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Easy Graphic Design for Your Business with Canva

Lesson 5 of 17

Canva: Opening the Drawers

Matt Stevenson

Easy Graphic Design for Your Business with Canva

Matt Stevenson

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Lesson Info

5. Canva: Opening the Drawers

Lesson Info

Canva: Opening the Drawers

So way, ever top bar we have our drawer will start putting stuff in our design. Everyone's like I could get to it. Matt, come on, let's, design something. We're going to start very, very simple. We're gonna start with some shapes most of these air free that they're showing us here. And we're going to do the simplest possible shape. A square. Uh, I'd let me do that again. Oh, I did was take the square from its drawer, and I pulled it right onto the stage. Let's, talk about the stage a little bit before we before we go into that. Um, it's, the third piece of this puzzle, the gray area is not going to be seen. Uh, when you save your graphic, it gives you the gray area so that you can position things on the stage and automatically crops it for you. Aside from the gray and the white area, we have a page number here which clues us in to the fact that you can create multiple pages. If that's not enough of a clue. The ad newpage button should probably should probably do it as well. So here I c...

an add different pages, they go vertically down so you can scroll up and down. Uh and then when that happens, you get these little arrows which allow you to move your pages back and forward so I can take my let's put a put a blue square on this page just so I can see the different as a blue rounded corner square and I have two pages and I can move the top one down and they just reverse so it's a quick and easy way of changing your page orientation the other two buttons that are on the stage are this little copy symbol and the trash if I don't like it trash the whole thing or I can copy it so let's, go ahead and trash that page wait a second what if I don't want to do that? What if I threw something away that I wanted to keep having a new page in copying, adding a new page, we'll create a blank page so if I click on this button it's my favorite white square again if I click instead copy it'll take whatever's on the stage and place it on the new page that you just create no everything's if you had text and ariel okay that's correct okay, so like so you have three squares and you only want to can you delete one of them? You can you can indeed so let's say I have I'll drag another square here let's say I have these guys and I'm thinking this looks a little too crowded my minimalist aesthetics air saying I just want one square it's a simple is clicking on one of the squares and you can see which square you're clicking on by the highlighted uh dotted line around it and you can either click this trash can button or the keyboard shortcut is delete now let's say I go back or my client says hey how dare you delete that blue square that was my absolute favorite blue square of all time like oh no what I d'oh we have a button that wasn't there before because there was nothing to undo I had not created anything but now that I've gone a couple steps I have an undo button it's this little backwards arrow and if I click it it un does my steps and you can undo multiple steps so I can keep going back to all the pages that I just deleted to all the new stuff I did all the way back to this original design does that do history state stay in the file so that three days later when the client comes back and says I want that blue square you can find it again uh it does not so once you close your session it will it will delete that safe history and it does that just to keep the follow sizes that at a manageable level what I do recommend is to save different versions if you're going to be working on multiple revisions and we'll get into that in the work flow session on version control. Um, so we have our stage we ever items that we can place in there everything, uh, about the interface there will be a couple things that will pop up that we'll talk about one of the s o we only did just the first button so far, just the search. If you want a graphic line and icon pre much anything designed related other than text, you're going to go and click on the search button on it will give you these various buckets in which to pick from, and we're actually going to go through all of them a little bit later. Um, so search layouts, text backgrounds up let's, let's stop on lands for a little bit can va wants to empower you to become good designers when I see a blank page. My favorite uh, white square to me, it's it's a breath fresh air it means that I can create something and I can start from scratch and whatever I want it's going to appear there because I know how to get it there. To someone who's not a designer this could be really intimidating it's like opening up a blank journal you don't want to start it because you don't want to mess anything up you're too worried or you just have no where to begin canada has this drawer the layouts drawer specifically for people who want to start with a pre made design the's air premade layouts the layouts are a rain or chosen depending on which graphic you originally selected so here I'll go back to my dashboard my account dashboard and if you'll remember I clicked on the social media graphic that's what I felt like creating uh if I clicked on presentation it would have given me a different set of premade layouts so canvass trying to suggest to you this is what makes a good presentation this is what makes a good social media graphic it's everything from this is what makes a good business card this is what makes a good flyer and a good poster there designers who have been doing this for so long are so good at it are encouraging you to use these designs as a starting point so all it takes is one single click and I have all of these elements to play around with and manipulate to create my own designs to apply my own brand too all you can see here as I'm clicking on each of the elements we have a bit of text a graphic all of these little graphics are the kind designer who has come up with this beautiful design has given us a gift of a layout um I can change it here you notice that I went from this guy to this guy and start all over again if I wanted to one thing to be aware of if you, uh if you change this to let's say we'll get into editing type a little bit later I just want to show you guys what happens when you change this matz thanksgiving and I click on let's say I don't like that design after all, I just don't like the fonz or something about it and I click on a different design my work goes away and we'll talk about that in the work flow section. What I should have done is if I go back with my handy undo button when I should have done has added a new page and then added a new layout that way you get unlimited layouts you get unlimited pages it's not like a paper where it's finite and you're going to create a huge stack take advantage of the fact that you get this digital infinite set of canvases that you can always experiment with and try out new plea outs I don't get too much into layouts right now because we're still going through there are drawer so I'm gonna clear my stage here the third part of our interface tour in the drawer section is text obviously very important to design here we have three types of text a heading a subhead or a body text designers will recognize these as they serve as visual hierarchy they direct your eyes to what's read first second third for now designers integrate hint headings they're usually bigger than subheadings and subheadings air usually bigger than text in addition to these guys here we also have pre made layouts this is very similar to all the pre made graphics the premade acting you know full layouts here we have pre made pieces of typography that are beautiful ledge a bull and you can use either for free or the premium versions if I'm not mistaken I believe most if not all of the text pre maids are