How Reddit saved over 21,000 design hours in six months using Canva


With a community of over 57M daily active users, Reddit(opens in a new tab or window) is one of the internet’s great engine rooms of creation and conversation. Canva Enterprise(opens in a new tab or window) gives Reddit’s global team an accessible platform to fuel their creativity and collaboration.

The Challenge

In the history of the internet, and maybe even humanity, there’s never been a community quite like Reddit.

Since 2005 its buzzing global network of community subreddits has been the home of new ideas, content, and conversations that have kept the rest of the online world turning.

If you’ve laughed at a hilarious meme or marveled at an extraordinary personal story from a faraway corner of the world, it probably started as a Reddit post.

Monica Benson is Head of Brand Creative Production, leading the in-house creative production team that provides Reddit’s entire organization with creative services. They’re the ones who make sure Reddit’s brand maintains its place as one of the internet’s most popular destinations, and a vibrant, vital, and welcoming place for new and long-time users.

“We are the brand evangelists at Reddit,” says Monica. “Our team is currently all over the US, spanning New York, San Francisco, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Philly. And we are also starting to work with more creatives outside the US.”

With Reddit’s growing global community, Monica and her colleagues were starting to receive a major increase in creative requests and they needed to figure out a way to scale their brand creative offerings quickly.

“We get all kinds of requests coming in, and we’re finding that we are getting a lot of similar requests from different teams,” Monica says.

“As these requests came in more and more often, and as our company started becoming more global, we needed to figure out a way to scale the amount of assets we provide to the company, and empower those teams to create their own by still abiding by our brand guidelines.”

It was essential for Reddit’s brand integrity that even the smallest design task was clean, consistent, and engaging. But all that work drew Monica’s team of ‘brand evangelists’ away from thinking about the big picture.

“Not all employees know how to use complex design software – nor should we expect them to.”

Just like Reddit empowers its users to express themselves within the safe, established parameters of the site’s online communities, Monica needed to help Reddit staff take their design needs into their own hands — without letting standards and consistency slip through the cracks.

It needed to be accessible, and easy to learn, in step with the spirit of fun and creation that drives Reddit’s mission.

The Solution

It was one of Monica’s colleagues who first floated Canva as a solution.

"We had been using Canva to create assets without having to submit a ticket to our creative services for minor requests,” says Allison Day, Head of Social at Reddit.

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We saw firsthand how efficient it was to take on some of this design work ourselves and knew many other teams would benefit from it as well. Ultimately, it allows our creatives to focus on more impactful projects and teams like ourselves to be more autonomous – a win, win.

Allison Day

Head of Social, Reddit

Monica’s team hasn’t looked back. With Canva’s Brand Kit and Brand Templates, they upload all their approved brand assets, imagery, and templates to one place. Then, employees across Reddit, such as Allison’s social team, can self-serve and keep all their content on-brand without submitting so many design requests.

Reddit uses Canva’s Brand Kit for ease of brand consistency.

Within six months of rolling out Canva across the company, Monica estimates the wider Reddit team created between 3,000 and 4,000 assets in Canva.

“Which is super impressive, because that means that's 3,000 to 4,000 assets our team did not have to create,” says Monica.

Helping staff create and collaborate

With Canva, Monica’s team can empower their colleagues to create their own perfectly on brand content. With Canva’s drag-and-drop tool, and Reddit’s approved asset library at their fingertips, those employees have the confidence to make what they need without the stress of bottlenecks and miscommunication.

Now Monica’s team can quickly and easily make approvals or edits without sacrificing time and momentum from their own workload.

“It’s so great that the Marketing team can add whatever copy they want, swap in an image, then run it by us for approval,” Monica says. “We can trust that it’s on brand.”

Reddit uses Canva for a variety of templated docs and assets.

“A bunch of people can come into the document, update it and comment on it at the same time. We love that; there’s so many ways the company is using it right now, and it’s taken a lot of the heavy lifting from our team, having to create the same assets over and over again.

It's not just Marketing either, with departments from Legal to Talent Recruitment, and Learning and Development all using Canva.

“They use it for a lot of their educational collateral and onboarding documentation,” Monica says. “And our Finance team — they even use Canva.”

Leveraging Reddit’s content and community

Clear and simple communication makes life easier across Reddit’s core business: its communities. With Canva, the Reddit team can give its all-important moderators and content the spotlight they deserve, online and offline.

“Our Community Team manages the relationship with our moderators, so they’re really important,” Monica says.

“We’ve recently created an event kit, because they want to empower moderators in different local markets to host their own physical events.”

Canva streamlines communication across teams at Reddit.

For years viral screenshots of Reddit posts have been the lifeblood of online content, often removed from their original context and community. Canva’s Brand Kit and Brand Templates help Reddit’s team recognise the makers and spaces that drive online conversations.

“It’s a prettier way to showcase a Reddit post, via the Canva template, versus screenshotting it from the app,” Monica says. “And it enables the social team to tweak it, and add the Community tag on top, customize it a little bit so it’s a little more branded for social posts.”

Saving time and resources

All these tasks once took up huge amounts of time and resources for Monica and her team.

Now, Monica and her team have the time to “elevate” their thinking, and spread the good word about what Reddit is capable of. “Which is exactly where we wanted the team to go, where we wanted to shift the focus.”

Right across Reddit, the move to Canva has been a breakthrough that’s gathered plenty of upvotes.

“If you are trying to scale your creative services to a growing globalizing company, I would recommend Canva, because you will be able to upload all your templates and empower your employees to do just that, and not bog down your team with the same request over and over again,” says Monica.

Reddit, Inc. logos and word marks are registered trademarks and used with permission

Canva has been a valuable tool to speed up and streamline our creative team's processes. It helped our creative team shift their time from one-off bespoke requests to high-leverage brand systems and programs. We’ve saved over 21,000 hours of design time in just six months after the internal adoption of Canva.
Roxy Young
Chief Marketing Officer, Reddit
Design hours saved in 6 months with Canva

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