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Easy Graphic Design for Your Business with Canva

Lesson 15 of 17

Design Tip: Backgrounds

Matt Stevenson

Easy Graphic Design for Your Business with Canva

Matt Stevenson

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Lesson Info

15. Design Tip: Backgrounds

Lesson Info

Design Tip: Backgrounds

So a lot of this that we're seeing here is like, type on top of something that's a pretty standard design configuration, you're types gonna go over an image or colorants most cases, so let's, take a look at how backgrounds work. In the previous segment, we talked about the fact that backgrounds live in a little bit of a different layer than thie other elements, there are no layers in canada, but the background is always behind everything else. Um, no matter what, so here you can put a photo as a background behind text, which is pretty very common. So here I'm going tio click on this guy and where's my photo. Okay, so in order to put a photo into this here, you're going to drag its let's do our words are baroness him? Oh, you're so cool. Okay, uh, that's two panda. So you actually dragged and I see that I'm going to click on this painting here and it's telling me it's a premium item because it's got the watermark on it, so I have to keep that in mind and I'm gonna put it right in. So th...

at square so interesting thing to note the text all of a sudden becomes a little bit difficult to read, which means maybe I should think about picking a different image s so let's go with something like this so because of how this image is composed, the area at the top is light and free of distraction, which means that my text can live up there again ledge ability is king every the text should be eligible first and then everything else comes after it um let's say so another way it's so so let's say we run into an example like this where I really love this image I really want that type to be there and don't make change the color of the tie please I just love white type of this image and I can't do anything different how do we solve that problem? Designers have a lot of tricks that we used to get over hurdles like this if you have these limitations and you want to still find a way to make it legible one of them is to create a box underneath the type that's going to dampen dark in lytton obvious cape the image behind it so that the text can be clear. One way to do that is with a dark box so let's go into our search and we're going to go into shapes I just wanna grab directing I don't really care what looks like a this point why will we'll come on buddy? Oh, because it's thinking that I want to throw it into the into the grid so if I try to drop it into this credible let me so I need to drop it up on the stage elsewhere like that I rhyme so I have this box and I want to change the shape of it now right now it's over top of the text um I can send it backwards in the order of things by clicking on back and it goes behind the type one more time and it would actually go behind the image let's bring for that makes a difference it does in the ledge ability of the texts yeah yeah totally because it's white text on a white background so if we change we can either change the text or we change the background so design is kind of funny that way if you if you tell a designer all right so I want I want this color type and I want this color background you have to have those things designer is going to find all the ways around like we're going to keep those limitations we'll acknowledge them will keep them but we'll find ways to solve the problem in a a little bit more creative way in this case it's changing the background now let's say I still want to see the image behind there how can I keep white text keep a light background have this box there and still see a little bit of the image coming through I could change the capacity of the box so opacity in the design world is the the level of visibility, like a sheer curtain, has a low level of opacity. Glass has zero capacity. Ah, wall is going to have one hundred percent capacity. You can't see beyond it all. So to change the opacity of anything in canada, you're going to go to this guy here. Transparency is another word for opacity, so I'm going to click on transparency and here you're going to get a sliding scale from zero to one hundred one hundred is not transparent, completely blocks view, the more you slide this down, look what happens it's like it's like it's, like he fades away, that box just kind of goes away a little bit, so I'm going to keep it about maybe here because you notice if I go to zero, you can't read that text anymore, but if I go one hundred, you can't see the image, so we need to find, as bob ross would say, hey, happy little medium, maybe somewhere here, right? So I've, uh, I've off you skated the background, so I've made the background a little bit less visible so that the type can be a little bit more visible, so last night I was playing around and I had something similar and like I wouldn't do this on this image, but what I wanted was a line in between there, you know, just like a very thin line to define it. And I noticed in some of the templates it had it so that's what gave me the idea? But there was no way to just at a box and create