I got introduced to Canva during my journey to publishing my first book. It was at a point when I struggled to find a graphic designer that could give me what I wanted at the budget I could afford.
I will never forget that day at that training when Canva was introduced as a tool we could use to design flyers and social media graphics. While others were learning that, I was wondering how I could design my book cover with this tool. It has been 2 years and a few months of this relationship with Canva and I am here to get you started on how to save the world using Canva as your weapon.
Meet www.canva.com, your best friend when you can’t afford to hire a graphic designer. Canva is super simple, it is as simple as photocopying textbooks instead of paying for one. It is the copy and paste of design. You can also get the App version in your phone for quick designs when you’re on the Move.
To design a book cover, there are a few design details to think about to speed up your design process.
- Have you thought about what you will like your book cover to look like? You need this while browsing through Canva so that you know what design styles appeal to you
- Who is this book for? children, teens, young adults, adults? The answer will influence your choice of color, font, and overall design aesthetic.
Having gone through this thought process, let us meet www.canva.com. Go there and create an account.
Once you sign up and log in to Canva, you will see the page below. Pick a category that fits the shape of your book. For the sake of this tutorial, scroll down and click on book cover.
When you click on it, it will open up to the page below. Scroll through the Canva layouts on the left and pick the layout that appeals to you. It is advisable to pick more than one option just in case you wake up tomorrow and realize you no longer like the first option you picked. Ensure you pick from the layouts that are marked free, that is, if you do not have funds for the paid ones.
It is advisable to customize the image to what is suitable to your book’s theme, instead of using Canva’s image. We will call our book, Rookie Designer by Seun Okoye.
- Change the background image: Pick a word or two from your book title and search for images that convey the message of your book. Recommended sites to get royalty free pictures are www.unsplash.com, www.pixabay.com, www.pexel.com. Once you download the pictures you like from any of these sites. Click on the upload icon (shown below) to import your images to Canva.
Click on the image on the select layout and drag your picture to replace the default image.
- Customize the text: Change the color of the brush stroke background design of the text to suit the colors on the image. Once you click on the image, the color box will show up to enable you to select a color of your choice.
Now click on the text and change it to your book title. Where the author’s name is on this layout is not visible due to the background image. To solve this, we will convert the tagline on top of the book title to the author’s name. Click on it and change to the author’s name. You can use the text editing tools to increase the size of the author’s name. Click on the original author’s name and delete it.
Now step back and admire the greatness of your design. Click on the download button and select “PDF Print” and “crop marks and bleed.” Adding crop marks and bleed is important for your print version because it guides your printer for binding and trimming your book. Now clap for yourself, you have made me proud.
Extra lessons on some Canva design tools (see image below)
Ngozi Ilondu, is a Brand Management Professional, Social Media Strategist, Writer, and Author of The Chronic School Hater