Hey, how’s it going today beautiful mumma!
I am so excited for today’s post on How to use Canva for Beginners! as I’m talking about one of the most exciting tools I use on the daily…
I don’t know about you, but one of my biggest challenges in blogging is trying to design anything completely from scratch.
My mind goes blank and I can’t think how to start a design and if it weren't for this tool and its templates, I’d probably still be sitting here now wondering how on earth I’d be able to create such amazing graphics and freebies…
It’s such an amazing tool to have in your toolkit and I really cannot recommend it enough…
It’s one of those tools that you’ll need an afternoon (I actually spent a whole day checking all the ins and outs of it out because I got so engrossed) because once you get into it, you’ll find it so hard to step away!
It has such a vast library, like no other I’ve seen before in an online tool.
So what is this totally amazing tool of awesomeness…
It’s called Canva and today we’re going to get into it and look at what it is, what it does and how to actually use it!
Because quite frankly, you won’t need any other design tool once you’ve checked it out…
What you’ll learn today…
When it comes to Canva, I don’t even know where to start, as it has so many cool things you can do with it (and that I want to talk about and show you).
It has a ton of features and design options and you’ll always be able to find something to help you create an incredible pin image, infographic, social media graphic and a whole lot more…
I use it a lot to create freebies and printables too!
It’s also incredibly versatile, easy and simple to use… you don’t have to be a technical graphic design whiz to use it!
This post will share 10 Steps on how you can use Canva to cover all your design needs 🙂
“This post does contain affiliate links throughout and if you make a purchase using one of my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you”
- What you’ll learn today
- What is Canva?
- Canva’s Pricing Plans
- Canva Features
- How to Use Canva for Beginners!
- Step 1 – Before designing anything, have an idea on what you actually want!
- Step 2 – Choose a Template or set your Custom Dimensions
- Step 3 – Looking at all the options within the Canva library
- Step 4 – Choose a Background for your design
- Step 5 – It’s time for some elements!
- Step 6 – Add in some Text
- Step 7 – What to do with your Design now it’s created!
- Step 8 – Other awesome things you can do with Canva
- Step 9 – Canva Pro & all it has to offer!
- 75 million premium stock images + photos, elements, music and videos (this has gone up, as it was 60 million +)
- 3000+ fonts + you can upload your own fonts
- Brand Kit
- 100gb storage and unlimited folders
- Magic Resize
- Transparent Background
- Background Remover
- Animations and GIFS
- Priority Support
- Content Planner
- Step 10 – Extra Tips and things you need to know…
What is Canva?
Before we get into the nitty gritty of what Canva can actually do, I should first tell you what Canva actually is…
Canva (or Canva Pro which I use now, as I upgraded) is a drag-and-drop, online design tool for creating any kind of design you can think of.
I’m talking videos, social media graphics, infographics, pin images, presentations, email headers… I mean if you can think of it, you can design it using this tool!
Before we start the step-by-step, I want us to look into Canvas features and also quickly share the different price plans available to you.
Canva’s Pricing Plans
Canva has a vast array of plans to suit everyone.
They offer the following plans:
You can definitely use Canva completely free and I did myself for a while, because it still offers a lot of features for you.
As I started to use it more and more however, I decided to upgrade to the Pro version, because it has a ton more customizations and templates available.
You can see in the image above, what the Pro plan offers…
I would suggest you start out with the Free version and see how you get on with it, as you may decide you don’t need to upgrade at all!
Use it for a while and get to grips with it and go from there…
It would be really appreciated that if you do decide to upgrade, you could go through my link so I get a small commission – thank you so much for this in advance 🙂 🙂 xxxx
Go ahead and sign up for an account and then once you’re logged in we can get started…
Now you’ve signed up and logged in, we can take a quick tour of Canva and see what it looks like…
Check out the video below where I give you first insight into Canva!
Canva has many different features available, from photo filters and hundreds of fonts to Icons and Shapes and millions of images, but they all fall under one of the 6 main feature elements below:
- Design Types
- Graphs and Charts
- Photo Editing
Let’s take a look at each of these individually now and find out more about them!
