How To Use Graphic Design Templates in Canva

No Image Description

This training walks volunteers through how to use CCL Canva Templates, a graphic design platform on the web that makes creating social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content easy. CCL volunteers can use Canva on a computer and also download their mobile app for smartphones.

TOC and Guide Section
Creating a Canva Account & Background

Go to to create a free account or to login.

Canva integrates millions of images, fonts, templates and illustrations. CCL applied for and received the nonprofit Canva grant to allow our marketing team free access to the premium features, meaning that our volunteers can create a free Canva account to access our hundreds of CCL templates for a variety of uses. All are available to you to open, load into your account, and then edit and personalize. Then you can download and share your customized graphics on social media, email or print your designs.

Finding The Right Size & Dimensions

The first step is to know what size/dimensions you want to create. We currently have templates designed for a variety of social media needs, including:

Once you know what size graphic you're creating, click the teal box that says "Use Template."

Using & Editing Templates

For example, you can see that there are 56 templates that are Instagram sized! Click the "56" to see them all laid out in thumbnails. Note that the first few "templates" are actually just a cover page and then samples with all our colors and logos saved in one spot for your convenience so you can copy and paste if needed. You can edit any of these designs for your needs, whether it's a chapter meeting, sharing a quote, putting up calls to action like advertising the Monthly Calling Campaign, etc.

To download to your own computer, after clicking "Download," then select the file type I want to download, then choose which "page" you want to download, then click save. You'll get an ad pop-up asking if you want to sign up for a Canva Pro Account. Ignore that and click the "X" to get out of that window.

Each element of the designs are editable, so you can change photos to keep images updated with recent events, etc. Click on "uploads" and then "upload an image or video," then select a file from your computer. Once that finishes uploading, you can click and drag it onto your design. You can then resize the photo and move other elements around by clicking and dragging until you are satisfied with the layout.

Once you've selected "Use Template," you will have those designs available to you in your "Home"/"All Your Designs" tab.

Additional Recommendations

It's a good idea to rename your templates you've saved in your "All Your Designs" tab. You can do that by clicking on the name under the thumbnail and editing it.

Because CCL has 56 of these designs for Instagram Stories and Facebook Posts, etc., to help minimize the time it takes to download files (especially from your phone), consider deleting extra pages in the template package that you don't plan to use right now. For example, you could delete all of the pages except the ones about virtual meetings and that's where you will save all your monthly meeting designs. If you delete a design you end up needing later, you can always go back to CCL's Canva links on Community and click "use template" again and that will load in the full set again.

If you are creating images on your computer that you will use on Instagram, you can download the Canva app on your smartphone. Once you make all your edits on your computer, you can open your Canva app and those changes will be automatically saved in your account. You can then download the design onto your phone directly from the app instead of saving the image on your computer and then having to send it to your phone somehow (like through email).

Canva Tutorials

Canva has many more useful tutorials on how to get started, so if you're not familiar with the platform, check out these basics:

Getting More Help: Social Media Action Team

If you want more support on ideas for what to post on your chapter accounts, please join CCL's Social Media Action Team. This Action Team is a private group for CCL volunteers and social media superstars. The goal of the team is for you to provide support for CCL's national efforts with strategic social media activities. Often, this means adding positive comments on posts from members of Congress, sharing specific posts from CCL, etc.

Press play to start the video (11m 25s)
Video Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Canva Basics

Editing Your Templates/Designs

Social Media Action Team
  • Ashley Hunt Martorano
Have you completed this training?
Let us know if you've completed this training! Your progress will be logged in the Action Tracker so you can reference a list of trainings that you've completed.
Log your training
Chapter Organizing
Audio / Video, Presentation