Welcome to Canva 101!
Canva is an online (and most recently mobile) based site that can be used to create all kinds of images for print and social media. There are tons of free elements that you can add to your graphics and images to spice them up and make them look custom designed, they also offer single use and multi use licensing on their “premium” elements for those of you who might be interested in using Canva to design items for sale. One of the best uses for this service is in making pinnable images. We all know that Pinterest is the kind of platform that needs a very specific type of image in order to do well and draw attention. Making pinnable images with Canva can help take the guess work out of making your images incredible! If you’ve never used Canva, or if you’d like to dig a little deeper into the service itself I’m here to help.
Making Pinnable Images with Canva:
As always, there are lots of screen shots to help you along the way. The process of making pinnable images with Canva is really simple and will probably save you time versus your current routine! Before we get started I think it’s worth mentioning the newest Pinterest recommendations for images. As of July 2016 Pinterest recommends that images be in a ration of 1.4-1.6. They’ve found that users tend to interact with and share this particular size much more often than the taller, long or tower-style pins. If you think about it, it makes sense. How often have you been scrolling and realized that if you click on a pin it’s a half-mile long and kind of annoying. With the 1.4-1.6 ratio the important info / great photos are right there in front of you!
When you log into Canva you will see your “dashboard” which will show your recently created graphics and images after there are some available. On the left hand side you’ll see a blue button that reads “Create a Design” and this is where you want to start! Click there and then select “Pinterest Graphic”. Canva has sizes available that are optimized for all of the social media platforms. If you upgrade to the business edition of Canva you can actually select “magic resize” when you are creating any kind of image and pop the same photo and graphics into the appropriately sized frame! Using the free version you are not losing out on any of the great elements or design features though!
Now that we have a perfectly sized canvas we can select our images and add them to our design. Once you decide which of your images you’d like to use, upload to Canva by using the big green “upload your own” button. I recommend using a vertical image that has as high of a resolution as possible. This will help keep the image looking sharp and clean while you are resizing and altering the image in Canva.
Once you have your image added and sized to fit your canvas you will need to add some elements like text, a banner to help the text pop, or some embellishments like arrows or other directional info! In case you haven’t realized this already, Canva is really easy to navigate. Also, all of the elements that you may way to add are either free or cost just $1 for a single use license. The first thing I do once the image is adjusted properly is add some text. I like to include colorful text or an interesting font design so that the text pops and lets the pinner know what is going on!
This is also where you will want to add a banner if need be to help you text pop. Canva has tons of fonts and also a bunch of predesigned font elements that you can click and drag to your design. Once they’re added to your design you can customize them with different sizes, colors, or fonts. This is all accessible via the white bar at the top of the screen. Adding a banner is also very easy. You want to go to “Elements” and then to “Shapes” and grab a square to add to your design. You can change the color, resize the shape, and then move it to the back so your font is in front. I would also recommend adjusting the transparency so that you can still see your photo back there!!
Change the Name
You can save your design when making pinnable images with Canva. To give your design a custom name just click on the name and type your desired title. This is really useful so that when you download the image to your computer you can load it directly to WordPress without having to adjust the title. Having a correct title is important in WordPress so that when your image is shared the proper title goes along with the image!
Choose Your Download
You have several options when downloading your newly designed pinnable image from Canva. For any image where you have added text you want to save as a .PNG file. Saving any other way has a tendency to distort the text. If you have designed a printable of some kind for another project you can always download both the .PNG file and the PDF for print! This feature makes it really great so that you have the proper images to link in your post!
Grids and More
It’s really easy to make collages with Canva as well. You can choose a “Grid” or you can customize one of the premade “Layouts” available on the initial screen when you begin a new project. These grids are also nice for creating designs that include multiple steps that you can then include in your posts!