Pro Canva Design: Practical Tips & Techniques
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Color Palette Selection
  2. Font Pairing
  3. Image Placement
  4. Use of Grids
  5. Consistency in Design
  6. Effective Use of Space
  7. Alignment and Balance
  8. Layering Elements
  9. Using Frames
  10. Incorporating Branding

Designing like a pro with Canva is not as complex as you might think. With the right techniques, you can create stunning, professional-level designs with ease. This blog will reveal practical tips and techniques that you can use to elevate your Canva designs, whether you're a beginner or an experienced user. Let's dive in!

Color Palette Selection

Selecting the right color palette is the first step to design like a pro with Canva. Colors can make or break your design—they set the mood, highlight important elements, and can even influence perceptions. Here's how you can ace color palette selection:

  • Start with your brand colors: If you're designing for a specific brand, start with its color palette. This not only ensures consistency but also reinforces brand recognition.
  • Consider color psychology: Colors evoke certain emotions. For example, red grabs attention and can convey passion or urgency, while blue can create a sense of calm and trust. Choose colors that align with your message.
  • Use Canva's color wheel: If you're unsure about which colors go well together, Canva's color wheel is a great tool. It suggests harmonious color combinations based on color theory.
  • Limit your palette: Too many colors can distract from your message. Stick to 2-3 primary colors and 1-2 secondary colors for a balanced and professional look.

Remember: color choice is more than just aesthetics—it's a powerful communication tool. So, next time you're designing with Canva, take a moment to consider your palette. You'll be surprised at the difference it can make!

Font Pairing

Choosing the right fonts is crucial when you're aiming to design like a pro with Canva. Fonts can set the tone of your design and significantly impact its readability. Let’s explore some practical ways to pair fonts effectively:

  • Contrast is Key: Pairing a serif font with a sans-serif font often creates a pleasing contrast. The serif font tends to feel more traditional, while sans-serif feels more modern. This balance can make your design more dynamic and engaging.
  • Don't Overdo It: Using too many different fonts can make your design seem unorganized and confusing. A good rule of thumb is to stick to two or three fonts per design.
  • Hierarchy Matters: Make sure to use different fonts for different elements like headers and body text. This helps create a visual hierarchy, guiding viewers through your design.
  • Size and Spacing: Pay attention to the size and spacing of your fonts. Larger fonts can be used to draw attention, while smaller fonts are perfect for less important details. Also, ensure there is enough spacing between lines for easy readability.

Remember, pairing fonts in Canva is not just about picking two random fonts and hoping they work together. It's about creating a harmonious balance that enhances your overall design and communicates your message effectively. Now go, play around with those fonts and create some stunning designs!

Image Placement

Images can be powerful tools in your design arsenal, but only if you place them correctly. When you're trying to design like a pro with Canva, image placement can make all the difference. Here’s how you can ace it:

  • Align with Purpose: A well-aligned image can lead the viewer's eye through your design. Align images with your text and other elements to create a flow that makes sense and is easy to follow.
  • Balance is Everything: Placing an image on one side might make your design feel heavier on that side. To counter this, you can include smaller elements on the other side to achieve balance.
  • Consider the Background: If your image is your background, make sure the text and other elements stand out against it. You might need to use overlays or adjust the transparency of your image.
  • Quality Counts: Always use high-quality images. Pixelated or blurry images can make your design look unprofessional.

Remember, image placement is more art than science. It's about feeling the balance and ensuring the image complements the other elements in your design. So go ahead, start experimenting with different image placements in Canva and see your designs come to life!

Use of Grids

Grids are like the invisible glue that holds your design together. They provide a structure that can make your design look clean, organized, and professional. If you want to design like a pro with Canva, mastering the use of grids is a must. Here's how:

  • Divide and Conquer: Grids help you divide your design into sections. You can then place different elements in these sections, making sure they're perfectly aligned and spaced.
  • Choose the Right Grid: Canva offers a variety of grids, each suited for a different purpose. For instance, you might use a photo grid for a collage, or a simple grid for a flyer.
  • Consistency is Key: When you're using multiple grids in a design, it's important to maintain consistency. Use the same margins, gutters, and column widths to create a harmonious design.
  • Break it Up: Don't be afraid to break the grid occasionally. This can create visual interest and emphasize certain elements in your design.

Grids might seem restrictive at first, but they actually give you a lot of freedom. They provide a framework that you can play around with to create unique, professional-looking designs. So why not give grids a shot in your next Canva project?

Consistency in Design

Maintaining consistency in design is like telling a good story. Every element you add should contribute to the overall narrative. If you want to design like a pro with Canva, here are some tips for keeping your designs consistent:

  • Stick to Your Color Palette: Once you've chosen a color palette, stick to it! Consistent use of colors makes your design more cohesive and visually pleasing.
  • Keep Fonts Consistent: Try to limit your design to two or three fonts. Too many different fonts can make your design look messy and confusing.
  • Consistent Imagery: The style and tone of your images should be consistent. If you're using illustrations, stick to illustrations. If you're using photos, stick to photos.
  • Consistent Spacing: Consistent use of space can make your design look more professional. Make sure the space between elements in your design is consistent.

