Intro to Canva
Canva is a free graphic-design tool website used by non-designers as well as professionals. The tool can be used for both web and print media design and graphics, and access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts. In my opinion, Canva is really awesome. Like…I love it….I love it a lot.
HEADS UP: If you already have experience with Canva, by all means, skip the intro stuff by clicking here so we can get to the nitty gritty!
The sidebar from top to bottom:
-User info, once you create an acccount
-Create a design: Self explanatory
-All your designs: All the designs you’ve created on Canva
-Shared with you: A colleague or client can share designs via the email address registered on Canva, and the program stores it here.
-Team members: If you have employees are team members, you can add them specifically as “team members” so that sharing designs is easier for you. Those with free accounts can add up to 10 team members.
-Your brand: NOT FOR US FREE ACCOUNT USERS! Yea, you have to upgrade to Canva for Work to get this feature. However, you create your own sheet using our Boss Brand Guide. If you don’t have it, sign up to be a Boss Brand and you’ll get it for free. Shameless plug? Whatevs. Haha.
-Find templates: An area that has various templates depending on your needs such as social media, etsy banner, flyers, etc.
-Add new folder: Looks like us Free Account users can only add up to 2 folders. Anything beyond that requires a Canva for Work membership.
-Trash: When you delete designs, Canva will store it in its Trash section for 30 days before permanently remove it. This feature has been a life saver for me recently.
Creating a Design
You can choose any template by using what is shown or clicking the “more” button to the right. If you need to create a graphic with custom dimensions, all you have to do is click “Use custom dimensions” at the top right and enter the width and height in pixels.
This feature is a MUST when creating covers for your social media platforms because they are not in the templates. The Boss Brand Guide has pixel dimensions for all the popular social media platforms to ensure your graphics look their best.
Since this tutorial is for creating a social media post, we’re just going to click the “social media” template.
Your Work Area
Another tab will open up and your work are will look like the image above. Let’s quickly introduce the menu bar and tools on the left side.
Free Photos: Pretty self explanatory. Canva will show you all the photos available for free. However, they are not sorted out. So it’s better to user the search bar above it to find what you want and Canva will automatically show you the free ones first.Grids: Similar to Pic-Stich, you can combine photos into one organized graphic.
Frames: Add a frame to your graphic.
Shapes: Add shapes to your graphic. (Boy, this part is easy!)
Lines: Add lines to your graphic.
Illustrations: Drawings of images, not photos. What’s cool about illustrations in Canva is that one you choose it, you can change the color(s).
Icons: You can also change color(s) of icons as well.
Charts: It’s obvious, but honestly….I’ve never used this in Canva. I usually use the charts in Word or Excel, but perhaps you can make your data more attractive creating the chart here.
I Love Canva: All kinds of fun Canva icons, which is great for someone like me who is doing tutorials because I don’t have to search for Canva pngs. It’s all in one place!
Text: Canva helps you out by giving you Header 1, 2 and 3 sizes (top 3) so that you’ll have the size figured out and all you have to do is change the font if needed. They also provide some really beautiful samples that you can add to your graphic. You just click it, and update the words to your own.
Background: You can set the background to a color by choosing one on the default palette or click the square with the plus sign to create your own color using the shade selector or enter the exact hexadecimal color. The exact hexadecimal color is essential for maintaining consistency in your brand.
Refer to your Boss Brand Guide for more on hexadecimal colors.
Uploads: You can upload images to your library so that images such as your brand logo are readily available.
The Nitty Gritty
To get my background image, I’m going to search “office” in the search bar. The image is a naturally a rectangle, but I’m going to pull the corner of the image out to make it big enough to fill the enter area of the square.
Then to create my overlay, you go to Elements: Shapes. Choose the square. Canva should automatically center if for you. (If not, you’ll fix it in the next few steps.) To make the square some transparency, click the checkered button and drag the circle to the left to your desired level of transparency.
Centering: If you still need to center the square (you can do this anything in Canva), you can drag it until you see the purple dashes create 4 perfect squares. That means it’s centered.
Now I’m going to save you from utter boredom by showing you all the rest in one graphic (made in Canva, of course).
Name your file by clicking the name generic name Canva provided (sometimes it’s Untitled, or the first few words of your text).
The download your file. Canva recommends PNG, and I also agree because PNG files keep the integrity of the graphic while JPGs tend to lose some of the quality especially when resized. You also have the option to download the graphic as a PDF. The “All pages” only applies if you created multiple pages of graphics in one file. I’ll explain next.
If you want to create all your social media templates in one file, you can click what looks like 2 sheets of paper next to the page number by the graphic. It will create a copy. I suggest completing the graphic, copying it and replacing the background. Then if you need to change the wording, the fonts and everything are already set. Super easy!