How to create print ready artwork in Canva

Screenshot Of A Pdf Produced By Canva Print Ready With Bleed And CropFollow our Step by Step tutorial to learn how to correctly set up your artwork print ready in Canva.


What is Canva?

Canva is an online platform that is used to create social media graphics and presentations. This free and popular tool provides users the ability to 'drag and drop' to create layouts.


What are the limitations with Canva?

While Canva allows 'non-designers' to create quick and simple designs from templates and stock imagery, when it comes to professional print production - there are a lot of limitations.

For example, Canva does not currently support custom fonts, spot colours, custom colour profiles, die/knife creation, custom bleed, among many other functions found in professional graphics software.

The below provides a general framework for utilising the available in-built functions of Canva to set up artwork to our minimum production requirements.

Time Needed: 1 hour

Things Needed?

Canva account or subscription
Your logo, Images, Fonts etc.
Basic Graphic Design Skills.

Required tools:

A Computer.
Internet connection.
Canva account.

Set up and Export your File:

Step 1: Open Canva and set up page size

  1. Create or open your Canva account
  2. Click 'Create a Design'
  3. Select 'Custom Size'
  4. Type in the dimensions required - the size of the print required. For example, a business card is 55mm H x 90mmW
  5. Click 'Create new design'

Step 2: Show print bleed

This is essential so you have bleed on your document:

  1. Click 'File - View Settings - Show Print Bleed'
  2. You can also add margins in the same area, so you can keep enough clear space from the edge of the document

Step 3: Complete your design

Complete your design, ensuring you use the following:

  1. High resolution images - 300DPI
  2. Logo and other graphical elements in vector or EPS files where possible
  3. Avoid text-based images but if they must be used, ensure the image is 800DPI
  4. Text no smaller than 7pt for legibility
  5. Ensure your design has plenty of clear space from the edges - use the margins created in Step 2 to assist
  6. Before you save out your file, double check your design - ensure all colours/graphics extend to the bleed edge and no text goes beyond the margins.

Step 4: Share to PDF

  1. Click 'Share'
  2. Select 'Download' and file type of 'PDF Print
  3. Tick 'Crop marks and Bleed'
  4. If you have Canva Pro, select 'CMYK' (though we have found their CMYK profile isn't the best, if you save as RGB we will convert it to CMYK for you during pre-press)
  5. We would suggest NOT ticking 'flatten PDF', for the reason that Canva's flattener settings are not great, and instead this option compress and pixelates the document. 
  6. Note that how your design looks on screen is not always an indicator of how it will look printed. As you can't 'see' CMYK on screen, and every screen is calibrated differently, colour variances will occur.

If colour matching is critical, please provide an example of a previously printed document for us to colour match to our machines. 

Step 5: Check your file and send to us for print!

  1. Open up your PDF to make sure everything looks as you want it to.
  2. Ensure that you can see Crop Marks and that the art bleeds beyond that 
  3. Zoom into the PDF at 100% - what you can see at 100% is how it will print, so ensure there is no blurriness/pixelation. 
  4. Fix any errors in Canva as required 
  5. If you are happy with your digital proof, send through to us for print. To do so, you can email us the file or upload to our wetransfer: site: