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How to Create Consistent Visual Branding

How to work with brand integrity cover image.

I know that Canva for Work is probably not a new program for most of you. Canva has been making huge waves in the blogging and online digital marketing world for the last few years, and Canva for Work’s official launch at the end of this last year was a huge success. But as I continue to work with clients on branding and social media, I am constantly shocked by the amount of people who are still unfamiliar with Canva, Canva for Work, and how to use Canva for Work to create consistent visual branding.

So as we embark on this brand new year, my goal was to help you all gain that brand consistency and trust that you’ll need to really make 2016 your best year yet. And a huge part of that comes from establishing a consistent visual content strategy. Canva for Work is an invaluable asset for this, especially for those of you who aren’t super digital designers, or don’t have the income to pay for the pricier programs like the industry favorite, Adobe Suite.

When I decided to do a featured piece on how to use Canva for Work to assist us in building our brands, I knew that I had to invite Lillian De Jesus of Tigerlily Virtual Assistance and renowned Canva user and educator, on to help me break down how to really harness all the Canva powers.

BONUS!! Lillian has offered to giveaway 3 FREE copies of her new Canva for Business eCourse to 3 lucky individuals. Just like last week’s giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment at the end of this post sharing your Visual Branding or Social Media Marketing goals for 2016 and how Canva could help you accomplish your design goals. That’s it!! 

So please help me give Lillian a super warm welcome to the blog and please take advantage of all her brilliant Canva creative genius by asking any questions you might have about how to use Canva to grow your brand in the comments below. Without further adu, welcome Lillian! 

Hey there, I’m Lillian De Jesus and I am super excited to be invited onto the blog! I’m the Blogger/Owner of Tigerlily Virtual Assistance where I provide visual marketing tips to creative entrepreneurs. My main initiative is to make things easier for entrepreneurs to relay their messages visually. By far my absolute favorite tool to help people accomplish so many entrepreneurial tasks is Canva (a graphic design web app for the “non-designer” and designer alike).

I just adore Julie Harris for her branding knowledge and her incredible support to her fellow creative entrepreneur colleagues. It’s such an honor that Julie invited me to talk visual branding in Canva for Work, which is the premium feature Canva has introduced to help entrepreneurs get their branding strategy intact.

Let’s talk Canva!

How to Create Consistent Visual Branding with Canva for Work

First thing is to get your Canva account upgraded to Canva for Work. You can click on upgrade when you’re in your account and you can claim a 30-day free trial of Canva for Work.

As you can see below, once your 30 days is up you’ll have the yearly option of $119.40 or the monthly option of $12.95.

How to use Canva for Work: How to Create Consistent Visual Branding with Canva for Work with Lillian DeJesus on Julie Harris Design

You’ll see what great value it is to have Canva for Work in just a few minutes after reading this post.


 

The 5 Key Brand Elements

There are 5 key elements on creating a consistent visual brand: color, fonts, Magic Resize, images/design elements, and templates. If you’re not certain as to how your business or brand should represent itself in visual marketing, stop right here and do yourself a favor. Go to Julie Harris’ Resources and click on Brand Style Guide. This guide will keep your brand organized with EVERY detail. Believe me it works! You don’t have to have it all filled out just the major areas such as color codes and images.

Once you have that established it will be easy breezy when you get into your Canva for Work account. Especially when you have just started a business, your mind is kind of all over the place. With branding, everything must be detailed and consistent. This is how people will recognize your brand, your business, and YOU.

Let’s go through the 5 key areas for visual branding in Canva for Work:

First, the easiest way to get started on Canva for Work is using the Brand Kit.

This is where you’ll find it:

How to use Canva for Work: How to Create Consistent Visual Branding with Canva for Work with Lillian DeJesus on Julie Harris Design

 

  1. Color

The color palette is extremely important to a brand. The emotional pull that you have with color is extraordinarily amazing. As we all have different emotions towards different colors, you’ll want to make sure what your brand is representing. Will people see your brand and feel happy, mellow, sad, angry, or thoughtful? So many emotions can take over.