Here is where you’ll find all the design types available within the Canva design tool.
There’s literally so many to choose from.
You can design anything from social media graphics to full on presentations…
The design world really is your oyster…
The Print design options are insane and fab if you’re in the business of creating physical products, such as T-Shirts, Business Cards, Brochures and Wedding Invitations etc…
You can design your product within the Canva dashboard and then they’ll sustainably print and deliver them right to your door!
How awesome is that…
We all LOVE to watch videos and with Canva you can create your very own videos, without needing to be a professional video editor!
With all the templates right there for you, you can create videos in minutes, using the free music clips, free stock videos, animations and so much more.
Canva has even gone as far as enabling you to integrate your fave apps into your designs!
If you want to add your latest Instagram photo, you can, if you want to add a Google Map, you can and if you want to embed one of your crazy YouTube videos – then there’s a way to do that too!
Graphs and Charts
Who doesn’t love a graph and a chart!
I used to dislike them so much when I was at school, but I love an easy to read chart now, where info can get conveyed in a simple and visual way.
Canva has you covered in so many ways when it comes to the choice of graphs and charts held in its library.
You can see below how many different templates there are and how Canva helps you find the right template for your design.
So as well as the 60+million stock images Canva holds (if you’re using the Pro version that is) it also has many editing options, so that you can make your photos and images even more stunning!
Some of the options you can crack into are:
- Adjustments, such as brightness, blur and contrast
- Adding Speech Bubbles and Text
- Grids and Frames
Plus, there’s so much more to explore too!
So that’s all of the 6 main features covered and there’s just no way I could ever cover everything individually, because I’m still coming across new and exciting addons every day.
Canva are always adding new things as well, so make sure you sign up to their email list so you can get notified when they release a new edition to their platform!
So before we move on to actually using Canva, I wanted to share how they have a whole host of video tutorials which will help you with any aspect of using Canva.
Just click on the “Learn” section on their website and you’ll get the help you need!
How to Use Canva for Beginners!
As you can probably tell from all I’ve said above, I’m slightly obsessed with Canva and have a total design crush on it!
I really could not live without this tool in my life.
Not only do I use it for all my blogging needs, I also use it to design things for my kids, create Desktop Wallpapers, of which I have a ton created (as I like to change them every few days to keep me motivated) and to generally browse when I’m looking for some much needed inspiration.
So with all that said, it’s time to see how to actually use Canva and I’ve broken it down into 10 simple steps.
Step 1 – Before designing anything, have an idea on what you actually want!
Before you jump into the designing phase in Canva, look at considering these things first:
- Write down on paper an idea of what you want your design to look like
- Maybe draw a quick outline, so you have some kind of visual (shape, elements, etc)
- Think about what text you want on it and what you want to say
- Where are you going to be using the design? (on your blog, social media platforms, within an email etc)
You don’t have to know all the details (or even all of the above). Just have some kind of vision as to what you want the design to be, as it will help you loads when you actually get down to designing.
After you’ve thought about the above, you can move onto step 2 and that's deciding what you now want to design…
Step 2 – Choose a Template or set your Custom Dimensions
After deciding what you want to design, you now need to actually choose it and set it up…
You can choose from one of the hundreds of ready to use templates OR, you can select the custom dimensions option and enter in your own – so that you can create entirely from scratch!
There’s several ways to do this:
- 1. You can type what you’re looking for in the search bar and it will bring up a list of all the designs available for that search option
2. Another way is to check out the “Recommended” options or simply click on one of the categories that are showing (Social Media, Events, Marketing, Documents etc)
3. The third option is to scroll down the page, where tons of design options are showing and you can click on one
4. You can also simply click on the “create a design” tab in the top right hand corner and choose from the options there.
Note: If you decide to set custom dimensions, you have the option of working in pixels (which is what I always use and is the default dimensions) inches, millimetres or centimetres.
It depends entirely on what you’re creating.
So go ahead and pick something to design…
Once you’ve chosen a template/set custom dimensions, here is where you’ll see the Canva dashboard (where you’ll be working and designing) for the very first time!
I personally think it looks fairly simple at first glance, but it also actually IS simple and easy to use and navigate around.
