Avoiding Canva pitfalls

If you are a non-designer, using an online graphic design tool can be an easy way to create graphics and materials for social media and presentations. As brand designers here, we have some useful tips which can help you avoid the pitfalls of using an online template based software while working closely and consistently within your brand design guidelines.

  1. Adhere to your brand guidelines: Your business has already invested in strong brand design and now is the time to apply what has been designed for your brand. Constantly refer to your guidelines to keep consistency and ensure that your brand is not diluted.
  2. Stick to a consistent color scheme: Consistency is key in design. Choose a colour scheme from your primary and secondary brand palettes and stick to these colours throughout your design.
  3. Pay Attention to your typography: Select the typefaces that have been recommended by your brand designer. These will be listed in your brand guidelines. Use fonts that are appropriate for your message. Avoid using too many different fonts in one design as this will look messy and unprofessional. Watch the hierarchy of text within your designs. The most important message gets the big headline!
  4. Utilise design elements: Within your brand design package, a good designer will have supplied various design elements that suit your brand design. Use these elements to enhance your message. However, use them sparingly and make sure they add value to your design rather than cluttering it.
  5. Explore templates: Your brand guidelines should include some sample social media posts to get you started. Canva also offers a wide range of templates for various purposes like social media posts and more. Explore these templates to find a design that fits your brand needs and customise it to match it to your brand.
  6. Keep it simple: As a non-designer, it’s best to keep your designs simple and clean. Avoid cluttering your designs with too many elements or text. Focus on conveying your message clearly and effectively.
  7. Use high-quality images: Find a stock library of high-quality images and illustrations. Or use original photographs and illustrations – even better! Choose images that are relevant to your design and of good quality to enhance the overall look of your design.
  8. Watch your alignment: Use grid and alignment tools to help you maintain consistency and alignment in your design. Use these tools to ensure that your elements are properly aligned and spaced.
  9. Check and recheck: Before finalising your design, preview it to see how it will look. Take some time to review your design for any errors or inconsistencies and make necessary adjustments.
  10. Seek inspiration: If you’re stuck or unsure about how to proceed with your design, seek inspiration from other designs or design communities. This can help spark ideas and creativity.
  11. Practice and experiment: Like any skill, design improves with practice. Take the time to experiment with different features and techniques in Canva to hone your design skills over time. Don’t be afraid to try new things and learn from your mistakes.

With thirty years experience in visual communications, brand and graphic design we know the value of strong and consistent graphics and we’re here to help you improve your visual communications.