Canva might be one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century. I mean it. If you’ve never used it, it’s a free online graphic design program that allows you to create excellent content with minimal design know-how. Custom designs from a professionally priced design program will always give you the ability to create things you couldn’t otherwise. Our designers have spent so much time training to become experts! However, having a designer that is Adobe-savvy isn’t feasible for all organizations. So if you’re tasked with designing something, hiring an agency with professional designers is always your best bet.
But where do you turn if you can’t afford professional designers? Enter Canva. Several of our team members have become Canva pros and we’ve put together our top tips for getting the most out of the program.
1. Pull Elements from Templates
On the left hand side of the menu, you’ll see the templates. These are exactly what they sound like, fully editable and customizable graphics already designed out for you. But, one of my favorite ways to use them is to pull certain elements from a template to use on your own design. For example, you add a phone alarm or text conversation onto your design without committing to the contents of the entire template.
2. Change the Color of Elements
If you choose an element from Canva’s library, it’s easy to change the color. But if you upload your own element, it’s less apparent how to do that. Click on your upload within your design, click “effects” and then “duotone” to change the color. Double clicking on any of those colors will bring up the palette for you to choose any custom color. Also, while you’re there, check out the photo effects like glitch and liquify.
3. Transparency is Key
You probably knew that you can make any final design transparent. But did you know that you can make any element transparent? This is especially helpful if you’re using a colored background or overlaying your designs.
4. Brand Kits
Do you have a color scheme that you want to keep saved on your account without having to frequently type in a bunch of hex codes? You can save what are called “brand kits” that include the exact colors and fonts for your brand. They also have curated brand kits for anyone to use with complementing colors if you’re looking to be inspired. This saves a lot of time and keeps your brand presence uniform and consistent.
5. Find Free Elements
Switching to Canva PRO can make your design life a lot easier, but if that’s not in the budget, you’ll have to scroll through a lot of paid elements to find a free one. To only see the ones that are available on Canva Lite, type in “brand:BAAMOuJH0Ec” in the element search bar to only show those elements that are free.
6. Press “T” on your keyboard at any time to create a new text box.
No explanation needed. It can save time if you’re working fast.
7. “Position” is the ultimate fixer
We all know the feeling of getting into a design with tons of different layers and having to squint to see if everything is lined up correctly (or if you’re like me, you’ve held an actual ruler to your screen and moved the photos around!) But if you select your elements and then click “position”, you’ll be able to align elements in a certain way or space them out evenly, and even just a general “Tidy Up” function.
8. Grid View
If you’re designing something with a lot of pages, it’s easy to get lost in the constant scrolling. If you click on “grid view” on the bottom right, you’ll see each of your pages at once, allowing you to edit and rearrange as you wish.
9. External Linking
If you’re creating something for the web such as a PDF, you can make any element clickable. Click on whatever image you’re linking and click on the chain icon to paste the URL you’d like people to be sent to.
10. Utilize Keyboard Shortcuts
Add a line to your document: Click the “L” key
Add a rectangle to your document: Click the “R” key
Transform text to Uppercase: Shift + cmd/ctrl + “K” key
Bold text: cmd/ctrl + “B” key
Duplicate elements: cmd/ctrl + “D” key
Group Elements: cmd/ctrl + “G” key
Ungroup Elements: shift + cmd/ctrl + “G” key
Select all items on layer: cmd/ctrl + “A” key
Send element forward: cmd/ctrl + “]”
Send element backward: cmd/ctrl + “[“
Undo an action: Cmd/ctrl + Z
There you go! We hope this helps you create on Canva. If you’re still wanting to master the program you can check out more of Canva’s own tutorials here. Also, if you sign up for their email list, you’ll receive the updates as they’re rolled out to keep you up to date on the latest. Hopefully, you’ve learned a couple of things today that you didn’t know about using Canva. Do you have any tips that you think I’ve missed? Let me know.
Does all of this Canva stuff stress you out? Do you wish you could pass it off onto an expert? Hi, we’re the experts on all things design. We’d love to step into your design needs and create custom collateral for your audience.
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