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Using Canva to manage brands

When it comes to brands, we like to stay ahead of new programs and how they can be used to enhance our process for clients. Canva certainly piqued our interest. Take a read to find out How we are using Canva to manage brands with our clients.

Using Canva for brands

What is Canva?

Canva is a simple drag and drop design application that allows you to create graphics for your brand for a wide range of applications, including social media, digital and print.

They have a large selection of layouts, both for digital and print, which can help you get started. The ‘brand kit’ is a useful feature, allowing you to store brand colours, fonts and logos all in one place. Designate team members to create templates and you’ll be up and running in no time.

Read more: 5 great examples of motion in branding

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What can Canva do for you?

When it comes to creating, Canva easily gets you started. The ‘create a design’ button allows you to select from a plethora of layouts, from presentations and posters, through to social media, banners and more.

If that doesn’t float your boat, then creating a custom size is just as easy, regardless of scale.

How to set up Canva

Canva folders screen

With Canva, set up is key. It’s easy to jump in and start creating, but be warned – things will get messy very quickly. Take the time to set up folders. Creating folders is a great way to keep all your brand assets (logos, icons, textures, photos etc) in one neat area.

I find it useful to create a series of folders labelled ‘Print’ and ‘Digital’ to make it more organised when you need a file quickly. This is a must for anyone churning out lots of varied templates that vary between applications.

With everything in order, you have more time to concentrate on the planning and creative.

The 5 best things about Canva

  1. Templates. Canva is great at getting you started. With the templates right there, it’s easy to jump in, whatever you’re wanting to create.
  2. Brand kit. Having this asset area for colours, logos and fonts is a real time-saver to easily grab what you need. It’s also great when multiple team members are working on different projects, ensuring all assets are the same for brand consistency.
  3. Folders. Add as many as you like! It will only help your organisation skills.
  4. Easy editing. When you’re creating it’s easy to edit and alter your design. The text remains editable, and assets can easily be changed with a click!
  5. Final files. When everything has been designed, it’s easy to upload your creations directly to your social platforms, or to download directly. What I thought was a particularly nice touch was the checkbox to add bleed and trim. Something that could have easily been overlooked. Not a problem though, Canva easily extends your design to account for this.

An example of Canva including brand elements

Canva layering elements

The 5 worst things about Canva

Like most things, there’s a bit of doom and gloom. Here are some things to be aware of when using Canva.

  1. Colour restrictions. Unfortunately, Canva only creates files in RGB. With anything print related which needs CMYK, you can see how this would be an issue.
  2. File formats. Again this feels restricted. Canva currently only allows you to upload PNGs, JPGs and SVGs. For digital projects, this is all you would ever need, but for print, it would be great to upload an EPS.
  3. Browser tabs. As you move around Canva and get creating it will keep opening tab after tab. By the time half an hour has passed, you’ll be amazed at just how many tabs have been unknowingly created. So far I haven’t found a way around this. It seems as though each new creation spurs a new tab, instead of it all remaining in the same window. You have been warned.
  4. Imagery resolution. With other design software, you are always are of the image resolution when scaling imagery. Useful for knowing the quality of the image. When you create anything for print in Canva, this, unfortunately, isn’t the case. Be aware of how much you scale imagery, you don’t want a pixelated surprise when it comes to the final print.
  5. Elements on the move. After completing a design I was surprised to see how much some elements had re-positioned themselves on the final PDF download. The view in the edit window and the PDF didn’t match up. A way around this was to ensure you ‘group’ items together. This seems to keep them in their place!
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Watch how to create a branded design in Canva

Choosing a design template in Canva

Canva print folder

Read more: how to define brand values and why they’re important to an business

Is Canva right for your brand and marketing?

Canva is a great tool for creating anything digital.

Being able to grab brand elements and quickly put together social banners is quick and easy – a perfect win-win for brand management.

On the other hand, with so many print templates available, it surprises me that the print side is lacking when it comes to colour modes, file types and image resolutions. But don’t let that put you off, Canva dominates digital and allows for brand consistency at all times.

Get Canva for your brand

Looking to set Canva up for your brand? Our expert design team knows how to set up brands the right way, so that your marketing is quick, easy and on-brand at all times. Get in touch and we will explain how we can you set up in Canva.

We can help

An award-winning branding agency, Threerooms has spent over 15 years making brands stronger and businesses more successful. Whether modernising brands with meaning or crafting effective marketing campaigns, our amazing team is focused on delivering brand transformation while providing exceptional customer service.   

Want to work together? Get in touch today.