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Canva – a Guide

Canva – A Guide

I absolutely love free tools and Canva is rather high up on my list of favourites! No, I’m not being paid to punt this stuff to you (I wish) – but I do think you should know about this awesome tool! Though I do recommend sticking to the PC version as the mobile app is not nearly as great or easy to use.

In this post I’m going to walk you through using Canva by creating an Instagram Tile with step by step instructions, the same concept can, of course, be used for other layouts.

Enough Talk – Let’s Get To It!

To start – you’re going to want to go to the website and sign yourself up (you can login using your facebook account if you’re lazy like me) by clicking here (this link will open in a new tab so don’t stress).

Once you’re in – you should be seeing this screen with your own name.

Next you’ll need to look at the menu and click “templates” – I’m going to show you how to do an Instagram Tile, but you can really take these instructions and apply them to any format you’d like.

This is what you’ll see when you hover over the templates menu.

Once you’ve opened the Templates Menu, go ahead and click the option that says “Instagram Tile” (or whatever you want to create). You’ll then be lead through to a page containing various template options. For the sake of fun – I’m going with a blank template – meaning I’m going to start from scratch and walk you through the entire process.

This is the Instagram Templates page you should be seeing.

Step 1 – Create your blank Canva

This is what you’ll be starting with.

Step 2 – Change you canvas color

Only do this step if you want a different color background, if you prefer a white background – please feel free to skip this step. I just need to show you how to change the color.

Using your cursor, you can hover over things to see what they do – very useful!

As you can see in the image above – the little rainbow colored square in the top left hand corner of your workspace will allow you to change the color of your canvas. Click it.

Color codes are super useful though you can manually choose your colors if you don’t know the code of the color you want.

You can either manually pick a color or use the search bar to enter your color code.


side note: If you are in search of a really good color picking tool try – Coolors.co – it’s completely free and really easy to use, no sign in required!

Step 3 – Add some words

You can’t just stick a color tile up (unless it’s a political statement, in which case – go wild!) so it’s time to add some cool looking words to your tile! Canva has a bunch of templates that you can choose from – let’s use this cool looking one that says “Huge Sale” – but we’ll change the wording.

It’s not very pretty -yet…

Next we need to align it – I’m going to add in two of these templated words so that I can do something cool. You can achieve this simply by dragging the object to where you want it to be. Then double click each word to edit the text. Resize where you need to in order to make things fit nicely by using the Font Size adjust tool.

Aligned to the top so I can add in some more.

Next I place another one – it’ll start looking cool just now, for now we just need the base in place to achieve our cool design! Drag that one to the bottom to ensure that it isn’t overlapping – unless that look is working for you.

you can also align these by clicking the option in the top right hand corner that says “position” if drag and drop really isn’t your bag.

Edit the second set of text to form something coherent.

Still not looking as awesome as it could – but we’re getting there.

Step 4 – Change your font

Canva uses Google Fonts – if you’d like to browse a bunch of font options – click here. The Google Fonts website allows an option whereby you can type out your chosen phrase and see how it looks in the various different font options. In this case – I’m going with Quicksand, because I use it throughout my website and in all my social media marketing, so I like to stick to that to keep things looking cohesive.

Pro-Tip – if you want to use different fonts, simply ungroup the objects and you may select and change them individually.

Step 5 – Change your font color

Our tile is looking good – but I want white font on a pink background to really make it pop – so I’m going to show you how to change the font color.

To achieve this, simply click the little “A” located in the top bar, where you can also find your font choices, though a little more to the right; then choose your color. Again, you can pick a preset color, or use a code. and then do this for the rest of your words.

Step 6 – Download your tile

This you must do if you want to keep your work and post it to your social media. It’ll already be set to the correct size simply choose your format and click download – in my case I chose to go with a JPG format but you can use PNG – or if you’re feeling wild, animate your new creation and save as a GIF. MP4 is alright if you’re adding sound, though to be honest, I get really annoyed at sudden sounds and I know I’m not alone in that, so be careful with that.

Done and dusted!

Well done! you’ve created your own really cool design!

Next, I’ll teach you how to post to both your Facebook and instagram simultaneously using a really cool tool that also allows you to plan ahead! stay tuned ;-P

Did you find this blog post helpful? Let us know in the comments below.

Dani Bateman

I am the owner and founder of Fat Unicorn.

I have extensive knowledge and experience in WordPress Website design and thoroughly enjoy making information look beautiful. Chat to me today about your design woes, I may have an ace or two up my sleeve that I've been saving especially for you.

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