Learn about Canva, the free graphic design platform for non-designers

Welcome to our blog! In this opportunity, we are going to teach you what Canva is, a graphic design web tool that was founded in 2012 and with which you can improve your brand’s visual communication.

Whatever you have heard about what Canva is, the first thing you should know is that you don’t need any previous knowledge. You can easily and intuitively create posters, graphics for your website, Instagram posts, Facebook covers and much more.

You know that image is everything when it comes to winning points with your potential customers. But how do you get the perfect design without going to a professional? stay with us! Learn what Canva is and start benefiting from this great free design app.

what is Canva?

It’s a good thing you’ve been encouraged to learn what Canva is. In its basic idea, Canva is a free design tool, which is kind of like Adobe Photoshop’s little sister online.

The best thing about Canva is that you don’t need to have any design experience to create your graphics and you can learn the program in no time. Of course, it’s all about learning by doing. You can easily drag and drop professional graphics and images to boost the success of your social media channels.

In addition to the countless design elements (shapes, figures, stickers, etc.) it brings, you can also access a large database of stock photography (also free) such as Pixabay and Pexels, which are part of the platform since 2019. But if this is not enough, you can also upload your own images.

No matter whether you prefer to work on a laptop or a cell phone, Canva does almost everything. Thanks to the combination of the app and the desktop version, you can use Canva anytime and everywhere if you suddenly get ideas and inspiration. After all, we know that the best ideas always come at the most unexpected moments.

Now that you know what Canva is, you understand why it’s one of the few tools that many businesses wouldn’t work with. And if you’re a designer, you’re probably already thinking about how it will make your daily work easier.

what can you design in Canva?

Canva is very popular for creating social media designs, but there are many other designs that can be created on the platform for various occasions, such as the ones we list below:

Social media posts (posts for Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Stories for Instagram and Facebook, Facebook cover images, YouTube thumbnails, TikTok backgrounds, banners and backgrounds for blogs).
Marketing materials (invitations, posters, flyers, brochures, tickets, programs, logos, brochures, white papers, business cards, vouchers, banners for websites, headers for mailings and newsletters)
Documents (presentations, letters, CVs, invoices)
Videos (Youtube, animated slideshows, animations for social networks, own videos)
And, of course, you can use Canva to edit anything that can be classified as an image.

how do I use Canva?

Once people find out what Canva is, they can’t resist learning how to use it. In this section, we’ll take a step-by-step look at how to create designs in Canva. Both in the browser and in the app it works in much the same way. So let’s see how to use Canva so you can start making your own designs quickly and easily.

1. Sign up and set up your account

To sign up, go to www.canva.com. If the window doesn’t open on its own, click on “Register” and create your free account. Although you can also create your first design without an account, it is advisable to do this first, as you will need it to save anyway.

Once you have created your account, you are ready to go! First, click on the “Brand documents” tab in the left menu. There you can define your brand so you always have it handy in your designs.

In the free or freemium version, you can choose three brand colors. In Canva Pro, you can create palettes with more colors, set brand fonts and upload your own fonts and logo.

2. Choose the right dimensions for your design

To get started, choose your design type on the Canva home page. The dimensions are automatically adjusted for each graphic, whether you want to make a social media post, a brochure, or anything else you want to design.

You can also use custom dimensions by searching for “custom size”, as well as choosing between pixels, millimeters or inches.

Eligiendo las dimensiones adecuadas para el diseñoImage: canva.com

3. Choose the background of your design (a color or an image)

Background colors

Canva offers you a wide range of colors thanks to the color palette tool. Think about which colors best suit the needs of your design. Or you can also use a white background. To choose a color, use the Color Picker tool in the toolbar at the top of the editor.

Pro tip: different colors tell different stories. For example, purple is associated with individuality, orange relates to activity and green evokes images of nature.

Background photos

To use a photo as a background in your Canva design, you first need to add a grid. Once placed in a grid, photos can be resized, cropped, flipped, and layered to create a variety of visual effects.

So search for images or upload your own, then drag and drop your image onto the grid – the photo will snap to it. You can then add filters to change the brightness, saturation and clarity of the photo, which can help when overlaying text and other elements.

Colores de fondo CanvaImage: canva.com

4. Add your elements

You will most likely want to add text to your Canva design, as well as icons, photos or illustrations. It is recommended that you combine them in such a way that they are visually appealing. If you want to add a photo to your design, try using one of Canva’s frames. You can find them under “elements” in the side panel.