For color inspiration, you can visit Canva’s blog post on color palette. When you discover which color you’d like you can use a site like Material Palette, where you can choose colors and they’ll give you accent colors. It’s pretty fun to use! What I love about this site is that it gives you a HEX code for each color, which can be used in Canva.

Tip: If you have the RGB code and want to get the HEX code, you can use a site that converts the code like rgb.to. It will provide all the color codes you need on your specific color.

 

How to use Canva for Work: How to Create Consistent Visual Branding with Canva for Work with Lillian De Jesus on Julie Harris Design.

 

Take a look at why it’s important to have the HEX codes in Canva:

How to use Canva for Work: How to Create Consistent Visual Branding with Canva for Work with Lillian De Jesus on Julie Harris Design.

 

If you use Chrome and find a color on the web you fall in love with, you can use a Chrome extension app such as eye dropper to get the HEX code.

 

Once your colors are in your brand kit, they will be with you wherever are in Canva creating presentations, blog images, and more! They’ll even have some templates ready for you in your brand color. How neat is that?!


 

  1. Fonts

Onto fonts, also known as typography, which is essential to keep consistent with blog post images and other business materials. Right in Brand Kit in Canva, there is a section just on Fonts where you can save 3 different fonts for your Headline, Sub-Heading, and Body Text. Using Canva for Work, the fonts will be defaulted while you work on your creations. You don’t have to scroll through the list for your font. It will be ready whenever you are.

Take a look:

How to use Canva for Work: How to Create Consistent Visual Branding with Canva for Work with Lillian De Jesus on Julie Harris Design

 

You can even upload your own fonts, which has been a long awaited feature for many! Nice, huh?!


 

  1. Magic Resize

Magic Resize is an option in Canva for Work that truly is a time saver. Think about the blog title images that you create plus the images you create for social media to promote that post. Magic Resize cuts all the work in half!

When you’re done creating a blog title image for example, click on File.

This is what you’ll see:

How to use Canva for Work: How to Create Consistent Visual Branding with Canva for Work with Lillian De Jesus on Julie Harris Design

You can either choose Change Dimensions if you already know what dimension you need or click on Magic Resize, which provides a list of different options that are already sized for you.

Take a look below:

 

How to use Canva for Work: How to Create Consistent Visual Branding with Canva for Work with Lillian De Jesus on Julie Harris Design

Have you ever taken into consideration how long it takes to convert your blog title image into a Pinterest-sized image or Facebook image? Magic Resize does it all for you. When you click on the wanted dimensions, it may look a bit out of sorts but it’s super easy to move some of the typeface or image into place. WAY easier than recreating it from scratch!


 

  1. Images / Design Elements

With every brand, there are particular images and design elements you choose in a consistent manner to be aligned with your posts and values. Have you noticed Julie Harris’ blog post images? They all have images of fun and friendly ladies that look like they want to do business. That of course is not accidental!

  blog-post-JHD

Take a look around the Internet, and you’ll notice the bloggers that you crave and love to read about have distinct images or design elements that are truly their “look”.

Check out Olyvia.co by Erika Madden. She has very soft looking images and has her typography consistent throughout.

Olyvia-blog-line

Notice the way she uses a transparent white overlay? That’s another way to make a design your own by using transparent overlays with a shape or design element straight from Canva.

The miraculous part of Canva for Work on images and design elements are the folders. After a while using Canva you’ll find your uploads a bit cluttered with SO many images. You can actually organize all your folders depending on the types of images or elements you’ve uploaded. Canva already sets up a Logos folder for you when you have Canva for Work. You can upload all versions of your logo in your Brand Kit or upload as you create and place it in the Logos folder.

When you’re in Uploads, you’ll find a square with a plus sign to Add a New Folder. You can name it accordingly then you can find certain designs or elements that can be used on a consistent basis.

 

Check out my Upload Folders:
How to use Canva for Work: Upload Folders in Canva
When you have your folders named, you can move your images by clicking the little cursive I on the left bottom corner. It will give you a Trash bin and a scroll down list of folders you’ve organized. You simply click on the folder you need and the uploaded image is saved there.
How to use Canva for Work: Upload and Organize Images

Now you’ll have all your images and design elements organized!


 

  1. Templates

Templates are the key in getting things done quickly. When you have your colors in on the Brand Kit, you can click on the Templates tab under Your Brand. Canva has templates already set for you to give a try.

How to use Canva for Work: Canva-ready templates

If none of them are really your style or taste then you can prepare your own template. Just choose the type of creation you’d like to make like a blog title post and when you have your image ready then click on Show Team on the top right. You can toggle the options: Show Team, Make it Public, and Publish as Template.

Like so:

How to use Canva for Work: Publish as template
This is how it looks when you want it private and as your own template. Then your creation will be available in the Templates tab.

Then all you have to do is use the copy button to use your template up to 30 pages. When you’ve reached your maximum of 30, then you can copy your template. (Find out about the copy button in the BONUS below).

Super easy, right?!

 


Bonus Tips! 

BONUS TIPS– A couple of tips even if you don’t have the premium feature of Canva for Work!

Tip #1 – Filters

Many people don’t realize how important filters are and it’s astonishing as they can create the overall feel for your brand’s images.

How to use Canva for Work: How to Create Consistent Visual Branding with Canva for Work with Lillian De Jesus on Julie Harris Design.

Check out all the filters Canva provides! You can choose one that’s best for your brand and use it consistently with each image.

 

Tip #2 – Copy

Copy is a HUGE helper, especially for template purposes. When you finally reach the 30th page, what do you do to keep your template? You can use the copy button at the File tab on the top left. It will give you a copy immediately. Then you can rename it as version 2 then you can delete the first 29 images and use the 30th image to use as your template.

How to use Canva for Work: Make a Copy

Copy page is just as crucial to keep your template consistent. Every time you finish an image and you’re ready to create a new one then use the copy page button, which will keep everything even the filter.
How to use Canva for Work: Copy Page

Those tips will help create consistent visual branding with Canva for Work and Canva’s regular account.


 

Let’s finish visual branding with Canva for Work

We’ve covered 5 key areas to help create visual branding in Canva for Work PLUS tips to help even if you don’t have a premium account.

Here’s the run-down:

  1. Colors
  2. Fonts
  3. Magic Resize
  4. Images / Design Elements
  5. Templates
    BONUS TIPS
  6. Filters
  7. Copy

 

Which of these areas covered do you think impacts in your Canva creations?

Do you think Canva for Work will keep image creating fast and efficient for you? If so, we’ve got the giveaway for you!

Canva Giveaway

 

Want to win a free subscription to Lillian’s Canva for Business online course? All you have to do to enter is follow this one simple step:

Leave a comment at the end of this post sharing your Visual Branding or Social Media Marketing goals for 2016 and how Canva could help you accomplish your design goals. That’s it!!

Super simple right? Lillian will be giving away 3 free course subscriptions to 3 lucky winners. The winners will be selected at the end of this Friday, January 22nd at 5:00pm (PST).


Thank you so so much to Lillian for sharing her Canva creative genius with us today. When it comes to Canva, Lillian is the best! She not only fully understands how to use Canva for Work and all its amazing features, but as a professional VA, she understands the importance of creating consistent visual branding and how to apply those elements into our visual content strategy.

Please take advantage of Lillian and her Canva knowledge today by asking any and all your visual branding questions and how to use Canva for Work. Even if they don’t have anything to do with Canva, let us know how we might be able to help you strengthen your visual brand identity.

