How to Design Eye-catching Instagram Graphics in Canva | Tamara Hall | Skillshare

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How to Design Eye-catching Instagram Graphics in Canva

teacher avatar Tamara Hall, Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Welcome to the Class


    • 2.

      Setting up in Canva


    • 3.

      Adding in Photos


    • 4.

      Photo Effects


    • 5.

      Photo Filters


    • 6.

      Adding in Elements


    • 7.

      Adding Text


    • 8.

      Adding Videos


    • 9.

      Apps & Integrations


    • 10.

      Formatting for Instagram Stories


    • 11.

      Exporting your Designs


    • 12.

      Bonus Chapter: Instagram Carousels


    • 13.

      Thank-you & Class Project


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About This Class

In this class I'll teach you everything you need to know about designing amazing Instagram post graphics using Canva. We will cover everything from adding photos and videos, to choosing elements and exploring a bunch of neat photo effects. I can't wait to teach you everything Canva can do and I know you'll learn something new. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Tamara Hall



Related Skills

Canva Design Graphic Design
Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome to the Class: Hey guys and welcome to my class. So a little bit about me. My name is Tamara, and I've been a graphic designer for the last 15 years. Canvas, one of my favorite tools to create Instagram graphics. So in this class, I am going to walk you through exactly how I create my Instagram graphics. So while creating these different templates, I've learned a lot of interesting and cool tricks that Canva has. So suddenly, I'm going to teach you how to do in this class are how to upload your own photos and video. There's a variety of different image effects that you can easily add to either your photos or the stock photos available. I'm going to show you how to search for different elements and add them into your designs. Next up, I'm gonna cover frames and grids, how you can use them to your advantage, and how it makes it really easy to lay out your photos and videos in a concise and professional way. Then we're going to go into customizing type and choosing typefaces that match with your design. So I'll show you how to add different gifts to your graphics, as well as show you Pexels, which will open up a new library of photography to choose from. I'm also gonna show you how to add audio. So for instance, if you're doing a video or an animation and you want to add some audio in the background. I'll walk you through exactly how to do that. Next step, I'll teach you how to format your graphics for Instagram stories. It's easier than you think. Another really cool thing I discovered when I was making these Instagram graphics for different clients is carousels. So it's a really neat trick to carry through either a video or a photo between the different slides of your carousels. So all exclusive. Lastly, saving and exporting. So depending on if you've made a video or an image, I will show you exactly how to export it properly for Instagram posts and stories. But under this class you're going to feel so comfortable making amazing Instagram graphics. You're going to have so many tools at your disposal. And you'll be able to create things that will stand out among the noise. All right, what are we waiting for? Let's jump into the class. 2. Setting up in Canva: When you first get to the Canva website,, their homepage looks like this. So from here you can either click on Instagram story or on the top right-hand corner, you can click Create a design and Instagram post. Once you click that, you'll see a page pop-up that looks something like this. So for now we're just going to hide the left menu by clicking that little arrow. And that'll give us more room to see our design. And the top, you can name your design here. So let's just call it Insta Graham tutorial. Okay, And so from here you're ready to start designing. There are a couple of different views that you can do depending on how many graphics you're working on. So let's see if we're working on multiple graphics at the same time. In the bottom right-hand, corneal see a little three because we have three graphics started. If you click on that, it'll show grid view. So this is a really easy way if you're working on quite a few different graphics, you can see them all at the same time. And if you want to edit a specific quantity, just double-click on it and it'll open it up to edit it. You can also adjust the zoom. So if you want to fit the graphic within your screen, you can select fit. But if you want to zoom in, you can zoom in this way as well. A 100%. I like that because then I can see it all. But if they're small details in your graphic, that's a great way to zoom in. 3. Adding in Photos: So there are a couple of different ways that you can add a photo to your projects. On the left-hand side, you'll see a menu item that says Upload. So you can click on that and you can upload your own photos. So to do that, you just click on upload media and navigate to where that photo is stored on your computer. You can see some of the photos that I've already uploaded in here. And this is where all your uploaded photos will