Canva Tips + Elisa Stampf

To the men and women who wear many hats.  

Maybe you run a start-up.  Perhaps you’re the founder of a nonprofit, an employee that wears many hats, or maybe a parent with kids’ projects.  Having some basic skills in Canva for your marketing and brand messaging is an essential.  

Canva is an online design and publishing tool, and their mission is to “empower everyone in the world to design anything and publish anywhere.”  That is exactly what they have done.

To our nonprofit readers, we want to be sure you are aware that you can get Canva Premium for free.  Just submit your application here.

I’ve invited Elisa Stampf, CEO of Insure Equality, a nonprofit that seeks to create and enforce accountability in the insurance industry, to join in this conversation. She and her small, but mighty team leverage the outstanding capabilities of Canva to amplify their brand and story everyday, and they do it really well.  The marketing assets they publish look like they came from a professional digital agency, but as a nonprofit startup, using a professional agency is not feasible at this time.  

Elisa, what are your favorite Canva tips that help your organization create beautiful and professional assets that you would like to share with our readers?

  1. Duplicate Page – There is a small box with a “plus sign” above each “page.” I use the duplicate page function when creating board documents or when I want to compare different styles or techniques side-by-side. It’s invaluable when you’re doing something that requires similar pieces to appear on each page.
  1. Copy + Paste –  This is a simple one, but if you’re new to Canva, you may not know that when you copy and paste from one page to the next, it will paste it in the same position as the previous page. This feature is huge when you’re adding page numbers or logos.
  1. Ctrl –  Canva has a beautiful feature that will help you center or lay images and pieces that fit in the margins or center of the page. It isn’t accessible if you want something in a specific position close to where Canva wants you to put it. If you hold down “ctrl” (command on a Mac), it will allow you to move that piece freely on the page.
  1. Position – When an item is selected, you can change its position on the page by clicking “Position” on the upper right-hand side of the Canva screen. You can move it forward, backward, or to the back or front. This feature is helpful when you want to add backgrounds or create a layered look.
  1. Transparency –  Close to the “Position” option in Canva is a button that looks like a gradient of boxes. When you click on that, it allows you to change the transparency of an item. This feature is useful when you want to tone down the intensity of an element or create a complex, layered look.
  1. Frames – Adding an image to a presentation or post is a great way to make it stand out, and sometimes it’s challenging to get the cropping or adjust it just right. Canva has an assortment of frames that let you drop an image into a shape or structure. I love using this feature when we highlight speakers, panelists, or someone in our community.
  1. Group – I love this feature and use it frequently when working on logos or elements that are supposed to be near each other. You can drag and select with your mouse to highlight every aspect you want to be connected to; then click the “Group” button. (close to the Position and Transparency buttons). This feature will allow you to move that group instead of each element.

Thanks to Elisa for her great tips and tricks on Canva!  Our biggest recommendation to you is just to try it.  Start somewhere.  If a blank canvas is overwhelming, then start with one of the thousands of templates, and customize from there.  With each new design, you will gain the confidence, and your creative juices will start flowing.

Happy creating! 

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