Fundamentals of Canva

Lesson 10 of 15

Design Tips

 

Fundamentals of Canva

Lesson 10 of 15

Design Tips

 

Lesson Info

Design Tips

So, in addition to the interface tips, I wanted to show a couple of general design tips that will help you create some great graphics inside of Canva. These are design principles that can be used in any program, but they're especially relevant in Canva because of how easy it is to create and manipulate items in here. So, the first thing I'm gonna do is talk about fonts a little bit. And we'll start fresh with a graphic. And the graphic that I wanna start with this time is let's say a web banner. So, I'll just go ahead and click on that. It'll create it in my file automatically. And I start with a blank stage. So, let's talk about fonts. The first important aspect of fonts is making sure that what you're creating is legible. Without legibility, the point of having text is completely lost. There are some artistic reasons for making text not legible, but ninety percent of the time, we wanna make something that's easy to read. When you pick fonts, it's a good general principle to start by ...

selecting two fonts as a pair. And Canva actually comes with some great font pairs already selected for you. You can choose from anything: from handwritten fonts to serif, to sans serifs, and there's some really great selections here. I'll just go ahead and pick one. Let's go ahead and choose this guy here. So this is a little bit of a slab serif font mixed with a geometric down below. And I can change these to be whatever I want in Canva, but I really like this slab serif font. It brings kind of a humanity to this design; it's not as cold as say, a sans serif font. So, when we're thinking about font pairs, you could do a typical font pairing is something with a serif and a sans serif, or a script font with a sans serif. What we want to do is make sure that we're picking fonts that have a little bit of difference to them. We don't want to pick fonts that are similar because it may confuse the eye. So let's say, for example, I select this and I make it something similar to the font below, like Armino. So her I'm using two sans serif fonts, they're pretty close together, there's no hard and fast rule that says you can't do this, especially if they're two brand fonts that are very similar that you have to use, but in general, it's good to pick fonts that have a little bit of contrast to them in order to create some depth to your design. Another interesting part of design that we have to consider is color. Color is extremely important. There's a lotta great tutorials on using color the right way. For Canva, we have a lotta premade color schemes. Let me show you what those look like. If I go into my layouts here, there's lots of great representations of color. Color has a psychological impact on your audience, so if you wanna use something like yellow, like this here, it's gonna evoke caution, alarm.. It's gonna draw a lot of attention to it, and it really stands out. There's also more subdued versions of color, like this example here, which is really nice because the color is used very sparingly, which means it's going to pop against that black and white background. So, when we're picking colors, try to keep to a limited amount of colors, unless you're doing a really cool design that's rainbow based, or you really wanna jazz it up with a lotta colors. Especially if you're using your brand colors, you wanna make sure that you are choosing a dominant color versus a secondary color. It's important to make sure that your colors are used in balance. Another great design tip is the use of grids. As a designer, I'm always imagining my page in terms of the grids: how I'm breaking things out, where things are going to be compositionally. Canva comes with some really great grids. There's two types of grid systems. One is called grids and the other one is called frames. Grids divides your entire canvas. So here if I click on this grids here in my drawer, you can see that I have lots of different options for dividing my page evenly. Having an even grid is very important for balance in your design. And it's really nice on the eye; we like to see things gridded out in a nice, even way. So let's go ahead and select one, maybe a simple grid. Maybe we'll just divide our page into three sections here. And as I drag that onto my canvas, it automatically puts a couple elements here for me to play around with. This grid is broken into threes with this divider here in the center, and I can put images inside of each of these. The way to do that is to go into our images section. So if I go into elements and I go into free photos, here I can just slide images by dragging and dropping into each grid. Now, let's say I don't want three images. Let's say I want that last third`to be something else. I can click on that and I can add something to it. When you see this image here in Canva, where it's the clouds and the nice sort of field, that's just a place holder. You wanna replace that by either dragging something into that, or selecting a color here and it fills in your background. I really like the color of this blue sky here, so I'm gonna try to match that or get somewhat close to it with the default palette, in order to keep my colors nice and controlled. So this is a great way of dividing your page any way you want. In addition to- so here it give me a little tool tip, you can see I can drag and drop to replace the photo or change the color as needed. And then I can put text in over top of that, if I need to. So that's the grids. In addition to grids we have frames. Think about frames like grids but they're not bound to your canvas. If I just go ahead and delete this grid here, I can drag- you can see the frames look very similar to my grids, they have those placeholder background graphics, but as I drag it over, you can see that it's actually- Let's do a different one. Let's do this guy here. You can see that it's no longer bound to the confines of the canvas. It's its own thing. And you can adjust it by dragging on these anchors here. And you can rotate it and do everything else that you need to, and you can replace the images inside of it as well. So to do that, you're gonna go over to your images, free photos, and you can just drag and drop right into any of those frames. And once you're inside of a frame- or once you dragged the image inside of a frame, you can manipulate the crop by double clicking on the image and it brings it in a little bit closer. And then you just click the check bar button and you've moved it around. So here's another example; I'll just move that over a little bit and it reframes the graphic. Which is nice to do in case you get something like this where it's a little bit you can't really tell what it is. I want that detail in there of this nice big stalk so I'll just bring that over, and click yes and it fits it into my grid. You can also apply filters to your entire grid, or your entire frame, which is really nice. So, I can pick a filter like this, copy this number, like we talked about in the previous session, and then I can apply that to all of these guys here. So, in addition to our type, our colors, breaking up the