1. Hoorae

How HOORAE saved thousands with Canva and streamlined their creative processes


  • Problem Canva solves: Canva was crucial in helping HOORAE establish a cohesive brand strategy, streamline communications, and create content quickly for clients and projects.
  • HOORAE divisions using Canva: All of HOORAE’s teams use Canva, including Rae Builds (housing operations, HR, and finance), ColorCreative (a management and production company), Fête (marketing division anchoring company-wide creative strategy), Raedio (music division housing label, publishing, music supervision, library, and podcast), and the Film and TV division. Whether it’s company-wide presentations, program pitches, or project development, everyone can make use of core tools and helpful features such as Brand Kit.
  • ROI: HOORAE tripled daily social media content output and reduced production time for social content by 90% with Canva.
  • Canva features and templates used: Smart Mockups, Resize & Magic Switch, Background Remover, Whiteboards, Presentations, Video.

About Hoorae

Founded by Issa Rae, HOORAE(opens in a new tab or window) is an innovative media company composed of HOORAE Film & TV, ColorCreative, Rae Builds, Fête, and an audio arm, Raedio.

HOORAE is a black-owned, woman-owned media company that aims to create, inspire, and reflect culture through film, TV, digital content, music, and talent. They strive to develop the next generation of innovators, creators, and leaders who will radically disrupt the industry and standards of today.

The Challenge

Before Canva, HOORAE struggled with bottlenecked design workflows.

With multiple creative teams and production arms working under the master HOORAE brand, the organization lacked an overall branding strategy tying all divisions together. This inconsistency made it harder to align their goals and cater to the specific needs of HOORAE’s clients and audiences.

“With the establishment of the marketing department, our intention is to be able to support each of our divisions uniquely,” says Richard Stevenson, Creative Director. “Right now, we're still developing brand strategy playbooks and part of this process is putting together the intention behind our brand aesthetic, tone, and voice.

“These are things that we feel as a company we are prepared to elevate, and Canva is helping us get on track.”

HOORAE turned to Canva to streamline its visual brand identity and efficiently produce content for clients and internal projects.

With the fast-paced nature of the entertainment industry, HOORAE also needed a way to streamline real-time communications and collaboration between team members and stakeholders. Their previous processes were slow and inefficient, hindering their ability to swiftly respond to industry developments and visually communicate updates to their audiences.

“We wanted a platform that would make it easier and faster to share breaking news to our audience and inform clients of news coming down the pipeline,” says Cruz Rendon, Social Media Manager.

“We didn’t have an in-house graphic designer, so we had very surface-level graphics and had to go through several rounds of internal approvals and edits on each project. Once we were able to nail down our templates in Canva, it made creating content for our clients much more streamlined and efficient.”

The Solution

HOORAE discovered Canva when their ColorCreative management division integrated it into their inaugural ‘Find Your People’ Program (FYPP), an initiative that supports marginalized filmmakers in Hollywood.

HOORAE uses Canva as the main design platform across its portfolio of companies, including to power ColorCreative’s Find Your People Program.

HOORAE’s ColorCreative team utilized Canva as the core content system that powered the entire program, providing design training and templates for onboarding, workshops, and mentoring sessions to participants.

With over 1,500 applicants and 28 successful creatives, HOORAE teams used Canva to develop all creative and resource materials internally to facilitate the program. The six-month-long mentoring project ultimately culminated in the creation of short films.

“Canva has allowed us to develop and ideate in-house to produce the materials we need,” says Richard. “Canva is helpful, not only in generating the tools and the resources needed for the program, and facilitating sessions with our cohort, but also internally when it comes to creating draft boards.”

This relationship between Canva and ColorCreative evolved and expanded quickly to include ColorCreative's sister companies, HOORAE and Raedio. It marked the beginning of streamlined internal processes and more engaging marketing collateral across the entire company.

“Canva is a tool that encourages and promotes collaboration,” says Richard. “During COVID, there were a lot of things that we were wrapping our minds around and we didn’t want to lose the physical space together. Canva allowed us to collaborate virtually. This really empowered us to get ideas to the finish line.”

The power of virtual collaboration for time-saving success

With Canva in use across multiple HOORAE teams, staff could easily collaborate and comment in documents, boosting turnaround times on projects.