Consistency in design might seem like a small detail, but it can make a huge difference. It's the difference between a design that looks thrown together and one that looks thoughtfully crafted. So the next time you're using Canva, remember: consistency is key!

Effective Use of Space

Mastering the use of space is a fundamental part of learning to design like a pro with Canva. It's not just about where you place your elements, but also about the spaces you leave empty. Here are some practical tips to guide you:

  • Value the White Space: White space, or the empty space in your design, is not wasted space. It helps to highlight your key elements and makes your design more readable and balanced.
  • Don’t Overcrowd: It's tempting to fill every inch of your design with text, images, or colors. Resist the urge. A cluttered design can be overwhelming and hard to digest.
  • Balance Elements: Keep a balance between text, images, and white space. This harmonious use of space can guide your viewer's eye through the design.
  • Alignment Matters: Aligning elements properly can make your design look more organized and professional. Canva provides handy guides to help you align your design elements accurately.

Always remember, the effective use of space can elevate your design from good to great. So, the next time you're designing with Canva, think about your use of space as carefully as you choose your colors or fonts.

Alignment and Balance

When you're aiming to design like a pro with Canva, alignment and balance should be your best friends. These two principles can take your design from looking amateurish to professional in a snap. So, let's get into how you can apply these principles effectively:

  • Use Alignment to Create Order: Alignment is not just about lining up elements. It's a powerful tool that can bring order to your design, making it easier for viewers to understand and absorb your message.
  • Balance for Visual Comfort: Balance in a design is like balance in life—it brings a sense of comfort. Symmetrical balance is when elements are mirrored. Asymmetrical balance is when different elements are balanced by their visual weight, not their mirror image. Both types can make your design visually appealing.
  • Contrast for Interest: While balance is crucial, contrast can add that necessary spark. Using contrasting colors, shapes, or sizes can create focal points that draw the viewer's attention.
  • Consistency is Key: Consistency in alignment and balance can help tie your design elements together, creating a cohesive look. Be consistent in the way you align text, images, and other elements.

So, remember, whether you're creating a social media post, an infographic, or a presentation, alignment and balance are key to making your Canva designs look polished and professional.

Layering Elements

Layering is another technique that can help you design like a pro with Canva. It allows you to create a sense of depth and add complexity to your designs, all while keeping them visually appealing.

  • Start with a Base Layer: Layering starts with a base, which could be a color, image, or even a text box. This forms the foundation of your design.
  • Add Elements Gradually: Once you have your base, start adding elements one by one. This could be text, images, shapes, or anything else you want in your design. But remember—the key is to not overcrowd your design with too many elements.
  • Use the Transparency Tool: Canva's transparency tool is a great feature when layering elements. You can use it to make certain elements more subtle, or to blend different elements together.
  • Arrange and Rearrange: Don't be afraid to play around with the arrangement of your layers. Sometimes, shifting an element slightly can make all the difference in your design.

So, start experimenting with layers in your Canva designs. With a bit of practice, you'll be creating professional-looking designs in no time. Remember, layering is all about exploring and having fun with your design process!

Using Frames

Frames in Canva are not just for bordering photographs. They're versatile design tools that can add a lot to your design if used correctly. To design like a pro with Canva, frames can be your best friend. Let's take a look at how to make the most of them.

  • Highlighting Elements: You can use frames to draw attention to specific elements in your design. This could be a text, an image, or a logo. Just place the frame around the element you want to highlight and watch it stand out!
  • Create Visual Interest: Frames don't always have to be square or rectangular. Canva offers a variety of shapes that you can use as frames to create more visually interesting designs.
  • Add Depth: Frames can also be used to add depth to your design. Try layering frames of different sizes and colors to create a 3D effect.
  • Containment: Frames can also be used to contain or separate different elements in your design. This can help create a clean and organized look.

Remember, the best way to learn how to use frames effectively is to experiment. Try out different shapes, colors, and placements, and see what works best for your design. Happy designing!

Incorporating Branding

Branding is a big deal when you're aiming to design like a pro with Canva. It's not just about slapping a logo on a design, but about creating a consistent, recognizable identity. Here's how you can ace it:

  • Consistent Colors: Choose a color scheme that matches your brand's personality and use it consistently across all your designs. Canva's color palette tool can help you do this effortlessly.
  • Use of Logo: Don't just stick your logo anywhere. Think about its placement, size and how it interacts with other elements in your design. And remember, sometimes less is more.
  • Choose Fonts Wisely: Fonts can say a lot about a brand. Are you going for a fun and playful vibe? Or maybe something more serious and professional? Pick a font that suits your brand's personality and stick with it.
  • Imagery: The images you use in your designs should also reflect your brand. If you're a nature-oriented brand, use images that depict the outdoors. If you're a tech company, use images that show modern, cutting-edge technology.

By incorporating these branding techniques into your Canva designs, you'll create visuals that not only look good, but also resonate with your audience and represent your brand in the best possible light.

If you enjoyed our blog post on "Pro Canva Design: Practical Tips & Techniques" and are eager to learn more about design and animation, we recommend checking out the workshop 'Animating with Procreate and Photoshop' by Nyanza. While this workshop focuses on animation, the design principles and techniques covered can also be applied to enhance your Canva designs and take them to the next level.