Canva is one of the most simple graphic design tools, and one of the best choices for beginners in Graphics design. This post contains a list of 10 design tips for using Canva for beginners in graphics design.
But before I jump into the design tips for using Canva for beginners, I would like to let you know that:
No one is the PRO in graphics design. Everyone flops once in a while in the design.
But to get better in design, consistency is key.
Your design tomorrow will always beat your design today at least inexperience.
I started using Canva 6 months ago, with zero skill or clue in design. But with every new flier and poster I create, I always learn something new.
What you are about to read is not advice from an expert in graphics design, but just what I have been observing and learning so far since I started using Canva. And these are very simple design tips for using Canva for beginners that could make your post stand out even with little effort.
Understanding the principles of simple design was what helped me to start creating posters that are good enough for official purposes, my blog posts, events, and so on using Canva.
The 10 Design Tips for Using Canva for Beginners in Graphics Design
1. Simplicity is King
This is by far the most important design tip for using Canva. There is a mistake that most beginners make while trying to design a poster using Canva. And that is; trying to add as many illustrators, colors, icons, and images that they could lay their hands on with the intention of spicing up the poster.
But as a beginner, it is good that you understand that some of these features if not handled professionally could damage all your design.
Canva is a simple tool that offers little freedom for customizing your designs unlike other graphics design tools like Coreldraw, and Adobe Photoshop. It was created to offer very easy and hassle-free design solutions for beginners.
Here are some design tips in using Canva you should bear in mind to help you keep your posters as simple as possible;
- The beauty of a poster is inversely proportional to the number of graphics (pictures, icons, colors, etc).
- For every icon, logo, picture, or text you add to your poster, it loses its beauty.
- Only add contents that are very essential to your poster, nothing should be for waste or for fancy.
- A blank page is the simplest and prettiest of all posters because it can represent anything.
The last point there does not mean that you leave your posters devoid of details. ‘Keep reading you will find out what I mean by the comment’.
2. Your Major Goal in Graphic Design is to Pass Information; Stick to it
The main aim of a poster is to pass information. So putting unnecessary graphics on your Canva design will mean derailing from the main aim of designing your poster.
Remember that many people in this digital era have a very low attention span. If your message on the poster is not clear to someone at a glance, you just lost a viewer. So the main theme of a poster should be the clearest, boldest, of all.
Understanding what should be your main theme for a poster is also an art learned from experience.
The simplest way of finding which information is the most relevant on your poster is to carry out research and find out samples and related posters that have been created before by other designers and using it as a guide.
3. Image over Texts
Another of the design tips in using Canva is to use images more than texts. This is a continuation of the point that ‘Simplicity is King’: People value Images more than texts due to the low attention span issue. An image is worth more than a thousand words.
So, If you can represent your main theme with a picture that it stands for, you have people's attention already.
"Use popular icons (if available) instead of their corresponding texts".
Use the Instagram icon instead of writing: follow us on Instagram. (Remember: Simplicity is king). The same for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and the rest of the brands that have an icon on Canva.
4. Always Have a Sketch/Imagination of What You Want to Design
This is also one of the most important design tips for using Canva. And it involves Picturing what you want to design first.
3 months ago, I had to first sketch the outlook of my design before choosing a design template on Canva. Or, you can find posters similar to the theme you want to design and try to replicate what they designed and replacing their information with yours.
A clear understanding of what you want to design will help you make your design simple and straight to the point
5. The Canva Template Research/Hunt
A template is the structure of a designed poster. Canva has made it easy for designers to easily find templates similar to what they want to design and then replace the information with theirs.
Finding the best template for your poster should actually take more time than the actual design. There are many templates to represent almost every theme/topic on CANVA. The secret to finding a suitable template is to type the keyword for what you want to design and search using the search bar. (Example: Search for Coronavirus, Mental health, STI, etc. in the case of health posters).
Also, never ever settle for a lesser template when there are better ones. Always update your Canva mobile App to the latest version so that you can have access to better and newer themes and templates on every new update released.
6. Using Colours on Your Canva Posters
You must be very careful here; remember simplicity is king. The more the color combinations on Canva, the more childish your poster may look. It is best to keep your colors simple; leave the complex color combos for those who are experts in graphics design, since they know how best to use it.
Try applying the rule of 3: Your posters should not have more than 3 colors, else it's turning into an artifact.
Also, If you have a logo, try and derive the colors for other parts of the poster from the logo, it's way simpler. If possible, don't go beyond the colors of the logo, it helps people to identify your brand easily, else your logo is monochromic.
Remember that white and black are the king and queen of all colors. Use them to form your backgrounds.
Colour Combos for Beginners:
- Alternate dark colors with light colors.
- If a background is dark, the texts and contents should be automatically bright.
- White is the king of all background colors.
- Black is the queen and is best placed on top of the white. (Used for texts and contents of the background).
- If you must add a 4th color to your poster, make sure it is a look-alike of one of the 3 main colors. (Example: blue for sky blue, yellow for orange, white for grey, etc).
7. Using the Canva Image Library
CANVA has an image library where you can find almost any image that represents your theme.
All images are for free, but or else you are using a paid version, you may have to promote CANVA by getting their sticker.
Its recommended that you use only the free images which have no Canva labels, or just find the image on Google, screenshot and crop it.
8. Editing the Images and the Canva Icons
Images can be edited using the color filters, duplicate (copy) icon, the transparent button, the frames, and the button (...) at the top right corner.
The color filters help you to change the color of an image to grayscale, blueish tinge, white, etc.
The copy/duplicate icon (located at the header of the Canva layout helps you to duplicate your image.
The frames can be seen under illustration, you don't want your image to just appear as a plain block, so pick a suitable frame, click on it to edit, then add your desired image.
The (...) button helps you to reorder your image, icon, or text. (for instance, you can choose to place your image behind a text, so the text is not overshadowed by the image).
The transparent tool is that icon that looks like a check of black and white on the header of the Canva layout. (It is only visible if you click on the image you want to edit and tap the (...) icon.
The reason for transparency is that it helps you kill 2 birds with one shot (You can add clear texts to your image and both will still be visible).
Also, Check out this PLR Traffic Booster Secret.
9. Using the Canva Illustrators
Remember that an image is worth more than a thousand words.
You can find as many illustrators as possible, but don't add irrelevant ones.
You can actually edit the colors of your illustrators if they are a bit off, to suit your 3 main colors.
10. Font Usage in Canva
One of the design tips in using Canva for Beginners is to use at least two contrasting fonts (Both in size and style). Also, remember the simple rule as it is also applied here; Never use more than 3 font styles, or else you know what you are doing. If not, it could make your work childish.
Remember that no one is a PRO, and it actually gets better with time.
To prevent adding irrelevant content/graphics to your design, try and apply the rule of 180 characters.
A character is any independent item like words, icons, pictures, logos, etc. you add to your poster.
Try and count them (lol), to see if they are more than 180 of them. If they are lesser, you are safe.
Please note that these are not PRO rules. I made them up myself from experience, But they have proven to work perfectly.
There are many other design tips for using Canva for beginners. Kindly share your own tips in the comment section below.