Canva has been designed to empower you to create incredible designs - everything from social media graphics, posters and marketing materials to postcards, invitations, different document types and presentations. Whether you're entirely new to design or a seasoned professional, we hope you find yourself at home designing in Canva.
Your design’s new home
The Canva homepage is where all of your designs will be saved. You can come back here and access them at any time. To visit your home page go to www.canva.com.
Starting a new design
Simply click on the icon of the design type you want to use, such as 'Social Media', 'Presentation', or 'Poster'. Click on the 'More' button on the right-hand side to see a huge array of other design types that you can use. Click on any one of these to create your first design.
How to use custom dimensions
You can also create a design with your own dimensions. Click on "Use custom dimensions" on the upper right hand corner of your page, and use the drop down to choose the measurement you need: pixels, mm, or inches. This is particularly helpful when designing a graphic for a blog or a website.
Creating your first design
Simply click on a design type to get started. To illustrate, ‘Facebook Post’ has been selected and you can see it will open a new tab with the dimensions perfectly suited to Facebook Posts.
Choosing a layout
On the left side of your design you'll see a number of layouts that have been specifically designed for the document type you've created. You can choose any of these layouts by clicking or dragging it to your page.
Edit your text
You can easily edit any aspect of your layout.
For example: to edit the quote, simply click on the text and edit the words to suit your needs.
Edit your background
You can also edit the background color, by simply clicking on the ‘Background’ tab and choosing a different one.
Downloading your design
When you're done with the design, you can download it as a JPG, PNG or PDF file by clicking the 'Download' button.
Upload your own photos
Want to use your own photos? Just click on the 'Upload' tab then big green button that says 'Upload your own images'. Any images you upload will be saved in your Canva account so you can use them later. Keep files under 25 mb each, and make sure it's in JPG, PNG, or SVG format.
Searching for images
You can also search for images inside Canva’s library. Just enter a keyword, say 'chalk’, and images will appear on the left side of the screen. To use an image, you can either drag it onto the page or just click on and resize as you see fit for your design.
Using premium images
The image chose for this example is a 'premium' image. You can see there is a Canva watermark on the image below. Premium images cost $US1 to 'download' in a design in order to remove the watermark.
Once you are finished designing and ready to ‘download,' there will be a prompt to inform you about the required payment of US $1 for the image. You also have the option to purchase bundles of image credits in order to get more savings.
(See there's no watermarks when I download the image)
Grids are your new best friend
One of the most important staples for any new Canva designer is to learn how to use ‘grids’. Simply search in Canva for the word ‘grid' and then drag one onto your page.
Use free photos
If you are after some free photos for your designs, simply search for 'free photos' in Canva and you will have hundreds of beautiful images to use. Once you have chosen one, simply drag it into your grid.
Use photo filters
Once you have an image in your design, you can easily apply filters. Simply click on the image and filters will appear. In the design below, the filter 'drama' was chosen for each of the images, making them look more effective.
Use advanced photo filters
There are also 'advanced options' available for filters. Simply click on the filter menu and then click 'advanced options'. You will be able to edit the images 'saturation', 'tint', 'blur' and more.
Turn a grid into a solid color
If you want to include a little copy in your grid, you can turn a grid into a solid color by simply clicking on the grid, choosing a solid color and then adding text.
Get creative with grids
Grids are extremely versatile. You can easily resize them like in this design below so that they only take up part of your design, for example, this design was created by resizing a '3 x 1 grid'.
Five steps to use stunning shapes
If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can create a design from scratch in Canva. There are some important building blocks to learn about that will make all the difference to your design.
Select a shape
Start by choosing an image from our library or uploading your own image and covering the whole background of your design. Then search for a 'square' and drag one onto your page.
Change the square to black
Change the color of your square to black by clicking on the square, choosing the color picker, then choosing the color black.
Add some ‘transparency’ to your square, as below:
Resize your shape
Now resize your square to take over a section of your background, as below. This will become the perfect background to apply text on top.
Add text to your design
Go to the ‘Text’ tab and add some text to your page by clicking ‘Add heading’. You can easily change the text font, size and color. Then drag it into position.
Perfect font pairs
The fonts you choose will make or break your design, so we've created a few winning combinations you can use in your design.
Want to learn more?
If you are keen to learn more about design, everything from matching colors, to pairing fonts - check out the free tutorials on our Design School. Each of the thirty tutorials takes less than five minutes to do and by the end of it you will feel like a design pro (and you get a cool certificate too!)
For those of you that are really, really keen - here is a video showing you how to create a social media graphic.