Canva for Beginners - Graphic Design Theory Volume 1
4.0 (293 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
18,709 students enrolled

Canva for Beginners - Graphic Design Theory Volume 1

Learn Canva and Graphic Design Theory in this course so that you can use Canva for your next graphic design project!
4.0 (293 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
18,709 students enrolled
Last updated 11/2018
English [Auto]
Current price: $139.99 Original price: $199.99 Discount: 30% off
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This course includes
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Create amazing social media images and graphics with Canva, a free online graphic design software.
  • Understand graphic design theory in it's simplest form.
  • Apply easy to understand graphic design theory to your business or brand.
  • View examples and templates made by Canva, and why they work so well.
  • This course is for beginners to Canva and even graphic design, or anyone else who wants to easily begin creating beautiful looking graphics easily and for free.
  • Canva is a free program online to use and all you need to do is set up a free account to begin using the application.
  • No prior knowledge of Canva or graphic design theory are needed as Canva provides free templates and graphics to use right from the beginning.
  • Experienced graphic designers may even find Canva easier to use to get out artwork quickly for clients or for social media posts.

Learn Canva for Graphic Design in This New Course!

Do you want to take your business and brand graphics to the next level? Have you ever wondered why some advertisements in social media stand out, while some you never even take a second look at? Do you want to catch your audience's attention so that you can promote your product?

What this course is about:

Canva Course: Graphic Design Theory in Social Media Volume 1 is the first part in a series of courses that are aimed to help you understand simple design theory for your business or brand. These ideas can be applied across multiple platforms, including your brand, eBooks, websites, social media graphics, presentations and more.

Canva is a very easy-to-use and free online software platform for creating stunning graphics in a very short amount of time. It's pre-made layouts and huge library of artwork make it the go-to graphics software for a lot of businesses and entrepreneurs.

What you will learn in this course:

This course will guide you through the basic principles and ideas that are in all sorts of visual media. You can expect to gain attention and an audience with your designs when you follow the simple procedures explained in these videos. The lectures include:

  • Information about Canva.

  • Elements of design.

  • Principles of design.

  • Color Theory.

  • Typography.

  • Composition.

  • Plus free updates and additions to the course in the future!

What you don't want to do:

Wait too long to enroll! This course is going to have evergreen updates added in the future, and the price will raise once the course meets certain milestones. The best thing to do is to enroll now so that you can lock in the price and receive all future updates for free. If you are still uncertain, you can always receive a full refund within 30 days of purchase through Udemy!


If you enjoy this course and want to learn more about the principles and theory behind great graphic design, than be sure to check out the other volumes in this series:

Canva Course: Graphic Design Theory in Social Media Volume Intro

Canva Course: Graphic Design Theory in Social Media Volume 2

For more information on using Canva, check out my other course:

Canva Course: Beginner's Guide to Canva for Graphic Design

Jeremy Deighan

p.s. I am here for my students and I always welcome any feedback, questions, discussions, or reviews on my courses. Please visit my profile to see how you can contact me in the most convenient way for you!

Who this course is for:
  • This course has been specifically designed for beginners new to Canva and want to learn all about it's features, layouts, and what you can do with the software.
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Solopreneurs
  • Business Owners
  • Small Businesses
  • Advertisers
  • Marketers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Social Media Enthusiasts
  • Canva Lovers
Course content
Expand all 29 lectures 02:36:14
+ Welcome to Canva for Beginners - Graphic Design Theory Volume 1
2 lectures 06:28

I want to personally thank you for taking the time to check out this course. If you find it helpful, please leave any feedback, questions, or reviews that you have. Cheers!

Preview 02:24

I briefly describe what Canva is and how I use it in these videos to explain design theory. The software is free so you can create an account if you would like to follow along with the examples I use.

Preview 04:04
+ Elements of Design
5 lectures 32:04

Lines are the basic building blocks of design and art. Though a line is a stroke connected by two points, it doesn't have to be straight. Line examples include straight lines, curved lines, dotted lines, and broken lines.

Preview 05:37

Shapes are formed when strokes become enclosed, creating elements of value and color. Almost everything we see can be classified as a shape. Most objects can be broken down into simple shapes, which are easier for the viewer to recognize.


Value shows how light or dark an object is, regardless of it's color. Value helps create form and patterns, and contrasting value can help draw the viewer's attention.


The size of an object or element is a measurement of it's dimensions. Size can be measured in different ways, including inches, millimeters, pixels, and points. Size is used in scale and proportion to help relay a thought.


Space is defined as the positive or negative space within a design. Positive space is typically the main focal element in a design, while negative space is the rest of the design that doesn't contain positive space. Both negative and positive space are equally important to understand design and create balance.

