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One week after launching Canvas, we’ve been thrilled to see both thousands of new templates created and campaigns sent, using our new email builder. However, if there’s been one thing more satisfying than simply the numbers, its been how people have totally re-invented their email campaigns. Here are some of our favorite “redesigns” so far; so, are your newsletters overdue for an update?

To make it clear how much these email newsletters have changed since their Canvas updates, we’ve provided a before/after comparison.

MiaDonna & Company

Mia Donna, before CanvasMia Donna, after Canvas

Designed by MiaDonna and Company, using the Mason template

Diamonds are forever – and so MiaDonna have taken a classic, minimal approach to their new newsletter, by using neutral colors, a timeless typeface and quality photography. It’s romantic without the schmaltz – and quite a departure from their earlier aesthetic!

Yorkshire Bicycle Show

Yorkshire Bicycle Club, before CanvasYorkshire Bicycle Club, after Canvas

Designed by Yorkshire Bicycle Show, using the Tint template

The Yorkshire Bicycle Show‘s switch from a wordy, somewhat cramped template, to one with eye-popping color, whitespace and, wow, video is as dramatic as a wheel-to-wheel sprint to the finish line. The call to actions are now much clearer, the imagery has certainly had an upgrade and in all, there’s a lot more tying the design to the cycling event at first glance than before. Pedal on, ladies and gents!


Interrupt, before CanvasInterrupt, after Canvas

Designed by Interrupt, using the Tint template

Pinch me no more! The new template by creative agency Interrupt is distinctly less cluttered and more generous with whitespace than ever. The result – a design that requires no pinching or zooming to read comfortably on mobile devices, is more consistent with the design of their landing pages and all-round, a pleasant interruption to have.


IAET, before CanvasIAET, after Canvas

Designed by IAET, using the Mason template

To show that elegance transcends any language, translation agency IAET have created a template that is more on-brand than ever. Tiny type is out, as are the generic stock photos and busy layout. In their place is a wholly professional design that is sure to look fantastic in any inbox.

Hopefully these newsletters have given you a few ideas for your own email redesign – or perhaps you have a friend or client whose campaigns need a little love? Why not give Canvas a try in your account, or check our our demo. Either way, we’re looking forward to see what you’ve got in the coming weeks, so feel free to share your favorite designs with us!

  • August

    To be honest, these are anything but radical email designs. You can’t sway me from MailChimp Inspiration (inspiration.mailchimp.com). Are there any other examples using the canvas editor that are radically different from standard?

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    Hah, August – Canvas has been in the wild for only one week, steady on :D That said if you’re after a larger and I dare say, more varied selection of email newsletters, you can certainly check our our email design gallery, where you’ll find both template-based and completely bespoke campaigns alike. Going forward, we’ll be adding more Canvas campaigns – and most certainly there will be designs to suit all tastes :)

  • Tom

    As soon as you guys give the ability to change font colours / backgrounds and fonts in canvas, then you’ll see some radical new designs!

    I’m holding out till you launch that functionality.

  • Fran

    Definitely, “radical” is not the word… ;-)
    I expected Canvas to be a real canvas, one that allows you to do everything (between the logical boundaries of html e-mail), so I agree with Tom and add one more critical issue: where have the language selection gone, folks??

    Nice advance anyway…

  • elise

    I’d be curious to see the output in Outlook. It’s easy to make your email behave in Apple Mail.

    I suppose the goal of your new product is to raise the quality of email design for non-coders. Huzzah for that. Part of the battle for beautiful emails is simply trying to get the copyeditors to write less!

  • David Greiner

    @Fran, maybe we have different standards, but I’d certain consider these new designs a huge step forward on the previous ones. Not just because they’re aesthetically better, but they’re also much easier to read and looking amazing on mobile devices. I’d definitely call that a radical improvement. You’ll also be happy to know language selection is currently being worked on and we’re expecting to release it soon.

    @elise, our email coding team worked like crazy to get the best rendering possible across every popular email client, all the flavours of Outlook included. They’ve genuinely raised the bar for email client compatibility and will be sharing some of the lessons they learned here soon.

