Maximizing Your Canva Account
Welcome to the world of Canva, where creativity and efficiency collide to transform the way you communicate in education. Make the most of your Canva for Education account to enhance visual communication, foster creativity, and streamline administrative processes.
Canva is like a Swiss Army Knife, offering a wide array of features and templates to cater to your diverse needs. Whether you’re creating engaging presentations, eye-catching posters, informative infographics, or social media graphics, Canva has got you covered. Take some time to familiarize yourself with its tools and dive into the world of possibilities that Canva presents.
“Canva is an amazing tool,” said Ashley Winter, CEL Content Marketing Coordinator. “It’s easier than ever to create visually appealing content that aligns with your brand. A district-wide Canva for Education account offers many benefits but takes time to deploy properly.”
1. Upload Your Assets: Personalize your designs by uploading your own images, logos, and graphics. This feature allows you to incorporate your school or district’s branding elements. Use the Brand Hub to upload district and school logos, set your color palette and fonts, and set icons, imagery and graphics as needed. Creating your brand kit allows you to easily apply your brand to Canva templates, establishing brand consistency across all collateral.
2. Set Permissions: Dive into Canva permissions to give access to or block some aspects of Canva. For example, will you give people access to the entire library of Canva templates or only the branded templates you’ve created? Who will have access to the central district brand kit versus individual school brand kits? Will you turn on access to Google Suite or integrate social media accounts? You have the ability to restrict colors, fonts, and brand elements, plus choose who can publish or approve designs. Canva’s collaborative environment paired with comprehensive permission settings? Win-win.
3. Templates Galore: Canva offers a vast collection of templates for various needs. To get started, choose a template that aligns with your project, whether a presentation, poster, infographic, or social media graphic. Use your brand kit to quickly switch the template to your own colors/fonts/logos.
Consider creating templates in advance that align with your editorial calendar. Whether you’re celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month or honoring employees for Teacher Appreciation Week, creating templates now can take the pressure off later —and for years to come!
-Create visually captivating slideshows or interactive worksheets: Use Canva’s drag-and-drop functionality to arrange content seamlessly and experiment with different layouts to find the perfect balance of information and visual appeal.
-Infographics for Data Visualization: Help families grasp complex concepts by transforming data into visually appealing infographics. Use Canva’s pre-designed infographic templates, or create one from scratch. Incorporate icons, charts, and graphs to make information easily digestible.
-Professional-Looking Flyers and Newsletters: Need to promote a school event or share important information with parents? Customize Canva’s ready-made flyer and newsletter templates with your content, add your logo, eye-catching visuals, and voila! You can have a polished design in minutes.
-Visual Forms and Surveys: Ditch plain, text-heavy forms and surveys. Canva allows you to transform them into visually appealing experiences. Choose from Canva’s form templates or create your own. Add images, colors, and branding elements to create functional and aesthetically pleasing forms.
-Social Media Graphics: Keep your school’s social media presence vibrant with Canva’s social media graphic templates. Design eye-catching posts, stories, and banners that engage your audience and showcase your school’s unique personality.
-Website Graphics: Create banners, videos or GIFs inside Canva to bring extra style to your website. [You will need to alt-text all images for accessibility, so limit the use of text in your graphics.]
-Custom Design Elements: Create your own graphics using Canva’s design tools. Whether it’s a mascot, a school emblem, or an icon representing a specific subject, custom elements add a touch of uniqueness to your designs. You can also upload existing design elements and photography to deploy in your Canva designs.
4. Showcase Student Work: Celebrate student achievements by showcasing their artwork, projects, or creative writing using Canva. Create a digital gallery or portfolio to display their accomplishments, fostering a sense of pride and motivation.
5. Organize Project Folders: Set up folders of templates and ready-to-go graphics so you’re not scrambling for anything last minute. Think through your hierarchy before designing—will you organize things by school or type?
6. Elevating Classroom Creativity: Canva is a game-changer in empowering educators and students to unleash their creative potential. With its user-friendly interface and a vast library of design elements, educators can create visually captivating lesson materials that leave a lasting impact on students. From interactive worksheets to visually appealing slideshows, Canva allows educators to infuse creativity into teaching. By deploying Canva district-wide, you ensure all educators have access to valuable visuals.
7. ⚠️ Keep accessibility in mind: When designing, use high-contrast, accessible colors and easy-to-read fonts (9 pt minimum font size). Remember that graphics/PDFs are not inherently accessible – you’ll need to deploy alt-text, captions, or on-page website text to ensure all users can interact with your content.
8. Integrate! Canva has many integration features and can connect directly to social media platforms, learning management systems (LMS), and more. Be sure to analyze the pros and cons before connecting any systems together to determine if this move is the right fit for your organization.
9. Host a Canva Camp: When is it okay to use a generic Canva template, and when should schools reach out to their communications team for help? Consider hosting a Canva Camp for key team members so they feel confident in navigating the software and understand brand guidelines.
CEL graphic designers note that defining your brand kit is one of the biggest challenges to getting your Canva account off the ground. “Not every school or district has a defined brand or brand guidelines,” said Anna Ingemann, CEL Graphic Designer. “Without those elements in place, you lose the impact of brand consistency. If you feel too limited in your brand elements, it may be time to consider a brand expansion to increase your versatility and flexibility.”
“Canva’s ease of use is the biggest benefit AND biggest challenge at once,” warns Ashley. “It’s so easy to find fun templates that it’s also easy to forget about brand consistency. Ensure your creations align with your brand in visual identity AND tone/voice.”
With Canva as your creative ally, the possibilities for communication and design are endless.
Ashley notes that she loves her Canva account but recommends keeping other graphic design software in your toolbox. “Canva is fantastic for what I call low-stakes design. When I need to assemble items quickly, grabbing a Canva template and converting it to the appropriate brand takes just minutes. But I rely on our professional designers to create impactful designs that need graphics that make a difference—new brand elements, digital ads, complex infographics, publications and important events. Left to my own devices and a Canva account, I’ll probably…okay, definitely…go too far.”
“It’s a balance,” adds Anna. “Canva has made design tools much more accessible, but without strong brand guidelines in place, it’s difficult to follow the tenets of good design.”
By embracing Canva’s versatility and unleashing your design superpowers, you can elevate your visual communication and make a lasting impact on your educational community.
Interested in creating a functional, effective Canva account? We’re happy to help! Maximize your use of templates, designs, and brand kits to free up your time.
Published on: July 20, 2023