I promise you that gorgeous mumma!
It will not take long for you to get to grips with it at all…
You’re now ready to start customizing your design!
Step 3 – Looking at all the options within the Canva library
Once you’ve clicked on the design you want to use, you’ll enter the design dashboard where you can start letting your creative juices flow, with what seems like an infinite library of goodies!
The infinite library consists of the following goodies:
The first option is the “Templates” where you can pick a template, which not only saves time, but also helps you if you haven’t got a great imagination or can’t think what to design completely from scratch (like me).
As well as the templates option, you have several other elements to choose from, to add awesomeness to your design.
This is where you can upload an image or video from your computer OR you can also upload from Facebook, Google Drive, Instagram or Dropbox (you’ll need to connect these accounts to your Canva for these)
Here is where you have access to thousands upon thousands of photos, which you can use within all your designs.
Canva offers several different ways to find photos. You can sift through the “Trending” photos, you can click on one of the categories located at the top, or you can simply type in what you’re looking for and it will bring up all the photos available.
When you hover over the photos, it will tell you whether they’re free or pro, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.
All the photos are available within the Pro version.
The elements tab offers soooooo many fantastic things to use within your designs.
I can’t even type them all down here as there’s so many.
Just to give you a glimpse into some of them, you have options such as:
- Zodiac Symbols
- Sketchy Flowers
- Girl Power
- Bright Food…
And within those categories, there are tons of elements you can use.
It really is amazing…
The text options are so cool. You have the choice of adding a heading, sub-heading and body text.
You can also set up your brand fonts within the Brand Kit, although this is a Pro version option only). You also get some really fab font combinations too…
Have a proper play around with it, as you can create some crazily awesome designs!
I love the styles options (which is a pro version only option, as far as I’m aware) as you get to test out some colour and font combinations, which Canva have already thought of for you.
I’ve created a couple of examples for you in the image below, but I also have a section showing my Brand Kit options, which will only show up for you if you have the pro version.
This is one I haven’t checked out yet, but you can simply choose one and incorporate it into your design.
You can see what it looks like below, although you can’t hear the music it’s playing.
I can imagine this is a really fun one to mess around with and background music is always a big hit when added to images and videos.
Video is always extremely popular and Canva have taken this on board and included a lot of video clips you can use within your graphics.
They’ve also broken it down into categories, making it easier for you to find what you need.
The background section does not disappoint. There are so many options for you to choose from, from patterns and gradients to textures and flowers.
I can waste so much time checking out all the backgrounds (which we shouldn’t really do as there’s so much else we have to do in blogging) but it’s incredibly fun.
So they’re all the design types you can choose from, so I encourage you to spend some time having a go and creating some amazing designs as practice gets you more comfortable and confident.
As well as the actual design tools, there are also another few options within this library.
- Crown Icon
Here you’ll find 6 folders where you can take several actions.
- All your designs – here is where all the designs you create are kept, so you can come back to them if you need to tweak them or re-download them.
2. Likes – You have the option to “like” any photos or images you come across, so that if you find something that you think would be awesome to use at a later date, you can simply click on the “Add to Likes” and it will include it in this folder, so you don’t have to rummage through everything trying to find it when the times comes to pull it out the bag
3. Purchased – Here is where anything you purchase will be added. If you use the free account, you can purchase one off images and vectors etc. You can also decide what licence you want to purchase them under (one time use, multi-use or extended use).
4. Shared with you – Mainly used within the “Enterprise” plan, where team members need to share designs, here is where you can add the shared designs.
5. Logos – If you have set up the Brand Kit under the Pro version of Canva, you can add your Logo here.
6. Team Templates – Like the “Shared with you” folder, this one is the same in that you can share templates with team members.
So that’s the folder options gone over.
One other thing I wanted to mention about the folders, is that when you click on one, it gets added to the actual library menu on the left hand side.
If you want to remove it, you simply click on the little “x” in the top left hand corner.
Here is where all the Apps and Integrations are housed, that you can connect.
Simply click on any you want and connect it up to start using.
This icon only shows at the bottom of this list, once you have the Pro version.