  • Gemma

    Great direction, but when will we also be able to customise fonts and background in Canvas? Most clients have brand-specific font families and colours to stick to, so until we can amend that I can’t use and share canvas :(

  • Jason De Santis

    Hi Gemma! We’re already working on updates to Canvas so I’ve added your vote for the ability to change fonts and colors in the hopes those will make it to a future release! We can’t say when those will be added, but we’ll definitely let you know should anything eventuate. Thanks!

  • Ambra Lazzari

    I’ve just made a test on Outlook and it’s not good at all. Buttons go down over items below and social buttons are ugly shown…
    Moreover there’s no point in having a canvas to me if I cannot completely define background colors and images, font type and element size.
    It’s sort of “flexibility for dummies” and I guess that may satisfy some users but not the advanced ones.
    You should have name it this way or presented as a 0.1 release to be tested while waiting for enhanced features to come.

  • Chris Bowler

    Hi Ambra,

    Thanks for your thoughts on this. Again, we are keeping track of all the requests we receive and being able to customize fonts & colors is very high on the list. I’ve added votes based on your comments! We believe this is truly a 1.0 launch, even though it doesn’t not fit everyone’s current workflows. But we do hope you’ll give it time to mature — we’re confident in the direction it will take :)

  • Jonathan

    Come on guys, don’t be so critical. After all, they only had 100 gazillion dollars to build this with.

  • Barry

    Does the Yorkshire Bicycle embed an actual Vimeo Video or it just an image of a paused frame with Vimeo’s GUI built in?

    If it is an embedded video, the message is a bit contradicting with this article:
    https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/will-it-work/video/, which says to not embed video, because only apple mail will be able to play iy.

  • Justin Sykes

    Great work guys. Every project has real people working very hard behind it. So well done to all involved, great platform and I love the canvas functionality. :-)

  • Brian Thies

    As others have mentioned, colors, fonts, etc. would be a nice touch.

    My only complaint would be that a simple email had around 800 lines of style code in the head alone, but only around 40 when I recreated it (including mobile). Hopefully any styles that aren’t being used can be removed in future versions to prevent code bloat. This is especially important if folks are looking at pulling the source code to modify to their taste in ways that Canvas can’t cover.

  • Barbara Pilgrim

    I agree with the comments that we need to be able to change fonts and colours. The Canvas templates are very limiting, without the ability to change colours they cannot be made to match client branding. I’ll be sticking with the old templates for now, which are also easier if clients are creating their own campaigns.

  • Jay

    For a company who only been out for a few weeks, I think you guys are doing pretty good. I am looking forward to the “bug fixes”.

  • Joe

    I am with Tom (and others) on this one — until you can edit and change fonts, colors, etc., (which I have spoken with a CM representative about already), I can definitely see using the tool. It’s fabulously easy to use tool, but until those customization options are implemented, the tool just doesn’t cut it for my company’s design standards. Keep up the great work!

  • Rick

    Font changing and color editing would be nice… We are holding off on changing anything for our clients until we see that.

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    Hi everyone, thank you so much for your requests here. Canvas isn’t ever going to be set in stone, so hang tight – we’re working on rolling out improvements like greater flexibility with colors and fonts in the months ahead and will certainly keep you posted via the blog. We’re listening, so please keep the feedback coming – it’s already been super-valuable to us.

    Barry – Yorkshire Bicycle featured a clickable screenshot of the Vimeo video, which is in line with our recommendations. You’re right, if it was an embedded video, they’d have lots of troubles! But these folks are pretty savvy :D

  • Andy

    Yeah not that radical, there wasn’t anything amazing in the examples in my opinion… They were just less busy, not radical

  • Robinho

    My clients NEED to be able to change colours and fonts.

  • Chris

    Funny. The CM email announcing this post doesn’t render neatly on my Samsung Galaxy S3.

  • Aaron

    Agree with all comments regarding customisation of fonts and colours – business’ care too much about their brand not to have ability to change this. However Canvas could be so great and look forward to future updates.

    @CM team – how was the Interrupt email created using the Tint template? The logo is centered by default and there’s a set grey background (not white as shown). Interrupt have also changed the footer from the Tint template somehow? Would be great to know how they’ve managed these customisations.

  • Mandy

    Canvas is an awesome tool, the ease of use and flexibility of layout is awesome! I’d love to be able to use this for our clients, but as everyone else has mentioned until we can customize the colours and fonts we won’t be able to use it for most of our clients.

