How to remove the background from your images

Your guide to removing background images

Removing the background from images is one of the most frequently used photo editing features for enhancing photos. After all, humans are visual creatures and images sans a messy background help tell a good visual story, and information is absorbed faster.

In fact, studies by 3M revealed that images and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text, somewhat confirming the old saying that a picture paints a thousand words. Because we remember and retain things more easily when they're visual, it’s clear that the selection of imagery when working on a project—from an invitation to a work presentation—is of the utmost importance.

Canva photos help to perfectly illustrate your vision, whether you’re looking for something soothing and laidback, such as Notebooks on White Background with Shadows or an image that brims with movement and energy, like Boys Doing Parkour.

And in this article, we show you how to use Canva's background remover feature and help you tell great stories with your vision in mind.

When you need to use a background remover

Image by Derek McKinney via Unsplash

Although images are an effective way of communicating information in a short space of time, the image and visuals you select have a direct impact on how this information is gathered. When using an image, it’s often useful to remember to have a focal point, which allows you to capture your reader’s attention by not giving them too much to focus on. By removing the busy background of a photo, your image will likely have more impact.

Secondly, you might want to use the background to communicate a certain message—one that’s not communicated in the original background of the selected image. Take a resume, for example. If you’re applying for a job within the corporate environment, it might not be appropriate to include that sunny snap of you and your dog to illustrate who’s really behind all those descriptions of roles and responsibilities. In this instance, it would be wise to opt for a transparent background to your photo, leaving the edges white and devoid of interference.

Conversely, if you’re applying for a job in design or the creative sphere, you might want a certain level of personality to peep through. In this instance, you could leave your dog in, or you might make yourself the main feature by removing the background of the image and replacing it with an eye-catching sunshine yellow background. Your ability to tweak your own personal images for whatever project you’re working on is invaluable.

Need your image for something a little more serious, like a job application? Resume templates such as Peach and Yellow Playful HR IT Specialist Resume and Colorful Modern Geometric Construction Resume demonstrate exactly how harnessing the power of the background remover can boost the professionalism of an image or display your personality to reflect the job you’re applying for.

How to remove a background with Canva

Image by Monfocus via PIxabay

Thanks to the new addition to Canva Pro removing backgrounds just became as simple as a few clicks—eliminating the need for layers and other complex design wizardry.

To remove your background with Canva, simply:

  1. Upload your own image or choose one from our image library.
  2. Click on the Edit Image button on the top toolbar.
  3. Next, select ‘BG Remover’ on the left side panel that appears.
  4. Then, click ‘Erase’ to remove the background.
  5. After clicking ‘Erase’, like magic, the background will disappear.
  6. Once satisfied with your photo’s look without a background, select ‘Apply’ to save the changes. Or select ‘Restore’ to undo any changes.
  7. Finally, simply drag your new image into the perfect spot.

Not sure how images can truly transform your designs? Have a look at Canva templates such as Healthy Mondays Invitation and Toffee Wedding Brunch Invitation to see just how much an arresting image can change the message you communicate.

Image by Rodion Kutsaev via Unsplash

Once you’ve navigated your way around the background remover tool, you’re free to experiment with a range of eye-catching or complementary backgrounds, depending on your brand and approach. The ability to remove the background from an image goes beyond cropping your friend out of an image for your social stream; it’s about customizing your images and designs to the right audience for your project.

Changing the tone of your design comes down to multiple factors; including color and image choice. Check out the difference in feel between a Canva template such as Private Sale Invitation and Turquoise and White Beach Party Invitation.

Want to become a design Pro? Sign up for Canva Pro. today

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