphic design experience can feel confident that their Rise 360 projects will always look polished and professional.

That’s why we’re so excited about Rise 360 themes. Themes give you even more ways to put your unique spin on the look and feel of your Rise 360 courses. And just like everything else about Rise 360, the themes feature makes creating beautifully designed courses easy—no graphic design skills needed.

So let’s take a closer look at four easy steps you can follow to refresh your overall course design with a new theme, pique your learners’ interest with cover pages and lesson headers, reinforce your branding, and customize the course navigation experience. 

Step 1: Update the Overall Course Design With a New Theme

The easiest way to give your course’s visual design a little facelift is to choose from the three prebuilt themes included in Rise 360. These themes are great for setting the overall look and feel of your project in one fell swoop.

Let’s look at how to choose a theme and the available theme options, below.

Choosing a Theme

Start by opening any existing Rise 360 course on your Rise 360 dashboard. Select Theme in the upper right corner, and then click Change Theme

Rise 360 includes three professionally designed, ultra-stylish themes—Rise, the classic theme you’ve come to know (but with a few more customization options), plus two brand-new ones: Apex and Horizon. Following is a quick overview of each theme.


Our original theme, Rise, always looks modern and clean—a tried-and-true design choice that never goes out of style.

A screenshot of the Rise theme layout. The top of the screen is split into two rectangles. The left is orange and shows the course title and a start button. The right shows a photo of a person holding a number of branded products. Below the rectangles is a text course description.


For a bold, contemporary, and striking design with angular finishes, choose Apex.

A screenshot of the Apex theme layout. The top of the screen shows a photo of a person holding a number of branded products. The bottom of the photo is cropped at an angle, giving the photo a swoop-like shape. Overlaid on top of the photo are the course title and a start button. Below is a text course description.


When you want to give your course an elegant, sharp, and stylish makeover—complete with understated flourishes—Horizon is a great choice.

A screenshot of the Horizon theme layout. The background of the screen is lilac at the top and black on the bottom. The course title is at the top of the screen with a start button directly underneath. Below that is a photo of a person holding a number of branded products.

They’re all so beautiful, right? Not sure which theme works best for your content? We’ve got you covered! Check out 3 Ways to Use Themes to Tailor Your Rise 360 Projects for some pro pointers.

Once you’ve decided on a theme for your project, click to select it and you’ll see it applied to your project in the adjacent preview pane. Being able to preview your theme choice is handy because if you’re not in love with it, you can simply click another one. And if it’s love at first sight, click Save to apply it to your project.

While you can use each theme as is, you also have loads of options for customizing key theme elements such as the cover page, lesson headers, and other features of the user interface, like colors, fonts, and navigation. 

A screenshot of the theme customization options menu. The menu list includes cover page, navigation, lesson headers, colors, fonts, and blocks.

We’ll explore some of these customization options in the next few steps.

Step 2: Grab Learners’ Attention With a Custom Cover Page and Lesson Headers

A cover page is your first opportunity to grab a learner’s attention, so why not customize it to fit the course topic or your company branding and really make it count? 

Select Cover Page from the menu and pick a stylish layout. 

If you’re opting to add a course image to your cover page, you can upload your own image or browse the wide selection of royalty-free, attribution-free images available in Content Library 360, which is built right into Rise 360.

Pro Tip: You can also crop images directly in Rise 360. That means no hassling with a separate image editing app to tailor your course images to your project. 

To make your theme branded, upload your logo too.

A screenshot of the upload logo button.

Customizing the Lesson Header option is another nice way to draw learners in and direct their attention to your content. You can choose from a variety of header designs or customize them with your own color or image. 

You can even adjust lesson headers to make them taller or shorter to create more or less white space, as you can see in the GIF above.

Step 3: Reinforce Your Brand Identity With Custom Colors and Fonts

The design choices we’ve walked through so far are quick but powerful ways to transform your course, but they’re really just the tip of the creative iceberg! You can also brand your course with custom colors and fonts to make sure it more fully aligns with your brand guidelines.


You can choose the Colors option to customize course accents like the menu and progress bar. 

Rise 360 makes picking eye-catching colors easy with curated options you can apply with a single click. 

But what if you need to bring in your official brand shades? No problem. Choose the Custom feature and select any color you’d like.


Another easy way to brand your Rise 360 projects is to customize the fonts. Choose the Fonts option to find the perfect typeface for your project. 

A screenshot of the fonts menu. On the right of the screen is a preview of the course. On the left is a list of the recommended font pairings.

Not sure where to start? Try the Recommended pairings—a fast way to make sure your headings and body fonts go together perfectly. 

For even more flexibility, click More to browse a selection of pre-installed options.

A screenshot of the font pairing customization options. At the top is short title and sentence that shows how the currently selected fonts look together. Below are two dropdown menus: one for selecting the heading font and the other the body font. At the bottom is a link that reads "manage custom fonts".

And if you want to use your official brand fonts, just click Manage Custom Fonts to upload the ones you need and use them throughout your course.

A screenshot of the Manage Custom Fonts menu. The instructions read "Add and manage font families below. Once added, they’ll be available for use in your font pairings." and below that text is a button that reads "add new font."

Step 4: Complete the Transformation With Custom Navigation and Button Styles 

You’ve got the cover page, lesson headers, colors and fonts fine-tuned. The final step in making over your Rise 360 course is to customize course navigation and button styles. 


In Rise 360, you’ve always had the option to show, hide, or disable the sidebar navigation. And now we’ve added more ways to customize course navigation so you can create the perfect experience for your learners.

To start exploring your options, choose Navigation.

Both Compact and Overlay navigation are great for making your content the star of the show. 

Choose Compact navigation to tuck your lesson menu away in a corner, where it can be quickly expanded with a click when learners need it. 

Another great option is Overlay navigation. When learners need to view the menu, they simply click the ☰ (hamburger) icon and the menu overlays the lesson, filling the screen.  

Love keeping things familiar? The always reliable Sidebar menu is a great choice with more options to choose from. 

Don’t want to include a navigation menu at all? No problem. You can remove it entirely—just as you’ve always been able to do in Rise 360.

A screenshot of the toggle button that allows you to turn the course navigation on or off.


Want to continue customizing your course? Don’t forget about button options! Pick the button color that’s right for your course or branding. 

You can even refine your Previous and Next buttons by making them full width or floating—or you can remove them entirely. It’s totally up to you!

Want to see how themes and custom settings can be combined for different effects? Check out the following example course. We present the same content three different ways and with minimal customizations so you can see for yourself.


Explore Horizon

Explore Apex

Explore Rise

Rise 360 course using Horizon theme with customizations

compact navigation, large header height

Rise 360 course using Apex theme with customizations

overlay navigation, small header height, custom color

Rise 360 course using Rise theme with customizations

sidebar navigation, medium header height, custom color


Not only does the themes feature give you a host of new ways to express yourself, wow your learners, and brand your Rise 360 content, it’s also streamlined the course creation process by consolidating theme settings all in one place—right at the top of the authoring environment in Rise 360. 

With so many options to customize your project's look and feel, you can rest assured knowing that whichever professionally designed theme you choose, your course will look fantastic on any device. And all of these thoughtful features and enhancements mean Rise 360 just keeps making it easier to create stunningly unique and stylish courses your learners will love.

For more tips and inspiration on how you can start using themes in your e-learning, check out these helpful resources: 

Want to try the new Rise 360 themes but don’t have Articulate 360? Start a free 30-day trial! And come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning. If you have any questions, please share them in the comments.

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