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Designing from a blank template

Creating a design in Canva starts by selecting a template. On the Canva homepage, click on the the Create a Design button to view the available templates. You can pick any of these, or create a custom sized document by clicking Use custom dimensions.

This will open the editor with a blank page, which is default to all designs made on the web app. The menu on the left side of the editor will open to the Layouts tab, where can select any of the premade templates from Canva. The blank template however, gives you the freedom to create designs and explore ideas from scratch.

Here’s a quick guide on how you can create your own design. Click on the links to the articles for advanced options and ideas on how to make your design spectacular.

You can start your design by adding a Background color or photo. This helps set the tone for your design and helps pull all other elements together.

Add a background color or image


  1. On the editor sidebar, click on the Background tab.
  2. A default palette of basic colors and greyscale will be available. Canva for Work users will see brand kit colors here as well.
  3. Tap + under the Document Colors to add new colors to use with your design.
  4. You can also select from the preset background graphics and photos located below the color palettes.

Check out this article for more information on Adding and removing backgrounds.

Adding text elements


Adding text and words to your design helps present your message clearer, and Canva provides a variety of text and text holders you can use with ease.

  1. On the editor sidebar, click on the Text tab.
  2. The top options of the text pane are standard styles for Heading, Subheading, and Body text. Click or drag any of these to add to your design. For Canva for Work users, these options will show your brand fonts.
  3. Format text using the editor toolbar

Adding photos and visual elements


  1. Click on the Elements tab. This tab contains Canva’s library of free and premium images, shapes, illustrations, icons and more, organized into categorized folders.
  2. Click on the folders to access elements.
  3. You can also use the Search tab to find elements by typing in keywords to bring up relevant results.

For more details on how to add photos to your design, check out Adding and removing photos. You can also learn more about Uploading photos to use with your Canva design.

note: Want to learn more about creating designs and learning more about Canva? Check out our Design Essentials tutorial course.

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