Canva is a great online tool for people who want to design flyers and cards. It is however important to know of its limitations and how to setup the file correctly. The two most important aspect of quality printing, are:

  1. designing the job so it will print right.
    • Correct use of colours and ink density
    • Important elements in ‘safe area’
  2. Prepress
    • Size needs to include ‘bleed’
    • Export with crop marks

For this example, we will be using an A4 flyer.
Setting up the file:

  1. Click ‘create a design’ button
  2. Click ‘custom Size’ button
  3. canva setup custom doc
  4. In the Custom Size box, first change to mm
  5. Enter width: 210 & height: 297
  6. Show print bleed (File > Show print bleed)
  7. canva show print bleed
  8. Canva uses the colour mode RGB (Red Green Blue) – this is ‘screen’ mode colouring.
    Printing uses CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black)
    In this example, we will make background colors to show you how printing variances occur
    We have added three boxes canva layout

    • BOX 1: Neon green – with colour #00FF29
    • colour 1 rgb

    • BOX 2: Black – with colour #000000
    • colour 2 rgb

    • BOX 3: Rich Black – with colour #010001
    • colour 3 rgb

  9. Select “PDF PRINT”
  10. Tick ‘crop marks and bleed’
  11. Tick ‘download’
    You will notice all looks OK in the PDF.. but from a print perspective, let’s have a closer look.
    In Illustrator we changed the colour mode from RGB to CMYK (file > colour mode)
    1. You can see BOX 1: neon green – looks vastly different. This is the colour it will print
    2. You can see the differences of BOX 2 and BOX 3.
      In the RGB, very little difference, in CMYK a slight but an important difference
    3. carva rgb to cmyk

    4. Now let’s compare the RGB Values to the CMYK (print) values
      1. BOX 1: Neon Green
        R = 0
        G = 255
        B = 41
        colour 1 rgb

        When the document is converted from RGB to CMYK:
        C = 62.16
        M = 0
        Y = 100
        K = 0
        colour 1 cmyk

      2. BOX 2: Black
        R = 0
        G = 0
        B = 0
        colour 2 rgb

        When the document is converted from RGB to CMYK:
        C = 0
        M = 0
        Y = 0
        K = 100
        colour 2 cmyk

      3. BOX 3: Rich Black
        R = 1
        G = 0
        B = 1
        colour 3 rgb

        When the document is converted from RGB to CMYK:
        C = 74.65
        M = 68.3
        Y = 66.38
        K = 89.51
        colour 3 cmyk

        This print result for this will likely turn out a ‘muddy’ black.
        For MOST of our products, the required CMYK values for ‘rich black ‘ needs to be:
        C = 60
        M = 50
        Y = 50
        K = 100

So seeing as though Canva only supports RGB colours, how are you supposed to figure out how to make a ritch black?
Simply put you cannot.
This is because canva ONLY use the RGB colour profile.

You can test this yourself by using the CMYK to RGB conversion tool

  1. Add C = 60 | M = 50 | Y = 50 | K = 100
  2. Click the conversion button

For photos or illustrations, you can use online tools to convert from RGB to CMYK such as

You can still use Canva to design, just keep in mind you will likely not be able to supply print ready artwork.

Remember to use elements vector if possible.

If sending us Canva artwork, you will have the options:

  1. We print ‘as is’ - and run the gamble of print quality
  2. We ‘fix’ the artwork to make it print ready.
    This requires you to 'SHARE' the canva file with us
    and potentially requires you to also send us:
    • all photos used
    • graphical elements (such as logos) – these should be in vector format
    • fonts used (if you require any changes made to text )

In summary, for printers, Canva can be worse than Covid.

If you want to make the most of your next print project,
give us a bell on 1300 669 211 to see what sets us apart.

Also Check out

Foil Stamping   |   Spot UV   |   Raised UV   |   Die Cut

Print Promotion. We have been specialists in print finishing since 2009 and are happy to provide free consultation how to get the most out your project. NO two jobs are the same, as no business is the same. As such each job should be treated with due process.
We offer first rate consultation to offer the right stock and the right finishing for your next upcoming job. The process is usually pretty quick once timeframe and budget is ascertained.
Further to this, we created this page to provide additional information regarding prepress – to ensure your artwork will turn out as intended. In addition, a comprehensive run down on all things print finishing – examples of how you can expect the product to turn out.

Who are we?
Print Promotion is a division of Arcane Media based in Brisbane, Queensland. We are a premium design and printing consultancy that specialises in creating or enhancing your visual corporate image. Our skilled team of seasoned graphic designers have the experience and marketing insight to ensure your image will effectively relate to your target demographic. We have an Australia-wide client base, servicing: hospitality and tourism; professional services; construction and trade; media; mining; recruitment; automotive; defence and the health business sectors.
Contact us today to discuss your next design or print project.

Call 1300 669 211

PRINT pro motion
We design. We print. We deliver.