Last week when we showed you how to upload a cover photo for your Facebook event, we gave you a sneak peek of a cover photo created with a free, easy-to-use online tool called Canva.
With Canva you can create Facebook cover photos, blog graphics, and more that look like they were created by a professional graphic designer. No need to spend hours tinkering around in complicated photo editing tools. Canva’s templates, backgrounds, fonts, and images take the hard work out of designing.
Today we’re going to walk through creating a Facebook cover photo using Canva. Let’s get started!
Go to www.canva.com. The home page will give you an overview of the types of projects you can create. Click “Start Designing” to be taken to the log in page.
Create a free account. You can either log in with Facebook or create an account using your email address.
Now that you’re logged in, choose the type of design you would like to create. Since we’re going to design a Facebook cover photo, click on “Facebook cover.” Notice that the gray bar below the designs is actually a scroll bar—there are more designs hiding to the right! Also, when you roll your cursor over a design, the finished dimensions appear. The Facebook cover photo dimensions are exactly what Facebook recommends: 851px x 315px.
After you click on “Facebook cover,” you will find yourself in the design area. Before we jump into designing our Facebook cover, let’s take a look at the design options, which are in the lefthand column. Right below the Search tab, you will see the Layouts tab.
These are just a few of the many Canva layouts (templates). Note that the cartoonish cloud, sky, and green grass (as in the bottom four rows) indicate areas where you can upload your own image. To activate a design, simply click on it.
Below the Layouts tab you’ll find the Text tab. You can choose to add one (or more!) of these fun text boxes to your design. Once you drag the text box to your design, you can customize the font and text inside the box.
You probably noticed in the image above that these text boxes all have “FREE” stickers. There are many free options on Canva, but some premium options cost $1. I’ve noticed that most of the paid options are photos, but there are plenty of free graphics and illustrations.
The next tab is the Backgrounds tab. Choose a pattern, image, or color for your background. By clicking the plus sign in the gray circle, you can get the exact color you want by moving your cursor over the color wheel or entering the hexadecimal color code.
Lastly, you’ll see the Uploads tab. Here you can upload a photo from your hard drive or Facebook. You can also search the image database for photos and graphics.
Now that we know what we have to work with, let’s get to designing.
Last week I showed you this cover photo I created that advertises a book signing.
The original template for this design looked like this Wine Tasting advertisement.
Can you see the similarities? To make the design my own, I uploaded my own photo, changed the colors, and customized the text.
Let’s look at another Canva template, this “We Just Reached 1500 Likes” template. I like that the text and image draws attention to the growing popularity of a Facebook page, but let’s say I want to customize it to match the colors of my brand and the number of Facebook likes my page has.
By clicking on each element, I am given the option to change (or delete) them. Here I changed the background, edited the “Likes” number, and dragged over a company logo.
This customization was pretty simple. What if I want to customize things even more? No problem—Canva makes that easy too. I picked the design below because I like the solid background with the logo on the right side, and I’d like to pattern my cover photo off of it.
First, I clicked on the background and changed the background from a grungy red to this brighter coral with diagonal stripes.
Then I added two text boxes—one on the right and one on the left.
In the right box, I edited the stock text to reflect my theoretical bakery. I also changed the font in the word “Honeycomb” to something more playful.
As you can see from the image below, there are many fun fonts to choose from. I love that the Canva layouts and text boxes come with recommended fonts. Pairing fonts or picking out the right font can be challenging, so I’d gladly let Canva do it for me.
I also wanted my cover photo to be more than an iteration of my logo, so I decided I’d advertise the bakery’s new Honeycomb Scones. The yellow hexagons and honeycomb scone text are a text box, just like the logo to the right.
Another really neat thing about Canva’s premade text boxes and images is that oftentimes the colors coordinate. In the cover photo above, I used three separate elements—a background, the bakery text box, and the honeycomb scones text box—but the yellow, coral, and white colors coordinated in all the elements. I could change the colors if I wanted to, but since Canva has done some of the design work for me (choosing colors that look good together), I’ll take it.
Once you’re happy with your design, you can download it to your computer by clicking “Link & Publish” in the upper right corner of your screen. You can download it as either a PDF or a PNG. We recommend PNG for uploading it to your Facebook cover.
What do you think? Are you ready to create a Facebook cover photo using Canva?
Here are a couple ready-made tweets for you: