Level Up Your Graphic Design With These 7 Canva Secrets

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A picture’s worth a thousand words — or these days, potentially a thousand likes!

The social media age that we’re living in has breathed new life into that old adage as we are drawn to visually appealing content on the web. On Facebook alone, content with images get up to 2.3x more likes compared to text-only posts! Well-designed content is key when it comes to the success of online campaigns, especially for businesses that are looking to capture the attention of their target audience.

Graphic design only continues to grow more and more relevant as our reliance on digital platforms increases. While the world of digital design formerly felt inaccessible to those who lacked the skill and background to create attractive promotional material, Canva has made it more possible to design creative and engaging material for both personal and professional use.

Founded in 2013, this design and publishing giant aimed to change the game by making graphic design more accessible to everyone. Today, Canva gives its over 55 million users the chance to bring their most creative ideas to life. Businesses, in particular, have the potential to benefit from the site’s variety of features.

How businesses can benefit from graphic design

Did you know that 7 in 10 consumers think that a brand’s packaging is important? And it’s no surprise, either: whether in-store or online, the packaging is the first thing that customers see. That first impression is relevant not just to packaging, but also to online advertisements, social media content, and other promotional platforms and materials.

When businesses dedicate themselves to their branding, advocacies, print materials, design… it’s more likely that consumers will trust them. And when that trust is built, so is the road that leads to transactions and brand loyalty.

In the specific context of digital marketing, companies can benefit from committing to their graphic design by gaining followers, increasing engagement, and building a reputation as a trustworthy brand. This is particularly important for newer businesses – consistent and inventive graphic designs make social media marketing for startups significantly easier.

Platforms like Canva help entrepreneurs move one step closer towards successfully maximizing the benefits that social media has to offer — be it mockups, social media templates, or even gifs and video clips, the site’s multitude of features makes success for businesses much more achievable.

If you’re looking to level up your social media presence with high-quality designs, here are some Canva tips and tricks to help you get there:

1. Canva brand kit

If your business has a specific brand book or color palette, Canva has the option for you to save them in a Brand Kit so that you don’t have to use hex codes or copy them over from older images. You can access this in the ‘Styles’ tab on the right side of the page where they’ll be displayed like this:

Canva brand kit

Aside from being able to upload the brand colors, you’ll also have the option to save an array of logos in the brand kit, meaning that it will be there for easy access without having to reupload it multiple times. The brand kit also allows you to save a font or certain font combinations.

2. Easy-to-use templates

One of the most well-loved features of Canva is the templates made available to everyone. These templates include those for presentations, different social media platforms, brochures, resumés, menus, infographics, and pretty much everything else under the sun!

Browse them all in the ‘Templates’ tab of your Canva project:

‘Templates’ tab

3. Remove background feature

Another one of Canva’s most popular features is this amazing hack: the ‘Remove Background’ feature allows designers to sit back and relax as the site does the tedious work of creating their cutouts for them in a matter of seconds. All you have to do is pop your image into the file and click “Edit Image” on the upper left-hand corner:

Remove background feature

After clicking ‘Edit Image,’ another menu will pop up, where you can choose to remove the background of the image you’ve put into your project:

Edit Image

After just one click, the image will come out without the background. If the site has missed anything, you can also opt to use the restore brush, or the erase brush if the program has misread a part of the background and kept it in the photo.

kept it in the photo

Just like magic!

4. Canva Animator for cute gifs

Canva also provides options to quickly animate your photos or templates. Add some static elements from the ‘Elements’ tab on the left sidebar:

Canva Animator for cute gifs

After selecting the elements that you want, deselect the image and find the ‘Animate’ feature on the upper left-hand corner of the project, near where the ‘Edit Image’ feature was in our last tip.


The animation options will show up on the left side panel, where you can choose from different animation effects:

Animation options

This is how the trial above turned out for us. How do you plan on creating yours?

plan on creating yours

5. Align with ease

Hate it when things are off-center? We get you. Canva helps its users align things perfectly by providing guide rulers. Not much to navigate here: just place your image on the project and move it around to see the pink guide rulers!

Align with ease

6. Font and element sorting

Another Canva feature is that you can sort fonts and elements by category or tag. Looking for something specific? It won’t take much to find what you’re looking for in their comprehensive library. For example, a flower shop might look for flowers and leaves in the elements. Utilize the search feature here:

Font and element sorting

You can even filter by media type if you had a photo, graphic, or video in mind. The same flower shop might hope to use a cursive script for their brand. What you could do next is go to the ‘Text’ tab and type in the kind of font you want to see.


7. Canva keyboard shortcuts

Can’t believe how much time Canva is already saving you? There’s a way that it can save you even MORE time! There are certain keyboard shortcuts that can help you minimize the time you’re using on the site, if you’re really in a hurry:

  • Zoom in: cmd/ctrl + “+” key
  • Zoom out: cmd/ctrl + “-” key
  • Bold text: cmd/ctrl + “B” key
  • Group Elements: cmd/ctrl + “G” key
  • Ungroup Elements: shift + cmd/ctrl + “G” key
  • Add a line to your document: Click the “L” key
  • Add a rectangle to your document: Click the “R” key
  • Transform text to Uppercase: Shift + cmd/ctrl + “K” key
  • Duplicate elements: cmd/ctrl + “D” key
  • Select all items on layer: cmd/ctrl + “A” key
  • Send element forward: cmd/ctrl + “]”
  • Send element backward: cmd/ctrl + “[“

Canva is a hassle-free, fun alternative to the Adobe suite of design programs. It’s easy to use, accessible from anywhere, and is free for individual users! If you feel that you’re ready to jump ahead into the big leagues and try Photoshop alongside your current design program, there are tons of effects that you can use to create unique content.

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