5 Tips to get you designing in Canva

Stephanie Wium Canva Specialist Canva Coach

5 Tips to get you designing in Canva

As a Canva design specialist, I had to start somewhere.

As with most things in life, nobody is born an expert.

Starting my Canva journey was a lot harder than I thought it might be. I had to work for it. Sometimes it felt like it was never going to end this learning and working. Not that I’m ever done learning. Especially not with the way that Canva evolves all the time!

A question those new to Canva design  (affiliate link) ask: Is it hard to use Canva?

No! That’s the easy answer for me, but you might find the experience completely different.

Then the next question begs to be asked: Is it hard to get started?

Yes, it can be.

And that’s exactly where this blog comes in. Just start. You’re invited to open Canva (affiliate link) and have a look around. Find your feet and then start.

You’ll have to read below 👇🏼👇🏼 for the rest of the tips.

Or you can skip over to YouTube and watch the video there.

So, anyway, let’s get started!

Tip Number 1: Just Start

The scariest part of designing and Canva, or designing in general, is the fear of just getting started.

Just start, the moment you start is the moment that fear dissolves, and the fear flows off you, as water flows off a duck’s back, just start, and the rest will come naturally.

And if it doesn’t come naturally, head over to tip number two

Tip Number 2: Start Over

Yes, start over.

Nothing says that you must go with that which you’ve just created, to take it forward to wherever it is going to be used. Marketing material is generally disposable material and sometimes done is definitely better than perfect. I have more to say about this done is better than perfect phrase as I have kind of changed my mind since this blog first saw the light of day.

You can start over. You can either start a whole new design, or you can just take everything off the design and start over, but beware of the rabbit hole.

Once you’re down that hole, Alice, there’s little chance of me pulling you out.

*Mistakes are part of the design process. No matter where you are in your journey. Mistakes happen. Stop beating yourself up about it.

The sooner we all realise this, the better for our psyche.

Tip Number 3: Size Matters

I’ve said quite a bit about this, and I will continue to say much about it forever and a day. Size matter. It always has and it always will.

You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget that people are generally lazy and won’t pinch/stretch a design to see it. They’ll simply scroll past. And then you’ve lost them. So make sure your design is optimised for where you’re going to be using it.

Every social media platform, banner, cover photo, email, header, email, signature, blog image, everything has its own size. Size matter!

In design, everything revolves around size, make sure that you’ve got the right size for where you’re going to be using it. Each social media platform has its own size-optimised canvas within Canva.

And if you don’t have the right size, go back to the beginning to start again or simply start over.

You can resize it, here’s a tutorial I created for you showing how you can resize without having to be subscribed to Canva pro.

Tip Number 4: No Templates

Templates allow you to blend in. If you’re ok to blend in – good for you. If not … keep reading!

And as an online business owner or even a brick-and-mortar business owner, you want to stand out. The moment you design with a template and share a template out wherever it is that you’re sharing it, you are blending in.

I’ll even go as far as saying that it damages your organic reach on social media when you use a template.

However, let me just clarify about not using templates: start with a template, and then change everything. Rip it to shreds. Take away, add, change …

If it STILL looks too, templatey, there’s a word like that now, you can start over.

Even when you buy a template from another designer/Etsy. Change it, personalize it. You’ll be surprised how many people buy templates this way and then only go and change the visual aspects (colour, fonts, photos) of the template.

That brings us to tip number five.

Tip Number 5: Use Your Visual Brand

Use your visual brand, your elements, and your assets, and make the design your own. The whole design should be specifically aimed at your audience because at the end of the day, remember you’re not designing for yourself, you are designing for your audience.

Use your brand assets.

When you are constantly using your visual brand assets you are educating your audience to recognise your visuals in a sea of visuals.


Remember that your design journey is personal to you. You cannot compare yours to someone else’s and neither should they compare theirs to yours.

I know design is not for everyone and sometimes you need a little help to get you going.

I’ve made it easy for you. You can choose to let me help you with your designs by visiting my shop and picking the service that is perfect for you.

Or you can have me as a Canva Coach help you get through a bit of tricky Canva features with a 1:1 Canva session.

Every now and then I also add a Canva video tutorial to my YouTube channel for you to access completely free of charge, just as the 3 videos already shared up at the top.

I’d love to hear back from you, remember I read all the comments, about how you’re getting on with designing, so please drop me a howdy below – I’m always happy to hear from you.

Stephanie xx

*Mistakes – I have a masterclass dedicated to creating graphics that convert where I discuss the various design mistakes and how to avoid them available here (opens in a new tab). Please allow up to 24 hours to receive the recording.

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