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How to Color in Canva

Adding the right colors to your Canva designs can bring them to life and make them pop. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll walk through the quick and easy process of changing colors of text, shapes, backgrounds and other elements in Canva.

Whether you want to freshen up existing artwork or experiment with color schemes for a new project, Canva makes it simple to customize hues to suit your brand style or visual storytelling needs.

Overview of Canva’s Color Features

Canva offers the following main color features:

Computer vs Mobile Comparison

Color PickerClick color tile, scroll & pickTap color tile, scroll & pick
EyedropperRainbow icon > Click EyedropperRainbow icon > Tap Eyedropper
Hex InputAdd new color tile > Enter codeAdd new color tile > Enter code
GradientsClick gradient boxTap gradient box
Saved PalettesClick heart icon on paletteTap heart icon on palette

This table compares the actions required to access and utilize color features between Canva’s computer and mobile interfaces.

On the computer version, users perform actions like clicking color tiles or the rainbow icon to access functionalities like the eyedropper or gradients.

Conversely, on the mobile version, users tap color tiles, icons, or boxes to perform similar functions.

how to use these to color your designs

Step 1: Select the Design Element

To change the color of any component in your artwork, first click/tap to select it. This could be text, shapes, photos, illustrations, charts or background.

The element will show selection handles around it when picked.

Step 2: Open the Color Panel

Next, locate the color tile(s) in the editing toolbar above your design. Click/tap the tile of the color you wish to edit.

The color editing panel will open up.

Step 3: Pick New Color

The color panel shows your existing brand palette, suggested hues and the color wheel for visual selection.

Scroll through suggestions or use the wheel to pick your desired shade. Tap the new color to apply it on the selected element.

Step 4: Match Colors from Design

Want to visually sample an existing color from your artwork? Use the eyedropper tool.

Click the rainbow tile on the color panel and then click/tap the eyedropper icon. Hover over any element and pick a color to load it into the palette.

Step 5: Specify Hex Codes

For precise color specification, open the color panel, tap “Add new color” and enter the hex code in the input field. Hit enter to load it.

This allows you to reuse brand colors flawlessly.

Step 6: Use Color Gradients

Give elements modern flair with smooth color gradients. Click the gradient box next to solid color selection to blend multiple colors. Customize gradient direction, angle and more via the advanced settings.

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Frame Color in Canva

More Tips for Using Color

Here are some additional tips for working with color in Canva:

Edit Colors in Bulk

To update colors across multiple elements at once, select them together before opening the color panel. Any changes will apply to all picked items.

Reuse Brand Colors

Add your official brand colors to “My colors” palette. Then you can quickly apply them to any projects to maintain consistency.

Balance Dark and Light Shades

Use both dark and light colors in designs for visual interest. But make sure text stands out against backgrounds so it stays readable.

Consider Color Psychology

Different colors evoke different emotions. Blue = trustworthy, green = natural, yellow = optimistic. Consider meanings when choosing your palette.

Use Color to Organize

Use consistent colors as visual cues – e.g. assign blue for headers, red for warnings. This helps guide users when viewing your graphics.

Test Accessibility

Ensure sufficient contrast between text and background colors for visibility. Check designs meet AAA accessibility standards.

Get Inspiration from Photos

Upload a beautiful photo to your Canva workspace. Let it guide your choice of complementary colors for graphics you’ll layer on top.

Try These Color Projects

Here are some easy ways to use Canva’s color features to revive your visuals:

  • Change colors in an old poster to make it suit a new event
  • Freshen up dated reports, presentations, and other documents
  • Give your social posts new seasonal color schemes
  • Update the colors in old infographics about evergreen topics
  • Match colors from photos to coordinate other design elements

With Canva’s user-friendly tools, you can quickly inject fresh new color into all your visual content!


Here are some additional frequently asked questions about using color in Canva:

How do I save a custom color palette?

Go to the color panel, create your palette, tap the heart icon to save it under “My colors” for reuse across designs.

What file types support color changes?

You can edit colors in both Canva’s web and desktop apps across all support presentation, graphic and document formats.

Can I color print projects?

Yes, Canva lets you download finished designs with color to PDF, JPG and PNG files ready for printing.

What happens if the color tile is missing?

It means the selected element doesn’t support color changes. This applies to certain photos and illustration styles.


With its intuitive color features that cater to both casual users and professionals, Canva makes it fast and frictionless to customize the colors of your visual content.

Experiment freely with the color picker, sampled palettes, gradients and hex codes to finesse your brand style. Use this guide to get started!

Changing colors is also a great way to give stale designs or outdated projects a fresh new look. So dust off old Canva artwork and breathe colorful life back into your visual communications!

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Last modified: December 3, 2023

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