Canva is a free and, in my opinion, amazing design tool that TpT authors can use in many ways. But getting started can be difficult for people who already feel overwhelmed with curriculum design. Below are some tips to make getting started easier.
Create an Account
The basic account in Canva is free and this account gives you everything you need to start off with! Canva won’t like this advice but don’t upgrade until you know how to use it and how the upgraded account will help you.
Template or Custom Dimensions?
If you know what you are designing for, whether it is a Pinterest pin or Facebook post, Canva has MANY templates ready to go. Simply choose what you want and a blank design is waiting.
However, maybe you need something very specific such as a TpT Banner (718 x 90 px) or a TpT Column Banner (160 x 200 px). Enter those dimensions (or whatever dimensions you want) and the design will load with the size you specified.
Below is a Pinterest template.
Predesigned Templates or Blank Canvas?
People seemed confused by the design templates Canva offers. You can choose a predesigned template or you can skip and move on to designing from scratch. You do NOT have to select a predesigned template.
Look at the picture below. To select a predesigned template click on Templates. To begin designing on your own and to experiment with the different elements click on Elements. That will bring a bunch of design choices.
For more options, look for the word All above each element and even more choices will appear.
For this Pinterest pin I chose clouds. Type the word you want into the search and be amazed at the number of images that Canva has in their collection. Narrow it down to photos or graphics (clip art) if you want. You have the option to choose free (not always available) or you can purchase images. I have done this many times. Simply choose the picture and when you are finished and go to download, you will be prompted to pay. Canva even allows you to carry credits to make future purchases even faster. I love that feature.
You can change the font (and when you do upgrade you can upload your own fonts), the colors, the size, and even the transparency. When it is time for placement of your elements, guidelines appear (shown above) to help keep things lined up and looking professional.
Other important design choices are the ones you upload. You can upload pictures and backgrounds to help customize your designs and show off your TpT resources. Upgrading will give you the ability to upload more files and text for even more customization but again, until you have mastered the basics, just stick with the free Canva.
Although this was short, I hope it inspired you to get started. I cannot count the times I have seen people asking for help getting started on Canva. It can seem overwhelming but just like anything else, a little time and practice and you will fall in love. Keep at it, give Canva a try, and I can’t wait to see your TpT Designs!