free so again just like anything else in canada when we pulled from the drawer we're going to click and drag and it goes right on to our stage when we do that it is a group set of type that has been uh the size has been predetermined the relationship between the big tex in this small texas predetermined if I don't like that one I can always go back in here and let's say two and another one this is a very stylish one that has some lines at the top and bottom that comes with it and it's fully editable so you can just double click and a ring I only exclamation points I don't know why so that's another drawer of goodies for us the texture so, so far we have let me clear this for you and I'll show you that later so we have all all of our graphic tools here layout so our premade layouts and our premade bits of text down here and also if we just want to add your plain old normal text one of these guys either heading a sub head or a body text once were in there that's really small looks forward to them once we've added again, just dragging it onto my stage make they make it is easy as possible once we have text on here and actually once we have anything on the stage, I want to go over what we're seeing around the edges of it because some of these are intuitive and some of them are not, so I'll have a piece of text and I'll also throw in one of my beautiful minimalist squares. So when I click on an object in canada, I see a dotted line. The dotted line is telling me that that object is selected whatever I'm going to be working with that's that's where it is um around it are these anchor points these little circles here, and when I mouths over them, you'll notice that my mouth actually changes to tell me what it's going to do, we're going to stretch or we can change the size if you click on a corner it will change the size of the entire graphic if you click on a side or the top of the bottom, it'll change, it'll skew it it'll either pull it out long or pull it out up high so I can make this rectangle pretty much any shape any ratio that I want so dotted line is letting you know that it's selected thie circles our anchor point change the size and then we have one more little guy hanging out down here looks very similar to the undo button but it does not undo anything it is the rotation tool, so when I click on us on anything in canada and its selected it gives me the option to rotate it by clicking and dragging I can move it around in a circle along its centre axis designers out there you'll you'll want to know and I'll talk about it later you cannot change the access on which it the axis on which it rotates it always is around the center so plan for that accordingly when you're when you're trying to manipulate things here is showing you where the center is see that little little dot there and I could just twirl it around till my heart's content I think that's about the same thing happens with tight so here I have clicked on it. I've selected it first it's saying, oh, you wanted to and edit the type. I did not want to add it the type canvas, but thank you for suggesting that the reason why it's highlighted in blue is because here I click off of it again when I click on it. It thinks I want to edit the type. Great no problem. Um, I could that's tight exclamation point. Interesting. All right, but what if I don't want to end the type? What if I don't like where it is? It's not positioned correctly, I can click on the edge. This is something that happens in a couple other design programs. I know that power point does it. So excuse me. Maybe a little familiar. It may not be in order to move a piece of type around without editing the type, you're going to click on the edge and that allows me to pull it around. Put it wherever I want. I can also change the width of my type field, and if I want to change the size of the type, keep I'm going to do that through the type tool tip a tool tip is this bar up here? It's a quick way to change the settings of whatever it is that you have selected if you guys noticed when I clicked on the square, even that has a tool tip see this little guy up here, this whole gray bar that is related to the thing that I have selected, so not only does it give you a dotted line, conveniently to say, hey, you're going to manipulate this thing, it also gives you a tool tiptoe allow you to change the properties of that thing that you have selected. Ah, great analogy is, if you guys are working in microsoft word or any kind of text editor, usually these options live up here in the menu bar remember that, so if you want to change the font, you click on the text, and then you got to go all the way up and then change the font on the size up their canada makes it a little bit easier by giving you all those tools that you're usually up there right at the thing that you're manipulating. So you're going to find everything from copying and pasting something to moving it forward and backward on the stage, which we'll get into later to deleting it. Not only can you use the key command delete, but you can also click our little trashcan and changing the color. We'll get into all this a little bit later, but in addition to those we have a little what's called ah wing menu or extras it's things that if you really want to manipulate a little bit more, you could always click on our little down arrow and it gives you a couple more things. I could either make this object into a link, which is really cool, or I can adjust its transparency, so make it more or less opaque. Um, basic toe a designer for designer their basic is just kind of figuring out where they are, usually with every new tool that we pick up, we gotta be okay where they put the transparency this time we'll hear it's going to be in the er the tool tip any questions so far? Group objects you can group objects you certainly can that's in a segment that I have coming later, but I'll give you a hint, it's usually the same as how you're going to group something. Any other program, the key command is going to be command jeep. So if I want a group, this item and this item another hint holding downshift, we'll allow you to select multiple items, and then I'll hit command g and now they're grouped so I could manipulate all of these at once, I can either move them around where I can scale them up or down and the relationship to each other states the same adding elements to the stage are you creating different layers or is it all on one layer it's all on one layer there are no so if you're familiar with using something like adobe photo shop or illustrator they have multiple layers that you can click on and off canvas simplifies things it's saying all one layer the um exception to that is with backgrounds backgrounds are treated a little bit differently than what's on your your stage normally and that's great because that's actually the next piece of the drawer um so if we go into backgrounds we get a couple different options again we get our lovely search bar so we can actually search for backgrounds just like anything else but then they also give us a series of colors and a whole bunch of really cool textures and images rather than dragging these to the stage I can simply click on them and it assigns it to that page I can also click on into manipulated and it always puts it behind everything else and it's sort of stays back there you can if you want um notice in the tool tip I can move let's ungroomed this really quick I'll show you guys how to do that in a bit so let's say this I have this type here and I'm like oh I designed something that totally illegible what am I going to I can click on mats type and again click on the edge on I can I'll get into this this is the type of tool tip then it's a little intimidating but I'll get to it a bit I can move it forward and all of a sudden it's in front of this however with the background I don't have that option uh it's to simplify things and make it make you less likely to put something over top of your entire design on dh a limited everything else so when you're in the backgrounds drawer and you click