Canva Guide for Beginners
WHAT IS CANVA?
I’m super-juiced you asked! Canva is a design tool for the non-techy, non-designer, all-everything-else business owner whose budget can often be explained by a three-letter acronym: DIY. So yeah, consider this Canva Guide your latest gift from me, Socially Nina, your fairy-digital Pink Boss!
IS CANVA FOR YOU?
If you can click, click, click… double-click… drag and drop…
right click… you can use this Canva tutorial.
Yeah, it’s that easy. Super-duper easy, trust me. Awesome yet simple – and quick – graphics are minutes away, thanks to this online design tool.
Canva has lots of images, templates, and graphics, and they’re great for inspiration. All you have to do is select a design and replace it with your own colors, text or images.
Ready for some design magic?
Canva is a perfect digital tool for beginners and novices. If you spend just 15 minutes a week playing around with Canva and learning from this Canva Guide, you will be in a position to get your business looking right.
Canva that lays everything out for you: the fonts, the colors, the shapes, the images where they need to be, all in a template created by experienced designers. More than a million photographs, graphics and fonts.
Utilize the design templates to quickly customize graphics to suit your branding needs.
BUT WHAT ABOUT…?
I know what you’re thinking. And the answer is: no, you don’t need Adobe Illustrator. It’s not for you.
Yes, Adobe Illustrator is a superior design product; in the hands of a professional graphic designer. Meanwhile, you’re a small business owner, looking to save a few bucks on graphic design until the time comes (and the budget) to hire a pro. You don’t have months, years to master graphic design. After all, this is just one of a gaziillion DIY projects you’re taking on in your solopreneurship.
That’s why Canva, and it’s simplicity, is best, and this Canva Guide is your gateway to start designing. After all, it’s better to master 100 percent of Canva’s capabilities than 15 percent of Adobe Illustrator.
Besides, don’t you have a conference to speak at later this month? And don’t they need your social media banners like yesterday?
Message from Fairy-Digital Pink Boss: “Here you go hun. I know you were struggling with designs – and you didn’t want to spend those extra coins on a designer – so use this. Thank me later.”
WHAT CAN CANVA DO?
Canva is perfect for creating Facebook banners and YouTube thumbnails. It’s perfect for producing business cards, infographics, and pamphlets. Even greeting cards, visual resumes, and printable flyers.
Learning to complete these simple design tasks will save your business a couple of thousand dollars during the early weeks, months of your business development.
Later, you can pass on your Canva knowledge via your Canva Guide to someone on your staff.
(Visit the Canva Design Templates page to see a list of all of their online design templates. They continue to add new templates so the list is pretty long.) #WINNING
Message fro Fairy-Digital Pink Boss: “The main reason I don’t use Adobe Illustrator? I don’t need the extra features to create simple graphics. Canva is all about no-frills graphic design with plenty of templates and stock images – yeah, that’s why Canva is perfect for me.”
YOU SAID EASY… HOW EASY?
How to use Canva
Here’s how easy Canva is to use: Pick a template, update your color and texts and if needed, photo stock. Then add shapes and if needed, personalize.
When you’re finished, print and download.
Yeah, it’s that easy. Super duper.
There are two steps to creating graphics on Canva.
- Selecting designs that match your brand style.
- Replacing elements and objects with your own colors and branded elements.
If you follow this Canva Guide, you can expect to create at least one graphic during your very first time. Illustrator isn’t so simple, with all its fancy bells and whistles.
I’m no graphic design newbie. I’m not an expert either.
And I’ve created hundreds of graphics on Canva since it hit the marketplace in 2012 – for my social media company and for plenty of clients.
Follow my Canva creations here: http://canva.com/sociallynina
HOW MUCH MONEY CAN CANVA SAVE NEW BUSINESSES?
As a startup business, expect to spend anywhere from $500 to $2000 on graphic design expenses during your company’s formation.
Digital designs don’t end there. After all, you want to keep your growing social media audience entertained and engaged, right? That means plenty of simple graphics.
How much does Canva cost?
Check this link out for the most up to date info on Canva’s pricing and new offerings.
