Resources Mentioned

Tutorial Transcript

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Knowing how to use the brand kit in Canva is typically the focal point of a LOT of what I teach in Canva and the reason I focus a lot of time on this component is because I believe it is SO central to being able to create consistently branded graphics in Canva that look professional and unique to your business.

Now I am making a bit of an assumption here that you already have some sort of visual branding in place and you’re in a position where you simply need to carry that into Canva so you can utilize it across your marketing materials… and I’m going to talk about what components you’ll need to add into Canva and how to do that.

That said, if you don’t already have some sort of visual branding set up, I’ll also touch on a few resources in Canva to help you create your visual brand assets, if you’re not in a position to hire a graphic designer at this time.

What is a Brand Kit and What Goes In It?

In Canva’s words, a brand kit is a “short, easily digestible guide to your brand’s visual identity”.

It assigns a visual identity to your business, which makes it more easily recognizable, and the reason that’s important is because a brand must be recognizable in order to develop loyalty and build trust.

A brand kit is a foundational step towards building that loyalty and trust, such that people come to trust you enough to want to do business with you.

6 Elements of a Brand Style Guide

So in a nutshell, there are 6 elements of a brand style guide.

First is your Brand Voice, which is your style of communication. I’s the way you talk to your customers, so for example, the types of words and phrases you use or avoid, the tone you use, and so on; for example, my own brand voice is always straightforward, helpful, hopeful and positive and it is never ever snarky or negative.

Next is your Brand Story, which would include your business’s mission, vision, audience, personality, values, and so on.

And then we get into the more visual elements including your Logo, your Colour Palette, your Typography and your Imagery.

For the longest time, Canva’s brand kit feature only incorporated 3 of these components, but in 2023 they updated the brand kit with a variety of new ingredients to accommodate your brand imagery.

So let’s look at each of these brand kit components.

Your Logo

You’ll want to make sure that you upload your logo as well as any variations of it.

For example if you have it in both a vertical and horizontal orientation, a reverse logo, any icon elements or monograms or illustrative components.

I don’t usually like to use my full logo on my social graphics, but for those I will use just the B icon.

Now, if you are new to business, some of you may have started using Canva to begin with because you want to be able to use it to create a logo.

I truly believe that once you are ready to take the next step with your branding, it’s very worthwhile to invest in hiring a graphic designer or branding specialist to help you.

But I know that not all businesses are ready to take that step right out of the gate.

So, you CAN use Canva if you want to create a logo to market yourself, but it’s important to understand some of the limitations when you’re doing that.

Logo Limitations

I want to draw your attention in particular to this area on one of Canva’s licensing pages regarding creating logos that you can register as a trademark, and it says:

“In creating a unique logo in Canva from scratch, you can use basic lines and shapes from our Free library. You can also use all of our fonts.

However, you can’t use stock content (e.g. photos and graphics) as we only give you a non-exclusive license to this. Other Canva users are free to use the same content which means that using stock content for your logos isn’t suitable for use in a trademark. Elements in a logo need to be exclusive to you.”

In other words, if you want to have a logo that you can officially register as a trademark, you can’t use the icons or illustrations that you find in Canva’s elements library, but you can use fonts and basic shapes and lines.

Or, if you have a graphic that has been custom created for you to create your logo, then you can absolutely upload that into Canva as well and that would also be trademarkable.

Alternately, if you’re just starting out and you’re not worried about having exclusive rights and if you don’t have the time or budget to design a unique logo, using one of Canva’s logo templates can definitely be a simple way to create some basic branding to market yourself… but it’s important to understand that you won’t be able to trademark it.

Creating a Logo in Canva

So let’s assume that you do want to create a logo in Canva.

If you go to the Templates area of Canva and search for logo templates, you will find quite a lot of them to use as a starting point.

But ultimately, you’ll find a template that you like, and then customize the contents of the design to fit your own name and desired branding.

So for example, something like this logo template would be a very simple one to customize the text and font if you just wanted to have a personal brand logo consisting of stylized initials plus your name.

Or if you wanted something with a more illustrative component, you’ll likely be able to find a starting point as well.

Use a Transparent Background

Once you have your logo ready to upload into Canva, make sure that the version you’re adding has a transparent background so it looks more seamless on your designs in Canva.

You can see a logo here on the left that does not have a transparent background, it has a white box behind it and that’s because it was uploaded as a JPG file.

