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The ultimate beginner's guide to creating professional designs with Canva

Updated: Jan 18, 2023


The ultimate beginner's guide to creating professional designs with Canva by Nick at NX Digital

It can be tough to create good content for social media. You have to strike a balance between providing valuable information and keeping things short and interesting. Plus, you need to make sure that your graphics are both attractive and on-brand. Editing can also be a challenge, as you want to make sure that your posts look polished without going overboard.


If you know, you know, but just in case no one has told you yet, Canva is the best way to create professional designs on a budget.


But even with its many capabilities, there are some design tricks that can make the process easier and produce better results.


Here is the ultimate guide to creating professional designs with Canva - learn them and put them to use in your next project!


(All of the images in this blog post were created using Canva and professional Canva design templates)


Professionally designed graphics and banners for your website and social media tutorial by nxsa

In this article:

What is Canva and what can it be used for?


Canva is a graphic design tool that can be used for a variety of purposes, including creating professional designs, marketing materials, and social media posts. It’s easy to use and can be accessed online or through a desktop app. You can also use it to create digital or print products.


You can use all of the images, videos, templates & audio files in Canva for free with a Pro Plan and even with the free account you still get free access to loads of stuff.


Design tips and Designs created by NX Digital using professional templates on Canva

Canva offers a free entry-level membership with access to cool content and features. They also offer a really affordable Pro subscription that gets you loads of extra content and features.


The free version gives you access to basic features, while the paid subscription gives you access to more advanced features, including collaboration tools, built-in fonts, and custom branding. You can use Canva for personal or business projects. It’s a great tool for creating professional designs without breaking the bank.


Canva is a great secret weapon for anyone who needs to create professional designs. Its many capabilities and easy-to-use interface make it a great tool for small businesses, boss babes, solopreneurs, and anyone who needs to create high-quality designs for social media, websites and blogs.


If you’re not familiar with Canva, think of it as an easy-to-use, online graphic design tool. Canva is simple to use and you can create professional designs without spending a fortune on a professional designer.


How to create a Canva account


You can sign up for a free account with Canva and get access to the basic tools and features, but you can also follow this link to get a 30 day free trial of the Pro membership and get access to absolutely everything!


NX Digital invites you to have a 30 day free trial of a Canva Pro subscription

Creating a Canva account is easy-just follow these simple steps:

  • Go to canva.com and choose the plan you want to get started with.

The Pro plan with the 30-day free trial is probably the best choice, you get access to all of the features so you can get a good taste for what you can create. If you don't love it you can easily downgrade your plan to the free version before your free trial ends.

  • Enter your email address, first name, and last name.

  • Choose a password (make sure it’s something you can remember!).

  • Click on the “Create account” button.

Once you’ve created your account, you can start designing! It's really as easy as that!


The basics of designing with Canva


Designing with Canva is easy. Let's take a look through the process of creating a design:


Choose a template.


Start by choosing the size of the design you need to work with. The options here are endless! If you're designing posts for Instagram, you can select the Instagram post option from the list. Whatever you are designing for, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter you will find all of the right sizes for any platform.


Choose the size of the Canva design you want to make

In the very unlikely case that you can't find what you need you can choose your own sizes!


Create a custom size for your Canva Pro design during your 30 day free trial


Top Tip: If you are designing an image for your Wix website and you need to know the exact size of the space you need to fill, head to your Wix editor, click on the element or space you want to fill and you will find the dimensions in the Wix editor toolbar.

NX Digital shows you how to find the size of your elements on your Wix Website

Choose a template.


Canva comes loaded full of professionally designed templates that are great for hundreds of different businesses.


This can be a great time-saver if you’re not sure where to start or if you need some inspiration.


To choose a template, simply click on the “Templates” tab in the left-hand sidebar and browse through the options.


Canva has many professional templates to choose from, NX Digital

You can also search for specific templates using the search bar.


Once you’ve found a template you love, click on it to open it up.


Top Tip! If you decide that the template isn't quite right, all you need to do is hit Command + Z (Mac) or Control +Z (Windows) and it quickly undoes your template selection.


Using keyboard shortcuts cmd + z or ctl + z lets you undo any action quickly and easily in Canva

Uploading your own images & videos


Adding your own images and videos to Canva is really easy. Here’s how:

  1. Click on the “Uploads” tab in the left-hand sidebar.

  2. Click on the “Choose File” button.

  3. Select the file from your computer that you want to upload.

Your image or video will now be uploaded to Canva and can be found in the uploads folder tab in the left-hand sidebar.


