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Evolving the Canvas brand identity

A whistle stop tour of how we’ve refreshed the Canvas brand to take us from one day conference to so much more.

It’s 2011. The iPhone 4 has just launched, Rebecca Black can’t stop telling us that we have to get down on Fridays, and the very first Canvas Conference opens its doors in Birmingham.

Fast forward nine years and we’ve welcomed speakers from some of the biggest companies in the world – Airbnb, Spotify, Deliveroo, Citymapper, Netflix, Google, Monzo and loads more. Each speaker has shared their stories and insights with thousands of attendees. We’ve won awards. And we’ve served the worst burrito known to man (we’re still sorry about that…).

As we near a decade of bringing product people together we’ve been asking ourselves how we can take it to the next level.

And we have some exciting plans. Canvas is evolving.

Made for product people

At the core of Canvas is the audience, the people we see year after year, and the people behind the scenes who bring it all together. Since the very beginning, it’s always been by makers, for makers.

It’s for positive people who want to learn, who want to share their knowledge, who want to be at the forefront of the industry, and are fired up by the potential of awesome UX, design and engineering.

At its simplest, it’s people who want to make better products and help others do the same.

And hopefully, since you’re reading this, that includes you.

What’s on the way?

What we’re good at.

More of it.

And loads of exciting new formats.

Bringing insider stories and actionable insights from the world’s leading companies to curious product people is why Canvas exists. We’ve gotten good at connecting makers with makers, and we’re putting this to work to deliver great content and contributions driven by our community.

"The opportunity to speak at Canvas came up and it was just too good to pass up."

Martyn Reding, Head of UX, Virgin Atlantic and Canvas 2019 speaker

We have the platform, and a little bit of pulling power (so our speakers tell us!), to share stories from folks at the top of their game, all year-round.  Think webinars, online events and roundtables, articles and interviews, podcasts, networking opportunities, and even more ways for product people to connect.

New plans. New brands.

A few months ago we took our first steps and launched a big branding update for Canvas. With bold plans in place, we needed a new type of design system that could grow with our roadmap as we begin to roll ideas out.

Until now we’ve reinvented the way the Canvas looks every year, which made sense for a standalone conference, but with new plans to deliver the Canvas experience all year round, we needed a more versatile brand that could hold everything together, beyond that single day event.

To do this we’ve given each of the new Canvas formats its own little shape.

We call them ‘Canvases‘ (‘cause obviously they needed a fancy designer name).

Making concentric versions of these shapes gives us a pattern that we can use to style everything we need to promote and run each activity. Throw in a consistent frame size, an angle (to make ‘cuts’ into the artwork), and we have the basis of our new system.

The last piece of the jigsaw is colour.

We’ve added in the flexibility to refresh the look and feel of Canvas year on year. Whether that’s with a new gradient, flat colour, or by adding a texture. We’ve got the wiggle room to style anything that comes under Canvas around different themes going forward.

Here’s what it looks like for Canvas Conference 2021.

Join the fun

Our doors are open, and we’d love for you to be involved.

We’re on the lookout for contributors. So if you’re up to something interesting in the world of digital product and you’d like to write or speak about it, don’t hesitate to get in touch on

Over the next year, there’ll be more and more opportunities to collaborate and connect product people with one another as we focus on building the Canvas community to an all-year experience.

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