And then the one on the right side has a transparent background and it blends more seamlessly into the background.

So if you do create your logo in Canva, make sure to download it with a transparent background, and as I noted when I talked about the differences between Free and Pro plans, you’ll need the Pro account to be able to download your logo with a transparent background.

When you have your logos ready to upload, you can do that in this Logos area of your brand kit, but a reminder that the brand kit is a Canva Pro or Teams feature only, so if you’re on a free subscription, you won’t have access to this area.

If you do take advantage of that 45 day trial I mentioned earlier, even if you decide not to upgrade to the paid version, if you did create a brand kit during trial, the content you added into your brand area will still be there waiting for you if you do decide to upgrade later on.

At the end of the day, you want to make sure you always have all of your logo versions easily at hand, no need to hunt for the right version or to waste time… it’s there waiting for you when you need it.

Your Colour Palette

You’ll also want to set up your brand’s colour palette, and then it’s going to be really important moving forward that you stick to just using your brand colours.

I know that some of you may feel that is stifling your creativity but in reality, it reduces confusion and overwhelm, not just for you (because you don’t have to make extra choices about what colours to use, you can just stick with your set brand palette), but also for your audience.

If you stick to your brand palette, it’s going to create a sense of cohesiveness across all of your graphics, it’ll feel less visually cluttered, and it’ll result in much less brand confusion for those who follow you.

And again, if you don’t yet have a brand kit and if you’re not in a position to hire a graphic designer or brand designer, Canva has options for you.

Try searching in Canva’s template library for a brand board template and you’ll get lots of results to use as inspiration for your own brand colours.

And then once you have your brand colour values ready to add, you’ll be able to add those to your brand kit in this colours area, and you’ll see how I’ve added a very specific 6 character colour hex value for each colour, to ensure I always use my precise colour values and not just an approximation.

Your Brand Fonts

Next up is your typography or font choices.

You should be using a consistent set of fonts not only in your Canva designs but also on your website and any other marketing materials that you use.

And if we go back to those brand board template results I just showed you regarding colours, they also include suggested fonts, so this might be helpful for you as well.

For example, here’s one of the brand board templates and you can see that it has included suggested heading, subheading and body copy fonts.

Your brand fonts will need to have a visual hierarchy set up for them, so for example, you should have one font treatment for your headings, another for your subheadings, another for body copy, and so on.

And with the 2023 updates to the brand kit, you can also now set a wider selection of font styles, including title, subtitle, section header, quote and caption.

I still strongly advise only having a maximum of 3 fonts in use in your designs, but for example your titles might be a different sizing than your headings, while your captions might be the same font your body copy but smaller and always in italics.

The specifics of your font formatting will depend on your unique brand kit.

Once you’ve established your fonts and font hierarchy, you can add that into your Canva brand kit, but this is where you’ll run into limitations if you aren’t on a Pro account, which I talked about earlier in the training.

Unfortunately on the free account, in addition to not being able to access the brand kit feature, you’re also not able to upload fonts, which becomes problematic if your brand fonts aren’t included in the free fonts that Canva provides. So there’s another incentive to give the Pro subscription a try.

If you have a set of brand fonts, you can give yourself permission to ignore all of those beautiful fonts that you may have collected in the past, or that you may be seeing across the social channels of other businesses.

But as pretty as all those fonts may be… if they aren’t part of your brand fonts, you should not be using them in your graphics and marketing materials if you want to create consistently on-brand images.

Your Brand Imagery

The final piece of your Canva brand kit is your brand imagery, and Canva now enables you to add brand photos, graphics and icons into your brand kit as well.

Brand Photos is fairly self-explanatory, but a few examples may include photos from brand photo shoots, your head shots or even styled stock imagery that you regularly use for your designing.

Then we have Brand Graphics, which you may or may not have. Those could include patterns, textures and illustrations that you use as part of your branding and design.

And finally Brand Icons, again which you may or may not have.

Once you have all of your brand kit elements in place in your Canva account, you’ll want to consistently use them on all of your future social graphics and marketing materials and by doing so, it makes using Canva so much easier and more efficient to create new graphics because you will already have a guide of what to use and what not to use.

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If you haven’t yet upgraded to Canva Pro, I encourage you to give it a try. Learn more about how to get a free 45 day trial of Canva Pro at

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