What's an Apartment Life Coordinator to do if their fellow team is a Canva pro, but they are... um... not? Well, sharing is caring! Canva has a great feature so you can share your designs with friends. Here's how:
Whether you feel like design comes naturally to you, or you don’t, there are some fundamental design rules that good designers follow. Here are just a few tips to help your event flyers and calendars in Canva go from good to GREAT!
Find great pictures
- Free Stock Photo Websites: There’s a variety of free stock photo websites that you can use. What’s great about free stock photos is that you can have a clear conscience (stealing = bad). All you have to do is use the search engines in the sites below to find what you’re looking for, then download high-resolution, great quality images.
- Photos with Artist’s Permission: Flickr Creative Commons is another great place to find high quality photography. You can search under the “Attribution License” category, contact the artist, and ask if you can use their photo for your flyer. Typically, artists are flattered and just ask for a small attribution link or their name small on the flyer somewhere.
- Google Image Search (the right way): I would not recommend just snagging a photo off the internet without checking/crediting the original source. But if it’s super generic (like a gravel background or a white wall), just make sure the image is high quality and labeled for reuse. When you use the Google Image search engine, make sure your settings look like this under your search bar in the “tool” settings:
Stay away from images with a white background
Download clear PNG files instead of JPG files. Every JPG will have a white background. You can also search “PNG vector” after whatever you’re searching for if you’re downloading logos (like from a restaurant or your apartment complex). This will weed out all the white background images, and bring the images with a clear background into view. If you’re doing some kind of partnership with another company, ask them if their marketing department can send you a “high resolution PNG with no background” so that you can represent both their company and yours well.
When it comes to fonts, more is never better. When putting your designs together, choose no more than TWO fonts and stick to them per design. Here are some general guidelines:
One font: Create contrast by using bold and light-weight versions of the same font.
Two fonts: When choosing two fonts, choose between these options for the best modern design look:
- Script font + sans-serif font (Don't know what sans-serif means? Read about it here.)
- Condensed bold font + sans-serif font
- Serif font + sans-serif font
Things to Keep in Mind
- Less is more. Don’t feel like you have to fill up the entire page with text, pictures and design elements. White space/breathing room/margin is good for design and helps your audience to process the information being communicated.
- Hierarchy matters. Try not to make everything huge and bold. Titles are important, so make those larger, sub-headings (3-4 points smaller) can be used for dates and times, and then any other descriptive information should be in 12- or 10-point font.
- Establish a consistent color palette. The whole rainbow is amazing… in the sky :)
- If you’re using an image, pull colors from the image to form your color palette and make your design more cohesive and professional. Need help figuring out which colors are in your image? “Eye Dropper” is an open source extension for Google Chrome which allows you to pick colors from various sources. Get it here: http://eye-dropper.kepi.cz/
- If you’re using mostly shape elements and text in your design, we like colourlovers.com for pre-made color palette ideas.
- Use pre-made templates. Canva has an extensive selection of free templates you can use to drop in images and text hassle-free! If you’re new to this whole design thing, let the Canva professionals do the work for you!
Got more design tips for us? Leave them in the comments so others can learn! Happy Designing!
Ah... the power of the minimal un-calendar. Two words when it comes to Canva & un-calendars... magazine template. They're like un-calendar gold. Check out a few below made from Canva magazine templates by our very own Canva legend, Melody Stadler (one of our Florida program directors and also a cares team). All it takes to customize is swapping out some images, swapping out/adding some text, adding custom logos, and done!
Click on the photos below to go straight to the original Canva template and start customizing for free. You can also find a ton more un-calendar friendly templates here!
Did you know Canva has an app? I (not a graphic designer even a little) gave it a try and whipped up this little un-calendar in about 10 minutes, all from my phone. It's pretty handy if you're on-the-go and need to put a calendar/flyer together! Here are some steps:
Once you download the app, open it and search for a template. I used a collage template, switched out the images, and added text.
Click on the template you want to use, and this screen pops up. Like it says, 'tap something to start editing.' I started with the title as you'll see below.
After I changed the title, I clicked on the plus sign in the bottom right corner (above). Then, these options pop up. I started by adding my event text & switching out images.
I selected the "text" option from the menu shown above and chose the one that says "BARE ORGANICS" in the text options.
I selected "image" from step 3 to get to this screen. Then, selected "image" again and searched for "mexico" for my Cinco de Mayo event. I chose a free image. The images that cost money are denoted by the 1 next to the stack of coins.
When you add the text, you can edit it with the options seen here - font, size, color, style, etc..
I copy/pasted my whole text box so they would match for all three events. To do that, select the box/item you want to copy and click the three dots inside the circle icon in the top menu. Then, it pulls up these options. Ungroup will break up the top/bottom of the text box making them two seperate boxes. The next icon is the "copy" icon. I used this one! The next two icons change the "layers". They can put one item behind another, so it would put the text behind this image selected here.
I updated the new text with my next event for the month and started searching for a mother's day image to use (see step 5).
I added my third event photo/text. You can also resize the images by zooming in/out on your phone... like you do when using your camera (see below).
Make sure you have the text style, size, and color you want. Make sure everything is easy to read and you have the images just the way you want! Then click "share" in the top/right. You can share the design lots of ways: email, text, post, etc.
My final design!
Like I said... not a designer... but you get the idea :) Enjoy!
Canva has quite a few calendar templates to choose from... so just pick the one that vibes with your community the best! Here are three that we like. We picked these templates because they are stylish, simple, and require minimal customization. Which ones are your favorite?
SIMPLE VINTAGE PHOTO CALENDAR
- Simple Vintage Photo Calendar
- Customization required
- add a box & text for event details.
- swap out the image if you prefer a different one.
- Customization required
TEAL AND WHITE UNDERWATER PHOTO DAILY CALENDAR
- Teal and White Underwater Photo Daily Calendar
- Customization required:
- Swap out images for free ones (unless you don't mind paying $1/image).
- Update text to say "event details" instead of "today's reminders".
- Customization required:
COLORFUL SIMPLE SHAPES MONTHLY CALENDAR
Found your perfect Canva calendar template... but the dates are for 2017? I hate when that happens.
But don't worry... just scroll down to find the dates that match what you need (note, it might be October) and change the name of the month. Voilà! October 2017 becomes January 2018 in a jif (not to be confused with a gif).
Canva has so many images to choose from! And they're either completely free or $1. To find the free images, follow these steps:
- Once you've settled on a flyer or calendar design template, your screen will look like this:
- You'll see "search" in the top left corner.
- Search for the type of image you want (food, happy people, trees, cocktails, etc.)
- The free images will have the white "free" label on them. ("Pro" images are only accessible if you have a paid Canva account. "$1" images cost one dollar.
- Use away!
Hi there! I'm Christy and I am not a designer... I repeat... NOT a graphic designer.
And, I was still able to make this calendar in 10 minutes. Here's what I did in pictures (with descriptions under each photo/step). If you're wondering how I got "there," just check the menu bar on the left side and/or top... and look for the yellow dots!
- There are SIX pages of calendar templates in Canva.
- To find: Click on "Find Templates" and then "Calendar." Or, simply search "calendar" in the templates section.
- Not all of the calendars are free... because of the images used in them.
- To find the totally free templates, choose one template and "edit this template." Then look on the left side of your screen... you'll see all the templates listed there as well. The free ones say "free" on them. Like this:
- To use the template you want and make it free, find the image within the template that's not free and replace it with a free one.
- You can upload the Apartment Life logo ONE time (it's saved on the cares team toolkit) and it'll stay there for you to use every time your heart desires.
- You can download your calendar in pdf, jpg, or png formats.