    Seriously though, Canvas is awesome, that is some great work you guys did there! The simplicity in constructing complicated responsive layouts is superb! I wait in anticipation for the customization features!!!

  • Zeljka

    I think this is a step forward. I do not know code so for me I like how easy it is to use. Also, I use Photoshop and create my newsletter using any font I like and colors I like and save it as an image. Then I simply insert it into the newsletter as a single full image and work great. If I want to add links etc, I just make two or three separate images and insert them individually and add links – works great every time.

  • Zeljka

    P.S have not tried canvas yet but will very soon now that I know it is there.

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    @Aaron – the Broadsheet template was used for Interrupt, so you’ll find the alignment & color options you mentioned in there. Hope this solves the mystery!

    @Mandy and @Zelika – thank you so much for your positivity! Keep an eye on the blog, as we’ll certainly keep you in the loop as Canvas evolves.

  • Ricky Synnot

    I just want to take my hat off and say a big ‘Congratulations’ to the CM team. You’ve obviously worked really hard on this new service, and thank you for delivering it as early as possible.

    Guys, its clear that they have put out a first release, and are going to iterate. You’re quick to criticise them for not delivering every feature, and not providing unequivocal support for every client, but really?

    Its clear CM is taking big steps to put great email communication in the hand of everyone, and I don’t feel like Im being treated like a dummy. I don’t think they’re speaking to us like dummies either, so lay off.

    To the folks who ‘HAVE’ to change the bg colours, all the text colours and smoosh every image to exact pixels – give it a break!

    Maybe consider wether your email templates are too complex, and wether or not its time to re-think your approach in a new landscape for email, where genuine, well thought out responsive templates are being handed to you on a silver platter.

    I feel privileged CM for this update – thanks a lot, and well done! Really looking forward to tracking Canvas’ evolution.

  • Jacob Eeckhout

    I’m in love

  • Marty

    Yeah, go CM – out with mailchimp… :)

  • Angelo

    These look great. It looks professional with a high-end quality. Perfect for viewing via mobile devices. Well done guys!

  • Garth

    Can’t wait to use this….

    Like with a few others I need to wait for customising font and background colours.

    Also to add my 2c worth… being able to customise the header and footer would would be a necessity for me (being able to retain brand consistency in these areas for my clients is vital).

    But when these adjustments come along… happy days!!!

  • Lukas

    +1 for colours and fonts!

  • Christian

    CM, I just love Your work and efforts! Whats radical to some might not be to others. To me it’s amazing that some start up their computers just to give their thumbs down.

    Nonetheless, Your patience with us users are fantastic.


  • Katie

    My gripe is that the old template builder seems to have been phased out with the implementation of Canvas. I run 3 separate accounts for Campaign Monitor – one for my firm, one for my non-profit, and one for a freelance client. I have highly recommended Campaign Monitor in the past to those in my network.

    These new templates may be fine for some, but in my case they don’t offer the look/feel that my accounts are looking for. Also, the lack of customization ability is a real problem for branding. Previously I used the template builder to create the basics of the email, and then exported to customize the email further using an HTML editor. Now I would have to start from scratch. I will recommend a different email service to new accounts and colleagues going forward until Campaign Monitor figures out a better way to meet the needs of customers like me.

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    Thanks Ricky, Christian and all – we really appreciate your support! As you know, Campaign Monitor is always changing; we really can’t wait to show you what’s next.

    Katie – I’m sorry to hear that Canvas isn’t a perfect fit just yet. Note that you can export existing templates from your accounts, then tweak them to taste; it might not be quite as elegant as using our old builder, but at least you won’t be starting from scratch when building custom email templates. If there’s anything else we can help with while we continue working on Canvas, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.

  • Ewan

    Not sure what all negativity is for. It’s a new feature and is only going to get better. I can certainly see it already saving us some time. Keep up the good work CM :-)

  • Andrew

    Crazy that you can’t change fonts, background colours, width of text boxes. I have to admit, the launch video got me excited but upon experimenting with Canvas, I’m completely underwhelmed.

  • Tom

    All of the other negative comments aside, I like the Canvas interface and think it creates good looking emails.

    Realizing this is a v 1.0 product, I look forward to more capabilities in time. Keep up the the great work. Of all the SaaS that I use, CM is the leader in creative innovation.

