Customizing Canvas Templates

So let me see if I get this right...
The only way a brand can use one of the Canvas Templates is if they somehow use the same color scheme preset in the templates? Theres no way for me to edit the color scheme here?

Best regards,

Rune Solberg

paulw paulw, 3 years ago

Hey Rune, thank you for posting in the forums! At the moment, it's not possible to customise the colour scheme using the Canvas editor. I'm really sorry about that. We have designed the Canvas templates with this in mind, so hopefully you can find a template that works for you. We created Canvas with the idea that content is often the best way to communicate branding and this approach often produces the best looking and most engaging email campaigns. That said, we're always working hard on improving and we hope to provide some additional customisation options in the future. I have added a vote to our feature wish list for more options to be added.

Thanks again for your feedback here, Rune!

The Campaign Monitor Blog – HTML email smarts to go with your good looks.
thirdsun, 3 years ago

I would love to see some simple options for this as well.  I understand the desire to keep it simple, but just being able to set a primary color so the buttons match the logo (etc) would be great.

gillespie, 3 years ago

Yeah, pretty poor. Love the simplicity, been playing around with templates for the last hour - ready to spend over $100 a month on a plan, and limitation of colours/fonts stopping me.

Seems ill thought through tbf!

Chris Guillou, 3 years ago

What's REALLY missing as well is the possibility to personalize unsubscribe links etc.... or at least translate them :-/
I currently can't use Canvas and can't go back to the old editor for any of my French clients.

miketighe, 3 years ago

Hey guys, long time user. Just wanted to chime in here as well. This is hugely limiting. At least let me change background colors or something.

I was counting on the ability to make some slight color adjustments to a template for a new client, like the old system. Now I have to custom build something, or download the code of a legacy template and try to modify.

Even just the ability to change background, title, font, link colors.

There are many exciting things about canvas, but also several things that are a step backward for any company/client with some basic branding requirements who want to use your templates.

agent314 agent314, 3 years ago

@paulw You said:"We created Canvas with the idea that content is often the best way to communicate branding"...

Are you kidding? What about companies who have spent 10's if not 100's of thousands on "branding"... You can't be serious :-)

I've been with CM 8 years (they can verify it) and I've never spoken up in this manner... but really, I am appalled at some of the answers I'm seeing from moderators on these Canvas topics. Like others, I see a lot of possibility with Canvas... but I'm not sure the unbelievable lack of any significant ability to customize is because they could not build it. If that were the case, I think I would really be worried.

I'm just hopeful that we'll start to see some honest and thoughtful discussion from CM asap. It doesn't seem like them. But then, maybe it's not them anymore. Not sure.

Jeffrey D Brown
capstone, 3 years ago

I have to chime in and agree with the other users here and say that the ability to at least edit the color palette is ESSENTIAL.  I have a ton of clients who are using Campaign Monitor, through 4 different agencies that I work with.

When I deliver a new website to a client, I always set up a Campaign Monitor account for them, and integrate their website mailing lists and contact forms with it. I chose your product because it was extremely easy to set up a template that was branded for them, and I could offer it to them for FREE because it took so little time. Now my only option to create a truly branded email template is to do it from scratch, which is a deal breaker.

For example, I have a client that uses a sans-serif typeface and an orange and grey color scheme exclusively for their website and all of their materials. There are no templates available that fill the bill.

Why did you remove the original template builder completely, instead of offering a choice between the old and new methods?

lischq, 3 years ago

After messing around with Canvas for a while, I have to say that I prefer the previous Template Builder option...I hope that Template Builder is not going away any time soon??  My clients who have access to that option also prefer it.

PDD2010, 3 years ago

What's happened to the old template builder - I can't find it anywhere.  Has it been removed? Why? 

The new gallery templates are terrible and the customisation tools very limited - I want a full width header - but you can't even do that in the template.  S'pose I'll have to go back to creating our own templates and uploading them?  I liked the template builder - bring it back.

This seems extremely short sighted.

jannej, 3 years ago
capstone :

I have to chime in and agree with the other users here and say that the ability to at least edit the color palette is ESSENTIAL.


Must be able to at least set some colors and fonts.

mmcagency, 3 years ago

This is a deal breaker as far as I'm concerned. No amount of justification about content blah blah blah on the CM blogs will justify this decision. This is blatant ignoring the basic requirements of your customer base. Move this feature request to the top of the pile please CM devs or wave goodbye to another customer of 5years+

Halvard, 3 years ago

Yeah, this is really silly, CM. I'd just like to change stuff like the alignment of the logo, the colors of the buttons and perhaps adjust the styling of some of the headers.

They are all wonderfully designed, but after I used the Broadsheet template last month I went from 50% clicked a link to 30%. They button styling on that template is baffling.

I'd like to switch to Slate for our next one, but our logo HAS to be left-aligned. So, dealbreaker.

alx, 3 years ago

Why not make options to customize:

- Background color
- Font: colors, size, family
- Button colors
- Translate and customize the unsubscribe links

And what about RSS to Email, I cant find one template?

Simple can be good, but it can also be poor.

Are there another “Template Builder”?

breetelg breetelg, 3 years ago

Hey everyone,

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about Canvas with us and I apologize for the long overdue reply. It sounds like we’ve really disappointed a lot of you here, and we hate that. It’s really frustrating when you’re trying to make something beautiful and you’re limited by your tools.

