How to Use Canva: 101 Visual Designs You Can Create (You Probably DIDN’T Know You Could)
I did something crazy last weekend. I challenged myself to come up with an extensive list on how to use Canva for graphic and visual design.
101 ways to be exact…
Craypants I know….
But I never back down from a challenge yall.
Well because in my world of digital marketing and branding, Canva is seriously the Bomb.com for me.
But my obsession with Canva didn’t stop there.
On last year, I wrote a blog post that talks about how I use the program to build out my entire visual arsenal and even created blog branding kits like this one and this one to help folks brand their blogs and websites without breaking the bank.
As I grew more confident with using some of the advanced features of the program, I decided it was time to take things a step further.
So I did something even crazier….
I created Lights Canva Action to show brand owners like you how to use Canva to design graphics, course collateral and more like CHAMPS.
To date, this is one of my most popular courses.
I guess you can say that I have an unhealthy obsession and addiction with Canva yall…
Who is this Post For?
If you are a Canva user (or even if you are not) friends…you are in for a treat.
I’ve put together a mega list that covers how to use Canva for graphic and visual design projects.
Since this is such a mega list and round up of content, I’ve added a table of contents to the post.
You can use the table of contents section below to skip to a section that you are interested in using Canva for.
And off we gooooooo!
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Use Canva for Blog and Web Design
- 2 How to Use Canva for Branding
- 3 How to Use Canva for Social Media Marketing
- 4 How to Use Canva for Digital Marketing
- 5 How to Use Canva to Design Print Materials
- 6 How to Use Canva to Design Course Collateral
- 7 How to Use Canva for Freelance and Consulting Designs
- 8 How to Use Canva to Design + Create Products
- 9 How To Use Canva to Design Printables
- 10 How to Use Canva to Design Materials for Live Events and Conferences
How to Use Canva for Blog and Web Design
In this busy online space that we live in, a boring blog will not get you very far.
If you are starting a blog or run an existing blog, Canva makes it easy to turn your blog’s design from blah to beautiful.
After I launched the YCG blog, I wanted to add some pizzaz to it but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on branding. So I turned to Canva to to do it.
In Canva, I got superrrr creative and cranked out different images to brand things like:
- My blogs sidebar
- My blog post graphics
- Pinnable Graphics in Pinterest
- and more….
What I loved most about Canva is this:
There are hundred’s of pre-made templates that you can download and use to DIY your blog’s design.
If you are struggling with web design, you can use Canva to design certain elements of your site. As an example, things like images for the front of your site, your blog’s newsletter header and a logo too!
In short, if you have zero web design or blog branding skills, Canva makes it easy to inject creative blog design that gives your site a professional appearance that your visitors will appreciate.
I present to you 10 types of visual designs you can create with canva for your blog with some examples.
- Blog Post Image Template
- Sidebar Graphics
- Blog Email Newsletter Header
- Lead Magnet
- Content Upgrades
- Email Opt-In Mockups
- Blog Post Graphics
- Blog Post Infographics
- Blog Media Kit
How to Use Canva for Branding
Consistent branding is imperative to establishing an unforgettable online presence.
Here’s the dealio…
With so many brands vying for attention online, it is damn near impossible to stand out ….
UNLESS…your branding is on point.
Before I learned how to use Canva for branding on the visual front things were all over the place. At times, it looked like my brand was ran by four different people.
I made a lot of mistakes with my branding like:
- I tried using too many fonts in my designs
- Every time that I created a new blog post, I designed a different image for each one
- My color choices were…not well put together
Brand confusion and frustration with designing branded graphics led me to Canva!
I loveeeee Creative Market…like for realz. They have a lot of pre-made templates that I have purchased in the past for various branding projects.
In an effort to scale back my expenses and create branded materials the “lean way”, I turned to Canva to create a lot of the items in my brand arsenal.
Instead of buying brand templates from Creative Market, I used Canva to design them.
After I got a handle on what consistent visual branding meant, I amped up my branding efforts using some of the templates from Canva.
The more confident I grew with using Canva for branding, I started using the tool to design brand collateral for my clients and web design projects.
I loved doing this two for two main reasons:
Canva gives my clients creative control over their designs and let me share designs with them.
With the sharing feature, my clients can make updates to their brand collateral and etc., as they need to.
Ten brand items that you can design beautifully with Canva include:
- Brand Identity Kit
- Brand Color Scheme
- Mood Board
- Brochure Design
- Project Proposal Template
- Note Cards
- Gift Certificates
- Style Guide
How to Use Canva for Social Media Marketing
As of 2017, based on data published by Smart Insights, nearly 2 billion people are using social media networks.
What does this mean for you?
It’s super competitive out there…
If you are using social media networks or are planning to use them to market your business, there’s something you should know:
Visual content is #Winning!
Social media users are much more likely to engage with posts that have “visuals” tied to them.
Thankfully, with DIY graphic design tools…like Canva you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create graphics for your social media accounts.
You don’t have to hire a professional designer either.
With Canva, you can design your own social media graphics like a PRO.