on a background it puts it behind everything else and it keeps it there you can still manipulated I could still click on it and move it around if I want tio but it will never be in front of my non background items. So the last drawer the last bit of goodies the last set of tools that we can put on to our stage comes in the uploads tab when you first get to this you see a nice big green button usually a green button in canada means do something really important here you can upload your own images or it's saying hey, you can also just drag them they're from your desktop I'm a big fan of doing that just because I think visually I don't like the type stuff in and then that will show up it will show up here I don't have anything in there now because remember this is a brand new account you can also link your facebook account to your candid account I'm not going to do this because this is a temporary account, but if you go in here and you click on this, it'll say ok, great you want some images from your facebook that you want to pull right into your design go for what do you want, what you want to do and then you could pull from any of your account images, so I'm going to show you guys what this looks like if I upload an image, I'll do, I'll click on the button and I'll navigate to some prepared images that I have let's use the school poster I designed so I like this pre prepared image and I want to use it in a design I just click open and canada thinks about it for a second I definitely encourage you guys to wait until you're upload has done before dragging it anywhere we want to make sure that it can gets it and it's like, ok, I'm good, you can now use it for your design you'll know because there's a little loading bar it happened so quickly in this one I could let me see if I can get a bigger image so you can see what that looks like this guy's pretty big one point five megabytes geez, so I click open and here you can see oh, wow, it didn't really quick. We have a really fascinating internet connection here trust me there's a little loading bar if it's a big image I just wait till that's done. So now you've actually uploaded to images we just create once I've uploaded them if I hover over them you can see that it gives me a little information but in here if I click on that let's say I did not mean to upload that t shirt I can delete it as of right now little tip yes, when besides that flooding time does it file size make a difference at all with photographs and it does yes. The more photographs in the higher resolution that you upload, the bigger your file is going to be. However, having images just live in the drawer it is not going to affect this designs file size. This roar is yours to use across all of your designs if I went to go make it let's do it so my first design it's sometimes can't it takes a little bit to upload the preview so be patient it'll have mats type in the big pink square there in a little bit one thing that I could do is create another design let's say I want to do a presentation opens it up for me I see all of my my menu bar my stage in my drawer notice it's given me a different set of layouts so it it says ok you want to make a presentation now here are some great looking places to start if I go into uploads I can see my file so you can actually create a whole library of images on graphics and icons that are yours that you've created that will live in this drawer that you can use in any of your layouts so it doesn't affect the file size when it's here on lee if I put it on the stage now have increased that file size for questions from the mine a great fantastic so one of our students would like to know does can to tell you what is the optimal size of the file to import from resolutions can play ah yes if there are articles that canada has written that describe best practices for file size they are in the design school link that I mentioned earlier I definitely encourage you to go see them we'll talk about what happens when you save out files a little bit later on today you get a very specific dp eye doctor per inch on it saves it very specific size but as faras uploading files uh you want to upload three kinds of files the first kind is what's called an s v g an spg you'll often hear is a vector graphic meaning it's not been mapped each little pixel is not designated it actually does math first, which means that has infinite resolution most icons that you see on websites even even the my presentation which will go back to in a minute all of those use vector graphics aside from suggs we have p ngeze p ngs are bit mapped files usually created by something like photoshopped they are they can have transparent backgrounds so you can have a circle and it stays a circle and they are pretty medium file size most things other than vectors that you see online are going to be in png dot png format and then the last file type that you want to include or that you want to be able to upload r j pegs j p gs or j p e gs as they used to be known as jay pegs are have a higher level of compression which means that they're going to be lower quality on the quality that quality is adjustable for the designers out there you khun you know that you can make j pegs that look super crappy and j pigs that look beautiful depending on the file size that you want uh an important distinction between png s and jay pegs which would which are our two bit map types is that j pegs cannot have a transparent background so if I'm uploading a logo that say is round or has some strange shape to it it's going to as a j peg it's going to have a box around it jay pegs are best used for images that are going to be in the background for instance, if we go back tio two my stage here this image is I believe a j peg on dh they're used for things that are going to take up large spaces and don't have to have transparency associated with them uh great question those those good to know thank you ready for never never give it to me clarification so this is a brand new concept right and there's a lot of confusion of like hey, if you up if you put bring your photo and you upload it for one of your designs in canada does cavan now own your photo a lot of questions about this and like when you make a design who owns it does can vote in the copyright to it to you on the copyright to it but I think the short answer is is that canvas should be treated? It is cloud based yes, but it's just like importing ah file into indesign yes right it's it's just upon the web but you own everything right that's correct it has uh it has uh settings similar to or you think about it the same way as you would your facebook page it's the easiest way to do it you're putting your your work into the web which can always be a scary thing and there are some caveats that come along with that. Of course anyone who's worked for the client who has high security needs knows that the on ly way to avoid all risk is to just work off line that's not the type of tool that canvas creating we want toby empower and we want to give designed to everyone I'll look into what happens when you are uploading your own photos in there there is a section in canvas website uh it's ah the kanye off finding a second it's ah the licensing agreement so it has to do with all of these photos and layouts that you're using for your design how does that work licensing lies and we'll get into that when we talk about the premium items that we were seeing show up for a dollar if you want to use them it says here if we go into let's say our search far and we go into photos so all of these have the little free tag which is great, but every once in a while I go down far enough, you'll see something that says when I hover over it's got a little one dollars all of these premium graphics are always a dollar. I don't think I've seen anything that's more than that. But there's licensing agreements that go along with using this and paying for it's a one time use licensing agreement. And we'll talk about that a little bit later, when we get into the camera for, for entrepreneurs, for business.