Pro tip: take advantage of white space (also known as negative space). This can be any area within a design that is free of text, images or embellishments (it doesn’t have to actually be white). This can help create clusters, add emphasis and improve readability.

Agrega un elemento a tu diseñoImage: canva.com

5. Select the right fonts

The fonts you choose can have a big impact on your design. Keep in mind that a typeface may work for a beauty brand, but is necessarily ideal for a law firm.

On the other hand, it’s possible that your Canva design may need more than one typeface, although it’s advisable not to use more than two fonts in a design. This can make a design look “cluttered”.

Canva offers hundreds of default font combinations that you can find in the Text tab of the side panel, or you can create your own combination. Again, remember that simpler is better: if you choose an elaborate font, be sure to pair it with a simpler one so that your design is balanced.

Canva’s font combination tool can help you, and traditional combinations, such as a sans serif font and a serif font, can be very powerful. Another important point, don’t forget about legibility. If your fonts are too complicated, they can detract from your message.

Selecciona un texto para diseño CanvaImage: canva.com

what plans and pricing does Canva offer?

Once inside the platform, there are a variety of plans through which you can enjoy this tool. If you are looking to take your first steps in design and you don’t have a specific budget for this type of investment, don’t worry! The free version is extremely kind and you won’t need much more than what it offers.

On the other hand, Canva free has more than 250,000 free templates and 100 types of designs. Also, hundreds of thousands of free photos and graphic elements (yes, that’s not an exaggeration). You can invite team members and collaborate in real time. Its biggest drawback: it only offers 5 GB of cloud storage.

Now, if you are looking to scale the level of your designs and avail yourself of super useful resources for your work, we recommend that you choose one of the paid plans that Canva has to offer. In addition to all the free features, the Canvacuenta Pro Plan features:

The ability to create a branding kit with your own logos, color palette and typography fonts.
Magical resizing of designs with just one click.
Over 420,000 free templates with new designs updated daily and over 75 million premium stock photos, videos, audios and graphic elements.
You can save your designs as templates for your team to use in the future with 100 GB of cloud storage
Ability to schedule the publication of content on 7 social media platforms.

On the other hand, one of the central aspects that define what Canva is is the possibility of teamwork. With this objective in mind, they created the Enterprise Plan that allows you to manage all the content from a single place:

Define your brand’s visual identity with logos, colors and fonts in various brand kits.
Control your team’s access to applications, graphics, colors, logos and fonts with brand controls. As well as the team’s uploaded files in Canva.
Create an approval flow for your designs and set the elements your team can edit and maintain your brand identity with template locking.
Unlimited storage space and 24/7 business support from the Canva team.

think none of these are right for you? Don’t despair, these are not all the options Canva offers its users! If you are a content creator for a charitable organization and need more tools than the free ones but don’t have the budget, check if you can apply for a special NGO version for these cases.

On the other hand, if you are part of the educational community, whether you are a student or a teacher, Canva for education is what you are looking for. This plan simplifies teamwork and visual communication in the classroom and all curricular activities. It’s 100% free for teachers and students, from kindergarten through elementary school!

usos-canvaSource: www.unsplash.com

how to create a workgroup in Canva?

One of the great advantages that determines in some way what Canva is, is its openness to collaborative work. To do this, you must register as a “professional” or, once inside, select the “invite members” option in the left sidebar. Add a name to the team for easy identification:

equipo-canvaSource: www.unsplash.com

And then invite the members of your workgroup to start creating collaboratively in Canva. Remind them to join by checking their email inbox.

invitar-equipo-canvaSource: www.unsplash.com

Tips to enhance your designs in Canva

You already know what Canva is and its main elements to design your next project. Check out these tips to enhance your brand image and achieve those goals you always wanted:

Thanks to its smart dashboard, you can duplicate the design you’re working on and try new elements without losing the original. Likewise, when making presentations, you can multiply the bases of your slides and change only the information you need.
Combine typographies without losing the basic rules of design. Use Canva’s suggestions as a source of inspiration for your creations and avoid making design mistakes, remember that it is ideal not to exceed two types of typographies and keep the family.
Create a color palette for your brand and keep them throughout all the designs, this will cause some continuity and consistency in your publications.
Download your creations in the variety of formats offered by the platform in simple steps and leave them ready to publish.

if you have any doubts about what Canva is, check the “help” button and continue learning.

So much for our article about what Canva is. In conclusion, Canva is one of the best tools that companies and professionals can use to create, manage and share branded content.

Best of luck with your designs. See you soon.

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