Whether you are using Power BI for enterprise reporting or managed self-service reporting, it is a great idea to add custom branding to your reports. Your Power BI report branding may reflect your organization’s corporate colors or simply provide a visual indicator to distinguish reports by business unit. It can be helpful to report consumers, but Power BI report authors will find it practical as well since branding guidelines avoid having to start with a blank canvas. Here are 3 simple ways to make your Power BI reports stand out and have a consistent appearance.
Use Power BI Themes
One easy way to customize the appearance of Power BI reports is through themes. You can select one of the themes released with Power BI Desktop in the View menu and use it as is or customize it. It is intuitive to adjust the themes and set your own fonts or colors. You can also check out the official documentation from Microsoft.
You can also add a pre-built theme to your Power BI Desktop. Theme files follow a JSON format and building one from scratch may not be easy for everyone. We suggest using a great tool offered by Powerbi.tips. Mike Carlo and his team did a great job building this theme generator that will create a JSON file based on your color palette and other choices. The resulting JSON file can be imported into Power BI Desktop. Do not modify any report properties before applying a new theme because the theme will not overwrite your changes.
Define your Report Layout with a Background Image
It is often helpful to have predefined areas in a report: header, footer, or side panel(s). To ensure consistency across your Power BI reports you can design your desired layout in PowerPoint using a widescreen (16:9) slide size which matches Power BI Desktop’s usual page size. You can make the design as simple or innovative as you want in PowerPoint. For instance, you can add your corporate logo to the design in PowerPoint to ensure consistent logo placement in all your Power BI reports. Save the resulting slide as a picture. Then use that image in Power BI Desktop under Canvas Background in the Report Page Format pane as your report background. Make sure to set the Image Fit setting to “Fit” and the Transparency to 0%. This is a quick way to organize your report canvas while ensuring the consistent branding of your Power BI reports.
Adopt Consistent Support Pages
Report users can benefit from a Help page that describes what the report is all about, how to request access for other users, whom to contact with questions, etc. You can systematically include such a page in all your reports and adopt a consistent Help button placement to navigate to that page. Another support page that can be a standard feature in your Power BI reports is a Metrics Glossary page where key measures are explained.
The consistent use of the same themes, layout and support pages will brand your Power BI reports in the mind of report consumers and provide a template that other authors can learn from and adapt to their own use. If you have other suggestions for branding Power BI reports, please leave them in the comments below.