A guide for using Canva for Print – Setup and Export

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on using Canva for print – your go-to resource for mastering the art of setting up and exporting print-ready designs with ease. Canva…

A guide for using Canva for Print – Setup and Export

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on using Canva for print – your go-to resource for mastering the art of setting up and exporting print-ready designs with ease. Canva has revolutionized the way we approach graphic design, making it accessible to everyone, from seasoned professionals to beginners with no prior design experience.
In this blog, we will navigate the intricate process of transforming your creative visions into tangible, high-quality prints. Whether you’re creating business cards, posters, brochures, or any other printed material, our step-by-step guide will walk you through the crucial elements of Canva’s print setup and export features.
From understanding the essential print settings to optimizing your designs for professional printing, we’ll cover it all. Get ready to unlock the full potential of Canva as we empower you with the knowledge to produce stunning, print-ready materials that leave a lasting impression.
Let’s dive into the world of Canva for print and embark on a journey to elevate your design projects to new heights!


Open Canva and click ‘Create a design’.

Click on ‘Custom Size’

When designing for print it is best to set the dimensions of the document using a unit of measurement. Click on the dropdown box that has ‘px’ and select your preferred unit of measurement. We have selected ‘mm’ here for millimetres and put in the values of width 210 x height 297, which are the dimensions of an A4 document. Then click on ‘Create new design’.

Now you are ready to start designing.


Once you have your design complete, you are now ready to export your project so it can be printed. On the top right of your screen you will see a button that says ‘Share’. Go ahead and click on it.

This screen appears and you will need to scroll down until you see the option to ‘Download’.

This screen will then appear.

This is the important bit where we will select all the options to create a perfect print ready file that will give you a stunning final product.

Firstly, we select the file type we wish to use. So, click on the drop down box under ‘File type’ and change ‘PNG’ to ‘PDF Print’. Printers love PDF files and selecting the Print option ensures that your files will have the highest quality to provide crisp and clear prints.


Next we click on the check box for ‘Crop marks and bleed’.  This is another element that printers love and are essential in ensuring that your final product appears as you have designed it. When you create a design with bleed, you extend certain elements (typically background colours, images, or patterns) beyond the designated trim edge. This extension compensates for any slight variations in the trimming process, preventing the appearance of thin white lines or gaps along the edges of the printed material. Crop marks, also known as trim marks, are lines or markers placed at the corners of a printed document to indicate where it should be trimmed or cut to achieve its final size. These marks guide the printer or the person responsible for finishing the printed material, ensuring accurate and precise trimming along the designated edges.

Next we flatten the image. Under ‘Crop marks and bleed’ click the checkbox that says ‘Flatten PDF’. Flattening an image for print refers to merging all visible layers in a graphic design file into a single layer. This process simplifies the file structure and ensures that the image retains its intended appearance when printed.

The last step is to change the colour profile.  There are two options for colour profile, RGB and CMYK. RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue, used in digital displays. It combines light intensities for screens like monitors and TVs. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, used in print. It combines ink percentages for accurate colours in print materials.

Under ‘Colour Profile’, click the drop down box and select the ‘CMYK’ option. Unfortunately, Canva only give this option if you sign up to the Pro version. But don’t worry, your files will still be fine for print if left on RGB. This just means that the colours, and especially reds, may not match exactly what you see on screen.

Finally, click ‘Download’ and you are now ready to share your stunning print-ready files.

To wrap up our guide on leveraging Canva for print – from setup to export – you’re now equipped with the knowledge to seamlessly transition your digital designs into professional-quality prints. Navigating through crucial elements like bleed, crop marks, and image flattening, you’ve learned the essentials of print preparation.

Whether you’re a design enthusiast venturing into professional projects or an experienced designer seeking efficiency, Canva offers a versatile platform. From business cards to posters, you have the tools to transform your ideas into tangible, visually striking prints.

As you embark on your print design endeavours, continue exploring Canva’s features and incorporating your creativity. With this guide, we’ve aimed to demystify the process, empowering you to confidently produce print-ready masterpieces.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through Canva’s print capabilities. Here’s to translating your digital creativity into impactful, physical manifestations. Happy designing!

Explore our signage options.
Get a signage quote.

Go Up