It’s so you can see all the options available to you, now you’ve upgraded.
You can simply click on this icon and it will bring up all the features offered within the Canva Pro plan.
That’s it for a brief tour of all the elements within the library.
There’s a ton to look at and get to know, so don’t be scared to play around and utilise all it has to offer.
Building your design in Canva is all about layering different elements and we start this process with a background…
Step 4 – Choose a Background for your design
The background for your design is the first element you want to look at.
Plain Colour Background
You can have a plain colour background, which can be any colour you can think of…
To do this, you can either click on the “New colour” and enter in a hex code for a colour you want to use, or you can type the colour in the search bar and lots of variations will come up, alongside colour combinations that go with the chosen colour.
You will also have your brand colours shown here if you’ve set a Brand kit within the pro version, along with all the default colours to pick from.
Let’s just say, you won’t be stuck on a colour choice!
If you can’t think of a colour palette or you want some colour inspiration, this will really help you.
As well as just plain colours, you also have the other background options, which include tons of templates within each of the following sections:
Finally, you can also have a photo background and the best way to do this is to choose a “Grid” element which best suits the design you want to create and then you can add the photo in and adjust it within the grid.
There are sooo many different backgrounds you can choose from, to make your design look awesome, so have a play and see what looks great!
In the video below, you’ll also see all the different things you can do with the backgrounds, from the effects and filters, to cropping and flipping…
It’s much easier to show you these properly, than try and explain them in writing.
Step 5 – It’s time for some elements!
Next up you can start adding some elements into the mix!
The thing to remember is – keep it simple…
It’s very easy to get carried away and try to include all the elements available (because they’re so amazing) but you want to make sure that your design's message is coming across loud and clear and isn’t being lost among too many pretty flowers and rainbows!
The elements section within the library holds a ton of different things to bring your designs to life…
Here’s a list of all the main elements:
Here is where Canva will add their latest featured elements for you.
There’s lots of interesting and trending graphics and vectors within here.
Any kind of line, arrow, border etc is housed under this section of elements.
Shapes are fab to use within your designs, as they can go behind text to make it stand out!
The frame elements come in very handy when you want to add photos and images to your designs.
You can add photos into laptop frames, letter frames and even a jigsaw puzzle frame.
If you want to add some movement to your designs, then check out the sticker elements section.
There’s a whole array of awesome stickers in there to choose from.
If you’re wanting to show off your data in a really cool way, the chart element’s got you covered!
There are all kinds of charts to choose from, including the classic pie chart and bar chart…
Adding photos and elements into grids will help your designs stay clean and crisp!
You can choose from so many different options, so you’ll always find a grid to suit your needs!
Gradients are one of fave elements…
They can really pump up your designs and make them pop!
More Element Options
The above elements are the main options available and are always in the library.
Canva also offers several more elements, which change all the time, depending on what's popular and trending at the time.
I can guarantee you that whatever you need to add to your design, whether it be a unicorn or a dragon – you’ll find it within the elements part of the library!
As soon as you add any elements or text into your design, you can choose to “animate” them.
There are limited options with the free version, but they can really bring your designs to life.
You get 6 free options, at the time of writing this and then a further 7 within Canva Pro.
These animations are fab for making social media or blog image designs pop!
You can see in the video below how to use all the different elements within Canva…
Step 6 – Add in some Text
The fonts you use can make a big impact on how your designs look.
Also, the kind of fonts you use need to reflect the business or blog you have.
For example, you probably wouldn’t use a really bubbly font for your corporate business, yet a bubbly font would be ideal for a beauty blog or fashion brand.
Another little tip is to not use too many fonts in one design.
I would recommend two font styles at the most!
One crazier font maybe and one simpler one…
Look at what fonts compliment each other, as you don’t want to be slap dashing all kinds of fonts together and also ALWAYS make sure they’re readable.
A couple of great resources you can use to help you with combinations is FontPair which shows you what fonts go well together and Fontjoy which you can generate different font combinations at the click of a button!
Canva also has their own amazing font combinations built into the “Text” element within the library.
Once you’ve chosen your fonts, it doesn’t end there.
