Canva is a graphic design platform, used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content and is a great tool to use and invest in for your business.
Lets get down to the basics:
Free vs Premium
The first thing you should know is Canva is free for every individual and team. However, you can access premium features, by upgrading your account. In the premium account you have access to: the full photo, element, video, and audio library, you can create, edit, and save premium videos for any platform, remove image backgrounds which is perfect for product photos, headshots, or transparent PNGs and it also includes animations for your graphics, a social media scheduling tool and more!
Some of the below will include features you can access using a premium account however depending on the size of your business and how much time you would like to invest in marketing, a premium account may not be necessary for you.
Opening your design
Now this step is pretty simple however let's talk about the options you have to pick from when it comes down to creating a document.
Spend some time going through the content options you can create and note down the ones that you can utilise for your business.
Some options available are: presentations, social media posts, thumbnails, flyers, business cards, website banners, logos, stickers and products including sweatshirts, calendars and banners.
Resizing a document
If you need a specific dimension for one of your documents, you can easily adjust the sizing using the resize feature. In the top left corner of your page you will see 'Resize'. Under this tab, you can enter your own required measurements for your document. You can either resize the original document you are working on or hit 'copy and resize' to open a duplicate document with your new dimensions.
Changing Colours: In Canva you can change the colour of multiple things including the background, text and selected graphics. Select the item you want to colour change and look for a box, usually you will find this in the top bar towards the left hand side. The box will either be multicoloured of the same as the current colour of the item you selected.
Adding pages: If you want to add more pages to your design, just above the first page you will see a little icon that looks like a page with a plus sign in it, hit this to add more pages.
Duplicating pages and products: In the same place you go to add pages, you will see another icon that looks like two pages together, this is what you select to duplicate the page you are currently working on.
Uploading your own content: In the bar to the left you will see one of the icons 'upload', if you open this tab you will see that you can upload content and see previous content you have uploaded. This can be video, images and audio. To upload content just hit the upload bar and select your content from your documents.
Cropping and adjusting elements: Select the image you need to crop and adjust, you can then either hit the 'crop' button in the top bar or double click the image. You can then zoom in and crop the image and move the image around to position it on the page how you like best.
Editing images: Select the image you would like to edit and hit the 'edit image' button in the top row. Along the left you should now see that you can change the brightness/contrast/saturation etc of the image ass well as adding shadows and other effects.
Removing image backgrounds: In the same tab where you would edit the image you may see a button called 'BG Remover'. This is a premium feature however it is great for editing products shots etc. This will automatically remove the background behind your image however you can 'erase' and 'restore' any part of the image you need manually.
Adding elements to your design
Along the left hand side of your browser tab, you will see a column of buttons, this is how you will add features to your design making it personalised to your business including text, images and graphics.
Backgrounds: You can add images or a solid colour fill as your main background for all designs. To do this, go to the backgrounds bar on the left. Here you will be able to select a colour or search through canvas bank of imagery. Click on your selected colour/image and Canva will automatically add this to fit the size of your document.
Text: When adding text there are a lot of options to choose from, you can add text by selecting the 'text' tab on the left of the document. There are a lot of preset styles by Canva or you can upload your own text from your documents.
Images: When adding images selecting the 'images' tab on the left of the document will bring up Canvas selection of free images. Another option is to use the 'Upload' tab and use your own imagery.
Elements: Canva have a lot of free elements you can use to make your content stand out including animated graphics. To add these to your content just go to the 'elements' tab on the left hand side and search for a word related to the graphic you would like to add. This will bring up all of canvas free content related to your chosen word for you to pick from.
Audio: When creating reels and other video content its always a good idea to add background music to boost the engagement on the posts. Canva have a selection of copyright free music you can use for your content under the 'audio' tab down the left hand column. You can also upload your own audio under the 'upload' tab.
Effects: You can also add effects to you text such as shadows, curves etc. To do this, select the text you want to add the effect to, in the top bar you will see 'effects', just open this tab and add the desired effect to your text. You can also change the intensity of the effect too!
Animations: One of the best features on Canva are the animations - you can add animations to your text, graphics and images so they bounce into the frame or appear in a motion. To do this just select the content you want to animate and hit the 'animate' button at the top of the page, this will bring up a list of available motions, select your preferred one and test it using the play button in the top right corner of the page. You can also edit the motion to be slower or faster depending on your preferences.
Content Calendar tool:
Make a brand pack:
Now you have the basics down, we can use them to create simple but effective content for your business and social media. Below are some easy content ideas that will take you minutes but have your social media feeds and website looking professional!
Creating a logo:
Creating a website banner:
How to make easy before and after posts:
Simple, effective reels:
Print materials for your business: