How to Use Canva for Print


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Designing with Canva is a great option for anyone new to design. Because of the thousands of images, graphics and design elements you simply drag and drop into Canva templates, creating marketing assets and personal projects with this platform is easy. Below, you’ll find out how to use Canva to create print designs and get our expert design tips for flawless printing at Onestopdp. 

How to Use Canva for Print

Before you begin designing with Canva and using Onestopdp as your online print shop, let’s go over some common questions about document setup, design settings and more. 

Document Setup for Print

Canva has a super handy video that walks you through just how to set up and prepare your document so it’s ready to print online with Onestopdp. Check it out below (and take particular note of the bleed and margins settings): 

Export Canva Designs for Print

The video above about how to use Canva walks you through the process for exporting your file. But as a customer-focused online printer, we want you to pay close attention to the following steps, too:

  1. Download your file as a PDF Print with both Crop Marks and Bleeds and Flatten PDF selected.
  2. Be sure to choose CMYK under Color Profile. 


Since Canva is an online app, it creates your designs in the RGB color space. As noted above, just be sure to select CMYK in the Color Profile dropdown when exporting your file. By doing that, Canva converts your RGB colors to CMYK, ensuring Onestopdp can process your file for online printing without any issues. 

Bleed Settings

The video above walks you through setting up bleed on your document. One important thing to note about Canva’s bleed settings is that they aren’t customizable – they’re fixed at 1/8″ (or 0.125”).

Since Onestopdp requires an 1/8″ bleed, you can and should use Canva’s bleed setting. But if you’re designing a large format print project at Onestopdp that requires a different bleed setting (like a poster or sign), you’ll have to set up a Canva file that adds the bleed amount to the overall size of your file. In other words, your Canva file would be your final print size plus the bleed on every side of the document.

Here’s an example: If you’re printing a 24” x 36” poster with a 1/4″ (or 0.25”) bleed, you would create a Canva file with a custom size of 25” x 37” (24” x 36” plus bleed on all four sides).

In this case, you would not use the bleed settings in Canva during design, and you wouldn’t check the bleed option when downloading the final PDF file.

And one other thing: Make sure you use bleed for designs intended for print. It’s much easier to design with bleed upfront instead of having to add it when you want to download your final design. 

Canva Pro

Designing with Canva is free, so you do not need to upgrade to a Canva Pro account. The only thing Canva doesn’t offer for free is CMYK color profiles for your downloaded PDF Print file. But that shouldn’t be a problem, as most printers will still print RGB files (including Onestopdp!).

It’s part of our online printing services, so we’ll convert your RGB file to CMYK for you to review during the proofing process when ordering. Since Canva is an RGB app, you’ll still be converting your color to CMYK, whether you do it with Canva Pro or rely on your printer to do it.

The difference is that you won’t be able to see a preview of what your file looks like in CMYK on your computer. You’d have to wait for your printer to send you a proof or until you receive the print (which might be too late if you’re not satisfied with the color conversion). 

Design Tips for Canva

If you’re new to graphic design and are wondering about how to use Canva to design the best print marketing and personal projects, don’t worry – we’ve put together some design tips that make custom printing with the platform simple.


Use margins, and keep the text and design elements you want to be visible in the final print away from the edge of your Canva page – they could get cut off when printed!

Canva’s margin settings aren’t customizable, so if you’d like a smaller margin, we recommend a minimum margin of 1/4″ or 0.25”. In Canva you can add your own custom guides to follow rather than using the margin under view setting. Instead enable File > View Settings > Show Rulers and Guides.

Then you can drag custom guides onto the page from the rulers on the top and left edges. Use the ruler measurements to place four new guides at 0.25” on each side of the page. We recommend doing this before designing, since Canva can sometimes snap guides to elements on the page. 


Make sure your fonts are big enough. Designing on a screen can be misleading when it comes to sizing elements, so give your file a final look at a 100% zoom level in Canva to make sure your text looks legible. If it doesn’t not, increase its size. Canva recommends a minimum font size of seven for printing, so that’s a good guideline to follow. 


As mentioned above, you can’t design in CMYK in Canva. This means your color will be different than what you’re seeing on screen. Download and preview your final PDF on your computer. If you have a home printer, do a test print to see how the color might translate to print.

If you’re using spot or PANTONE colors, you’ll have to select an RGB color that is closest to the CMYK conversion for that color. The best way to do this is to use a system like PANTONE Connect or search for another way to convert your special CMYK color to an RGB hexadecimal color online. This won’t be perfect, but it should make your final printed color closer to what you intend. 

Canva Template Assistant

You can use Canva’s Template Assistant to automatically discover any potential issues in your design. To enable it, select File > View Settings > Show Template Assistant.

Design Made Easy

And just like that, you’ve learned how to use Canva for print. If you have any questions, Canva offers support on proofing, margins and bleed and CMYK. If you need further design help, feel free to contact Customer Service. 

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