save into. The same goes for video. If you want to upload your own videos, you can do that in here as well. If you don't have a photo that you want to upload, there's another way to find photos on here, and that's by clicking on photos on the left-hand side. From here, you'll be able to search their photo library and find a photo that will work for you. So you can just type in whatever you like. Steel woman. And you can see all the different options for the posts. If you have a Pro account, there's a lot more photos to choose from than if you had a free account. If you click this little icon to the right of the search bar, you can select a few more different options and filters for when you're searching for your photos. So if there's a specific hue that you want your color to have, a specific tone. You can click the color for orientation. If you want the photo to be a square orientation, vertical or horizontal. And then if you have a pro account, you can automatically filter it down through if it's a free photo or a pro photo. And then you can just click Apply Filters and it will show you the results. So I'll do a blue, Let's do vertical orientation and only pro photos. And you can see it narrows down the results based on your filters. If you want to get rid of those filters, you can click on it again. And on the top right hand side, just click Clear all, go back in there and say you want to use this photo, all you have to do is click on it and it'll automatically added into the center of your graphic. But if you want to use it as a background, you can hold and drag it over. And as soon as you're a mouse hits the edge of your project, it'll fill the background and you can just release the mouse and it'll add the photo in as a background. 4. Photo Effects: Once you have your photo in your project, there are a few different effects that you can add to the photo. There's a top menu here for the photo, and you'll see some different options. So if you click on Effects, you'll get this other menu popping up. And this awesome way that you can add different effects to your photo with one-click. It's very easy though there are quite a few different effects that I'm going to walk you through. A background remover. This is a really neat one if you have a picture of yourself and you don't like the background, and you want to just have yourself on top of a background color or something like that. This works so well. So you just click on background remover. It'll take a little bit of time to cut out the background. But the final effect is, is quite amazing. All right, look at that. So it perfectly cut her out. It even cut out her hair. He can't even tell it's cut out. So this is an amazing effect. I love this effect. And from here you can click on the left and add a background color. Oh, so because I added that photo as a background, when I added in a background color, it replaced the photo with my background color. So we're going to try something a little bit different. Instead of dragging that photo in as a background, I'm just going to click it. So it adds it as an image on top of my background color. Then I'm going to go back into the facts and try the background remover again. There we go. How amazing is that? And if you want to resize yourself or the picture, and you just click and drag on one of the corners and hold it down. And that way you can re-size the graphic. Look at that, That is amazing. I love this. Okay, So there's so many cool things that you can do with this effect. Okay, so next up, let's just go back. If you want to go back to your original photo and just press Command Z or Control Z on a Mac or PC depending on what you're on. And that'll just take you back to where you were. Next step. So we're in effects. There's different mock-ups, the top here. So say if you're, this isn't really something I would use for an Instagram post. It's more if I wanted to showcase a design that I've done, I would use these Smartmockups, but they're kind of interesting. I'd play around with these. I want to, for example, show what your design looks like inside of a phone. You can use that and it'll automatically put your graphic in there. Here are all the different effects. We've got dual tone, which adds a filter to your image. And it basically takes two different colors and makes the shadows one color and the highlights, the other color and adjust the different colors by clicking in here. So say if you want in the highlights be a little bit brighter so you can see the picture a bit better. You can make the shadows a little bit darker so it pops. Yeah, you can play around with the different colors in there. Here. You can adjust the intensity. So if you just want it to be a subtle colored filter over top, you can play around with that. And then if you want to go back to your original and just click Reset. So once you're done and you're happy with it, at the bottom click apply, and you'll see your photo on there. So next up is pixelate. So this does a lot of interesting things to the photo I would just, I would suggest going in here, I'm playing around just to see what each one does and see if it's got the effect that you want. But basically you just click on the effect and you'll see what it does to the photo. And if you go into the options of it, you can adjust these sliders