+ Principles of Design
5 lectures 31:23

Contrast is created when values of elements in a design are opposite. Contrast can be created in many different ways, including contrasted values which is very easy for the eye to notice. High contrast values can make an image or shape pop, while low contrasting values can take away emphasis.

Preview 06:17

Balance is achieved when equal visual weight is given to certain properties of your design. Designs can be balanced by symmetry, value, focus, and color. A balanced design can feel inviting, organized, or unified while an unbalanced design can create irritation, uneasiness, or disproportion.


Elements in a design are emphasized when attention is drawn to them by the properties and principles used. Emphasis can be made by making something bolder, bigger, or more colorful. Emphasize the things you want to get across to the viewer, and deemphasize elements that are less important.


Movement in a design can create motion and direct the viewer's eye to a certain element. Movement can also be expressed through patterns or through the physical movement in a photograph or image. Use movement in your design to keep the viewer engaged and their brain activated.


Designs are harmonious when the principles of design are used and are working together cohesively. Harmony can give the viewer a feeling of pleasure and comfort when viewing your design. On the other hand, you can break harmony in a design to give the viewer a feeling of uneasiness.

+ Color Theory
5 lectures 32:09

When we talk about actual colors, we are usually referring to it's hue. Hue is the basic name given to the colors that we can see with physical light. Colors are very powerful and can convert all kinds of different emotions. Use colors to express to your viewer exactly what it is you want to say.

Preview 05:27

Color value describes how light or dark that particular color is. Value can be used in color to create emphasis and provide a range of tints and shades for form or patterns. Experiment with value to see how it can cause contrast to help draw in your viewer's attention.


The intensity of a color is referred to as it's saturation. Saturation can make your design come alive, and desaturated an image can decrease it's visual weight in your design. Use contrasting saturation values to make an element stand out or pop in your design.


Colors are given temperatures to describe their place within the color spectrum. Hot or warm colors are the reds, oranges, and yellows while cool or cold colors are the blues, greens, and purples. Using hot, cold, or a combination of the two temperatures can relay different meanings to your audience.

Warm and Cool Colors

In different cultures, religions, political views, and lifestyles throughout the world, colors are given different meanings to portray ideas. In some countries, red might mean something big and powerful, while in another country it can relate to disease or famine. Knowing your audience and the different meanings colors have can play an important role when creating your design or brand.

Color Meanings
+ Typography
5 lectures 27:00

Fonts are measured in points and described as the font size. Varying font sizes in your design can create contrast and bring about different moods. Fonts can feel tall and large based on a large font size, or small and tiny.

Preview 05:12

The name of any typography is given a font type. The font type describes the text being used based on different characteristics such as classification, spacing, mood, and weight. Choosing the right font in your design will be crucial to relaying a certain message to the viewer.

Font Type

Fonts are given different classes based on the strokes made to symbolize that text. Serif and san-serif fonts are typical online and in magazines, while script and special fonts portray a different feeling. Fonts can also be described as dingbats, which are icons that can be used as graphic elements in your design.


Fonts are given a mood, or a feeling that is shown by the style of fonts being used. Fonts can be described as funny, informal, bold, or modern. Knowing the different font moods will help you remember which type of font to choose when designing something specific.


Font weight refers to the thickness of the character being used. Thin, medium, and bold are some words that can describe font weight. Usually, these weights are applied to the same font styles creating a variety of that one particular font.

+ Composition
5 lectures 24:40

A single visual design is a piece of work that focuses on one specific focal element. This can be anything types of objects or images, including a single photo of a person or a single block of text. Single visual designs can be very eye catching and express immediately what you are trying to say to the viewer.

Preview 04:32

The focal point of any design is the main subject that you want your audience to see. The focal point can be shown through any of the design principles including contrast, movement, or balance. When designing, imagine what exactly it is you want your viewer to know and use that as your focal point in your design.

Focal Point

Guiding lines are used in designs to help point the viewer's eye towards a focal point. Things such as direction and movement can help shape the way the viewer's eyes move around the design. Placing subtle guiding lines in your design can really help control what it is you want your audience to see.

Guiding Lines

Borders and vignettes in designs can help keep the viewer's attention enclosed within your work. These framing elements keep the viewer's eyes from wandering off the page and looking at something else. Framing elements can be something as simple as a rectangle, or more complex objects such as a doorway or foilage.

Framing Elements

Alignment in designs can help achieve a nice uniform and easy-to-digest feeling. Objects and elements in your scene can be aligned together, to the page, or to other elements in the design. Designs that are out of alignment can create discomfort and distraction to the viewer, which might be something you want to use to your advantage.

+ Conclusion
2 lectures 02:30

I appreciate you going through this course. Hopefully you learned some valuable material to help your designs really stand out. Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or want to provide feedback.

Thank you for watching this Canva Course!
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