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Canva Hacks – Using Templates, Erasing Background from Image, Locking Elements and Resizing Designs

People often ask me how I learned how to create design graphic images. I never went to an official graphic design school or took a specific graphic design course, however, I do have an art minor and I have a “crafty” mind. I think these two things have helped me to see advertisements as puzzles more than ads.

A puzzle? Yes! Advertising firms create amazing marketing campaigns with stunning graphics and bold photography. Whether it is print or video, I look at them the same…I think to myself, “How did they do that? And why does it catch my eye?”

These two questions make me dissect the piece into its different layers and parts. Then I think about how they achieved each of those things. Since I didn’t learn the exact formulas for eye-catching graphic design in school, I had to learn it from experience….and this has helped me to create marketing graphics for social media and print.

Not interested in spending hours studying advertisements? Don’t feel like you have a creative bone in your body? Don’t worry, you can still create great graphics! I introduce you to Canva. (No affiliate commission associated with this link. When you use this link, it gives you a free pro element in Canva.)

Canva is this amazing online, cloud-based, program that allows you to create stunning graphics and video for social media, video covers, flyers, presentations, brochures, letterheads, business cards, and probably about another 100 things.
If you are new to design and haven’t used a design program before, you might feel like this program is overwhelming with all it can do. I recommend starting off with some basics and watching some tutorial videos. You will be designing in no time!

Some of my favorite tools within Canva are: erasing the background from images, locking elements, and resizing. These three things make designing fun and fast! Here is how to get started:

  1. Start with a template. Canva has thousands of templates in different sizes and formats. Focus on style, not so much on colors or size; you can change both of these in the design process.
  2. Add photo – remove background. Upload a photo you want to use in your design. You can leave the photo as is and size it for the template, or, you can remove the background!
    • Click on the image, it will have a blue line all the way around it.
    • Click Edit Image (on the left in the white toolbar)
    • Look for Background Remover. If you don’t see it, scroll to the bottom and add it from the options.
    • You can adjust but adding or erasing pieces that might not have quite erased correctly.
    • Click apply.

Now you have an image with no background that you can size for your design!

  1. Edit template for your brand.
    • Click on the different elements of the design and edit to the colors more for your brand or design choice.
    • TIP: Canva will offer you suggested colors based on the image/photo you added. You can use those or choose colors from your brand.
  2. Resize for multiple marketing platforms. To have a cohesive look for different marketing pieces, you can resize the design. Say you started with a social media size and you need a flyer for inside your business. Easy! Or maybe you want a large poster, no problem!
    • Click Resize (left side in the blue toolbar)
    • Search for the size that you need or create a custom size.
    • Need multiple sizes? Keep adding sizes and check the box next to the size. Canva will resize multiple formats at once. Click “copy and resize”. Easy!
    • Depending on the design, you might need to adjust a few elements to fit the new size.

BONUS TIP: Locking Elements! Game changer feature! Reduce your frustration over grabbing the wrong elements by locking elements.

Designs can end up with multiple layers of elements(text, image, shapes, etc), and sometimes it can be challenging to click on just the element you want. You can click on the element you want to stay put, then in the upper right corner of the white toolbar, click the lock. This will make that element stay in place. Now when you go to click on elements, you will be able to click on just the one you need.

Here is a video that shows you how to do these Canva functions.

Want more tips on how to use Canva? Subscribe to the Santosha Solutions Youtube Channel and to our Newsletter for more great tips and tricks. Happy editing! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Hi! I’m Carolyn.

I help small business owners manifest their destiny through functional business coaching and social media management. My passion is helping people discover their greatness. If you are seeking a better life full of happiness and joy and an abundance of success, let’s talk. Your best life is waiting.