Subject Sampler - Creating Captivating Graphics with Canva

subject sampler Canva

Introduction

Canva is a great online tool for those who would like to create their own graphics without having to learn technical software like Illustrator. But to get the most out of it, it is necessary to have some basic understanding of simple design principles like color theory or typography. 

At the end of this series of activities the learner will be able to do the following: 

1. Understand what is the design space and how to choose the right layout;
2. Recognise different types of fonts and decide which one is most appropriate for each project;
3. Understand color theory and know how to combine different colors to achieve a desired result; 
4. Analyse and recognise the techniques used in other graphic posts;
5. Design a graphic post with a captivating look.

Activity 1

Watch the webinar on how to create captivating graphics using Canva but stop the video after the section about colours (right before the practical example). 

Read the following links to expand on some of the concepts presented in the webinar: 

  1. Color Theory Basic Principles 
  2. Color Psychology
  3. 5 Types of fonts and how to use them

Activity 2

Using a program like Coggle, create a mind map to visually organise the design theories you have learned in activity one.

Activity 3

Do a web search and look for 5 different posts to analyse. They can be anything, social media posts, info-graphics, educational, informative or promotional. 

For each post write a small description indicating: 

  1. what type of format it is;
  2. how many sections there are in the layout;
  3. what colours are being used and why;
  4. what type of font is used for the headline and for the body of the text (if there’s any);
  5. (in case of background pictures) what is the picture communicating and why it was chosen;
  6. is the overall design effective and engaging.

Activity 4

Watch the last part of the webinar showing a practical example of an Instagram post created on Canva. 

Replicate the same layout but, instead of creating a flyer for a Canva Design Webinar, do one for a Business course for professionals. 

Activity 5

Create a graphic post of your choice for any medium you want (web, social media, presentations, etc.). 

Post the link to your design in the comment section of this page with a small commentary explaining the reason for the creative choices you made. 

Conclusions

All the activities proposed in this subject sampler have the aim to stimulate student’s critical and creative thinking.

It is not enough to just understand something in theory or to copy what other people are doing.

It is much more useful to ask “why”, like why is this layout not working? or why are people attracted by simple designs with balanced colour combinations?

Asking why is the beginning of learning.

Acting upon the answers you find is first step toward self-actualisation and growth.