Canva brand kit: how to set it up (free + pro options)
Canva is an online design tool with a drag and drop interface that’s easy to use, templates and a relatively short learning curve, so it’s perfect for business owners who are not graphic designers. You can create everything in it from social media graphics to websites and business cards. Most options are free to use, with paid plans for some photos, graphic elements, templates and team working.
What is a branding kit?
A brand kit is a collection of elements, colours and fonts that are associated with your business or brand. It can be as simple as a single font and one colour or include multiple logo variations, several fonts and multiple colour palettes.
Its purpose is to create a recognisable cohesive look or feel for a business or brand. This means that when it appears somewhere like Instagram, followers can instantly identify which account has shared a post, which helps develop a relationship with the brand.
How to create a brand kit in Canva
Canva has its own Brand Hub in the sidebar in the tools section. When you click on this, you’re taken to the Brand Kit and Brand templates, each with their own tabs. A free Canva account allows you to add up to two colours, so you can have a brand kit in free Canva, albeit a minimal one. The Pro Canva account allows you to add multiple logos, colours, photos, graphics and icons, along with fonts for your title, subtitle, headings, body text, quotes and captions.
At first glance, the free Canva account is very restrictive, but when you sign up, you’re offered a free 30-day trial of its Pro membership, during which you can set up your Brand Kit. The Brand Kit remains, even if you cancel your Pro membership after the free trial. So, I suggest that you use the free trial to set up your Brand Kit – it saves you so much time when creating or adapting designs.
You add brand colours to Canva by clicking ‘Add colour’ and typing in the hex codes. Logos are added into their own folder with the upload button. For fonts, you can upload your own or use one of the hundreds of popular Canva fonts. There’s even a font ‘notes’ section to allow comments about font usage such as when to make headings all capital letters or changing letter spacing.
What does a brand kit do in Canva?
A Canva brand kit helps you create graphic designs more quickly than starting from scratch, because it contains all your branding elements such as colours and heading / body fonts as well as other graphics such as logos.
If you have Pro membership (it’s around $13/£11 a month if you pay monthly), you can also customise the colours of templates in a few clicks: pass your cursor over the colours in your brand hub and an option to ‘shuffle’ will appear. Click on the bar of brand colours and watch the template colours swap around. Keep clicking until you have the colour combination you most prefer.
How to set up brand templates in Canva
You can set up Brand Templates inside Canva’s Brand Hub with the Brand Kit. This is one of those tasks that you do once and you reap the rewards repeatedly afterwards. In this case, set up templates that you regularly use such as Instagram carousel posts, Reels covers and Facebook posts and add your brand fonts, colours and matching colours or graphics. This would also be a great time to add any custom photography you have, putting it in the photos folder.
This is especially useful when you’re working in teams and want others to work on graphics: these pre-approved templates are going to steer your colleagues or freelancers towards creating work that is on brand. Having brand templates set up is also going to save you time going forward, especially when you’re in a hurry.
In the Pro account, you can have multiple brand kits. It’s easy to swap between them in a couple of clicks.
Where you can use your Canva brand kit
You can use your Canva brand kit EVERYWHERE! This means you can use it to create:
- Social post graphics
- Video text overlays
- Business cards
- QR codes in a brand colour
- Brochures / flyers
- Canva websites
How to share your brand kit
Imagine that you have your brand kit inside Canva and want a freelancer to create graphics for you that fit your branding. One way of working would be to add them to your Canva team. Another is to have them create inside their own Canva account and supply you with either the finished graphics or a template link, that allows you to open a copy of their work in your own account with one click, so you can update the template at will.
In this case, you would want to supply them with a branding guide, that explains your brand kit in one document, so that they understand your brand visuals. This is where you can create a Canva brand guide or guidelines.
I’ve created a free Canva brand guide template to make this easy for you: click the graphic below for access. Just swap in your own colours, fonts, logo if relevant and photos if you want to help flesh out the look of your brand, download as a PDF and send to your designer. This is also helpful if you are working with any freelancers or web designers.