50 miles south of Los Angeles, in the sprawling hills that overlook Orange County, lies Concordia University Irvine. CUI is rated by USNews as a Top Tier Regional University. The private Lutheran organisation seeks to empower students through the liberal arts and professional studies; promoting lives of learning, service and leadership. Veronica Steele is Director of Social Media at CUI. Her role is constantly fluctuating, but focuses on social media strategic initiatives which promote brand recognition through authentic online engagement.
For over 18 months, Veronica and her team have been using Canva to design visual content. None are skilled in the complexities of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, but they’ve been enabled to create their own professional imagery using Canva’s drag-and-drop interface. Veronica and the team have completed Canva’s tutorial series, implementing these lessons in each of their designs. After a recent upgrade to Canva Pro, Veronica believes the team can finally crystallize CUI’s visual brand identity.
“Canva Pro has allowed us to streamline the design process by allowing logo uploads and color templates that are accessible to everyone in the account,” Veronica says. “Combining our logos and colors to Canva’s templates has given Concordia University Irvine the professional academic and authentic visual representation of our institution that we have desired since being involved on the social media scene.”
CUI engages their students through a vast network of online communities. They utilize over 80 social media channels, involving 60 online community managers. Despite an existing Marketing Brand Policy, there have been occasions where graphics are posted without a logo or the correct CUI colors. By configuring their team Brand Kit with Canva Pro, Veronica can ensure the online community managers and her student interns are constantly maintaining the CUI brand.
Veronica explains CUI’s their most engaging social media content features images of well-loved professors or students. By enhancing these graphics with Canva filters and simple shaped, Veronica can accurately reflect the CUI experience. The Canva Pro feature which CUI are harnessing is Magic Resize. With one click, any design can be replicated to fit the dimensions for every social media platform. Veronica estimates that Magic Resize has reduced her team’s graphic design workload by 75%.
A recent online campaign, #OneFiveThirty, blasted CUI’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Each of these images were optimized using Magic Resize. CUI also posted a combination of Canva-made images on their blog, featuring a huge timeline infographic detailing their history. Each of these social media channels clearly reflect CUI’s clean shapes and muted colors. For this, Veronica appreciated the power of a team-wide Brand Kit.
“I have several student interns who work with me on creating graphics for the main CUI channels,” Veronica says. “Having the Branding Kit available saves me time and energy in training the… It’s a great resource and allows me to see what everyone is working on so we can avoid overusing images or photos.”