Lillian is truly one of the sweetest ladies on the web, and I know that she would absolutely love to hear from you so please feel free to reach out to her personally with a sweet tweet on Twitter, or even a quick hello on Facebook!

If you know someone else who could benefit from this post, please be sure to share the knowledge! 

See you in the comments.

Sincerely,

Julie & Steve signature.

SO, HOW CAN WE HELP YOU BUILD YOUR BRAND?

WEBSITE DESIGN       BRANDING & LOGO DESIGN              CONTACT


PHOTO CREDIT: © Dollar Photo Club

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24 Comments

  • Hey there Julie!

    Thanks again for inviting me to your blog! I’m so happy with the way that this post came out.

    I hope it helps people see how Canva can be an amazing tool for their business. Super excited for the giveaway too!

    Have a great day,
    Lillian

    • Julie Harris says:

      Of course Lillian! I am so so thrilled to have you here! You are the Canva queen and I couldn’t think of anyone better to teach us how to use Canva for Work to create that consistent visual branding that we all want. I know so many people who will benefit from this post. Thank you so much again!

  • Rhoda says:

    One of my goals was to completely redo all my blog images. All done! And I used Canva for Work. I have Photoshop, but having everything preset and my colors and fonts pre-determined and consistent made it flow so much easier. Next goal: continue making images with Canva for all my social media platforms and use it to make content upgrades for previous posts!

    • Julie Harris says:

      That is such an undertaking! I’m just like you. I too have Photoshop and use it for all client work and additional graphic work, but Canva just makes it so easy to have all of my brand elements all together; logos, blog images, templates, colors, fonts… It’s just easier. I have templates for everything! You should definitely try out the “Magic Resize” feature with your blog images and set them for all the various social platforms. You’ll see it adjust in new windows for all the set sizes per platform and then you can move around the text as needed. Then, save each as a template for that platform, and BOOM! Social templates set! 🙂

    • Hi Rhoda,

      Canva for Work does make the job a whole lot easier! Best wishes to you on your goals with images. I know it will take some time but SO worth it.

      Take care,
      Lillian

  • sarah says:

    Such an amazing discovery Canva. I use GIMP and not being an expert myself, the complexity of the program had made all web-designing into a long and hard venture.
    Thank you for the advice here, once again.I will return to this blog post over the next few days as i lean how to use canva 🙂

    • Julie Harris says:

      Great point Sarah. Even with the amazing functionality of the professional programs, the time it can take to master them isn’t always the best use of time for most entrepreneurs, especially if they aren’t specifically working in a design industry. But that doesn’t mean your graphics should suffer because of it. I am so glad you found your way here. Lillian’s post is FULL of fantastic nuggets of Canva gold. She did such a great job of explaining how to really utilize so much of the functionality. Thank you so much for sharing your feedback!

    • I’ve used GIMP too Sarah and I found Canva to be just a breath of fresh air. Melanie Perkins, the Canva CoFounder/CEO had the brilliant idea to create Canva when she was a Photoshop instructor when she saw how long it took for people to actually master Photoshop. Thankfully she pursued it because it really has been saving so much time for so many people.

      Take care Sarah,
      Lillian

  • Sue says:

    Great blog post! I’ve used Canva the past year and started with Canva for work right when it launched. Being in Germany, there’s not too many people using it yet. I have two goals for this year: one personal goal and one professional goal using Canva. Personally I want to redo my blog images from my older posts (the ones that where once on my blogspot site) and professionally I want to teach my coworker how to use Canva for our images on our website, for invites and so on. I am still learning a lot about Canva, especially about all the “for work” features. I am wanting to create more templates to make re-publishing similar images easier for my team. So the ecourse would be a great help!

