You’re in the right place to discover all you need to know about what a vector file is in Canva. How do I know? As a graphic designer since 2005 and having used Canva since 2012, I’m sharing all my best tips on Canva in this article.
A vector file on Canva is any graphic you can find in the Canva Elements library. You can change their colors in Canva and their sizes can be scaled to as big as you want and not lose quality. The 3D and animated graphics in Canva are not vectors.
Meantime, are you ready to discover more about vector files on Canva? Let’s get started.
What Is A Vector File On Canva?
A vector on Canva can be scaled up or down without losing clarity or resolution and still look crisp, sharp, and clear. Any file on Canva is a vector if its colors can be edited on Canva except for most Canva Stickers.
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You will find them in the Elements section under the Graphics sub-section. They are mostly 2D illustrations and shapes produced by computer or digital processing. Select See All to browse all Canva graphics.
Vectors are a type of digital graphic that uses mathematical formulas to render its design. Rather than pixels, vectors consist of lines, curves, and shapes. Because of this, they can be expanded to any size you want and not look blurry or pixelated.
What Are Vector Files Like On Canva?
- Scalability: One of the primary benefits of a vector file is that you can enlarge it without any degradation in quality. Remember those old movies where zooming into a photo would make it pixelated? That’s what happens with raster images. With vectors? Not an issue.
- Smaller File Size: Surprisingly, even with all that detail and scalability, vectors tend to be smaller than their raster counterparts.
- Editability: The mathematical formulas behind vectors mean that each part of the image can be individually manipulated, such as colors and stroke weights. This provides immense flexibility in design.
What Is Not A Vector File On Canva?
Besides Canva vector files, you will also find non-vector elements on Canva. These are items that can’t be edited as much or as freely as vectors due to the way they’ve been created. They are also known as raster images.
These elements within Canva are static by nature. This means that, even if they appear to be vector-like (sharp and clear), they won’t necessarily retain this clarity when scaled:
- Stock Photos: Canva’s library is chock-full of stock photos. While they might be high-resolution, they’re raster-based and won’t scale like vectors.
- Some Graphics: Not all graphics in Canva are true vectors. Some might be raster images that have been uploaded and made available for use.
How Do Non-Vector Files Look Like On Canva?
Here are the properties of a raster image or non-vector formats on Canva:
- Pixel-Based Composition: Raster images are made up of tiny squares known as pixels. Each pixel holds color information, and collectively, they form the image you see.
- Limitations with Scaling: When you attempt to enlarge a raster image beyond its original size, it starts to lose quality and becomes pixelated. Think of it like stretching a piece of fabric; after a certain point, it begins to tear and distort.
- Popular Raster Formats in Canva: JPEG, PNG, and GIF are the typical raster formats you’ll encounter.
How to Use Vector Files in Canva
Now you know that vector files show quality and scalability. But how do you make the most of them, especially on a platform as user-friendly as Canva?
Well, you’re in luck! In this section, we’re diving deep into how to use vector files in Canva, ensuring you leverage their full potential in your designs.
1. Uploading Vector Files
To upload a vector file, simply drag and drop your SVG file into Canva or click on the Uploads tab on the left-side menu and then click Upload Files.
2. Editing Vector Files
Once your vector file is uploaded, you can add it to your design and utilize Canva’s intuitive tools to change colors, add text, or integrate it into a larger design.
3. Downloading as Vector Files
For Canva Pro users, once your design is complete, select the Share button on the top right of your Canva page.
Then, click on Download, and choose SVG as your file type. You’ve got a vector file saved on your desktop ready to use.
Benefits of Using Vector Files in Your Designs
- Professional Quality: Using vectors ensures your designs remain crisp and clear, regardless of size. Think of it like always having the sharpest pencil in the box.
- Versatility: Vector designs can be used across multiple platforms, from digital to print. Need that logo on a business card and a billboard? No problem!
- Consistency: Ensuring your branding materials are in vector format means you’ll have consistent quality across all platforms and mediums.
Canva Vector File Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Convert A File To A Vector In Canva?
Converting a file to a vector format in Canva is a common query, especially among users transitioning from other graphic design platforms like Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can convert a file to a vector in Canva:
- Start With A Graphic: Whether you’re working on a logo design or another piece of artwork, you can select any of the graphics from Canva and you will be sure it is of the highest quality. Vector graphics are not pixel-based like raster images, so starting with a clear image will yield the best results.
- Use Canva’s Design Tools: Dive into Canva’s suite of design elements and tools. If you’ve worked with Adobe Express or Affinity Designer this tool can convert
- Download The Right Format: Once your design is ready, you’ll need to save it in a vector format. While platforms like Adobe Illustrator primarily use AI files, in Canva, the SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic) format is your go-to option. Download your file as SVG to convert it to a vector in Canva. This ensures your design remains sharp, especially if it has a transparent background.
You must have a Canva Pro account to download a file to SVG format in Canva. Consider signing up for the 30 days free trial.
Can I Get A Vector File On Canva?
Yes — You can get a vector file on Canva by selecting the Elements button on the left side menu. Then, select any item from the Lines & Shapes or Graphics section. You don’t need any experience with vector artwork or tools like Illustrator or Affinity Designer. Here are further steps to download your vector file from Canva:
- Create or Upload Your Design: Start by either creating your design using Canva design elements or uploading a design you’ve created using another platform like Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator.
- Download Option: Once you’re satisfied with your design, whether it’s a logo, vector illustration, or any other piece of vector art, head to the Share button and select the Download option.
- Select the Vector Format: From the file type dropdown, select SVG. SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphic, and this is the format that ensures your file retains its vector properties. Click the Download button to save it to your desktop.
