Custom designed documents using Canva

How to Design & Print Custom Documents Using Canva

Brian Kroeker

January 11, 2024


  • Professional printing is ideal for reports, project or budget proposals, resumes, and other internal or external documents your business uses to communicate important information.
  • Canva has a huge range of different document templates available for free and paid account holders. Once you choose a template and configure the settings for your design, you can start customizing it to make it your own.
  • Remove stock images and text, then replace them with the information you need—making sure to keep colour, font, and other visual elements consistent with your branding.
  • When your document is ready to print, download the file as a flattened PDF with crop marks and bleeds, using the CMYK colour profile if you have a Canva Pro account.
  • Send your print-ready design to our team and Little Rock Printing™ will have it ready for you in 1-5 business days. We have no minimum or maximum order sizes, print all documents ourselves in our Calgary shop, and guarantee our deadlines.

High-quality document printing makes your reports, proposals, white papers, and more look professional and compelling. To create the best documents for your business, you’ll need to design an effective layout and find cost-effective printing options. Here at Little Rock Printing™, we can help you do both.

Below, we walk you through the process of creating and printing documents that look great and last. Find the right design template, customize it to suit your brand, then fill it in and send it to our team for a perfect print.

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Starting with Canva

Canva is one of the best free graphic design applications on the web. Not only is it user-friendly, but it comes stocked with a massive selection of templates for all kinds of print materials.

Project proposal templates available in Canva for document printing

Step 1: Find Your Document Template

We’ve got free Canva templates you can explore for other print products, but when it comes to document printing, the sheer variety of different kinds means your best bet is to simply search Canva and see what’s available. Here’s how:

  • Visit Canva and create your account if you don’t already have one.
  • In the search bar at the top of the page, type the kind of document you want to find a template for. Examples include:
    • Reports
    • Project proposals
    • White papers
    • Resumes
    • Technical manuals
  • Choose one of the results that appear and click the button marked “Customize this template” to start working on your design.
Adjusting canvas settings in Canva before editing document template for project proposal

Step 2: Adjust Your Template Settings

Before you get started changing the design elements of your template, you’ll need to make sure you’re using the correct Canva settings. Canva is designed for simplicity, so you likely won’t need to spend much time playing around here—but there are a couple of things we recommend before starting:

  • Click “File” > “View Settings” > “Show Rulers & Guides” for a more precise view of how the elements of your design line up with each other.
  • Click the “Magic Resize” menu in the top-left corner of your screen and go to “Resize” to see a list of options or choose custom dimensions (you’ll need Canva Pro for this).

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For Best Results

  • Find a template with the right orientation for your document (for example, most reports should be in portrait instead of landscape).
  • If you’re planning an ambitious document or one with non-standard dimensions, consider upgrading to Canva Pro to access premium features.
Replacing stock images in document layout on Canva

Step 3: Add Custom Images

Most document templates in Canva come with at least a few placeholder images, so you’ll want to replace these with graphics that support the material you’re presenting. You can delete any image in your canvas by clicking the trash can icon that appears when you hover your cursor over the image.

Then it’s time to add your own visuals. You can either bring in artwork from Canva’s archive by using the search menu in the “Elements” tab, or use custom images by clicking the “Uploads” tab and:

  • Dragging the files in from your desktop.
  • Connecting apps like Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Best Results

  • Use high-resolution for all raster images (ideally at 300 dpi or higher).
  • Use vector images for scalability when possible.
  • Choose photos and illustrations that fit your brand’s aesthetic and message.
  • Arrange images at regular intervals throughout your text to break it up every so often—and don’t crowd too many together unless they’re related (like in a gallery).
Rewriting content block in document layout on Canva

Step 4: Add Custom Content to Your Documents

Now it’s time to fill the document you’re creating with the text you want it to contain. You can simply drag and drop text blocks in Canva to move them around, click on their corners and pull them to adjust their size, or delete them like any other element of your design if you want to remove them.