to get a slightly different effect. But yeah, kinda interesting, depending on what sort of graphic you're creating. Bad TV. So you can click on one of those same thing. You can see the different effects. So this one is rerun and adds in some kind of television horizontal lines to give a neat effect. There's quite a few different ones in here to choose from. Color mix. This one's pretty fun, so this adds a bit of a filter over top of your photo. You can choose rainbow, that one's really pretty and you can address them out if you just want, sort of like a pastel you look, you can add a little bit rainbow, but if you want something pretty obvious, you can turn that up. And arctic if you want to add some blue tones to your photo and that's quite strong. She sort of looks like a Smurf. So let's turn down the hue a little bit. Or you can adjust the heel and then the saturation kinda give you, it gives you a nice cool tone. All right, next step is liquefy. So different effects in here. Add, wow, that's interesting. So yeah, definitely honed. Wow, Yeah, That's trippy, right? So you can do some really interesting things. Next step, we've got screen. Give you an idea of what you can do with this one, slice. This one's really interesting. I've used this a couple times for different things, but it, it cuts up the photo. How cool is that? And you can adjust the amount of slices. So if you just want a couple or if you want a lot, the offset as well as the position. All right, so that covers all the different effects in there. I would just encourage you to go in, go into each category, checkout the different effects within each one, and play around, see what each one does. 5. Photo Filters: Next step, we're going to check out the filters. So if you click on Filter and the top menu, you'll see a collection of various filters that you can apply to your photo. So just click on different ones. And underneath you'll see intensity bar pop-up. And from there you can adjust the slider to apply a different intensity of that specific filter to your photo. So they all have slightly different vibes to them depending on what kind of mood that you're going for. Mel and see which one best fits the overall look that you're going for. Okay, after filter we have a just so this if you want to go in and adjust the different photo settings specifically. So a filter will apply all the settings in a bunch. But say if I want to go in and just slightly adjust the brightness or the contrast, the contrast is already pretty high, so I'm actually just going to tone that down a little bit. Bring up the saturation, does detach the tinnitus. Good. I like the tints blur. We don't want to really touch that. And then a VNet is if you want to add in some shadows around the corners, but we're not going to worry about that one. It's looking a little bit green, so I'm just going to bring it back into the warmer colors. Next up we have crop, and that's if you want to adjust what part of the image is showing. You can also do that without going into crop to you. Just double-click on it and it'll automatically go into the crop screen and then you can move the image around. Lastly, we have flip at knots. If you want to flip the photo. Won't worry about that one. And this one though, I'll just keep it regular. All right, so that's sums up different effects that you can add to your photos. 6. Adding in Elements: Now we're going to cover elements. On the left-hand side, you'll see the elements icon in the menu bar. So click on that. And from here it'll bring up the elements panel. In this top search bar, you can search for a type of element if there's something specific that you had in mind. So for this one, let's add in a leaf. So you can do a quick search for a leaf and you'll have different elements that I'll pop up. Some will be pro sum will be free. So keep an eye on that. And depending on what type of account you have, I like this element here, it's watercolor B9. So to add an end, just click on it and it will place it into your graphic. You can click and drag to move it around. You can also rotate it by clicking down on this little icon below, holding it and rotating it. If you want to flip it, you can do that as well using the menu above. All right, so I'm just going to adjust the size of it slightly. Kinda make it come up beside her. I think that looks really good. And I'm going to adjust it so the bottom of the plant is coming off from the edge so you don't see the end of the stem. There. I think that looks great. See you can scroll through the different elements, add in as many as you like. And there's also a filter search up here. So you can again searched by what kind of color. If you want to use a static or an animated elements as well as free or pro. Under the Elements panel you'll see, also see these different categories. So they have a category for featured. You can see a lot of the different popular elements that people are using right now. They have a section for lines and for shapes. Shapes is a good one. I use this one quite often, especially if I want to add text into an Instagram graphic, which I'm going to cover in one of the following chapters. But hypothetically, if I want to add text, I'll add a square or a rectangle into my graphic. So the text will pop on top of the background. Sometimes if