I’ve rounded up my best Canva tips for beginners to share what I wish I knew when starting out with Canva. Before you make a single image, read and think about #1-3 below first to save yourself from going back and having to redo all your images! I wish I had done this in the beginning. Learn from my mistakes!
#1. If creating images for blogs or other publications, ask yourself the following questions before you make anything:
- What is my color palette? Stick to 1-3 colors for most things you create.
- What will my fonts be? Stick to 2-3 fonts.
- What is my image layout going to be? Stick to a simple layout for consistency and brand recognition across all your images.
#2. Make a very simple logo. It’s often going to be resized smaller for mobile and the little bubbles where you make comments, so you want it to be something that is still readable/recognizable when it’s very small. My first logo had words and was too busy. When it was small, you couldn’t read it.
Check out how small your logo will be on mobile (and the majority of your users, especially the younger demographics, will be using mobile to view your site and social media page):
#3. Pay attention to your choice of fonts. Do your fonts reflect your post topics and general “feel” of your blog? Are your fonts too cutesy or too serious for your topics? What “vibe” do your fonts give off?
A note on the “Brusher” font: “Brusher” and other fonts like it are quickly becoming some of the most popular fonts on Pinterest for female focused blogs. My guess is because:
- It’s pretty
- It’s one of the few “hand lettered” script fonts that Canva offers
- Canva is free (and we all love free)
- These “hand lettered” script fonts are trendy right now
Keep this in mind when deciding whether or not you want to use it as one of your main fonts.
#4. Once you have your layout set up the way you like it, (i.e., you have your Pinterest image doc thread open) hit the copy button to get a new template with all the colors and sizes already done for you, just change the text and photo each time you need to make a new design.
#5. Always center your text boxes. Text that isn’t centered can get cut off when it gets resized for mobile views. You’ll know the text (or image) is centered when you see vertical and horizontal dotted lines appear when you move the text or image.
#6. Double check your center grid lines before downloading your image. You’ll think the text is centered, but many times it moves because we accidentally clicked on the text box.
#7. Choose the option to center your text from the middle of the text box, otherwise everything can be slightly off.
#8. Write down your color codes in several places, including a notebook or journal in case your computer crashes or something happens with your Canva account, etc. Yes, the colors will be in Canva, but Canva does have occasional glitches and times where it refuses to save changes to your work. I wouldn’t completely rely on Canva as the only place to store your color codes because once you lose your codes, you won’t be able to find those exact colors again. If your whole blog or business is built on certain colors, it’s crucial to write them down! WordPress and Canva use the same color selection feature, so just copy and paste your color codes between the two when updating your website or creating images.
#9. Use Pixabay, Unsplash, and Canva photos for your stock images. It took me too long to notice that Canva has really good free stock images, especially for nature photography. Use actual photos instead of cartoons, drawings, or icons for a more professional look. Pixabay also gives you an option to search by “only photos.”
#10. Don’t make an image too busy with too many colors, too many shapes/symbols, or too many fonts. A simple layout is easier to read.
#11. Make your titles larger so they are easier to read:
#12. Canva says that downloading in PNG is recommended, but JPEG is better quality/resolution to download in when you’re uploading to somewhere else. If you’re creating a mostly text doc in Canva to upload to WordPress (like a flyer you want to post on your site), save it as a JPEG, not a PDF, or WordPress won’t upload it correctly.
#13. Don’t get lazy like I did and create everything in one doc thread. Logos, banners, Facebook images, and Pinterest images all have different doc types because they need to be sized differently in order to display correctly. Don’t waste your hard work making a logo on a banner page just because there was room and you wanted to stay on the same page. See what I did, making a logo on a banner page? Don’t do this!
#14. Don’t be lazy like me by screenshotting your Canva images. Take the extra 10 seconds and properly download the image and save it. Several times when I’ve looked back at some of my WordPress posts that had screenshots in them, the screenshots didn’t load. Screenshots also didn’t transfer over in my posts when I switched blog themes.
#15. If you are going to be making many images in Canva, label your docs by month. So if you make a Pinterest-sized image for every post you write, label your Pinterest docs “Pinterest Images Jan-Mar 2018” and “Pinterest Images April-June 2018”, etc. This makes it easier to find an image later when you need to go back and edit it. For example, if I need to edit a post’s image and the post was made in Jan. 2018, I know exactly what file its image is in.
What are your best Canva tips for beginners? Please share them in the comments!
Note: This post is not sponsored by Canva, Pinterest, Unsplash, or Pixabay.
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