Class Description

Beautiful graphics are essential for running a thriving business and Canva offers users a free and easy way to create them. 

In Easy Graphic Design for Your Business with Canva, you’ll get to know the Canva interface and how to take full advantage of its powerful features. 

You’ll learn how to: 

  • Combine images and text
  • Build graphics for social media 
  • Share and download projects 

You’ll also learn about the basic principles of design and how to create graphics that are as effective as they are beautiful. 

Guy Kawasaki will be on hand to offer tips on how you can use Canva-created graphics in business and how your designs can elevate and grow your brand. 

The Canva interface makes it easy for anyone to drag and drop design elements into elegant, professionally-designed templates and this class will help you ensure that every project you complete is top-notch.



This was a fantastic course! You will walk away from this course confident, skilled and knowledgeable enough able to create amazing deliverables/images/graphics for all social media platforms. Especially if you are completely intimidated by design and don't know where to start, this course is for you! (that was me) I really enjoyed seeing into the mind of a designer with his tips & rules about fonts, flow, colors and brand integrity I have made some fantastic designs! Thank you Matt, Canva and Creative Live! Absolutely one of my best CreativeLive purchases.

Aaditya Somani

This course is fantastic. Matt is an excellent teacher, he explained all the details of Canva in less than 4 hours. And those basic design tips were a bonus! Thanks a lot, Matt and Creative Live. Would definitely recommend it to take your designing game to the next level.

Barbara Schiffman

Great course, great teacher -- I'm a Canva and design novice but am now creating book covers for my own books/ebooks. Matt taught me things about using Canva's tools that have already improved my design "eye" and skills -- especially about the value of simplicity. Many thanks!