For Best Results

  • Separate long blocks of text into paragraphs that can be easily parsed, and keep some white space between them—not enough to make it feel like the pieces of text are floating in a void, but enough to give the reader’s eyes a break.
  • Keep an eye on your margins and make sure text blocks don’t come too close—the reader’s eye shouldn’t have to travel all the way to the edge of the page.
  • Use headings and subheadings to separate the contents of your documents into sections and make them more digestible for readers.
  • Use page numbers to help readers find their place between sittings and navigate the document more effectively.
Changing font for document title in Canva

Step 5: Customize Fonts & Other Stylistic Elements

Canva offers tons of different font options, so you’ll have plenty of stylistic flexibility! Simply click on any text element, and a font menu will appear at the top so that you can choose the font that suits your booklet best.

For Best Results

  • Choose a legible font that matches the rest of your design—for example, sans serif fonts often pair well with modern or minimalist layouts, while serif fonts are better for more traditional design schemes.
  • Make sure your font colours stand out from any background colour your documents use—but keep colours and textures consistent with and complementary to your branding.
  • Keep the design of your document consistent by using no more than 2-3 fonts throughout the booklet.
Choosing download settings in Canva before sending print ready files to Little Rock for document printing

Step 6: Download & Submit Your Print-Ready Booklet Design

Once you’re happy with the way your document looks, it’s time to download the file and send it to Little Rock Printing™ for printing! Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

  • Go to “Share” in the upper right corner.
  • Select “Download” from the dropdown menu.
  • Choose “PDF Print” under “File Type.”
  • Include “Crop marks and bleeds.”
  • Choose “Flatten PDF”.
  • Opt for “CMYK” under “Colour Profile” (you’ll need a Canva Pro account for this).
  • Click the “Download” button.

Let Little Rock Printing™ Deliver Better Documents

Printing documents doesn’t have to be difficult—and with support from Little Rock Printing™, it won’t be. Using Canva’s simple but effective tools and our experienced professionals, you can count on getting premium documents perfectly printed on great-looking materials. Learn more when you contact Little Rock Printing™ to speak with one of our team members, or browse the FAQ below.

Frequently Asked Questions about Designing & Printing Booklets

How do I add page numbers to my document in Canva?

The fastest way to add page numbers to your document in Canva is by creating small text boxes on each page and typing the numbers inside. Use the same font and size for all page numbers to make sure they have a consistent appearance, and use the snap feature on Canva to ensure that they stay in the same place on each page.

What kind of paper should I print my document on?

Little Rock Printing™ gives you plenty of options for paper types, so the best way to choose correctly is to order a free sample kit from us! We’ll send you a small amount of every print material we have so that you can see and feel them in person.

How much does document printing with Little Rock Printing™ cost?

Our custom booklets start at just $4.56, but the final cost depends on a number of different factors—including paper type, number of pages, quantity, and size. Check out our document printing page for accurate pricing.

How long does document printing take at Little Rock Printing™?

We offer timelines ranging from 1-5 business days. Choose your delivery date when placing your order, and we’ll make sure the docs are printed and ready by then.

Can you design my documents for me?

We don’t have in-house graphic designers at Little Rock Printing™, so we created this guide to help you design your documents as easily as possible. When your design is ready to print, we take care of that part so that you can get a beautiful final product.

Can I use custom-branded fonts and colours in my Canva design?

Yes—Canva Pro lets you upload your own fonts and gives you access to an advanced colour wheel for brand-specific matching. When you submit your design, be sure to provide any specific colour codes you use so we can ensure consistency when we print them.

Can I get a proof before my booklets are printed?

Yes! We offer free proofs for all of our print products. To receive a preview of how your final printed document will look, order a single unit and use the code “FREEPROOF” at checkout. Once you review the proof and approve it, just send us the rest of your order and we’ll take care of it!

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