What is Canva and how to create your design with this powerful and simple online design tool
Creating custom designs to share on social networks and instant messaging apps or to illustrate your personal projects doesn’t have to be complicated. If you are not fluent in graphic design programs, don’t worry because thanks to Canva you don’t need advanced knowledge to get eye-catching, professional-looking results.
Surely you have heard of this platform on occasion. If the concept sounds familiar to you but you don’t know exactly what Canva is, it’s about an online tool and a veteran and popular design application. It was born in 2012 in Australia by Melanie Perkins, founder of Fusion Books, the largest publishing house in the country.
It was initially released as an online application to create poster designs, advertisements and other pieces with vectors. In 2013, the Canva Android app hit the market, and two years later Canva for Work appeared, a platform for companies to easily create their own marketing materials.
Today, Canva offers you versions for the browser and for iOS and Android mobile devices. The secret of its success is that anyone can create attractive and eye-catching designs thanks to the templates and elements it offers. It has millions of stock photos, vectors and illustrations, provides free icons and shapes, has hundreds of fonts and also filters for photos.
Canva can be used for free. The platform offers you more than 250,000 free templates, more than 100 types of designs, 5 GB of cloud storage or the ability to collaborate with other people and comment in real time. With all these materials and tools at your fingertips you can create designs for social networks, business cards, flyers, resumes, infographics, posters, logos and many more designs.
If you do not want to have any limitations and would like to benefit from additional advantages, you have at your disposal a paid account called Canva Pro that gives unlimited access to all the tools and content, and for companies there is the Canva Enterprise account. If you wish, you can check the characteristics and prices of each plan in this link.
Getting started with this powerful and simple online design tool is very easy. So that you have no doubt, In this tutorial we explain how to create your online design step by step.
How to create your design in Canva
Sign up for Canva
The first thing you have to do is sign up for Canva. It is a very fast process and it will not take you more than a minute. To do this, enter the Canva official website, click the Sign up button and then select the option to create your account. You can register with your Google or Facebook account, as well as with your email.
To complete the registration, the system will ask you to indicate how you are going to use Canva (staff, student, teacher, small businesses, etc.). In this way, they can recommend designs and templates that may interest you.
In the next step you can start a free trial of the Canva Pro plan, which provides unlimited access to advanced tools, content and materials for 30 days without paying anything. You can cancel at any time and the platform will remind you that the trial period will end three days before so that you are attentive and they do not charge you.
Create your design
Once you have created your account, creating your design in Canva is as simple as choosing the content type template and customizing it to your liking. To do this, after logging in with your credentials, enter the section Templates, where you can search by categories and browse through the available options.
As we said in the introduction, you have more than 250,000 free templates at your disposal, so take your time to select the one that best suits your needs. You can choose different formats for Facebook posts, Stories or Instagram posts, presentations, flyers, posters, letters, CVs, business cards, brochures, photo collages … If you wish, you can use the keyword search engine to locate the template that interests you.
As an example, we have chosen the category Animations for social networks, a section that allows you to create very attractive content to share on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms. Before selecting a template, Make sure it does not have the € symbol in the lower right corner, as this means it is paid.
When you find the design you like the most, click the Use this template button to access Canva’s online editor.
As you can see, customizing the template is as simple as selecting the sample content and replacing it with your own. Click on the texts to write your own messages and distribute the elements to your liking by dragging and dropping.
To add your own photos, videos or audios, go to the Uploaded files tab on the left menu, click on the Upload files button and select the file from your computer. Then, to incorporate these contents into your design, drag them to the work desk and place them wherever you want.
In the left menu tabs you can find all the available options to add content. Apart from uploading your own files, you also have a file of photos that you can use, elements (shapes, stickers, frames, etc.), fonts, audio, video, graphics and backgrounds. In the catalog you will see many free content, as well as payment options.
Incorporating new elements into your design is very easy. Just select and drag them to the work area, where you can later adjust their size and location, as well as other aspects, such as colors.
Download, share or print your design
When you finish your design, Canva gives you the option to download, share, or print it. In the upper right corner you can see the Download button. Click on it and then select the output file type from the dropdown. In the example that we have chosen, We can download the file in MP4, GIF, PDF, JPG and PNG format. It can also be downloaded in SVG, but this alternative is reserved for Pro subscribers.
You can also share your design directly on different platforms. To do this, click on the icon with the three dots located in the upper right corner, look for the Share section and then See all to see all the options. You can publish it on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Slack, save it to Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive … Subscribers also have the possibility to schedule the publication.
Canva also offers you a printing service so you can have your designs on paper. In the three dots icon you will see the Print section, where you can print business cards, t-shirts, mugs, flyers and much more. In each of the options you will see the price of the impression, which varies depending on the type of content.
Create a work team
The ability to work with other people is another of Canva’s attractions. To get started, go to the Create a team section of your home page, assign a name to the working group, upload a logo if you wish and click on the Continue button.
Then enter the email of the team members and indicate their role in the group (administrator or member). If you prefer, you can also get the invitation link and give it to your colleagues to sign up.
After creating the team, it will appear in the menu in the left column on your home page. If you click on the tab you will access the team, where you can see the designs shared with the participants, the common materials folders, the linked applications, the list of members and the working groups.