you add text on top and on top of an image, it's a little hard to read. So for example, Let's just, I'll show you what I did here. So send backward because right now it's covering up my leaf. So I right-click send backward, and then that'll make sure the leaves on top. From here, you can change the color of the element. So I'm just going to change it to a nice light gray. And you can kinda see how this would work. Adding some text in this area, it would be really easy to read and it would pop on here. So we're going to add the texts actually in the next chapter. So those are all the different shapes. Frames. So frames are really awesome things. What you can do with frames is there's all these different types of frames. So let me show you what these do. It's really cool. Let's use the Polaroid one. So basically you can click it and it'll pop in your photo. I'm going to just rotate it slate a. We're going to remove this after this is just kinda show you what happens here. Once you have your foramen there you'll see this nice little landscape picture. Probably not quite the look that you're going for. So can go back to photos. And if you have a photo that you want to add in, I have to do is drag it and then drag it right into where that landscape photo is and it'll pop in place. So the frame section is really neat because your photos will fit inside the frame shape. I'll do another one as an example to get rid of it, just click on it and then click Delete. But there's some really interesting ones. There's ones that look sort of like a paintbrush. So again, you can drag and pop it in there. So you can see how you can create some really interesting collages and designs using that frame tool. Next up we have a stickers category. So these are animations that you can add into your Instagram post. And they're pretty fun. You can add a bit of movement in there. And you just click on it and you'll see how it pops up on here in one of the final chapters. I'll cover exploiting. So depending on if you have a sticker that has animation or if you have a static post, you'll want to export your Instagram graphic in different formats. So next up we have this chart category C. You can add in different charts if you're trying to compare numbers or want to show different statistics. Next up we have photo grids. So this is basically the same as the frames, but you can add in various photos that are already set up in this nice grid. I'm going to create a different page and you do that just by clicking Add Page at the bottom so I can show you how these grids work. So click on whatever one that you want to use. Go back to photos, and then you can drag in various photos into the grid. So this is a neat way to create a post if you want to showcase multiple, multiple images. Gradients is another category. Quite a few different options in there. So yeah, basically you can just go in, scroll down through these elements and you can check out the different categories and elements within each 11 of my favorite sections. And the elements category is monoline elements. So if you click See All, you'll see a really great collection of borders and illustrations that you can use within your posts. I love these flower elements, so I'm going to replace my current one with one of these instead. You can also change the color of the elements by clicking color up here. So if you want it to stand out a bit more, you can change it to darker color or if you want it to be subtle, change it to a lighter color. In this case, I want it to pop so I'm going to choose black. So that section covers using different elements in your graphics. 7. Adding Text: So, so far we've covered how to upload your own photos, as well as adding different photos using elements such as line stickers and frames. Now we're going to move into how you can add text, your Instagram post. On the left-hand side you'll see a menu section called text. So click in there at the top you'll see a couple of different options. Add a heading at a subheading, add a little bit of body text. If you scroll down, you'll see different font combinations. So this is already made textiles that you can easily add into your graphic. You see a style in here that you like. And that's going to work really well. Definitely click on it and use it in your graphic. If you want to do something a bit more custom, that's an option too. So first off, I'll use one of these pre-made ones. I like the look of this, my Bu so I'm just going to add that in there. I don't like the bottom since 2012, but since that's already grew, see how it's moving together when I click it, just going to click on it. Click Ungroup and the top right. And then I'm going to click on this since 2012 and just hit Delete, get rid of that. Let's make this say, beautiful, perfect. So up in this top menu you can see the font characteristics. So the font name is called shrink hand. The size is 80. So if you want to change the font, the typeface, you can just click on there and you'll see all the different typefaces that you can use. This list goes on and on and on. These ones at the top are just the popular ones. But if you keep scrolling, you'll get to the a section. And it will really give you a good idea of how many funds are available through Canada. They've got a massive collection. So if you know the name