Making Print Ready Designs in Canva

Set Your File For Print

One of the biggest issues we see with Canva designs is the bleed (that little extra around the edge printers need to trim your prints all the way to the edge and not leave tiny white edges). Canva actually has a setting to help you achieve the same bleed the VIU Print Shop team needs for your prints (1/8” on each side).


To see the bleed area of your file, select FILE in the top left corner and then check SHOW PRINT BLEED. This will extend the edge of your image the extra 1/8” on each side. Now all you have to do is ensure that your background or images extend all the way out into this space as needed. If you have a white background to your print, there is nothing to extend, but you still need to turn on the bleed feature.

The Show print bleed option in Canva

Bleed Area

When making adjustments, know that anything in the 1/8” bleed area (past the bleed line) will be trimmed off your print in the finishing process so if you want it to show up on your print, don’t let it creep into the bleed area.

An image in canva showing the bleed line on the image.

Download for Printing

Unlike an image you are using for digital only visuals, a print file is a bit more involved. In addition to bleed which we talked about above, crop marks are also needed to ensure we trim your printed file correctly.

An image in Canva showing the print settings

  1. Start by clicking the Share button in the top left-hand corner.
  2. Next, click the Download button.
  3. Under FILE TYPE pull the menu down and select PDF PRINT.
  4. Next, check the box next to CROP MARKS AND BLEED. This will create your print ready PDF with the 1/8” bleed and crop marks both showing in your PDF that you are going to send us.
  5. Under Colour Profile pull the menu down and select CMYK (best for professional printing).

    Please note: The CMYK Color profile in Canva in only available to paid Canva users. We can convert your PDF files to CMYK, but there is typically some color shift in this process as you are now using 4 base colors (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black) instead of 3 base colors (Red, Green and Blue) to create the colors in your image. If you are using the free version use a simple CMYK conversion tool like pdf2CMYK ( so you can see the color changes prior to sending us your file.


6. Now you can press DOWNLOAD and Canva will create a PDF file for you to send us that is ready to print.