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How to save Canva files for print

By Isabella White | Label Printing - General Knowledge, Label Design Tips, Packaging Labels, Colours for Labels, General, Blog | 15 Sep 2022 |

How to save a Canva file for print in CMYK with bleed and crop marks.

Isabella White  | 15/09/2022 

We know learning how to save your artwork for print in Canva can be a daunting process, so we've prepared the step-by-step Rentons Labels guide to downloading your Canva designs with bleed, crop marks, and in CMYK. 

In this, we'll cover a few steps to download your Canva designs in the best scope for printing, 

1. Checking the size of your artwork, and resizing it to the correct size. 

2. How to add bleed in Canva, and why you need it.

3. Downloading your artwork, common requirements, and how to check it's correct. 

Setting up your artwork at the correct size

Before printing, make sure you have your artwork set up at the right size, if it's not already the right size it's easy to alter this to suit the label size you need.

1. Check your current size by clicking 'Resize' from the menu above the editor.

2. If you're not happy with the current size, click 'Custom size', and enter in the measurements you would like, and the unit of measurement (such as mm, cm, inches, etc).

Note: All Australian printers work in "mm". 

3. When the correct size is input, select 'Copy & Resize'. This will save your newly sized artwork.

Note: If your new artwork is a different shape to your old (for example if it was previously a square and is now a rectangle), you may need to rearrange the artwork.

Canva Guide, infographic showing how to resize your artwork to specific measurements

What is bleed and why do I need it?

Bleed is ink which prints beyond the trim edge of your artwork (where we cut) to ensure that when your labels are printed, everything important is included. This means any background colours, patterns, logos, or images in your artwork don't get cut off. If your artwork is supplied without bleed, you may receive labels with white lines around the edges.

We use a standard bleed of 3mm which gives a nice buffer around the artwork in the instance that anything moves.

How do I set up bleed in Canva?

In order to perfect your Canva designs and make them print ready, it's important to first set up your bleed.  

1. Click on 'File' in the menu above the editor.

2. Select 'Show print bleed'. This will show the bleed around an artwork. If your artwork already extends to the edge of your new selection, you're now done!

3. If you have white space around your page that isn't part of your art, click the corner of the picture/ colour/ pattern, and drag to extend to the edge of your page.

Note: If you have artwork with a pattern and a coloured background that aren't connected, you'll need to do this more than once so that all elements of your background are extended out to make up your bleed. 

Don’t stress if your artwork looks a little funny or is a different shape to what you’re after! We always prepare your artwork with the final shape and size in mind and will make sure that the cut line sits just where you wanted it. 

Canva Guide, infographic showing how to add bleed to your artwork. Step 1, selecting 'file' and 'show print bleed'.
Canva Guide, infographic showing how to add bleed to your artwork. Step 2, dragging your background to extend to all edges of image
Canva Guide, infographic showing how to add bleed to your artwork Step 3, you’re done if the image now extends to the entire edge

Saving your Canva artwork, with bleed, crop marks, and in CMYK 

We’ve added our bleed, finished our artwork, and now we just need to save it for print!

1. Click the 'Share' button in the purple menu bar above the editor. From the drop down menu that appears, select 'Download'

2. Change your file type to 'PDF Print', check the box for 'Crop marks and bleed', and change the colour profile to 'CMYK'.

3. Click 'Download'.

4. Open your PDF when it's downloaded and check your bleed is there, and that you have pairs of Crop Marks on each corner of the page.

Canva Guide, infographic showing how to save your file in the right file type. Select the Share button, then click download,
Canva Guide, infographic showing how to save your file in the right file type. Select ‘PDF print’, tick ‘crop marks and bleed’, and select ‘CMYK’ as your colour profile.
Canva Guide, infographic showing how to save your file in the right file type. Open your file when it’s downloaded and check if your Crop marks are on each corner

What are Crop Marks & do I need them?

Crop marks are the little lines on the corner of your artwork that indicate where the paper will be trimmed. It's always important to include these when sending your artwork to print as the marks act as a guide to tell your printer where to trim your art to reach your final cut size.

Why do I need to save my Canva design in CMYK?

Canva is an online webtool, that means that their software is set up using RGB as the default colour profile, rather than CMYK which is best for print. This is great for online uses (like making an infographic for your blog or a logo for insta) and will make your artwork pop through a screen, but it doesn't look the same on paper and so it’s important to convert your art to CMYK yourself so you know how your artwork will look and can make the right changes.

Below is an image showing the difference between RGB and CMYK and will illustrate how the colours they make up aren't always the same. If you leave your artwork in RGB, your printer will have to convert it for you and there might be more of a change than you realise when it finally arrives. 

Canva tutorial, image explaining how to add crop marks, and save as PDF print in CMYK for printing

Free Account vs Premium in Canva

Note: Canva is a webtool which uses a freemium model, this means that some of its features are available to everyone with an account, paid or not, and some features are only available for Paid members. Some of these tools and options might be a little different if you're utilising the free version of an account vs if you're using a paid model.  

Isabella White  | 15/09/2022 | Label Printing - General Knowledge,Label Design Tips,Packaging Labels,Colours for Labels,General,Blog
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Rentons Labels is a Sydney based Label printing company who offer custom label printing solutions. They specialise in packaging labels, wine labels, and beverage labels and produce all their labels in Australia.

Suite 1, Unit 3,

2 Burrows Road South
St Peters NSW 2044

Phone:(02) 9160 4511
Email: info@rentonslabels.com.au

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