composition into grids, we also have backgrounds. Backgrounds are a great way to add some depth to your design to bring in some of your brand colors, and to create a nice overall tone for your design. So, in order to add a background, we're gonna go to our drawer, down to the backgrounds section, and here we have a couple options: we can pick document colors - these are colors that have already appeared in the document in say, an image or an icon. We can pick the default palette from Canva, or we can also pick some of the elements here. Some of these great background graphics and patterns. Patterns are great, especially if you're going to be putting sparse or minimal elements on top of them. You wanna be careful, though with patterns that you don't pick something too distracting. As a design principle, we wanna keep it pretty minimal in terms of our background graphic. We also wanna be careful about mixing our patterns if we're using more than one because we don't wanna make peoples' eyes work too hard in order to read information that's on the page. So here's a great background graphic that I've chosen. You can actually change any of the colors of it by clicking up here. You can add a filter to your background, just like you can to an image, or you can flip it. You can also adjust the transparency or get rid of it altogether if you want. Here I'm gonna make it a little bit lighter because I'm gonna be putting some text on it, so let's go about there. And there we have it. Like I mentioned, backgrounds are treated a little bit differently. If you have elements on top of your background, and you're doing multiple select, it's gonna ignore the background, which is really, really handy. So here you can see I'm drag selecting and it's not messing with that background at all, which is really helpful. You can also use images as backgrounds. I love using images especially if you get a nice sorta dark tone to them. So if I go to the background page and I go to photos, and I'll go ahead and do a search for artist. I can drag one of these guys here, and have it act as my background. One thing to note if you're using an image as a background and you're gonna be putting content over top of it, you wanna make sure that the image is dark enough or light enough to be able to read what you're putting on top. So for this one, I'm going to go ahead and add a filter to it, where I'm going to adjust the brightness. And I'm just going to pull it down. And I'm also going to adjust the contrast a little bit, just to make it a little less busy back there. Once I have it to where I like it, I can also do one more`trick to it, where I'm gonna adjust the blur. Bevause I want people to really get the text that's gonna go aver top of this, but at the same time, I still want some of that image to come through. So I have a really cool image back here. I'm gonna adjust it so you can see a little bit of the brushes, and then I can add text right over top of it. I wanna make sure that I use some white text, because I am on a dark background, and you can create some really neat designs like that. If you want some pointers or some places to start, I definitely recommend looking at that layout section. I can go back to it and show you some really great examples. Let's say that everything that I did, I wanna be able to do very quickly; you can just start with something like this. It already has`a dark background`that you can change. You can adjust the size of it, you can adjust the crop. It's really great because it's very easy to manipulate. Notice that the elements are all staying in place, and you can create some really quick easy graphics that way. The next design topic that I wanted to talk about, is alignment. One thing that I encounter a lot in novice designs, is multiple alignments; things are aligned left and the thing below it is aligned right. You wanna make sure that you choose one alignment and then make sure that everything is staying within that structure. It's really helpful for creating something that has a lotta text lines. So let's say that I'm putting in a lotta text here, I gotta headline, and some of this other stuff down here. It's a typical mistake to have stuff that's compositionally just kind of everywhere on a page, and it doesn't make a lot of sense. And you're mixing some centered stuff with some left-aligned stuff. You wanna make sure that you try to keep things: make sure that there's some sense to your composition. Here I'm gonna show you how I would align all of this stuff here. So, I could either center align it, or I could do something interesting where I pull in this graphic like this, and I'll go ahead and make this black. And I'll make it a little bit smaller, pulling my wing menu here, and then I'm going to left align the text. I'm gonna do the same thing with all these guys here. I'm gonna left align it, and what I'm doing is consolidating. Being a minimalist is really important for design, because it makes sure that people's eyes are paying attention to just the things that you want them to. I didn't want them bouncing all around this page, I'm gonna adjust the spacing so you can see how this works, adjust the line height, make that a little bit tighter. And place this down here. So, if I had to have all of these elements on one, I would do something like this. So, just to make it a little bit cleaner, now my eye is going directly from this image, right down on this alignment. You can do the same thing with just about anything. Make sure you have a reason for things to be lining up, so that eyes don't get really confused. And the last, most important principle in design is simplicity. We wanna make sure that the things we're creating are communicating extremely efficiently. And the best way to do that is to make sure that you only have elements on your stage that make sense to be there. We wanna get rid of anything that's extraneous or that's making our users our viewers work too hard, and starting from these premade layouts is a great way to do that. Some of these are absolutely gorgeous. They only have the things there that need to be there. `And you can always manipulate them and change them if you need to, but still keep it simple. Try not to add too much to each graphic. If it's communicating more than one idea, it's probably working a little bit too hard.

Class Description

Beautiful graphics are essential in today's visual world. Canva offers users a free and easy way to create them. In Fundamentals of Canva, you’ll get to know all aspects of Canva and how to take full advantage of its powerful design features.

You’ll learn how to...

  • Decide what project Canva is perfect for
  • Customize templates and making them your own
  • Collaborate with others
  • Combine images and text
  • Build graphics for social media
  • Share and download projects

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

The Canva 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 create is top-notch.

Canva takes care of tedious work of and empowers designers to get creative. Join Matt Stevenson for Fundamentals of Canva and find out how you can streamline your workflow and get more done with Canva.

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