Make it easy on yourself and customise your brand kit
Canva for Work (the subscription version of Canva) has additional functions to help you streamline your design process and ensure you keep a uniform look and feel across all of your materials. Save time by setting up your colours, logos and fonts in your brand kit so they are ready at hand when you need to create some artwork.
Once logged into your account, select Your brand
from the left navigation and then Brand Kit
from top. This is where you can add your corporate colours, fonts and logos.
Its a good idea to add your full set of corporate colours including those used regularly in layouts. These are added with 6-digit HEX colour codes which can be numbers or letters or a combination of both e.g. #6c7fcb. So where do you find these magic numbers? They may be listed in your brand guidelines. If not, you can use the Eyedropper tool in Photoshop to select a colour and see it’s HEX code. If denied access to Photoshop (you poor thing!) you can use a couple of online tools to convert them:
- For RGB and CYMK try this: www.easycalculation.com
- For PMS try this: www.labelpartners.com
Click on the big plus on the colour palette and type in a code for each colour. Canva will give it a lyrical name like “White Smoke” or “Midnight Blue” which is handy when trying to tell someone else which colour to use. It’s easier to say “Rosy Brown” than #CB8E9A. When you’re done, your colours will automatically appear in the palette when editing your layouts. Winning.
Logos and graphics
You’ll find that banner ads, brochures and social images come in all shapes and sizes, so best to just have everything available at hand. Take the time to upload all versions of your logos, icons and brand graphics in different arrangements:
Preferred format: SVG
- Proportions: Wide and stacked
- Variations: With and without tagline
- Elements: Symbol by itself / logotype by itself
- Colour ways: Positive, reversed, mono, mono reversed, etc.
- Sub-brands and all their bits and bobs
- Lock-ups with partner logos
Save all as .svg (Scalable Vector Graphics) files so that they will be sharp in your designs. These are drawn using paths not pixels and as the name suggests, you can scale these up from business card-size to poster-size without loosing quality. You’ll need Adobe Illustrator to save these, or better yet, delegate, and request from your agency.
If svg’s aren’t at hand, you can also use a reasonably high-resolution transparent .png file. Because it has a transparent backround, you can place these on top of images easily.
Not hot: TIFF or JPEG
Tiffs and jpegs will always have a background and be square finished and therefore aren’t as flexible, unless of course your logo is a square or a rectangle!
Now add them to your layout
When you’re done, create a new layout and select Uploads
on the left then Logos
on the grey panel. All your logos will pile into the grey panel, so just drag and drop the one you need into your layout. This sample seems pretty simple but when you upload a lot of logos it can get a little confusing in there. But that’s just how it rolls!
To customise your brand fonts, click the pencil icon beside your Heading, Sub-heading or Body text. You can either choose one from the Canva built-in font list or select Upload a font. Canva supports .otf, .ttf. and .woff file formats. Ensure you have purchased the appropriate desktop license for custom fonts.
Technically, images aren’t located in the Brand Kit section, but they form just as much a part of your brand. So in the Uploads
section, drop in all the nice high-res images you use in your collateral. The presentation of image thumbnails is not searchable, so best to create folders to keep things nice and organised for easy location at a later date.
The great thing about Canva is that when you create a new design you can choose a template with the correct dimensions preset. There’s no need to list all of them here, but they include social, banner advertising, and print basics. So once you build one design you can duplicate and magic resize to another format. This might need a little bit of spiffing up but you’ll be building your repertoire of goodies in no time!
If you are new to Canva and need tips on the basics, have a look at our How to use Canva to create great designs article here to help you get started.