I made a decision a while ago to use Canva to DIY my own graphics for social media since I can easily store all of my graphics in one place.
Canva has a lot of pre-made social media templates that you can edit, update and publish in minutes to your social media networks.
The key to creating graphics with Canva for your social media networks is to keep your designs consistent.
Consistent designs are the key to increasing your brand’s awareness and will help your community spot your branding easier.
I can tell you from experience, there is nothing more rewarding than having a reader mention to you that they “saw something you posted” because they recognized your branding on social media.
On that note, here are 10 types of visuals you can design with Canva for social media networks:
- YouTube Cover Art
- Twitter Cover Image
- Facebook Fan Page Cover Photo
- LinkedIn Post Quotes
- Instagram Posts
- Animated GIF’s
- Photo Stories (Flipagram)
- Quote Graphics
- Pinterest Image Template
- Quick Tip Graphics
How to Use Canva for Digital Marketing
Much like social media, in the world of digital marketing, visual content reigns supreme.
Things we do online like…
- Email marketing
- Marketing Automation
- Search Engine Optimization
- Paid Advertisements
- Content Marketing
These kinds of activities are forms of digital marketing that is taking place on the internet.
As I was researching data for tis blog post, here’s some information that I found surprising:
Two million blog posts are published every day (Marketing Pros)
Andddd….more than 1.3 million pieces of content is shared on social media every minute. Let’s not forget about email. It seems like its never ending. Well at least for me it isn’t.
From a marketing and promotions perspective, most of the digital assets that you have in your arsenal will need some form of visual representation.
If you have a blog, visual graphics bring your content to life. With your email newsletter, creating a branded email newsletter header will dress up your email marketing campaigns.
That eBook that you are thinking about writing or a freebie that you want to promote online to grow your email list need “mockups” to make them tangible and more real to your audience.
And let’s not forget about paid advertisements like Facebook Ads.
To promote your ads on Facebook, you have to use a graphic to promote your ads.
Fortunately for you, Canva has a ready-made graphics like Facebook Ad templates that you can use to design your ads in minutes. Heck, I was surprised to discover that the folks over at Digital Marketer have used Canva to design their ads.
In the spirit of digital marketing, here are 10 types of designs that you can create with Canva:
- Media Kit
- Digital Marketing Kit
- Paid Advertisement Graphics
- (Digital) Flip Book
- Online Based Event Graphics
- Fillable PDF’s
- List Building Offer Graphics
- Inspirational Quote Graphics
- Discount Promo Images
How to Use Canva to Design Print Materials
Digital Marketing is all the rage these days, but there may come a time when you will need to use print marketing collateral to promote your business.
As with mockups of digital products, print marketing materials will help bring your offline marketing assets to life in print form.
I know that you may be thinking:
“Are people even using print materials anymore”?
Of course they are still being used
Think about it….
When you attend live events like conferences, seminars and other networking events, what kinds of marketing collateral do you see people using?
Print marketing and promo materials right?
Attending these types of events present the perfect opportunity for you to share your print marketing materials with attendees.
With Canva, designing branded print materials for your business is a breeze!
The biggest perk to using Canva is this:
You don’t have to start from scratch to design things. Canva has a lot of done-for-you templates that you can use to create branded print materials for your business.
The only thing that you will need to do is add your brand color schemes, logo, and fonts to the templates and that’s pretty much it.
In a matter of minutes, you can design gorgeous print materials for your business that you can proudly show off to the world. Ten types of branded print materials that you can make with Canva for your business include:
- Business Cards
How to Use Canva to Design Course Collateral
Online courses are extremely popular nowadays.
It seems like nearly everyone and their uncles are getting into the game and I can understand why.
For starters the online course market is a 107 Billion Dollar Industry that is showing no signs of slowing down. Secondly, online courses make it easy for you to teach what you know and profit from it.
I can tell you from experience as an infopreneur:
There is nothing like waking up, checking your email inbox and finding that someone has purchased one of your courses while you were sleeping.
Then there’s the mega success reports that you’ve probably read from course creators like Melyssa Griffin and Pat Flynn. What I love about reading their stories is this:
Income diversification is super important and passive income is very MUCH possible!
This what online courses offer to infopreneurs and digital preneurs too!
When I decided to start making online courses though, I struggled with figuring out what kind of collateral I was going to add to them.
My searched landed me on Pinterest as I saw that a lot of folks were adding things like:
- Workbooks and …
- Printables ….
to their courses as collateral to give to their students.
As I got more into infopreneurship and course creation I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to create my course materials.
So I HAD to get creative…
Canva came to the rescue!
Now…I use Canva to create all of the collateral for the courses and digital products that I sell from my blog.
If you’re looking for some ideas for collateral and marketing materials you can create for your courses in Canva, here is a list to consider:
- Fillable PDF’s
- Course Promo Graphics
- Course Animated GIF Graphics
- Course Testimonial Graphics from Students
- Course Sales Page Graphics
- Course Completion Certificates for Students
- Product Preview Graphics
- Course Mockup Graphics
How to Use Canva for Freelance and Consulting Designs
If you are a freelancer, consultant or coach, then Canva is an excellent resource to use in your business.
