Let’s learn how to design kickass Pinterest graphics using Canva. This alternative graphic design program is free and easy to use. Not everyone has Adobe Photoshop so often what I share here on my blog, it might not be a possible solution for you, and let’s face it, I want you to have kickass Pinterest graphics!
What is Canva?
You may be asking, what is this Canva? Or, maybe you’ve heard of it but didn’t know it’s capabilities. Canva is a free, online design program that lets you create stunning graphics quickly, and easily.
When you don’t have the luxury of affording Photoshop or just don’t see the need, you still want your Pinterest graphics to look great.
What Canva Won’t Do
Canva isn’t going to give you full control over your graphics like Photoshop would. If you’re looking to do more with gradient overlays and precise editing, Canva won’t do that. But, I guess that because you are a blogger or maybe a YouTuber that just wants a pretty Pinterest graphic to market their business, the need for full blown Photoshop isn’t there. And, that’s where this excellent, free program comes into play!
How to Design Kickass Pinterest Graphics Using Canva
I previously wrote a tutorial (with video) on how to design kickass Pinterest graphics using Photoshop, so check that out if you’d so like. But let’s start by writing out some step-by-step instructions and then get into a new video tutorial of how you can create several kickass Pinterest graphics using Canva.
Stock Photos for Your Pinterest Graphics
When you visit Pinterest, you’ll find a lot of really eye-pleasing designs. Most are going to contain photographs (while some do just stick to graphic shapes and colors only). There are a few places to find stock photos that won’t break your bank:
- Bloguettes – offers a $10 a month library where they upload lots of new images every week
- Fancy Crave – offers free stock images to use that are under the Creative Commons Public Domain use
- Unsplash – offers free stock images to use that are under the Creative Commons Zero use
- PinkPot – she offers complimentary free images for non-commercial use
Or take your own photos. I wrote up a post on how I often take some really simple photos and where I find some cheap props that aren’t ugly!
Steps to Design a Pinterest Graphic Using Canva
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- Your Pinterest graphics should all have the same dimensions for consistency for your brand. I recommend sizing them for the width of your blog. So if your blog area is 800 px wide, then make your graphics 800 px wide. You can make the height anything, but longer images look best on Pinterest. In the top right of Canva, choose Custom Dimensions, and then enter the size you have determined for your Pinterest graphics.
- Next, upload your image. To do so, click on Uploads in the left sidebar, and then click the green button to choose your image. Your uploads will stay here for future use as well.
- Drag your image over to your new canvas by clicking on the image, and sliding it over. You’ll need to resize it to fit the canvas. If you’re using a high-resolution photo, don’t worry about sizing up here, it will be fine.
- Click on your image on the canvas and then choose Filter in the pop-up. From here, you can adjust the brightness and contrast of your image. For bright photos, I often want them to be visible but less distracting, so for my example, I reduced the brightness and contrast to -60 for each.
- One thing that makes Canva easy to use is the already-made shapes and designs that come with it. You aren’t having to do all of this work like you would with Photoshop. So, let’s add a shape on top of our photo. Choose from the left sidebar the Elements option. Then select Grids and choose the first option and drag it over to your canvas, on top of your image. You can then resize it smaller so it fits the middle of your image and still lets you see the image.
- Next, while the shape is selected, the pop-up choose the circle that has the image inside it from your grid shape, here you can change the color. I click the + button to choose a nice pink.
- I’ll reduce the transparency (this is opacity in Photoshop) by choosing the drop-down arrow in the top pop-up while my shape is selected. I reduced the transparency to 50.
- Now let’s add our blog title text. Make sure you always use that title for naming your images, in your social media posts, and throughout your blog post for SEO ranking help. Click on the text option from the left sidebar. Canva makes it super easy here because they have created pre-made options for you. You just change the text! Choose something that works well for the length of your blog post, and emphasizes the word you want showcased. Drag it over on top of your text click to replace the text. You may need to adjust the point size depending on the length of your words. Feel free to change the colors as well.
- If you want to create your own title setup, just click on one of the top options. I did this for the bottom portion of this sample to list my website address.
- Then, to just add a little jazz to it, I added another Element from the lines options to set it off a bit.
Video Tutorial How To Design Kickass Pinterest Graphics Using Canva