New in Rise 360: More Course Customization with Themes

Jul 19, 2022

I’m so excited to share our latest release with you. Today, we shipped a huge update to Rise 360 that gives you more creative ways to customize the look and feel of your projects. Rise 360 now includes a variety of scroll-stopping themes—all created by award-winning designers—with more themes coming soon. Apply themes in just a few clicks, or, for that extra-personalized touch, we’ve added the option to customize many theme elements. 

The possibilities are endless, so let’s take a closer look at all the latest Rise 360 goodness.

New Themes

Rise 360 has always been a great option for quickly creating beautiful, responsive courses. And with the addition of Rise 360 themes, you’ve got brand-new ways to add your own unique spin to projects. 

Here’s a quick rundown of each theme:

  • Rise—our original theme—is modern and clean-lined. It’s a tried-and-true design choice that never goes out of style.
  • Apex makes a bold, contemporary statement with striking, angular flourishes.
  • Horizon is a great choice when your project needs a design that’s elegant, sharp, and stylish.

You can see all three styles in the image below.

And these stunning new themes are just the beginning. We’ve got even more theme designs in development.

New Theme Customization

Before, Rise 360 theme customization options were found under the Settings menu. Now, we’ve pulled theme settings into a new Theme menu, as you can see below.





This change streamlines course creation by nesting all of the theme customization options in one spot. Under the new Theme menu, you’ll click to choose your desired theme and then click Save to apply it to your project. It’s as easy as that.

These striking themes were designed to be used as is to simplify and speed the course creation process. But for that extra-personalized look and feel, we’ve added more options to customize elements like cover page layout, navigation type, lesson headers, accent colors, font pairings, button styles, and more. With so many flexible options, you can style your theme to better meet your learners’ needs and easily create more cohesive, branded learning experiences.

To give you an idea of how these new themes can be customized, explore the following examples. We applied each theme to the same course content—and we customized each version with unique colors, navigation, and lesson header styles.

Explore Horizon


Explore Apex


Explore Rise


What’s your favorite combination? Leave me a comment below.

Summing It Up

The new Rise 360 themes feature opens up a whole new world of possibilities. And we’re just getting started. There are more stylish theme designs in the works and we’re making progress on giving you the ability to create your own custom themes as well. We’re excited to continue delivering features that empower you to create eye-catching, unique learning experiences in record time. 

Want to try out Rise 360 themes for yourself? Head over to your Rise 360 dashboard and start with a new course, a course template, or any existing Rise 360 project. Don’t have Rise 360? Start your free 30-day trial of Articulate 360 now. 

Be sure to keep an eye on our Articulate 360 feature road map and the What’s New page to stay up-to-date on what we’re working on.

133 Replies
Austin Pontius
Alyssa Gomez

Hey Austin! It sounds like you still need a feature that will allow you to use a different header image on each lesson. Using a "Text on image block" is a smart alternative in the meantime!

For your second question about using the Apex theme + a sidebar, you should be able to combine those two options! Here's a sample course where I applied the Apex theme with a sidebar. 

If that's not what you had envisioned, please share a screenshot or two of the settings you want to combine. Thanks! 


Hi Alyssa. For the second question, I was referring to mixing styles from separate themes. I am aware you can have different sidebar options for all themes, however, the sidebar looks visually different between each theme, same for all visual elements. See attached image. 

While the Rise and Apex sidebars are similar, the Rise one is closer together and in my opinion, more visually pleasing. I also feel the same way about the Apex - Navigation Full-Width buttons, however, I can't have both because the visual looks I want are in separate themes.

What I would like to be able to do is use visual options from each theme at the same time.

I hope that clears things up.

Lisa Lederer

Thank you!


Lisa Lederer
Senior Instructional Designer
300 North LaSalle, Chicago, IL 60654
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Natalie Hodge

I am wondering if there is any indication of the release date on other themes? The promotional video shows other themes in use which we are very interested in as they will more closely align with our branding. I am specifically interested in this theme option.

If these are coming soon I will hold off on making changes to our current style guides if they are still months away then I will make some changes in the meantime. 


Alyssa Gomez

Hi there, Stephanie! Thanks so much for bringing this up. Right now, the Blueberry (navy) and Jelly (purple) default theme colors pass the contrast requirements for WCAG AA. 

To design a course with accessibility in mind, be sure to choose a custom color that allows for a contrast ratio of 4.5:1 or higher for on-screen text so learners with low vision can read it. Here’s a helpful contrast checker to determine your contrast ratio.

