College students looking to work in public relations (PR) need to understand the advantages of good branding. When done properly, a symbol, color pattern or font can draw to mind a specific company, even when used in an unrelated way. Think of the classic “Disney font” or the red and yellow that McDonald’s uses. Every company, big and small, has a brand identity that sets them apart. It is up to employees in PR to recognize and utilize these tools.
Canva is an online website that makes branding easy. It allows you to create pretty much anything, such as social media posts, flyers, business cards, presentations and logos. Canva has thousands of options for design and many of its features are free to use.
Here are five ways you can use Canva to strengthen brand identity:
1. Set brand colors
Canva gives you the option to save color palettes. This allows you to use the exact brand colors you need every single time. When you create Instagram posts, they can all fit your company’s brand standards. The free version gives you access to one pallet but upgrading lets you create multiple color pallets.
2. Set brand fonts
Just like setting brand colors, adjusting your font settings saves you from having to scroll through endless fonts every time you want to add text to a flyer or presentation. Canva gives you access to many fonts for free. However, you must upgrade to the paid version to upload your own fonts.
3. Use simple shapes and stickers
Canva has hundreds of graphics that are free to use. Utilize simple shapes like squares and circles to keep things proportional and consistent.
4. Create a team
Do you have more than one person creating content? Connect with everyone and create a “team” to easily share what you’ve been working on with the rest of the group. You can change your settings so others can view what you’ve made or you can give permissions to edit. Within a team, you can also create folders. This will help you organize your content by type, situation or season.
5. Create a “Brand Board”
Put your logo, fonts and colors on one document. You can also add small photos or shapes that match the look for your company or brand. Keeping all your branding information on one page can be helpful to use as a reference or for new employees.
Canva makes it easy to establish your brand and strengthen identity. This is a great resource for college interns and professionals alike.
McKenzie Leslie is a senior Communications and Technical Writing student at Missouri Southern State University. Her biggest goal after graduation is to work at Walt Disney World on their communication team. Connect with her on Instagram @mck_belle.