Create a theme

You can create custom themes to match your organization's branding guidelines or to better fit the tone of your story or collection. When you create a theme, you can customize the following theme elements: colors, typography, buttons, quotes, links, and separators.

You can add a logo to the story or collection header under the Customize section of the design panel, which you can open by clicking Design in the header. However, if you select a theme with a logo, the theme logo is applied, and logo options under the Customize section are unavailable.

An administrator can select an Approved themes group, and authors can share themes to this group and recommend that members of the organization apply an approved theme from the Approved tab. For more information on selecting an Approved themes group, see ArcGIS StoryMaps administration on ArcGIS Online.

Use the following steps to create and publish a theme:

  1. Click Themes on the website header to browse to the Themes page.

    You can also access the Themes page from the story builder by clicking Manage my themes in the Theme section of the Design panel.

  2. Click + New theme to launch the theme builder.

    The theme builder displays a sample story with content blocks and a panel for the theme builder options.

  3. Give your theme a title by replacing the Untitled theme text at the top of the panel.
  4. Build your theme by selecting from the following options:

    Theme element



    Story header and footer

    Story background

    Accent colors

    Typography (font and color)

    Title and headings

    Paragraph text

    Caption text


    You can add a font family from Google Fonts for more options when creating a theme. You can also change the font style weights for the selected font family.


    To enable Google Fonts when creating themes for ArcGIS Enterprise accounts, the portal administrator must provide a valid Google Fonts API Key in Organization settings. For more information, see ArcGIS StoryMaps administration on ArcGIS Enterprise.


    Style and color


    Style, color, and alignment


    Style and color


    Style, color, and position


    Logo image

    Logo link

    Logo alternative text

    As you build your theme, the theme preview scrolls to the active element and the sample story updates to preview how the theme looks with each of the content blocks.

  5. Publish the theme.
    1. Click Publish in the theme builder header to start the publishing process.
    2. In the publishing process, you select the audience for your theme and click Publish. For more information about the publishing process, see Publish a theme.

A new item of StoryMap Theme type is added on the ArcGIS Content menu. When a theme is published, you can apply it to a story by selecting it from the Browse themes section of the Design panel.

The parameters of the six standard themes are provided in the table below. These may be useful if you want to create a custom theme based on one of the out-of-the-box options.

Theme Summit Obsidian Ridgeline Mesa Tidal Slate

Background color







Accent color







Title and heading font family

Avenir Next

Charter BT



Ocean Sans


Title and heading font color







Paragraph font family

Noto Serif

Basic Commercial

Real Head


Mahsuri Sans

Swift Neue

Paragraph font color







Caption font color





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