a live just for a little definition I see. So in between the lines of war between the lines of text okay, grouping blocks of tax together and I want to just sort of a like a nice thin line. Okay, let's, take a look at that. So let's, for our purposes, we're going to simplify things and I want tio I wanted to lead the background and I'm gonna make this color darker as we can read it and let's say that's, the clients ok? Or whoever is okay with us keeping this formation, but we want a little bit of definition between the text and the image. One way to do that in camp is with a line, and in fact, if you go into the search drawer, um close this so you get all this stuff we've gone through grids, shapes, icon's illustrations, one of them's light her, uh, that's right here in the center and they give you a ton of lines to be honest, some of them are a little bit difficult to select you can see that they're very close together but if you try really hard you can kind of get the one that you want that's to a small a small dotted line here so I'm gonna let me click and drag it okay right under my surface on it's actually too. So ok, so I clicked the wrong one that's why this guy? Yeah that's the one I wanted all right, so puts the line right on your canvas let's zoom in a little bit so we can see this now right now, it's huge. So I'm gonna grab anchor I'm a shrink it down and undo that move it where I wanted to go that's what I wanted and then I can also change the color or whatever and you could change the transparency whatever you want so let's say I make it black because some simple colors our best and we're going to adjust the transparency just so actually, you know what? That kind of gets a little busy when I do that. I like I like having a crisp and defined s o I'm gonna leave it on her percent and that way we've created a visual distinction between our techs in our image yes and you, um outlined text or do drop shadow you can indeed outlined text, so in order to do that, there is a key command. Let me bring it up here. Okay, so I misspoke. You cannot outline the text, the letter forms of the text, but you can apply an outline to the box that it's getting. I'm very similar to, like a button where you have a line around the outside, and a text in the middle candidate doesn't allow you to put a stroke on text, but you can do it on the box that it's in let's go back here. All right, so one other, uh, technique that designers have in their composition arsenal is the manipulation of space through confining shapes. I'ii frames, whether it's a solid frame or something that just is at the top and bottom, like so, for instance, if I were to see I don't, I don't let's say, I don't like this frame that goes all the way around, but I still want to maybe start and end my design with something on keep it simple. So what I'll do is that's a huge line. Come, everybody, excuse me, mash is you mount, make sure I don't have anything selected, sometimes that's what it is way, place that what's, that is it, because it's a lesson on textures and not line no, no, it should I should be able to drag a line into into anything. I'm just having a little bit of technical difficulty, it's, right? We'll come back to that. So when we keep going with the idea of backgrounds, what we want to make sure is that if we have images in the backgrounds, we still want to keep the text in front of it ledge a bill. So we talked about transparency, a great technique for keeping a graphic in a background and still having your text negligible is to change the transparency of the graphic. So here I have, you know, best burgers in town, and I have this graphic, um, clearly can't read that it's white on white, but if I click here here, I can see that the graphic is actually made up of two colors. I want to see less of this graphic, so I'm going to adjust the transparency, drop it down, see how the type it gets more and more alleged below the father wink goes so well put it about their so now I can have something in the background that is a graphic and still keep legend type so that's how transparency works, and then the last cool thing about backgrounds is they don't have to be colors or graphics, they can actually be images as well. In order to create a background image, one of the easiest ways is a ways to do it is to focus on a piece of an image on lee. I'll give you an example, let's say we want to use a background of an apple or here this is a great one where they just zoomed in to this picture of would again, we cut out some of the some of the mess your stuff out here and just focus on the simple part here so let's do with that apple we're going to do about cropping this image. So when I click on the apple it's going to give me my tool, tip up with the top one of the options is going to be cropped where I can adjust how much of the apple I want to see. Now, if I if I do on lee this peace, actually it's tio, let's go really? Because small down here on lee, this piece of the apple, all of a sudden I have a background, something that is simple, that you could put type on top of that, it still has some great color and texture to it, so backgrounds don't have to be flag colors. They can also be photographic as long as they're simple.

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!