How to get the most out of Canva for Work: Tips for graphic designers and agencies


Recently, in a survey of 500 small and medium sized businesses we asked if they had people who weren’t professional graphic designers but were creating customer facing marketing materials.

78% of companies said “Yes”.

The reality is this: now more than ever, B2B and B2C marketers are facing increased pressure to create a wide range of  visuals to convey their marketing messages. The number of documents now expected to be professionally designed and look on-brand has increased exponentially.

Previously a sales letter could be simply a text heavy document, maybe on the company letterhead. Nowadays, the same salesperson is expected to create visual heavy, custom presentations tailored to every company they pitch to. Marketers are expected to post designs on every social media platform at least once a day and entrepreneurs need pitch decks updated with the latest stats to win investment or clients. No industry is excluded.

Last month we officially launched Canva For Work, a new platform built specifically for businesses. There are two main ways it will provide opportunities for graphic designers and agencies:

  1. Businesses using Canva for Work will have a need for professional designers to set up their Brand Kit and create custom templates for their business.
  2. Canva for Work has been designed to eradicate common communication issues in the design process – making the client/ designer relationship mutually beneficial.

Canva now has over 4.5 million users, with over 200,000 companies on-board with everyone from tiny one-person companies to Fortune 500 companies in the mix. Want to know how you, as a designer, can benefit from this community?

Let’s dive in.

01. Get new clients by offering a service every business will want to invest in: set up a Brand Kit in Canva

Today, many small businesses and bloggers go to graphic designers when they’re starting out in business — they get a logo created, a business card, maybe even a Facebook cover or a website.

But with most businesses operating online, it’s now important for them to be creating visuals on a daily basis and unfortunately most don’t have the budget to keep up with the demand. As a result, they never use professional graphic design services again.

Canva for Work empowers users to create beautiful designs from templates and a Brand Kit, which serves the same purpose that a style guide would in professional design. 

As a designer a great service you could offer your clients is a Canva Brand Kit Package. It could include a beautiful well-crafted logo, a set of branded backgrounds, a color palette and font palette which articulates their brand.

For the client, this is a great investment because it sets them up to create on-brand designs on a daily basis.

02. Expand your client network by designing team templates everyone in the organization can use

Even with unlimited resources, it can be challenging to design a presentation at night for a morning conference. High pressure design deadlines are stressful for both designers and marketers, yet in most workplaces they happen on a daily basis.

Designing templates your clients or team can edit can help to solve this, freeing you up to work on projects you most care about.

Consistent brand templates1
Design templates for your client’s most commonly used visual documents

For example, you could offer a Presentation Package that includes branded backgrounds, branded cover page templates and several variations for inside pages. Package this up with branding guidelines and you have a beautiful, value-add service to offer. Not only will your clients love it, as their presentations will look professional and on-brand, but you won’t have to worry about going backwards and forwards making endless “minor” text tweaks.

See what the process looks like here:

03. Build long-term relationships: hold design workshops to educate your clients

It’s virtually limitless where users can and should be implementing beautiful, branded graphic design. Every contact point that your client makes with the outside world is essentially an opportunity to convey their brand personality. Here’s some commonly used documents you could focus on in incremental design workshops aimed to improve the skills of your clients:

  • Social media covers
  • Social media graphics for: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Slideshare
  • Invoices
  • Email design
  • The  “lower third” for Google Hangouts

…the list goes on.

It’s very hard to believe the concept that there is a fixed size pie that designers will be scrambling to win. In fact, I truly believe that it is quite the contrary. With the increased focus and importance on visual content every contact point is an opportunity for design. Educating your clients on what they can do with great graphic content will not only provide more opportunities for you to win more business, but can dramatically help your client’s business to succeed in this new era.

04. Spend less time copy editing and more time designing

Ever had this problem?

Small mistakes such as a missing apostrophe or a misspelled words can cause hours of wasted time when you need to send JPG files back and forth between you and your client. Canva for Work allows you to spend more time designing and less time copy editing by enabling clients to make these small revisions themselves.

With a platform that’s completely online and collaborative, your clients can access and edit the design through their account or through an editable link. No longer will you be contacted with “urgent requests” as clients will be able to make minor text changes quickly and easily.

05. Use our magic resize feature to repurpose your designs for a number of platforms

So much of a designer’s time can be wasted making the constant dimension changes needed to customise a design to suit the various formats it’s needed for. Canva for Work allows you to make these changes instantly, without the hassle of manual dimension variations.

After you’ve created a design for a client with Canva for Work you can select to convert its dimensions individually to fit the format you need, or with the Magic Resize tool you can convert it in bulk to fit a number of different formats (social media posts, documents, marketing materials, etc.) With the Magic Resize tool, all of your newly formatted designs will open up in new web browser tabs for you to save and use.

Tell us what you want and need

It’s still early days for us here at Canva. We launched just under 2 years ago and now have over 30 million designs created by 4 million people. But we’re just getting started. Our aim is to make Canva an essential part of your design toolkit.

If you are a graphic designer thinking about using Canva with your clients, or you already are, we would love to hear your ideas and suggestions. We think that with your help, Canva will continue to be the world’s best design tool for designers and agencies. In the meantime, happy designing!