- Change the size of the text
- Change the colour of the text
- Choose whether you want it bold, Italic or underlined
- Change the alignment of the font
- Change it all to uppercase
- Add in bullet points
- Change the letter spacing
- Add effects (this is really cool and a newish feature)
- More – copying the text, adding a link and locking the element (this is so that you don’t accidentally change an element while you’re working on other elements within the design)
As with the elements within the library, you also have the option to “animate” your design, whenever any text is added…
Step 7 – What to do with your Design now it’s created!
Once you’ve created your fantastic design – what do you do next?
Canva offers several publishing options and we’ll get into those in a moment, but first, I wanted to talk about how your designs are saved…
Saving your designs
Canva automatically saves your work and any changes you make to it, however, you do have the option to save it manually and save to a folder.
This is great, as you never have to worry about whether you’ve saved anything and no work is lost.
Note: Also remember to “NAME” your design, which is done where it says “Untitled design” up in the top left.
Name it something which you’ll remember and will resonate with what the design is. The more designs you create, you’ll need to make sure you can differentiate between them all!
So now we’ll look at what the different publishing options are:
- Save + Download as PDF (standard)
- Save + Download as PNG
- Save + Download as JPG
- Save + Download as SVG (Pro version only)
- Save + Download as MP4 Video
- Save + Download as PDF Print
Quick note: You can only download PNG images with a transparent background, if you’re using Canva Pro.
The free version of Canva does not offer this option.
You’ll see in the image above that it’s faded out and can’t be clicked on in the free version.
Step 8 – Other awesome things you can do with Canva
So we’ve already talked about so many things you can do with Canva, but there’s still a few more things I want to show you, which will help you even more!
You’ll see when you’re designing that there’s a “share” button in the top right hand corner.
Here is where you can share and transfer your designs with someone who has a different Canva account and also to each other within your own Canva team!
You just need to enter in the person’s email address and send.
Additional Publish options
Next to the “download” button, there’s some additional publishing options.
Here is where you’ll find all the options to share (including all the ones under the “download” tab) along with sharing links, the ability to record yourselves and then share the presentation, sharing to social media platforms and online storage accounts and ALL the print options available for your designs.
It also gives you the option to save and share your designs to outside apps (HubSpot and Typeform etc)…
Other simple tips & things to use in Canva
Dragging Elements Around the Page and onto other pages
It’s super easy to drag elements around the page and to also place them on another page.
Simply just left click and hold on the element and move it…
Selecting all elements together
Another awesome way to move all elements on the design, is to left click and hold and then drag your mouse across all the things you want to move.
You can then move them to where you want.
You can also do the same when you want to delete several items – just drag onto all the elements and press delete…
Copying and Pasting elements
The same way you’d copy and paste in a Word document, you can do the same with any element within Canva.
Just press Control + C on the element you want to copy and then press Control + V to paste it.
You can then move it around where you want to put it.
Using Arrow keys to move elements
If you want to move elements more accurately, you do this using the arrow keys.
To move the element just 1 pixel at a time, simply click on the element and then press one of the arrow keys as many times as you want to move it up, down or either side.
If you want to make a bigger movement, but still accurate, click on Shift + whichever arrow key and this will move it 10 pixels at a time.
Make sure your text can be seen on your background
It’s really important to make sure that your text can be seen and stands out on your backgrounds.
Always make sure you use white or light coloured text on a dark background and black or dark text on a light background.
Place text in a shape over Images
If you have a lovely image and then you want to add some text over the image, the best way to make it stand out is to add a shape first and then add the text into the shape, as per the image below…
Adjusting Photos within a Frame
It’s really super simple to adjust photos that are within a frame.
All you have to do is double click on the image and move it to where you want it within the frame.
Using Grids whenever you add an Image
To make it easier for you to move and adjust your images around, always use Grids (of which there are tons of different layouts) where you can place your images inside and fit them accordingly.
Grouping + Ungrouping
If you use a template or the font combinations, most of the time, you’ll see they’re created grouped together.
If you want to make changes, the way to do this is to “ungroup” the elements, which then allows you to make any changes to the elements individually.