As a service based business provider, there will come a time when you will need to create branded digital and offline marketing materials.
Case in point:
After I decided to add web design services to my list of service offerings, I needed a way to create specific branded materials that I could give to my new clients.
Here again, I didn’t want to hire someone to design these materials for me.
So I turned to Canva to get the job done.
As an example, the services listings sheets that I give to prospective clients…I used Canva to design it.
The Welcome Kit that I give to new my new clients in the onboarding process, I used Canva to create it.
The Services promo images that I market out on social media…you guessed it, I used Canva to Design those too.
So if you are starting a service based business or run one, Canva affords you the ability to design all kinds of goodies for your clients.
Things like toolkits to onboard new clients or welcome kits to your new clients are easy to design.
Examples of resources that you can design for your service based business with Canva include:
- Services Listings Sheet
- Marketing Kit for Prospective Clients
- Brand Identity Kit
- Welcome Kit to New Clients
- Testimonial Booklet
- Digital eGuide Testimonial Graphics
- Project Proposal Template
- Client Workbook or Resource Guide
- Slide Deck Presentations for Prospects
- Price Listings Sheets and Overview
How to Use Canva to Design + Create Products
Do you run a blog, website or some sort of web property that you want to sell products from?
Are you looking for a resource that you can use to design your products with?
If you are, then learning how to use Canva will give you a jumpstart to your creating digital + print products that you can design and monetize.
Before I started using Canva to design the majority of the products that I sell from my blog, I tried used programs like MS Word and Google Docs.
But..I didn’t like using these programs for several reasons:
- On the design front, MS Word is very limited to me
- Word doesnt have enough built in design features and things that you could use to accessorize your designs
- Google docs is great for creating content…but like MS Word has limited design capabilities
- I couldn’t get as creative as I wanted to…..
I stopped using Word and leveraged Canva to design my products.
In fact, I used Canva to design all the products that I sell from my store. The workbook covers, the interior pages, eBooks you name it…
I used Canva to create them…
Whenever I launch new products and need to design promo images for them…I.use.Canva. The program is seriously friggin addictive!
If you need some ideas for products that you can create with Canva, here’s a list to get you started:
- Product Preview Graphics
- Product Launch Graphics
- Product Cover Templates
- Digital eBooks
- Kindle Book Covers
- Product Mockups
- Product Promo Graphics
How To Use Canva to Design Printables
Who doesn’t love a good printable?
They are super nifty resources that help with productivity, organization, tracking and more.
Maybe you’re thinking of designing printables to sell from an Etsy store.
Perhaps you want to design printables to help you organize a certain area of your life. Either way, you can most certainly use Canva to do it.
Believe it or not, Canva has loads of ready-made printables available that you can use in various ways like:
- Cheat sheets that you give away from your blog as content upgrades
- To-Do-Lists that you can leverage as an entrepreneur to keep you on track every day
- Forms that you can use to take down information at events you are hosting
- Calendars…to keep track of important dates, times, events and etc.,
- Goal Planning Sheets – to help you track business or personal goals
I’m all for digital tracking tools and stuff but I gotta admit that there is nothing like writing something down and looking at it every day to remind you of what you are working on.
Last year, I created a #GoalDigger Worksheet using Canva, printed it out and put it on my board in my office to hold myself accountable of the goals I’ve set for my business every month.
And you know what…
I am sooo glad that I did because this one little printable keeps me accountable every month and helps me stay on task.
A few types of printables that you can design with Canva are:
- To Do Lists
- Shopping Lists
- Task Trackers
How to Use Canva to Design Materials for Live Events and Conferences
If you’ve ever put on a live event, then you already know that things can get very expensive. There’s the location to think about, speakers you need to invite, food, marketing materials to produce and more.
I’ve heard repeatedly that the PRIMARY objectives for holding live events is this:
To get as many people into the event as possible…
To do this, you will need to market your event like crazy…both from a digital and offline perspective.
The thing is with live events (from what I’m told), marketing the event is the greatest challenge that folks have and the costs associated with it.
To keep your marketing expenses low for your events, you can leverage Canva to create your marketing, promotions and other collateral.
That’s rightttt folks!
Everything from conference registration forms to the flyers that you use to market the event, you can fire up Canva and use the program to design your items.
It doesn’t have to stop there, you can also create your digital marketing media too for your events and items like these:
- Swag Bag Inserts
- Event Program
- Event Specific Notecards
- Event Agenda
- Conference Flyers
- Event Invitations
- Event Digital Promo Graphics –
- Conference Registration Forms
- Food and Drink Menu
As you can see from this list, Canva is an amazing tool that people in different industries can use for all types of visual and graphic design projects. I hope that this list serves as an inspiration to get your creative juices flowing on what you can do with Canva!
I want to hear from you!
Are you using Canva for visual design? If so, how are you using it and what tips did you like most from this list? Pleaseeee leave your comments below. Thanks soooo much!
Oh and Here’s a Nifty Infographic that you can download and use as a reference! And yes, I used Canva to Design it…LOL!