How To Use Canva - A Guide for Beginners (Part 1)

By Gwenie | Arts | 19 Apr 2021

For the past few days, I was sharing on the sticker templates that I made using a platform named Canva which has both a website and app. Canva is a graphic design platform where you can create your designs and layouts for business cards, logos, banners, social media graphics, posters, and many more. They also offer thousands of templates and stock contents that are free to use. And for additional functionality, the platform also offers paid subscriptions. So without further ado, let's start.

The first step is to create your free account and register on the link below. You can also download their app available on Playstore and Appstore.

After registering, the above photo is how the homepage of Canva looks like. Each number corresponds to a specific tool and listed below are the specific functions of each.


1. Home

Clicking Home button will display the homepage of Canva.


2. Templates

This icon is where a wide variety of templates can be found. There are templates for different purposes. Below are the available template options.

  • Social Media - For social media, there are Instagram Story, Instagram Post, Facebook post, Facebook cover, Youtube Channel Art, and LinkedIn banner templates.

  • Personal - For personal, there are Invitation, card, resume, postcard, weekly schedule planner, and T-shirt templates.

  • Business - For business purposes, there are Presentation, Website, Logo, Business Card, Invoice, and Business letterhead templates.

  • Marketing - For marketing purposes, there are Poster, Flyer, Infographic, Brochure, Newsletter, and Proposal templates.

  • Education - For education purposes, there are Classroom Decor Kit, Lesson Plan, Worksheet, Certificate, Bookmark, and Class Schedule templates.

  • Trending - Canvas prints, Easter cards, Youtube Intro, Photo Books, Mother's Day Cards, and Mother's Day Certificates templates.


3. Features

This icon is where you can find the featured elements and other important buttons. Under Features, there are:

  • Photos - Clicking this will redirect you to the page where you can search for photos that are free to use. Keywords like Free photos, Background, Nature, Animals, Food, and People are also below down this button.

  • Icons - Like the Photos, this will also redirect you to a page where you can search any icons. Suggested keywords like Social Media, Web & CEO, Files & Folders, Business, Weather, and Computer are also below this button.

  • Print Products - When clicked, this will redirect you to the Canva Print page where you can see the top designs printed by Canva Prints and a video on how it works. Under Print Products, you can also find the buttons like Business card, Postcard, Invitation, Custom Mugs, Flyer, and Custom T-shirts that will redirect you to a specific design.

  • App - This will redirect you to a page where you can create designs with your social media. Other apps that can be used to enhance your design can also be found here. Under the Apps, there are Google Maps, Giphy, QR Code, Bitmoji, Youtube, and Duotone.

  • Explore - This explore button redirects to a page where you can find many suggested styles on how to improve your design. Under Explore, there are also Teams, Videos, Graphs & Charts.

  • Download - Here is where you can download the Canva app for Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS.


4. Learn

This icon displays another three icons which are Courses, Tutorials, and Blog.

  • Courses - Under this, there are free courses like Become A Pinterest Creator, Personal Branding, Canva fir the Classroom, Social Media Mastery, Graphic Design Basics, Branding Your Business, and Presentations to Impress.

  • Tutorials - Here you can find the tutorials on Getting started with Canva, Designing with Canva, Canva for Education, Canva Pro, Branding with Canva, and Presenting with Canva.

  • Blog - Here you can find articles about education, design, marketing, branding, and many more.


5. Pricing

The button is where you can the different types of Canva accounts that you can have. These are Free, Pro, Enterprise, Education, and Nonprofit. For the paid accounts like Pro and Enterprise, there is a 30 days free trial.


6. Search Bar

The Search Bar is used to search your desired size and sample templates for a specific layout. Keywords like flyer, business card, photo book, T-shirt, and anything that comes to your mind can be used to search for a more specific result.


7. Help

The Help Center is where you can change your account settings and find help when you encounter any issue regarding payments, managing and deleting teams and groups, downloading files, print and delivering, editing and designing, and any common problem.


8. Account Settings

Clicking the Account Setting button will redirect you to a page where you can see and update your account details like registered email, password, billing, and print orders. You can also enable here the 2 Factor Authentication, sign out from all devices, or delete your account.


9. Create Design

This is where you can start creating your layout. When clicked, it will show a search bar and suggested type of layout like presentation, A4 document, logo, business card, poster, resume, and others.


10. Recommended for you

When clicked, this button will display the recommended templates and file types for you.


11. All your designs

This will display all the designs you have made on Canva. Just click the design if you would like to edit it. Each design has three dots on its upper right which you can click and choose an action for your file. Make a copy, Move to folder, Download, Share, Get Shareable link, Comment & Like, and Move to Trash are the options for action.


12. Shared with you.

You can see all the designs shared with you when you click this button.


13. Brand Kit

In the Brand Kit, you can upload your brand logo, brand colors, and brand fonts. However, an upgrade in the account is needed to maximize this feature.


14. Create a team

This feature is best when you are a business owner or a group of people who make a team. This is like having a Facebook group where you can interact with each other and feel at home.


15. All your folders

This feature displays all your default folders which are All your designs, Likes, Purchased, Shared with you, Uploads, and your new folders which you can create by clicking the Create new folder on the upper right corner.


16. Trash

This will display all the designs that you moved into Trash. Like in a recycle bin, the designs here can also be restored or deleted permanently by clicking the three dots on the upper right corner of the design.


17. Design anything

This displays the available design type depending on the purpose. It will show suggested layouts based on the icons that you'll click.


18. Custom size

When the size of design is not in the options in Canva, this is where you can enter it manually. You can choose between the units px, in, mm, or cm.


19. Profile Picture

Clicking your profile picture will display these buttons: Account setting, Get help, Refer friends, Create a team, and Sign out.

These are the buttons on the homepage of Canva. I know that these are not enough which is why in the second part of this article, I will be writing the details on the design page and some keywords and tips on how to start to create your design. I hope that you learned something from this article. Till next time! <3

Disclaimer. I am not a pro and I am only sharing what I learned so far in my few days using Canva.

Lead image is an image I created using the said platform.

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