- Canva Web is FREE
- Canva at Work is $119.40 ($9.95/month) if purchased annually or $12.95 monthly
- Canva for Non-Profit is free if you are approved for their Non-Profit Program
- Canva for Education is a free account (same account as normal users)
- Canva Enterprise is coming soon. No pricing available yet.
TELL US MORE ABOUT CANVA…
Since its creation in 2012 in Australia, the free graphic design tool website has enjoyed more than 10 million users and 100 million designs. Yes, free. Canva’s basic tools are absolutely free, with stock images starting at just $1.
READY, SET… LET’S DESIGN!
As a bonus, I’ve included this design tips to make sure your first graphic hits the spot:
Canva Guide No. 1
Remember: a picture is worth 1,000 words, so you don’t need an exorbitant amount of text on your graphic to get your point across.
Canva Guide No. 2
Designs for mobile first. Teeny, weeny fonts won’t work on graphics bond for Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Canva Guide No. 3
Speaking of fonts… make sure script fonts and hand-written fonts are more than just pretty. Make sure they can be seen! Steer clear of fancy fonts that make the English language appear to be Italian! What good is your marketing message if nobody can make it out?
Canva Guide No. 4
It’s OK to pick favorites when it comes to colors. So don’t squeeze a crayon box full of colorful options on your graphics. Select two primary colors and if needed, accent them with two or three secondary colors. That’s it. Simple. Not messy.
Canva Guide No. 5
If a good graphic works, don’t be afraid to create a similar duplicate. Change the background and/or the words in the graphic and… done!
How to set up a Free Canva account
Create a new Canva account
You can create a new Canva account at www.canva.com for free. There are three different options for signing up:
- Facebook (recommended)
Setup your Social Media Profile
Select the arrow next to your name (top right corner) then select Your Personal Profile.
Update the following:
- Profile Name (Add your Business Name and Purpose here)
- Handle – this will ultimately be your URL for example http://canva.com/8020lyfe
- Website URL
Upload Brand Collateral
- Logos – tutorial coming soon
- Photos – tutorial coming soon
The rule of thumb for selecting fonts
- Longer reading should have serif (fancy font)
- Shorter reading should have sans-serif fonts
- Children’s books should be sans serif because it’s easier for an audience that is just learning to read to see the words clearly.
- ….. UMMM Wait a minute… if sans-serif is easier to read then why wouldn’t you just use sans serif? But I digest, I’m not the expert on this. But you know who is? Fonts.com
Click here for a great article comparing Serif vs Sans Serif and to help you select when to use which font, I know what you’re saying “eew read an article about fonts? Whet?” But believe me, you’re going to at least want to skim through it to get a few points.
Then use whichever looks best on the screen.
Canva Font Pairing Tool
Canva’s Typography Made Easy tool helps you select the right Font Combinations to work with. So you don’t have to have any design experience to figure out which fonts match.
You’ll need at least two fonts; however, I suggest getting a script or bold font to help you stand out a little.
- Pick one Serif font (fancy decorative)
- Pick one Sans Serif font (plain jane)
- Pick one stand out font – this is usually a script or something else
Setup Your Brand Defaults
- Set Colors – – tutorial coming soon
- Upload your fonts – tutorial coming soon
Canva Hidden Tips and Tricks
Canva Online Design Tools
- Canva Photo Editor
- Canva Font Combinations/ Typography
- Canva Color Palette
- Stock Photos by Canva for as low as $1
- FREE Downloadable Icons by Canva
- Design Ideas by Canva
Apply to Contribute Designs and Photos
Canva at Work / Canva Paid Account
Fix Common Issues
- Fix problems with Canva images that look blurry when printing
- Fix problem where your Canva designs aren’t saving
New Canva Features (Coming Soon)
New Canva Print Coming Soon CLICK HERE to sign up
Where can you get help?
- Subscribe to My YouTube Channel and take a look at my Canva Tutorials – How to use Canva online design tool
- Pink Boss Acadamy – Social Media Training Hub
- Sign up for my FREE Canva Course – How to make 30 designs in 30 minutes
- Visit Canva’s Design School for interactive tutorials and guides
- Check out Canva’s support page
- If the site seems to be down, check the Canva Uptime Status page for outage updates
- Report inappropriate content (yes it’s ok to be a snitch sometimes – for the love of kids)