Another great tool within Canva is the positioning tool.
You can position everything wherever you want it.
You can send things to the back, move them forwards, to the right, to the left and even horizontally and vertically.
Have a play around with it as you can make some really unique designs using this.
I love the transparency option, which you can use on text, images, backgrounds and elements.
This can make your designs look really different and punchy!
If you click on anything within your design, you can select the “duplicate” button in the top right hand corner and it will make a copy of it.
Anything can be deleted too, either by clicking on the item and using the “delete” button on your keyboard, or you can click on the “delete” bin icon in the top right hand corner.
When you’re working on your design, you have several zoom options to choose from.
You can fit to screen, so you can see everything you’re working on in one go.
You can click on fill and it will fill the page, so you can see larger areas, or you can choose a specific percentage, ranging from 10% to 300%.
If you click on the little square icon at the bottom right hand corner, it will open all the pages you’ve created in a grid view.
I’ve created 4 pages in the example below so that you can see how this works.
Present Full Screen
The little arrow symbols in the bottom right hand corner allows you to open up your design in full screen mode.
Just click the “escape” button or click on the little arrows in the bottom right hand corner again to escape full screen.
There’s an option in the top left hand corner named “file”.
Just quickly, before I talk about the important options in here, you can start a new design process by clicking on “create a new design” and choosing an option…
You can also name your design here (as well as in the top right hand corner that I showed)
There are then 4 elements (two work together) I want to mention here, which can help guide you when laying out elements within your designs.
These are particularly important to use when you’re creating designs which are to be professionally printed, or for when you want to line elements up more accurately.
- Show rulers and Show Guides – if you click on show rulers, the show guides will automatically be ticked as well. This is where you can add in some guidelines, to help make elements more accurate in your design.
2. Show Margins – the margins are great to use on any print design, so that you can make sure nothing gets cut off. Keep everything within the margin lines and it’ll all be fine when it goes to print.
3. Show print bleed – this allows printing to be at the edge of the paper/card, leaving no white gaps. When the margin is added, it’s fixed and cannot be adjusted in anyway. If you do have white gaps showing, you can simply stretch the background to cover them and stretch any elements around the edges (elements which you don't mind being cut).
This is a fairly new feature added into Canva and it simply shows you the current version of the design you’re working on and also the autosave versions too.
You can click on the one you want to revert back to and then restore that version.
Make a copy and download
You can also make a copy of the design and download from here also.
So that’s all the little tips and things I wanted to share with you, to help you create designs simpler and easier.
Step 9 – Canva Pro & all it has to offer!
Canva’s free version does so much and you can probably do everything you need with it (at least to start with anyway).
Canva’s free option (also known as Canva Basic too) means you can still design anything – you’ll just be limited to certain functionalities and the amount of things which are offered (pretty much the same as for any other free version of a tool).
If, however, you want to upgrade to Canva Pro at any point in time, I’m going to show you now what you get…
75 million premium stock images + photos, elements, music and videos (this has gone up, as it was 60 million +)
This is crazy to get your hand around, as there’s so many photos and elements to choose from.
You’ll never, ever have to worry about not finding something to include within your design…
(I’ve already gone through all the different elements within the library, further on up in the post, so I’m not going to go through them here again).
You’ll know which photos are free and which are Pro, because it states it on each, if you’re using the free version.
Once you’ve upgraded, all the photos and elements show as free…
3000+ fonts + you can upload your own fonts
That’s a lot of fonts…
You’ll definitely be able to find a font within that amount 🙂
The great thing with Canva is, you’ll know what you do and don’t have access to if you’re using the free version, as it comes up with the little crown next to anything included under Pro.
As a Pro user, you’ll have the “upload a font” at the bottom and when you click on it, it will take you to the “Brand Kit” page, where you can click and upload your custom font…
The Brand Kit is a really awesome add-on to the Pro version of Canva.
Brands make businesses and people always remember your brand!
When you are on your homepage, you’ll find it on the left hand side, within the menu.
Having a brand kit set up means you can have instant access to your:
- Brand logos
- Brand colours
- Brand fonts
You can upload and add logos here, add colour palettes and also set a Heading, Subheading and Body font for your brand.