  • Nick Tyldsley

    Canvas is potentially brilliant. But current unusable as it’s simply not feasible to not use our clients’ branding and colours.

    Needs sorting ASAP!

  • Jeff

    Excited to hear that customization of colors/fonts is coming soon. Yes, there are some limitations with this first release, but it is an evolving product that already allows me to sell my clients on new features that I wasn’t able to practically offer before on my own (namely, mobile compatibility).

    One issue I am having though in a recent test of a Tint template I’m working on is that Gmail is clipping the message after the first 2-3 sections. I read somewhere in the CM forums that Gmail will clip after the first 102kb (not including images)… were these Canvas templates built with this in mind? I’m kind of surprised that the html structure alone would be enough to cause this clipping to occur.

  • Chris Bowler

    Hey Jeff,

    That’s a good question! We’d love to take a closer look at that for you. I’ll follow up with you via email shortly!

  • Kim

    +1 for font & colours.
    Great work guys. I’m really excited about what this means for my clients. Unfortunately I can’t use it for them until I can match their branding :(

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    Thanks for your feedback here, Kim. We are making some pretty considerable improvements (for example, language support this week), so stay tuned to this blog – hopefully we’ll make more customizations like this available soon!

  • Debs

    Beautiful and exciting, but I’ll echo the other calls for the ability to change colours and fonts, otherwise again this is pretty useless for most of my clients :)

    Thanks for all your hard work, chaps :)

  • Walt

    So you stripped out features like, text alignment, ability to choose fonts, ability to set colors.

    In which way do you consider this an improvement?

    Oh and the only way to add a new row seems to scroll down and then move the row all the way back up. Great.

    I always liked CampainMonitor more than Mailchimp. But this new Editor is a big step in the wrong direction.

    How can remove features in the gui be an improvement?

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    Hi there Walt, I appreciate what you’re saying here. For designers that want to have fine-tuned control over their designs, Canvas is likely not going to tick all of the boxes. However, as the above round-up goes to show, we’ve made it possible for anyone – even non-designers – to create email campaigns that compliment their branding and well, just work across the major email clients. Personally, I think this is still a step in the right direction, even if it’s come for now at the expense of a simplified toolset.

    As mentioned previously, there is a lot going on behind the scenes here at Campaign Monitor and thanks to everyone’s feedback, we’re going to see the ability to change fonts, colors etc progressively get built in. Watch this space and keep the feedback coming – we’re certainly listening here.

  • Nicholai

    Hey all – one more vote for the ability to change fonts, colors, etc. Canvas is wonderful…totally love what you guys have done. The editor…WOW…totally puts the current editor to shame. Seriously, I can’t wait to roll that out to clients.

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    Thanks, Nicholai – we sure are listening! Hopefully we’ll give you a few more reasons to enjoy the editor when we roll out a couple of changes in the coming weeks. Until then, watch this space!

  • Emma

    Guys, great job so far. There seems to be alot of criticism but CM is awesome! Keep up the great work.

  • Stephen Jesson

    Thanks so much for your kind words and support, Emma! Glad you’re enjoying Canvas, and we’re working hard to make it even better, with lots of improvements planned :)

    Thanks again!

  • Giovanni Sanguily

    Hi Guys,
    I think Canvas is a great step in the right direction. I see a lot of potential in the platform. Unfortunately we can’t use it just yet until you release the ability to change fonts and colors. So count my vote so that you guys can make that your next stop on your development roadmap. I love working with you guys. I have faith that Canvas will be a great platform for end-users and designers alike!

  • Rachel Gallagher

    I would also like the ability to change the colors and fonts.

  • Carolin Collins

    Any updates on the “change fonts and colours” functionality everybody is asking for? I’ll add my vote to that as it would make a world of difference, making Campaign Monitor an easy sell!

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    Hi there Carolin, the Canvas update is likely going to happen before the end of the month, so please stay tuned to the blog for the announcement – we can’t wait to show you what’s new :)

  • James Norton

    Hi guys, Looking forward to seeing the updates at the end of Oct. Yes the templates provide more flexibility (spacer for example), be we have to be able to change the font and background colours to suit our clients style guides. This is a dealer breaker and now I have started a new campaign, I cannot see the original template options any more, so if I wanted to do an old one I can’t. How do I create an old template whereby I can change the font colours at least?

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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