Too much effort? You can just drag and drop your media files into the design canvas. Canva will automatically resize them to fit the dimensions of the canvas. How easy is that!


How to add text to your design


Adding text to your design can really help to convey your message. Here’s how:

  1. Click on the “Text” tab in the left-hand sidebar.

  2. Select the type of text you need to use, it could be heading, sub heading or body. Don't worry too much about the selection, everything can be changed to suit your design

  3. A text box will appear on your design canvas.

  4. Type in your text.

Now you have got your text in your design, you can use the design tools to change just about any aspect of it. The font, colour and size can all be controlled by the toolbar along the top, along with loads of cool effects and animations.


The text toolbar in the Canva editor is an easy way to design your text

The best thing to do is have a play around with different styles and see what works best with your design.


Do you need more styled text for your Canva design?


In the Text selector toolbar on the left-hand side, you will find loads of predesigned text. You can search these designs in the same way as you search images and after you have added them to your canvas, you can edit the text in the same way.


Choose pre designed text to add to your canva project

How to use images in your design


Adding images to your design can really help to make it stand out and can be a great way to add interest. Here’s how:


  • Click on the “Uploads” tab in the left-hand sidebar.

  • Click on the “Choose File” button.

  • Select the file from your computer that you want to use


Once you have selected an image, you can add it to your design by simply dragging it out of your uploads folder and dropping it onto your design.


How to save and share your design


Once you're done designing your masterpiece, it's time to share it with the world.

There are a few ways you can do this:

  • Download it as a PNG or JPG file, or MP4 if it's a video or has animated elements.

  • Share it on social media

  • Embed it on your website

Here are the steps for each one:


How to download your design from Canva


To download your design, click on the “share” tab in the top left-hand corner and select “Download.”


How to download your design from Canva

You can then choose to download your design as any file type that suits your needs. Here's what the different file types mean:


PNG - This is a high-quality image, that can be saved with a transparent background. They are great for loading images to social media, but if you are planning to use the image on your website then this file type can be too large.


JPG - These files generally have a much smaller size and are a great way to improve loading time if they are going to be used on your website or anywhere that loading speed is important.


PDF - You can choose between PDF Standard and PDF Print. If you have created a document that you need to download and share then these are the best choice.


MP4 - This is a video file, and you should choose this if you have used video elements in your design, or you have animated images or animated text.


SVG - This is a new type of image file that is commonly used on websites because they generally have small file sizes and can support transparent backgrounds. They also don't lose any image quality if your user zooms in on the image. These file types can't be used on social media.


GIF - You can download and share your short clip as a GIF file, but be aware that GIFs have very large file sizes and are not great for your website speed.


How to share your design on social media


If you download the Canva app onto your phone, (available for apple and android devices), you can easily download your designs straight to your phone and post them to social media the way you normally would.


Are you scheduling a load of posts? You should use a scheduling tool, like this free and easy-to-use social media scheduler by Metricool.



Canva Pro Features


If you're looking to create professional designs, Canva Pro offers a range of features that can help take your work to the next level. With Pro, you can:


- Add custom fonts

- Use premium stock photos for free

- Create and save custom templates and themes

- Export your designs as high-resolution PNG or JPEG files

- Remove image backgrounds

- Set up your branding colours and images and save them to folders for easy use


With a Canva Pro subscription, you can access all of these features and more. Plus, you'll get new features and updates as they're released. If you're serious about design, Canva Pro is definitely worth checking out. You can get a 30 day free trial for Canva Pro by clicking here.


What will you design with your 30 day free trial of canva pro by NX Digital

Conclusion: Why use Canva for your next project?


Canva is an online design platform that’s beloved by graphic designers and amateurs alike. It’s simple to use and has a ton of features, which is why so many people choose it for their professional and personal projects. Whether you need a logo, social media graphics, or just want to create a fun invitation for your next party, Canva can help you create beautiful designs that are sure to impress.


Plus, with a Canva Pro subscription, you’ll get access to even more features and resources to help take your work to the next level. So why not give Canva a try for your next project? You might be surprised at just how easy and fun it is to use.


NX Digital for Wix website design and advanced Wix SEO

If you're looking to create professional designs, there's no need to hire a pricey designer. With Canva, anyone can create stunning designs – even if you have no design experience.


Nick at NX Digital is a web designer and developer who knows all about creating beautiful and effective designs with Canva. He offers online courses and tutorials that show you how to get the most out of Canva, so you can create amazing designs for your business or website.


If you're ready to take your design game to the next level, check out Nick's blogs. And if you need help with designing a professional website, be sure to contact him for Wix website design services at www.nxsa.co.uk.



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