Once you’ve chosen your template it’s time to change the text. The art and technique of arranging text is called typography. Canva has an extensive library of over 500 fronts to choose from, so you’ll be sure to find the perfect one for your project. But with so many fonts it can be tricky to decide, so if you prefer, we also have a selection of font combinations to make sure your designs have a balanced composition.

Making your written language look visually appealing and easy to read will guarantee that people can absorb your message.

In this unit, you will learn

  • How to style text
  • How to differentiate between font styles
  • How to harness textual hierarchy
  • The effect of alignment
  • The less is more principle   

How to style text

Every template comes with pre-styled text. If you like the template but aren’t sure if the text fits your design, feel free to change it.  You can use the toolbar to apply different font styles—font combination to help you pick a balanced combination—change the size, emphasis, alignment, spacing, and transparency of the text in your design.

Keep in mind that the styling options that appear will depend on the type of font you choose. Not all fonts are compatible with every feature. If a template has too much or too little text for what you need, change this by adding or removing a text box.

In this video, we show you how to navigate to the Text tab, style your text, and remove a text box.

Font styles

The style of your font is important because it helps to convey your message and impacts how your audience understands it. Many fonts have distinct moods or personalities—whether that's serious, casual, neutral, elegant, exotic, or graphic.

It’s important to think about your message and choose a font that fits. You want to make sure your font choice matches the mood you are setting through the concept and tone of your design.

Serif fonts have a small stroke called a serif attached to the main part of the letter. These are a good choice for more traditional projects such as magazines.

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Examples of Serif fonts, all available on Canva

Sans serif fonts don't have that extra stroke, hence the name, which is French for ‘without’ serif. These fonts are good for clean and modern projects and are much easier to read on computer screens.

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These Sans Serif fonts are part of Canva's font library

Script fonts derive from handwriting or calligraphy and are more fluid than other more traditional fonts. Their decorative style means they are best when used in small amounts for text in titles, headers, or more graphic-heavy projects.

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Add some flair to your design on Canva with these Script fonts

QUICK QUIZ

Which font style is used in the following designs?

A. Script            B. Serif           C. Sans Serif

Abstract Music Album Cover

 

It's Sans serif.

How to harness textual hierarchy 

When you’re figuring out the layout of your design, think about what part you want viewers to look at first.

Textual hierarchy refers to the order in which text is read. Our eyes are naturally drawn to larger, more dominant elements. Important information (a company name, a headline, an occasion, or a special offer for example) is often larger, bolder, or different in some way. This will also gives your audience an entry point to start navigating your design.

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QUICK QUIZ

Priya is organizing the messaging in her design. Which design do you think uses hierarchy to communicate her message most effectively?

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We think the second one would be most effective. It lets the reader know the most important part of her message first. 

The effect of alignment

Designs need balance. A design that is well aligned or well distributed will look neat and uncluttered.

While most designs come with pre-aligned elements, aligning elements on your own can be a little tricky. Remember, the most important thing is to be consistent. Canva has alignment guides called snap lines, which appear when moving elements to guide you.

Neatly arranged elements will give your designs that finished feel.

  • Double check all your text elements are perfectly aligned both horizontally and vertically 
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  • Leave a margin. Move elements and text away from the edges of your design  
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  • Use equal spacing between your text and graphic elements
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The 'less is more' principle

Too many fonts can look messy. As with any design element, remember, less is more. Most projects benefit from a more restrained, thoughtful approach. We find that often one or two fonts is enough. If you feel like your design needs more contrast, try repeating the font with a different size or weight. Remember to experiment and find what looks best in your design… and if in doubt, keep it simple.

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QUICK QUIZ

Gabriela is creating a design to promote a charity concert at her university. How many fonts do you think it would be best for her to use?

A. As many as she likes! The more the merrier

B. Two fonts should do the trick

C. Four to six fonts will offer a balanced look and feel to her design

 

B. We recommend using two fonts. This will allow her design to look neat and organized.