Your Cure for Blurry Canva Design Syndrome
Want to know what really just feels like stepping on legos?
Spending alllll the livelong day creating a new graphic in Canva, finally getting it just the way you had hoped and then...uploading it to your social media and finding out it looks blurry AF + not at all how you imagined. *cue facepalm*
If anyone gets it, love, it’s me. I have been there + dealt with the wrath of Canva on numerous occasions.
The very last thing I want you to pull your hair out over is graphics in Canva. Why? Because your brand should only portray how incredible your offerings truly are + you should feel super ready to take on the world of visuals in your biz.
And if you’re still stuck. See Canva’s help center - https://support.canva.com/troubleshooting/downloading/
So, let’s get right down to it, shall we? We’ll cover:
- The Top 5 reasons your images look as fab as a Beyonce cover in Canva but like a blurry sh*tstorm on your social.
- One word: Solutions! Get empowered — I promise ya, you don’t need a graphic design degree to make your visuals look fab.
- Other options you can use when the going gets tough — because sometimes Canva just ain’t what ya hope it is — I’m looking at you, untimely updates.
Alrighty, first things first.
Why I love Canva Graphics:
So, we need visuals for our biz, right? They help you create a cohesive style for your brand so that when people see ‘em they know, oh yeah this is for sure from insert your biz name! This helps you do two things: Connect + Convert, babe.
Needing a graphic whipped-up in a jiffy like an invite or IG post? Great! You can use applications like PicMonkey, Adobe Spark and other tools that have their unique flair about them.
But for your business, you need a better, more easy to operate solution that’s kept in one special arsenal. That’s why I’m a Canva babe for life — and why you should be too!
If you’ve been on-the-hunt for a web-based design tool to help curate tons of custom templates that you can tweak and refine as you wish, that saves you some good ole’ cash money, is accessible from any piece of tech + allows you to organize them so they’re ready to roll for your growing team? Then I think you’ve met your match.
But how do you make your Canva images turn out crisp as apple pie on a cool Fall day? I gotchu, sista friend...
1. USE THE RIGHT DIMENSIONS
Let’s use an example: If you’re creating a web banner based on a newsletter template, chances are that the resolution is a bit wonky, making the image appear blurry. But that’s why we’re going to design for the dimensions that we need!
You’ll find that most online platforms give the required size dimensions for your images upfront. Here’s an example of my banner size dimensions in my Kajabi site:
Can’t find the size you need in Canva? You’re good, girl! Simply create a custom size by selecting the handy dandy custom dimension button.
Pro Tip: Install the Page Ruler. It’s a Google Chrome extension that allows ya to get pixel dimensions and positioning to measure the elements that will work for any web page.
2. FACEBOOK COMPRESSES IMAGES
Social media sites (I’m looking at you, Facebook!) tend to compress your Canva images to help their sites load faster, but because of this, it can make your fabulous designs blurrier than they once appeared. After all, there’s only so much Canva can do!
To achieve the best results when uploading to your social pages, give these tips + tricks a try:
- Download your design using the PNG file type.
- Double the dimensions of your design easily with the Canva for Work magic resize feature and overcompensate for the compression. Canva personal users can create designs with custom dimensions from scratch.
- Compress your image sizes without losing quality by using Tiny PNG or Image Optimizer.
You can view more options on Canva’s Support site under the “my design looks blurry” and “my prints look blurry” tabs.
3. USE HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGES
Alright, want the honest to goodness truth? If your images aren’t high-res, they’ll appear blurry once downloads + more design elements have been added into the mix, rendering ‘em useless as a parka on the hottest summer’s day.
If you’re unable to shoot special images for your brand, it’s time to invest in great stock photography that you feel resonates with the look you’re hoping to achieve. Make sure they all have a similar aesthetic and ideally are from the same company to keep things #consistent.
Pro Tips: The only time my images have been blurry is when Canva had updated, and I could download my images in a different browser. This reminded me to always save my design first + then attempt to use another browser. Another thing to double-check is that you’re not over-stretching your images or enlarging them beyond their resolution size.
4. DESIGN FUNDAMENTALS
Developing an eye for graphic design doesn’t happen overnight. To know how to use fonts and colors in a way that complements text + images well is a talent, and like any talent, it has to be honed!
The good news is that you don’t have to be a design extraordinaire to create professional-looking graphics that make you look like a totally rockin’ expert in your field.
You just need to follow these basic rules:
- Contrast is your friend. Use dark text on a light image and vice versa.
- Stick to 2-3 brand colors only. Less is more.
- Keep your fonts simple. Handwritten and script fonts are often hard to read. Add them over an image and people can’t scroll away fast enough. These should be used sparingly. When in doubt, stick sans serif fonts. They are usually easier to read.
- Simplify your design. Always lookout for ways to simplify your design. Choose 1-2 main objectives, the text and supporting image for example, and make sure both of them stand out.
I personally like to have my image + main message be the star of the show, while my logo or other branding elements are in-the-mix for interest or convenience. I tend to soften them or have them stand-out a little less (like any good backup dancer) so they don’t compete for the spotlight.
5. CANVA RUNS UPDATES
It’s no surprise to a seasoned business owner (or anyone really) that tech is sometimes just not on our side. While it’s nothing to go cray cray over, it’s a pain in the booty when your design tool can’t edit your images when you’d like or looks blurry or (my personal fave) moves your text boxes around willy nilly.
I work in Canva on the daily + know first hand that when it comes to the job description of being an online boss babe needing a quick design-fix that it’s vital to learn how to outsmart a tech hang-up.
But what’s a girl to do? You can actually workaround by making a copy in Canva + working in a new design on a new browser.
Pro Tip: Take a screenshot of your design so if it didn’t save it’s easier to recreate and if it’s not downloading your preferred font correctly? Pick a script or sans script font that’s ideally already in the Canva library.
What other options do you have?
Some design darlings have heart eyes for InDesign and others only use Photoshop or will fight to the death for PicMonkey and since needing visuals in your biz isn’t something that’s going to end with time, you need to pick one that’s going to suit the majority of your needs.
TRY PICMONKEY AND ADOBE SPARK
Take your preferred image + attempt to recreate it in one of those programs. Just be sure that you stick to your brand templates and keep a similar aesthetic so you can stay cohesive in the graphics you’ve been putting out to your audience.
Need help? Jet me a message or comment.
If you’re wondering: “Is there another drag and drop tool similar to Canva that helps you design kick-butt graphics in seconds without needing to leave your trusty Chrome browser?”
Why yes, my friend. There is.
There’s a little platform I know about that offers pre-made templates, the option to create project folders, upload images (and your own fonts!) + let’s ya design for both print and the world-wide-Interwebs.
It even allows you to do fancy-schmancy things like creating business cards + add them to your cart to have them printed and sent straight to your casa (currently only available to my Aussie friends)!
The catch? It’s new, so don’t expect perfection. It’s has a free options (limited) + a 30-day trial period. Besides not having the full image capacity and functionality that I adore with Canva, it's pretty darn impressive.
It’s called Easil. Check it out + let me know whatcha think!
Still have q’s? Pop ‘em into the comments + I’ll give ya my best A! ;)