The Death of Creativity: A Case Against Canva
As you scroll through your social feeds, you'll notice some small businesses relying on Canva templates for their socials. That stunning, perfectly synced pastel gradient and bold can't-miss-it font? It screams Canva. And that's part of the problem.
These templates (though beautiful!) come from a one-size-fits-all assets library that is filled to the brim with aesthetic colour and font combos. While one or two social posts using these presets may not be the end of the world, businesses that leverage pre-made Canva templates on a frequent basis may be shooting themselves in the internet foot. Ouch.
Why? If every business used Canva templates as-is, they all will start blurring together and looking the same. That's bad news bears for brand recognition and awareness for your business. Look, we're not saying that Canva is a bad way to create content for your biz, but there is a better way to use this incredible content creation platform!
Here are 3 reasons why Canva may be hurting the online presence of your business:
Canva pre-sets lack originality
Let's say you're a cutie cupcake shop in need of some social posts to promote the launch of your latest yummy flavour. You head to Canva and choose the first blue template in 4:5 because everyone likes blue, right? Throw a product photo in there, add the name of the cupcake onto the image, and launch it onto your Instagram feed. Job well done.
Now, imagine that exact same scenario, but the business is a bike repair shop. Or an accountant. Or a fruit merchant. The Canva assets library is open to anyone who uses the platform, and this could become sticky once your clients begin recognizing your social content for another small biz down the road or even worse - one of your competitors in the same industry. You are a one-of-a-kind business owner, and so is your business! You deserve to have a unique aesthetic to show off all your amazing work. That cookie-cutter soft gradient Canva template isn't going to cut it.
Canva pre-sets break your brand guidelines
If you're already out in the world and selling your products to the universe, that means you likely already have a brand book in place. That PDF document is filled with your branding files like font, colours, supplementary colours, logo packages, taglines - everything. When considering how your company is showing up on social platforms, Canva pre-sets are likely to break your brand guidelines, not compliment them.
Now you may be saying, "brand guidelines are so restrictive! I just want to use a trending aesthetic!" To which I respond, yes, a trending aesthetic looks beautiful...today. That's the whole point of a trend: It likely won't last longer than your business will. Not to say that you can't adapt to trends, but your business must adhere to your brand guidelines in order to create a lasting impression in the digital world. Especially as social feeds are saturated with content pumping through every single day, brand recognition is crucial to build upon.
Brand guidelines exist to help your potential clients recognize you in a flash, even when you're in a sea of content. If your social media presence looks like the Canva pre-sets that everyone up and down the street uses, you're making your audience's job more difficult. How will they recognize you, if you look like everyone else?
Canva pre-sets aren't built for your specific needs
If you're a cutie cupcake shop, you may need a template to share your in-store hours. However, a virtual law clerk wouldn't need a template for that. Your business has specific needs and use-cases for certain situations that a Canva pre-set template library may not have considered. This could lead you to Frankenstein a font from here and a chart format from over there across different templates and suddenly, yikes! This template is all over the place and you've diluted your brand recognition even more.
Template packs should not only contain your brand guidelines, but they should also reflect the certain events that your business would require these templates. Whether it's testimonials, infographics or even uplifting quotes, your social media assets library should have everything you need, no Frankensteining required.
So what's the right way to use Canva!?!?
Teaming up with a creative partner like Super Duper allows you to create a template library that is unique to you and your business's needs. Your brand guidelines will be respected while still pulling from current aesthetic trends to keep your biz looking sleek, fresh and ready for that internet close-up. The best part? Once we've built the template library for you, we hand them back to you so you can feel empowered to use them whenever you need them! Our templates are easy to use, no matter how tech-savvy you are (or aren't).
The truth is, there's no shame in using Canva. We use Canva too! This incredible platform has allowed the everyday business person to gain access to powerful tools that previously were only available to Photoshop or Illustrator wizards. The issue is when you only use pre-sets for your online correspondence with potential clients. Our solution is to craft templates for you that reflect your brand's image holistically and customize them in a way that your competitors look nothing like you - all while leveraging the user-friendliness of Canva.
Don't brave the Canva wilderness alone. Super Duper can develop Canva templates that fit your exact needs and brand identity to properly suit your company's look and feel. The best part is that they are so user-friendly, you can leverage the templates any + all the time. Is the store opening 15 minutes early? Just hop into Canva and punch in the details without having to worry about whether it fits your brand guidelines. When you work with us, you know it already does. *Chef's kiss*
On the hunt for a digital branding partner? Super Duper Studios is a digital branding agency in Toronto. We specialize in game-changing visual identity, websites that make sense, and double-tap-worthy social media content. Nice to meet ya! Email me at email@example.com and let’s chat.
Rebeca MacKinnon Community Manager at Super Duper Studios.