    • Julie Harris says:

      Hi Sue! So you are a long time Canva advocate. It’s interesting to learn that it really hasn’t taken off in Europe yet. I love both of your goals, and even more so, I love that you have both a personal and professional goal. I know that Canva for Work allows you to have team members with their own logins to access your biz account design graphics and templates as well. That way you don’t have to duplicate all you design work on two separate accounts. Everything is centrally located. It’s super helpful! The eCourse sounds perfect for you! Especially since it’s at your own pace and you and your co-worker can both take advantage of it. Thank you so much for sharing your goals with us.

    • Love the goals Sue! Glad you like this post. Canva has improved every year and makes it more amazing to work with.

      I really like that you’re going to show your coworker how to use Canva. The ecourse can benefit you both and those around you. Please do let me know if you have any questions.

      Take care,
      Lillian

  • Oh my gosh, this is so awesome!!! I use Photoshop, but Canva looks much easier and faster. I have a goal of creating a consistent brand over all my social media in 2016, and it looks like Canva would be a perfect tool to help achieve my goal!

    • Julie Harris says:

      I am right there with ya, RaSonya! Photoshop is amazing, and necessary for professional design work, but to expedite my social media marketing graphics and scheduling, Canva is a lifesaver. I’ve created everything from social graphics, to media kits, to presentations and more with it because it’s so user friendly and saves all my work as templates so I can reuse and update later. When it comes to creating a consistent brand identity on social media, Canva is a HUGE asset to have. Thank you so much for sharing your goal with us! You are not alone in that one 🙂

    • Hi RaSonya,

      Canva is super easy and faster than Photoshop. I love your goal for a consistent brand! It really is important.

      Best wishes on the giveaway!

      Take care,
      Lillian

  • I’d love to see this post turned into a pdf download – so much useful info!

    I’ve been using picmoney for images so far, for both mt websites. My objective for this year’s to create images for each of my posts when I share them on social media. I’ve definitely seen an increase in tweets being rt’d when I include an image.

    Really great job on this post, Lillian. Loved it !

    • Julie Harris says:

      Your content is amazing, Raz! I know that with images, it will get so much more traction and you’ll see your traffic increase exponentially once it’s easier to visually share your posts. Canva would be an amazing resource for you. Picmonkey is great, but Canva give you so much more structure for consistency. Thank you so much for stopping by Raz 🙂 I always love seeing your feedback.

    • Hi Raz,

      What an awesome idea! I’ll have to get on that. I can do it real quick in Canva. LOL Geez, I feel like a commercial. However it’s so true that you can do so much even create PDF documents.

      Yes, on the tweet images! Best visual marketing tool ever.

      Take care,
      Lillian

  • Feuza says:

    Okay that branding kit looks amazing, I have been using the free canva for months and ever since starting to use it I have gotten compliments on my branding so I love it but the canva for work looks so much better! This year I want to wrap up my branding in a nice bow and bring all elements together so have more graphics and have my header match over all brand as I am using one that came with theme now. I also am finalizing my colors which have been a bit different. I have narrowed down my audience as branding is an overall experience and I am constantly reminding myself to think of branding in my copy too as I am not a strong writer. will refer back to this post and have shared on twitter, thanks Gals.

    • Julie Harris says:

      Thank you so much Fuza for stopping by! I was a loyal free Canva user since it first launched and was hesitant about the Canva for Work upgrade until I got to mess around with the Brand Kit Features and now I swear by it and highly recommend it to all my clients. It makes the brand consistency we all work so hard for so much easier and more manageable, especially with our busy schedules. The templates and custom fonts features are worth it on their own! I know you would love it.

    • Hi there Feuza,

      So glad you like it and realize the potential of Canva for Work for your business. It really will bring your branding together and have your work done efficiently.

      Take care,
      Lillian

  • Kristen says:

    Love this post! Very informative. Going to go try and put these tips to use now with my own blog! Thanks

  • So happy to see how you’re using Canva to create a solid brand. Keep up the awesome work! – Gina from Canva

    • Julie Harris says:

      Thank you so much Gina. I absolutely love Canva and recommend it to all of my design clients to help them keep their brand identities consistent.

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