We’re currently working on adding the ability to customize fonts and colors. It’s going to to take a little bit of time until its live, but it’s one of our very top priorities right now. As soon as that feature is available, we’ll notify everyone who’s voted for it via email and it will be announced on our blog as well:

In the meantime, If you go to you can create a Canvas campaign outside of your account (you must not be logged in), then download the HTML and CSS to make customization changes. You can then import it into your account as a custom template. Instructions here:

This would allow you to customize the template a bit more as you could edit the source html. Here is a list of tags you may want to use when customizing these templates:

You should note that the template you import after editing will not be editable within Canvas anymore, however you can still edit it with the standard campaign editor. I know this solution is not ideal, but hopefully it will be a workable alternative until we release the next version of Canvas.

@Chris Guillou and @alx Re: translating unsubscribe links - this is now live! To edit this, click “edit” on your desired Canvas template, then select “General Setting” and choose your desired language. This will change the Unsubscribe link as well as the “No Images? Click here” link.

@alx RSS-to-email: The Template Builder is still available for RSS-to-email campaigns. You can also import your own custom template, or you can use one of our free templates here:

I’ve also added votes for the option to customize colors for buttons in Canvas, and we’ll definitely take a look when considering what new features we work on in the future.

I hope this helps!! Please continue to let us know what you think, we really value your opinions and it’s extremely helpful to hear how you’re using CM and what could make it better.

PDS, 3 years ago

Here's an idea: bring back the old Template Builder as an alternative to Canvas/template gallery. IMHO this will make things better for everyone. Thanks for valuing our opinion.

angela, 3 years ago

+1 for a few simple options. The canvas templates are beautiful but very difficult to match to existing branding.

I have a new client who's with Constant Contact and wanted to move her to Campaign Monitor and tweak a template to match, but seems like that is no longer an option :(  Canvas is nice but not something I can sell to a client who is looking for a branded email without building a fully custom design.

Maybe something simple like Wufoo offers in their form themes, even simpler - choose from 10 basic fonts with a color input for headers, icons & buttons. That would go very far.

Keep up the good work and thanks for listening :)

acidproductUK acidproductUK, 3 years ago

+1 for adding options like colour ways

However, what I'm really looking for is the documentation on how to build my own Canvas templates. How come that's not part of the template language yet? I would have thought that was easier than adding features to the editor.

I mean, you guys are building them, so documentation must exist, right?

Ian Davies
Acid Product
Audio Visual Presentations, Web Design, Print Design and Creative Technology Consultancy in Rugby, UK
roshodgekiss roshodgekiss, 3 years ago

Hi acidproductUK,

I mean, you guys are building them, so documentation must exist, right?

This is a bit of a v2 idea at present given that there would actually be quite a bit of work involved in error handling etc, but something we'd like to work towards. We'll keep you posted as we progress :)

Get in touch with us on Twitter:
We're also on Facebook:
goatlady goatlady, 3 years ago

This is a slightly cynical way to look at it, but by removing the old template editor and replacing it with something that does not allow much customisaton, CM have done *my* business a huge favour - I've gotten a lot more requests for custom templates in the past few months. I wonder though how many people have just switched platforms instead.

Need templates designed or built? Talk to me today:
Arsae, 3 years ago

New Science of Forex Trading
New Science Of Forex Trading has never been released anywhere before. This is a system developed by 3 time world trading champion Toshko Raychev. It consists of a physical product that is delivered to your clients door, that includes a detailed 120 page trading manual, cheat sheets and 6 DVD’s, an online members only area with weekly webinars and daily updates.

willow1500, 3 years ago

As a new user I feel completely lost! A client signed up to this and after having a look around it seemed great and easy to edit. So I agreed to design a template for them. I have worked with Canvas and realise after reading threads etc that I can't customise anything. I am baffled and where can I customise and how do the brilliant client examples have customised designs? Where do I do this? The instructions above I can't make sense of either,

"In the meantime, If you go to you can create a Canvas campaign outside of your account (you must not be logged in), then download the HTML and CSS to make customization changes. You can then import it into your account as a custom template."   

How do I download the HTML & CSS??  I am a newbie to this and can't figure out is this just over my head or am I missing something??

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.

lightwavin, 3 years ago

When is the facility to update Canvas templates going to be ready - editing font sizes, colours etc. I sat with a client yesterday to build an email and found Canvas to be an awful replacement for the original template editor. Sooo restrictive. The idea is great, with a drag and drop facility, but it's execution is poor.

I hate to admit, I may have to look at an alternative solution if it is not updated very quickly. Which would be a shame as I have been with CM for a long time and have grown very fond of them.

balthazar balthazar, 3 years ago

Hey lightwavin!

Just wanted to let you know that the updates to Canvas have been released :) You can read about it here. I hope you like what you see!

blad, 3 years ago

After reading some of the posts detailing people's issues with Canvas, I thought I'd see what it's all about (I'd only used the old templating system). I was expecting undownloadable or unmodifiable templates given the comments above, but for a designer familiar with HTML/CSS, the (technical and workload) changes seem minimal - fonts/colours/layouts are all modifiable after downloading your 'best attempt' Canvas template from the public template site, changing the HTML/CSS and uploading.

  1. 1
  2. 2

See why 200,000 companies worldwide love Campaign Monitor.

From Australia to Zimbabwe, and everywhere in between, companies count on Campaign Monitor for email campaigns that boost the bottom line.

Get started for free