Microsoft 365 SharePoint Brand Center

Back in the day, SharePoint developers reveled in the ability to craft pixel-perfect intranets and websites, wielding full control over branding assets. However, this era of limitless customization came at a cost - considerable technical debt. If you built an intranet with custom branding, you had to account for every web part, how it was used, and how it was branded, often at the expense of performance. The good news is all that changes in the new modern brand center as it is slowly giving us back customization options.

Brand Center

Currently in public preview, the Brand Center offers a centralized hub for managing custom logos, fonts, and themes. With its gradual expansion in functionality, it promises to streamline the branding process.

How it Works

Through the brand center app, users can upload font files to a shared library, albeit one font at a time. Two fonts - a primary and secondary - can be selected and assigned to different slots. These font packages can then be assigned to different site collections.

Web Part and Viva Connections Support

While initial support for first-party web parts in the public preview is limited, efforts are underway to expand compatibility. Third-party support offers additional flexibility. Support for Viva Connections including headline, announcements, and adaptive card extensions is also available.

UX Guidelines

With all the branding and customization options, it brings up the importance of governance. Striking a balance between customization and coherence is paramount. Aesthetic minimalism should reign supreme, ensuring focus remains on content and user needs.

Limitations and Backlog

While the Brand Center is still in preview, we’d caution diving headfirst into using it until it’s fully vetted. Full parity for 1st party web part support is in progress but not complete. This poses governance challenges, particularly within highly regulated intranets. As well, you need to be conscious of permissions within the Brand Center. Think about who you are giving permission to as anyone with access can then change your organization’s assets.

Extension Story: SPFx Integration

For developers, the brand center’s integration with SharePoint Framework (SPFx) presents an intriguing opportunity. CSS variables representing font families offer a canvas for customization, with developers able to reference specific slots housing desired fonts.

The modern Brand Center heralds a new era of customization within SharePoint, empowering organizations to sculpt digital landscapes that marry form with function. As this application continues to undergo thorough vetting, we eagerly anticipate its further refinement and the boundless possibilities it holds for organizations navigating the ever-evolving digital landscape.

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