This makes designing so much quicker and more efficient, as you can simply click and add these in.
You can see from the image below that the brand fonts are set automatically within the text element of the library.
It’s simple to add a colour palette and the great thing is, you can have as many as you want…
You just click on “add new palette” and then click on the box with the cross in to add a colour. You then repeat this for as many colours you need to include.
Adding your logo is just as easy too. Just click on the box with the cross in and upload your logo (which you can design within Canva too, if you haven’t already got one).
100gb storage and unlimited folders
I showed you the “folders” element in the library earlier on, where several things are stored.
I now want to show you how to create a new folder…
Canva Pro allows you to create as many folders as you need, so that you can keep all your resources and designs well organised.
You can also share folders with your teams and team members too!
Simply drag and drop designs into the folders you want to add them to.
The magic resize element to Canva Pro is amazing!
I love using this all the time!
This is a phenomenal tool, especially if you need to create multiple images relating to one post or promotion etc…
Say you want to share a blog post on social media, Canva’s magic resize tool means you can create one design, such as an Instagram post and then click a button to create the same design in a Facebook post and Pinterest Image, or whatever it is you want to duplicate the same design for.
We all know that creating designs shouldn’t take a ton of time and with this magic resize button, you can make it even easier and quicker for yourself.
You can create an amazing design ONCE and then click resize and choose what new design you want to magically create from that design!
It really is super cool…
Downloading your PNG designs with a transparent background is a MUST sometimes!
When you create things like logos, they usually need to be downloaded with a transparent background, so they can be placed on a number of things, such as business cards, letters, emails etc…
Certain designs may also require a collage of images, or you may need to layer images on top of each other or have a certain graphic which you need to use.
This is when transparency is key!
You can see in the image below, the difference between using an image downloaded with a transparent background and one which isn’t.
The transparent one looks so much nicer and much better on a coloured background, compared to the normal downloaded image on a white background.
This is another fab Canva Pro feature…
You may find sometimes that you want to remove a background of one of the photos or images, or you may want to upload your own images and remove the backgrounds.
This comes in handy when you’re creating graphics and certain designs.
It’s really easy as you just click on the image you want to remove the background from and then select “effects” and click on “background remover”.
It will then buffer for a while as it removes the background for you…
You can see above how the image looks once the background has been removed.
Animations and GIFS
Do you want to bring your designs to life?
Adding animations and gifs can make your designs lifelike and enjoyable for the people who see them.
Making things fun and exciting will keep your audience interested and engaged!
There’s tons of additional animations and gifs you can play around with in Canva Pro, compared to the free version, so check them out and see what you love!
Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong.
With Canva Pro, you’ll always get priority support and they’ll get you back designing before you know it.
You can reach out to them by clicking on the purple “help” button in the bottom right hand corner and selecting what you need help with.
The final element of Canva Pro I want to talk about, is the Content Planner!
If you use social media as part of your blog or business, then you’ll know that scheduling is vital!
Rather than having an expensive and separate social media content planner, you can use the inbuilt one in Canva Pro and create, schedule and publish directly from the dashboard…
This is a fairly new addition to the Canva family, so there may be some teething problem.
This new tool will save you a heap of time, as you’ll no longer need to download each design and then upload to every single social media platform individually!
With the calendar view, you can see all your upcoming posts, so you can plan your content for the future!
This allows you to stay active and consistent with your social media audiences, without all the added effort…
Little tip for content creation: A great way to do this is to look at all the major events you have coming up, holidays, product launches etc…
You can then create designs for them and plan it all out inside your content planner!
So, there are the Canva Pro features…
There’s so many and they’re adding cool new things all the time.
Everytime something new becomes available, you’ll get emailed, but you can also see them all here…
Step 10 – Extra Tips and things you need to know…
You’d think after all the things I’ve talked about above, that would be it for Canva… but it isn’t…
There’s still a few more things I want to share with you, because Canva really does do so much…
We all tend to do so much on our mobile phones nowadays, because they’re convenient and on us all the time!