Darren McNeill

A welcome start to change, as many are getting death by Rise now as the look and feel is the same. Needs more though. The cover pages are simply columns in HTML5 being moved around. We need more than that. The option (I have asked for this several times) to bypass the Cover page completely and go straight in to a lesson especially if it is short and only one lesson. The need to click on Start module is not required then. This is based on a lot of feedback in the past few years. We have now taken out licenses with GOMO and Elucidat as alternatives to mix it up a bit and offer something different. Vertical Scrolling and parallax content is being requested so we have to work with that also. Still no option to customize and brand icons on the cover page. As we have to follow our company brand guidelines and use specific icons, again, we have to move away from Rise just based on this simple requirement.

Rise 0

Again have i missed something? The images that i add to the placeholders doesnt resize. or offer me an option to do so..
If this is the case, the placeholders have less functions then powerpoint...image placeholders...

To work with this new feature it would then be great to provide a list of image sizes and ratios that will work in the various image placeholders. That way we can prepare the images before uploading and maybe just do some minor adjustments. Also if you could provide PSD templates for this that would be good.

Even better / obvious would be to have the options of resizing in the placeholder edit.. in the image handing in rise. Cropping only goes so far..
It would be great if the placeholders could shift background color so that images that are created for the purpose of being used in these placeholders can either use transparency or the preset background color of choice.

But all this currently missing? functionality, boil down to that the whole point of Rise ease of use went out the window with this release. Much more image preparation to do on desktop/adobe photoshop etc..  to get it right, for each template!. And as i see it, there is really no need to have that issue with todays modern web image editing basic toolbox that could be integrated. i was really happy when cropping was introduced. I expected that image editing trend to continue.

Maybe these world class designers didn't think this far in the first release, but i sure hope they rethink a lot of things for version2.

Im not sure i can motivate to stick by to see this topic progress over the course of years like in many other e-learning hygienic factor topics in the forum.

But i look forward to the next update what ever it might be, Whenever it might be.
Articulate decision making process have proven their releases can surprise even someone with 25+ years in the e-learning consultant and corporate training business. That in it self is not easy.

Rise 0

Sorry to harp on but i find out as i try it out, various things i wasn't expecting from world-class designers.

Have any of the world class designers tried a white image background on the apex theme? To me, and i might be partial , but it looks like the image is broken. Slashed sideways into pieces.. Why is there no definition lines on the placeholder edges? Small gray lines or something , anything...maybe even an option to choose, color and how thick lines should be..?

Or is the mindset that one shouldn't use white background on images with themes?

Rise 0

With regards to the Compact menu, that is on "always on top" in landscape, thats fine as long as it doesn't interfere with the page content, which it will at some point since it is always on top and not very small. but worse, in portrait mode it changes to the left side bar and makes the content area pretty much useless? why? How that an expected behavior? Is this intended by the designers to be like this? I am spending about 5 minute trying this for each part and i can write a novel of the things i find to be mind boogling strange..

I have made similar designs in flash in sometime 2000.. but i used a smaller discretely pulsating circle that when clicked it shows the menu. Also the color would be nice to have inverted/highcontrast dynamically against its background content.

But i like the first step toward an always available menu, that i think also can be useful as a future glossary always available, type word/abbreviation/text reference tool.

Rise 0

Just a quick sketch what would be  good as future options for "menu items, . one with menu (no need to see course name until clicked!) , one with glossary, should have different icons but i just did this to illustrate what i mean. This can probably be elaborated on for "other functionality layer" always on top of rise.

I hope this is received as well intended suggestions.

Rise 0

Having done some testing with various themes, navigations and menus i dont find that the behavior when previewing the various types of theme elements is very predictable in the various devices. I am concerned if this is by intention. 

The spectacular change between a compact version in landscape and portrait is simply unexpected. I would also say that in its current implementation, compact menus only really works in landscape orientation. Thats fine, but should be made clear in the instructions if that is what the designers intends. If not intended, then this is something that needs fixing asap.

It would be less then gentle feedback we would get if we released courses that used compact menus as it looks today in portrait mode. It would be embarrassing to stand by the message that the course "works in any device".

Nick Striegel

Anyone else having issues with the new theme update causing the course logo path to break once courses are loaded into your LMS?

For us, the theme logo displays fine in Rise and Review, but when we load the course into an LMS, the course logo path is broken. Looking for the logo in ../scormcontent/assets/rise/courses/.. which obviously doesn't exist in the published package.  

This is obviously a serious issue for us.  See attachments.