Canva is one of the most popular online graphic design tools. It is used by bloggers, social media influencers, and businesses every day.

Canva is a great tool you can use to easily create beautiful looking graphics. This tool is popular among people who don’t have a lot of graphic design experience but don’t let this stop you if you do have experience in graphic design, a lot of experienced graphic designers still use Canva every day.

This is because of Canva’s beautiful pre-made templates and layouts, saving you a lot of time when trying to design something from scratch.

I’ve been using Canva for a few years now and it has always been extremely helpful to me. The different design options, the layouts, the elements. Canva has amazing features, that I know you will love.

This post will be a basic walkthrough of Canva and what you can expect.

The first thing you should do is go to www.canva.com

If you don’t have an account yet, then choose one of the options that best fit you and sign up or log in to an existing account in the top right corner.

Design Options

You can now choose a type of design that you would like to make, all the design options fall under the following main sections:

  • Social Media Posts;
  • Documents;
  • Blogging & eBooks;
  • Marketing Materials;
  • Social Media & Email Headers;
  • Events; and
  • Ads.

With 54 different types of design options under these sections, you can see why this tool is so popular.

All the type of designs consists of 2 main elements:

  • The size of the image; and
  • The overall theme or layout of the type of design.

Each type of design has different sizes, for example the “Social Media” design is (800 px X 800 px) and the “Pinterest Graphic” design option is (735 px X 1 102px).  You can also choose a custom dimension in the top right corner if you want to create a graphic with a specific size.

Each design’s layout is different, the layouts have been designed to fit the theme of the design option you have chosen. For example, the “Social Media” design will mostly consist of a background picture with some text on top, where the “Pinterest” design will have a lot more text, to be more in line with that of a generic Pinterest graphic.

Layout Options

Once you have chosen a design option, you will be directed to the next page. This is where everything happens and where you will design your graphic.

The first part of designing a graphic is deciding between choosing an existing layout or creating a graphic from scratch. There are countless layout options to choose from, each of them having their own unique look.

You should remember that there are a lot of FREE layouts to choose from, but there are also layouts that you must pay for to use.

Canva is a FREE software, but they do also offer Premium (Paid for) designs, this helps them keep the business going and improve their graphic design tool.

Once you have chosen a layout, you can start editing it to your liking.

Elements

If you are interested in adding more elements, you can click on the elements button on the left side of the page.

Here you will find all kinds of elements to choose from, including:

  • Free photos;
  • Grids;
  • Frames;
  • Shapes;
  • Lines;
  • Illustrations;
  • Icons; and
  • Charts.

Text Options

If you are happy with the elements you have chosen, then you can move onto the “Text” section, here you can choose between 3 different sizes of text, to help you get started:

  • A Heading;
  • A Subheading; and
  • A Body.
The different sizes are only meant to give you an idea of the different size, but they can all be changed to your liking. You can also choose to add different pairs of preselected fonts from the collection. These pairs of fonts have been chosen because they have a history of looking great together.

You can choose a specific font from Canva’s list of fonts if you are not interested in choosing any of those from the preselected collection. But in my opinion, these preselected fonts do look amazing and they will help make your graphics look better.

Background Options

The last section that you should consider when designing a graphic, is the “Background” section. Here you can choose from a list of “Default” colours; or choose a custom colour, by selecting on the colour wheel or inserting a HEX code for a specific colour.

You can also choose from Canva’s collection of background patterns.

You can also upload images if you want to add them to your design by going to the next section called “Uploads”. This is a great way to add your logo to a business card, you can also upload photos to a custom photo album you are designing, using the grids element as a frame.

Once you are finished you can download the file in any of the following formats:

  • JPG;
  • PNG;
  • PDF – Standard; and
  • PDF – Print.

This has been a basic walkthrough of what you can expect from Canva.

Do you think this is a helpful tool? Do you enjoy using it? Leave a comment below.

Good luck designing your next graphic!