The ability to customize or build on existing templates promoted seamless pre- and post-production workflows. Meanwhile Canva’s Brand Kits and Approval Workflows ensured brand consistency across all projects.

Canva’s Brand Kit enables the HOORAE team to establish a cohesive look and feel across all content.

“With Canva, it became easier and faster to create assets for our social channels,” says Cruz. “Now, we have specific branded elements and templates which are unique to each company division. And within that, everything has become visually uniform.”

Quotation mark
“Canva helped us revamp our brand identity. It’s been so helpful, because we spend less time setting documents up and it gives us more time to ideate.”

Cruz Rendon

Social Media Manager, HOORAE

This efficient workflow has been led by a well-defined approval process, resulting in significant time savings for HOORAE.

“We use Presentations and Docs for brainstorming and taking notes,” adds Cruz. “With Presentations, we can pitch ideas, put together a marketing strategy for an upcoming show and present it to our boss on the same day. We can do all of this on Canva and everyone in our department can work on it simultaneously.”

Centralizing creative production in Canva

Before Canva, the ideation stage could take as long as a month, involving several rounds of feedback from clients, freelance designers and boutique agencies.

By bringing much of its creative work in-house with Canva, HOORAE has halved pre-production time from four to two weeks.

Today, their average turnaround time for social assets has dropped from 24 hours to just two or three hours. As a result, HOORAE has seen a huge surge in social creative and cut turnaround time by a staggering 90%.

Using Canva, HOORAE cut total production time by 90% and tripled the amount of their social media posts.

“Previously, it would have taken an entire day to get the creative right, so it became impossible to post content the day of,” says Cruz. “Now, with Canva, we are able to post up to three times more content in a day. When we have breaking news, it’s possible to post in a timely fashion.”

Tools like Background Remover, DuoTone(opens in a new tab or window), and Resize & Magic Switch have helped expedite the design production process. This has sped up up the creation of logos, character collages for television series, and generating Reels for Instagram.

The team utilizes Canva’s Duotone tool to expedite design and content production for various projects.

Collaborating on more creative projects

Having time back in their day has also inspired new creative initiatives.

“We're frequently ideating on new creative ventures and projects,” says Richard. “The level of specificity we can have using tools like Mockups(opens in a new tab or window) allows us to iterate to a degree to where the amount of time spent with specialists and designers is really efficient.”

The HOORAE team also credit using Canva Docs to enable effective virtual collaboration and brainstorming through written comments and tags.

Comments may seem simple, but it’s allowed us to evolve,” says Richard.

“Previously we would have to attach a document to an email, and often people weren’t able to download files and we’d have to resize and resend in a different format based on the device they’re working on. Now, we can simply share a copy of a working link and give directives to each person by tagging them and leaving notes.”

Canva has even helped HOORAE reduce the time spent on post-production by approximately 50%, a task linked directly to the Comments feature.

HOORAE halved post-production time after implementing Canva throughout all their business disciplines.

How Canva cut production costs by thousands

Despite not having a formal graphic designer on staff, Canva has enabled HOORAE teams, no matter their design experience, to create professional-looking, on-brand designs and templates with ease.

A freelance designer might charge between $1,200 and $1,800 per unique design screen or a suite of assets, like an animated title card.

However, with Canva, the team has been able to produce these internally at a fraction of the cost.

“Before, getting something we could customize ourselves would always be a sore point on our budget,” says Richard. “We haven’t had to look into this in recent history due to the depth of the media library on Canva.”

This has led to an annual savings of thousands of dollars on photo and video software.

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“Canva is saving us at least a couple thousand dollars for each unique digital original project."

Richard Stevenson

Creative Director, HOORAE

With Canva’s advanced technology and considerable cost savings, HOORAE has been able to dip its toes into international and experimental projects, like their first production in Cannes, France.

“We were able to take images of our venue space and mock it up quickly,” Richard says. “Using Canva tools and Background Remover we were able to pull up textures and patterns to show our vendors, who we had never even met in person. Canva helped us on our timeline and production budget,” says Richard.

“Canva has been really helpful for creative ideation and being able to bring ideas to life, without needing to rely on external freelancers. The amount of time and money saved is impactful both as an individual creator as well as for my team."
Richard Stevenson
Creative Director, HOORAE

Reduced production time with Canva Teams
Daily social media content with Canva Teams
Reduction in post-production time with Canva Teams