of the font, you can also type it in here to see if it's available. I'm going to stick with your panda. I think this is an awesome little font. It's easy to read, it's fun and timeless. Here you can update the side so you can click the little plus or minuses, or you can click into it and select the size or write it in. So if you want it to be huge, you can do that. You can also adjust the size of it with these toggles. So if you hold it down, you can adjust the size. I really want beautiful to be on one line, so I'm going to adjust the width of that so it all fits. Here. You can change the text color, can do right alignment, center alignment, left alignment. Here you can add bullet points if you had texts where you had some kind of list. And then here is the spacing. So you can also adjust the spacing between the letters. Let's keep it about there. I want to make it pretty easy to read, as well as the line height. So the space between the two different lines. That looks pretty good. Next up we have effects. So you can add different effects to your type. Can add a shadow. From here, you can adjust the settings of the shadow. You can adjust how big it is, the direction, the blur of that, as well as the transparency. So you can play around with these different ones. There's hollow splice, echo, glitch, neon. And one of my favorite new ones that they just added recently IS curve. Next up, if you scroll back to the top, let's add in some custom text. So click on, Add a subheading. I'm going to add the text spring is here. I'm going to make it bold to so it stands out a little bit better. And I'll show you that neat effect that I was telling you about curve. So this is really, really cool. I'm going to adjust the letter spacing and make it a little bit smaller. Just so here in spring aren't super close together. So it looks like two words. So there you can, it gives you an idea of ways that you can use the curve effect on your type to add really cool elements into your Instagram posts. Another neat trick for text is if you want to copy a style. So I can either look in here and see, okay, It's shrink had 94.6 left aligned and then click on this and select all those same settings. But there's a much easier way to do it. Click on the text that you'd like to copy the style of. And then in these little three dots more, click on this. It looks like a paint roller. So if you click on that, you'll see the little paint roller pop up and hover over the text that you'd like to paste this style into and click. And then you'll see that I'll paste that exact style into your text. Another neat effect in this menu is you can also adjust the transparency. So you can click on your element and adjust the transparency of that particular element. It works for both elements, photos and text. 8. Adding Videos: So next step, we have videos. So videos you can add to your posts the same way that you do photos. Basically you just click on them and it'll add the video right into your post. Campbell has quite an extensive library of different videos that you can search for. So if you have an idea of what you're looking for, you can type it above. And it'll bring up all the different videos. So I want to use this video actually as a background. So instead of clicking on it, I'm going to drag it in here so it fills up the whole background and then it'll immediately start playing with your video. A really neat effect is that you can add text on top of your video. So let's add in this font and change the color. Choose a color and a white. It has a bit of a drop shadow on there, which I'm not a fan of. So I'm just going to remove the drop shadow by clicking none under effects. And instead of fearless, this looks like a beautiful ocean scene. So I'm going to change it to stay forever. Right? So when you export your post, It's going to look like this. It'll be a nice video on the background and the text that you've added over top of your video. When we were using elements before, one of the categories that we covered was grids. So neat thing with the grids is that you can add a video into one grand, and you can add a static photo into another. And so that way part of your post is moving and then the other one is still. So this isn't really a neat way that you can make a collage with both static and moving elements. You can also use frames for video. So if you want to add in, let's say we're going to add this over top. You can have multiple videos in the same category. So let's add in a dolphin. And you can drag that into the frame and have a video plane on top of a video. So if you want to preview how your post is going to look, on the top, you'll see the video, the Play button and the seconds. So just hit that. It's going to go through all your different posts so far. So it'll give you an idea. You can scroll ahead to the last one if you just want to see the one. But you can see how having a video on top of a video can be a really neat effect. Another neat thing you can add if you're doing a video or animated post is audio. So there are quite a few different audio categories on here to choose from. Uh, so you can just go in and click on them. You can play them up here and it'll play the different music. If you want to delete the music, you can hit this trash button on the right-hand side. 9. Apps & Integrations: Next up I'm going to show you a couple of different add-ons that you can access. So just hit more at the bottom of the menu. And you'll see a section called apps and integrations. So a couple areas that I like in this one are Pexels. So if you click on Pexels, you're going to have access to a huge photo library of amazing photos. There are quite a few different options in here, and you can also do a search for any free images if you have an idea of the image that you're looking for. Another great one is Giphy. So from here you can search different gifts that you can add into your photo. So it's as easy as finding the one you want, clicking on it and it'll add it directly in your post. 10. Formatting for Instagram Stories: So in this chapter I'm going to show you how easy it is to convert your posts into an Instagram story graphic if you'd like to post it in your stories as well. All you need to do is click resize. This is only available for camera Pro. So if you are using the free version of Canva at the beginning when you're first creating your graphic, you can select story post and that'll come up with the correct dimensions. But if you have Canva pro, it's really easy. You just click on Instagram story, Copy and resize, and it'll duplicate your graphic and automatically place it in the right dimensions for Instagram stories. From here, you can adjust it slightly depending on how you want it to look. 11. Exporting your Designs: So now you have these amazing Instagram graphics or videos and you're ready to export them and post them to Instagram. There are two different ways to export your graphics, depending on if you have a static post with no animation, or if you have an animated post or a video. First off, I'll show you how to export a static post. So this top post has no moving elements. On the top right-hand side you'll see a big button that says Download. So click that. It's going to come up with MP4 video as a suggested. That's because our second graphic is a video, because we only want to download the first graphic. You want to change that to be PNG. And the size is 1080 by 1080, which is perfect for Instagram. Under select Pages, click the static graphics that you've made. If you only have one graphic made, this select Pages isn't going to come out because it's going to know which one to select. Click Done. And then all you have to do is hit Download. And that graphic will be saved out as a PNG that you can upload to Instagram. Next step is if you have an animated post or a video post. Click Download. Mp4 video is what you want under select Pages, select the video posts. On this case it's page to click done and download. Then it'll download an MP4 video file that's ready to upload to Instagram. If you're using Canva pro on mobile, there's a way that you can automatically post these graphics directly to Instagram from Canada. So that's one of the benefits of using their mobile app. Another cool trick that you can do with Canvas is using the share button. So say if you've made a graphic and you want to share it with your friends so they can edit it to. All you have to do is click Share. And you can share a link to edit, use as a template or to watch. So once safe, you want to share it with a friend. Can click Share Link to Edit and then Copy link. And you can send your friend that link and they'll be able to go in and edit the graphic as well. 12. Bonus Chapter: Instagram Carousels: A little bonus. I'm going to show you a really neat trick that I do when I'm creating carousels on Instagram. So if you're not familiar with carousels, it's basically a few posts in a row that you can swipe through. What I like to do is carry through certain elements so it makes the carousel feel more cohesive. How I do that is I duplicate a design I'm working on, especially if it's a video, I think that's awesome. So for example, I'm going to delete the text off the second post in the carousel. So this is going to be the first post and the carousel, this will be the second one I'm going to do is drag this text over. I'm going to Control C, control V to copy it into the bottom one. And I can see where it's cut off right at the end of the a and just before the end of the V in forever. So if you grab it and hold down shift, it'll make sure it stays in the same height. And from there, you can see how the two can blend together when you swipe. You can also do the same thing for when you add elements in. So say if you wanted to add a key, Let's add this tiger and for our example. So I'm just going to add him in the bottom here, like he's walking on the beach. So I'm going to copy him. And I'm going to paste stem. Then I'm going to click hold down Shift. And it looks like he's walked a little bit from that first screen. So this is a neat way that you can carry through the different elements on multiple slides. 13. Thank-you & Class Project: I hope you've had a lot of fun during this class and learn some new tricks that you may have not known before. All right, thanks so much for joining this class. For your class project, I'd love to see one to three different graphics that you've created for Instagram. I'd love if you followed me on Instagram at Galaxy bomb official. Or if you have any questions, feel free to send me an email tomorrow at Galaxy Alright, catch you later.