That’s why it’s great that Canva has it’s very own app, so you can work on your designs anytime, anywhere – awesome when you get a lightbulb moment right there and then!
Canva have made their app for iPhone, iPad, Android mobile and Android tablet – so you’re covered with whatever you have.
You can do all the same things as with the online and desktop version, however, there are some additional features…
Because our smartphones have such great quality screens, there are more filters available within the mobile app, so check them out!
Desktop App for Windows
As well as the mobile app, you can also work on the desktop version.
You can do everything within the desktop app, which can be added to the taskbar, just like all the other apps you use.
You just log in as normal and it all looks exactly the same.
Note: Canva still needs internet connection to work offline, as it runs through an electronic framework based application.
Canva is now available in over 160+ languages.
The great thing is, when you use it in your selected language, it will bring up applicable fonts and possibly localized templates, if they’re available.
In order to change the language, you need to go to your Account Settings, change it and Save…
Canva also has the option for live presentations.
You can do it right from within Canva and there can even be live audience engagement.
Making your presentations awesome and stand out won’t be hard as Canva offers transitions and magic shortcuts, so that your presentations are fun, unique and interactive.
Your audience can even join in and ask any questions from their own device.
Add Blog/Website URL to your designs
When creating your designs to put on your blog and social media platforms etc, make sure you always place your blog or website URL somewhere, so that people know it relates to you and your brand!
When you have amazing content and graphics, you want to show it off and get recognition for it, so making sure your logo or url (or both) are on these, will spread the word and people will start to associate your content with each other and get to know you!
Canva’s design school is really amazing and holds tutorials and courses for everything.
If you need to learn how to design graphics – there’s a course for that…
If you want to learn how to brand your business, there’s a course for that…
There are also tutorials for many things too (you can see I’ve watched all the tutorials).
Keep designs simple
One thing I want to emphasize is that you want to keep your designs clean, simple and not over-the-top!
Too many elements, text and photos can cause chaos for the mind and overwhelm your audience.
Avoid clutter and trying to fill every white space.
You can see how simple the templates are for the Instagram Posts within Canva…
Avoid too many colours
Most of the time, you’ll probably be using your brand colours throughout your designs, however, if not, try and only use two or three colours maximum.
Too many colours can also ruin a design!
A great tool within Canva for colour use, is that when you use a photo, it shows you the “photo colours” which is great for matching shapes and text for your design!
This can create some really simple, yet cool designs, without overusing colours and making the design messy!
Canva has a colour wheel tool which can help show you what colours go well together and compliment each other.
Some quick tips for colours are:
- Use vibrant colours to enhance particular elements
- Choose colours which compliment the images (as per the photo colour option mentioned above)
- Use 4 colours or less
Don’t overload the text
Another tip is to limit the amount of text you have on your designs.
A great way to do this, is to switch out text for icons.
People tend to be more visual and information can definitely be portrayed with imagery, rather than pure text.
Visual perception is one of the quickest ways for people to absorb information.
In the example below, rather than using the words Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc, simply using the icons works and gives the design a cleaner and simpler effect.
So, we’ve come to the end of this post and I hope I’ve managed to get you to fall in love with Canva, just like I have…
I really couldn’t do without it and I use it more than any other tool in my blogging toolbox!
It’s good for soooo many things and I feel that if you only choose one graphic design tool, then this is the one to have…
Grab the guide to help you create anything within Canva!
Grab this guide & use it alongside the blog post to create tons of awesome designs!
So I hope you've enjoyed this how to use canva for beginners post, but before it comes to an end, let’s recap as to why you should choose Canva (whether it be the free or Pro version) for all your design needs:
- Thousands of awesome and amazing templates
- Hundreds of thousands of stock images and photos
- Super simple to use
- No need for any graphic design skills
- A huge range of fonts
- Incredible elements to create any kind of design
- Design School (all kinds of courses + tutorials)
- Canva mobile app
- Canva desktop app
- Transparent backgrounds (pro)
- Magic resize (pro)
- Brand kit (pro)
- Content Planner (pro)
So that’s it – the end of this post and I’ve shared everything I know about Canva.
Now it’s your turn to check it out and start creating some amazing designs…