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Here’s My Exact Guide to Canva

by | Nov 5, 2021 | Branding, Business

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Canva is a wonderful tool to make content creation easy. There are many wonderful templates and a wide variety of stock elements and photography. What would take you hours to create, can now take minutes. But sometimes with so many options, it can be hard to make cohesive branded content. It is easy to stray away from your brand with the latest trends and the newest templates. I have put together a few of my favourite tips to stay consistent with your visuals while using Canva to the fullest.

Upload your brand fonts and colours 

The best way to create brand consistency is to use the same fonts and colours when creating content. A couple of different ways to easily do this in Canva is by using brand guidelines or the brand kit feature. 

Use Brand Guidelines 

With every branding project, my clients receive a Feeling Put Together Guidebook. This is a brand guideline booklet to help them feel put together when creating content. This booklet references the exact fonts, colours and usage guidelines for their brand. You can create your own by creating a one-page document that lists all the colours and fonts you will use consistently when creating content.  I recommend putting your brand guidelines in a place that you can easily access regularly. 

Brand Colours

Take note of different colour codes for all the different places you will be using your brand, ex. Print, web and screen. This ensures the colours show up correctly every time. I include the CMYK (Print), RGB (Screen), and Hexadecimal (Web) reference numbers in my brand guidelines, with the addition of Pantone colour names.  Once you have the specific colour nomenclature written in your brand guidelines. You can copy and paste the colour number into Canva

Brand Fonts

With your branding fonts, you can do the same thing! Once you have your brand fonts written down in your brand guidelines. Continuously reference them when creating content. Ideally, when searching for your font in Canva, is it best to find the exact font. Alternatively, if you can’t find the same one, find one that looks as close as possible to your original font. If you need to use an alternative, I like to make a note in my brand guidelines to refer back to when needed. 

Brand Kit

With a premium membership, Canva offers a feature called Brand Kit. This option is on the left-hand menu of the home screen. This allows you to upload all of the elements from your Brand Guidelines right into the software! This premium feature also allows you to upload custom fonts that are not included within Canva. This is a great feature to save time by having the right elements at your fingertips. 

Customize the Templates

I love there are so many different templates to choose from to get you started in Canva. Unfortunately, they aren’t all customized to your brand right off the bat. Customizing all the pieces in every template will ensure your brand is cohesive. In the next few sections, I will go through step-by-step to customize specific elements. 

Change element colours

  1.  Select the element 
  2. Once selected, in the upper left corner, different colours used in the element will appear.
  3. Select the coloured squares to change them to your brand’s colours. 

Change fonts 

Using the same fonts consistently will help people subconsciously know your posts, stories, posters etc. because they will be similar every time. 

To change the fonts:

  1. Select the words to be changed
  2. Once selected, in the left-hand drop-down, choose your brand’s font. 

Expert Tip: If you can’t find your exact font in the drop-down menu. Choose a font that is as close as possible to the original font. 

To change the font colour:

  1. While the words are still selected
  2. Click on the A icon and pick the new colour.

    Change photos 

    Change the stock photography to fit the “vibe” of your brand. For instance, in my brand, I use white and pastel colours. When choosing stock photos for my content, I intentionally look for photos with these colours in them. For your brand, decide on strict criteria to help sort through the millions of photos available. 

    To change existing photos: 

    1. Click on the “Photos” tab on the far left-hand side of the screen
    2. Search using keywords for specific criteria 
    3. Once you find a photo, drag it onto the old photo to replace it.

    Duplicate Page

    When experimenting with different layouts, instead of rearranging the same artboard, and potentially losing a design. Duplicate the page before rearranging the elements. This allows you to experiment freely without the disappointment of going back to 3 renditions or starting over.

    To duplicate a page: 

    1. Select the Overlapping paper icon above the right-hand side of the artboard you would like to duplicate. 
    2. A replica of the page will appear below the original

    Intentionally save your files

    Saving files intentionally will ensure the best quality images and save space on your computer. Canva recommends saving files as PNGs. A PNG will create a high-quality image to use in most cases. 

    But intentionally saving your files for what they will be used for is much better. 

    For example, if you are using the files for social media posts, save them as JPEGs. They take up less space on your computer, and the quality is sufficient for computer purposes. 

    For print purposes, use PDF. PDFs can be opened in various software, and are less likely to be distorted or manipulated when opened. 

    I have written another blog post covering many more file types and their ideal uses for more information about file-saving best practices.

    Logo Creation in Canva 

    Canva’s Logo creation tool will quickly and easily get you started with branding. There are a variety of templates for different industries to match your needs. 

    Unfortunately, these logos weren’t designed to connect directly and emotionally with your target audience, unlike bespoke logos.  Typically these logos are designed to be pretty, and not functional or strategic for your business. Also, template logos cannot be trademarked. Since they are owned by Canva. 

    I love Canva because it is an easy-to-use platform that is accessible to many business owners. It allows you to create content for all stages of business all with a few clicks! 

    Now that you have a better understanding of how to create content for your business using Canva. You can start implementing what you have learned. Showing your beautiful, consistent branding to the world!

    But I do understand crafting great consistent content is no small undertaking. If you are feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed by where to start, don’t worry! Together we can guide you through actionable steps during a free 30 min consultation call. During the call, we will bring what you have learnt to elevate your brand with expert guidance.

    Here's my exact guide to Canva for Makers and creatives
    Here's my exact guide to Canva for Makers and creatives