Is Canva Pro Required To Export As A Vector File?
Yes — Canva Pro is required to export as a vector file. While the standard version of Canva offers an impressive range of design options, to export as a vector file, you will have to download it to SVG format in Canva. And the feature of downloading a file to SVG is exclusive to Canva Pro subscribers. Here’s why Canva Pro is a worthy investment:
- Vector Export Options: Canva Pro allows you to download designs in SVG format. This ensures your logos, vector illustrations, and other graphic elements remain sharp and scalable, much like designs created in Adobe Illustrator or Affinity Designer.
- Access to Premium Assets: Along with the vector export feature, Canva Pro provides access to an expanded library of design elements, templates, and premium assets, enhancing the range and quality of your designs.
- Seamless Integration with Other Tools: If you’ve previously worked with Adobe Creative Cloud tools, Corel Draw, or other design platforms, Canva Pro’s features will help integrate your designs more seamlessly. Whether it’s overlaying a vector logo on a raster background or exploring advanced color and layering options, Canva Pro has got you covered.
Can I Upload My Vector Files To Canva?
Yes — You can upload your vector files to Canva. But how you save your vector files has to be compatible with Canva or there will be an upload error and you won’t be able to use them in Canva.
If you’ve worked on graphic design projects using platforms like Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, or Affinity Designer, you may already have vector artwork or designs saved in formats like AI or EPS files. Here’s how you can incorporate them into your Canva design:
- File Format: Before uploading, ensure that your vector files are in SVG format. Canva supports SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic) uploads, which are versatile and ensure a transparent background, making them ideal for design projects.
- Uploading Process: Navigate to Canva user-friendly interface and select the ‘Uploads’ tab. Click on ‘Upload Media’ and select your SVG file. It’s as simple as uploading a JPEG file or PNG file.
- Editing and Integrating: Once your vector file is uploaded, you can harness Canva’s design tools to integrate your vector images into templates, add color, layer with other design elements, or modify the shape and design as you see fit.
Are All Elements In Canva Vector-Based?
While Canva is a powerhouse for graphic designers and offers a wide array of vector objects, design elements, and templates, not every element in Canva is vector-based. Here’s the breakdown:
- Vector Elements: Canva does offer a rich library of vector graphics, vector illustrations, and vector design elements. These can be identified as they remain sharp and clear when scaled, just like artwork you might create in Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw.
- Raster Elements: Alongside vector elements, Canva’s library also contains raster images. These pixel-based compositions, unlike vector images, can become pixelated when enlarged. Examples include stock photos and some graphics.
- Identifying the Difference: A quick way to identify a vector from a raster in Canva is its editability. Vectors in Canva often offer options for color changes and more, while raster graphics might have limited editability.
Does Canva Support Vector Files?
Yes — Canva does support vector files, making it a preferred choice for many graphic designers who wish to maintain the high quality of their vector artwork, logo designs, and other vector-based projects.
- Uploading Vector Files: You can effortlessly upload SVG files, which are the standard format for Scalable Vector Graphics, to Canva. This is especially handy if you’ve transitioned from platforms like Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw and want to bring your vector designs into Canva.
- Downloading as Vector: Canva also provides the option, especially for Canva Pro users, to download your design as an SVG file. This ensures that whether it’s a logo design or any other creative artwork, it remains in a scalable vector graphic format, retaining its quality and clarity across various mediums, from print design to digital platforms.
- Integration with Other Platforms: If you’ve worked on designs using Adobe Express, Creative Cloud tools, or other graphic design software, you’ll appreciate Canva support for vector files, ensuring seamless integration and consistency in your design projects.
Can You Download Designs As Vector Files From Canva?
Yes — you can indeed download your Canva designs as vector files. This is one of the reasons why Canva has become a go-to platform for graphic designers and those in the creative field. Here’s how:
- File Formats: Canva offers various file formats for downloading your designs, including JPEG, PNG, and PDF. However, for those who wish to maintain the quality and scalability of their artwork, SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic) is the ideal choice.
- How to Download: Once you’ve completed your design, whether it’s a logo design, vector illustration, or any other creative piece:
- Navigate to the ‘Download’ option located at the top right corner.
- From the dropdown menu, choose the SVG format. It’s the best option for vector artwork and ensures that your design remains crisp across all platforms.
- Click ‘Download’, and your design will be saved as an SVG file, retaining all vector qualities.
- Canva Pro Feature: Downloading designs in SVG format might be a feature exclusive to Canva Pro users. So, if you’re into professional graphic design, it might be worth considering this upgrade.
What’s The Main Difference Between Raster And Vector?
When working on graphic design and digital artwork, knowing the difference between raster and vector is key to producing high-quality results. Here are the main differences between raster and vector graphics:
1. Raster Graphics
Composition: Raster images are pixel-based. Think of them as a mosaic of tiny squares (pixels), each holding color information.
Limitations: The primary drawback is scalability. If you’ve ever tried to enlarge an image and saw it become pixelated, you’ve seen the limitations of raster graphics. Common raster formats include JPEG, PNG, and GIF.
Usage: They’re typically used for photographs and images with intricate details.
2. Vector Graphics
Composition: Vector graphics are mathematically based, comprising paths, points, curves, and shapes. Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, and Affinity Designer are popular tools for creating vector art.
Strengths: The beauty of vector lies in its scalability. You can enlarge a vector graphic to the size of a billboard, and it will retain its clarity and sharpness. This makes it a favorite for logo designs, vector illustrations, and print designs.
Formats: SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic), AI (Adobe Illustrator file), and EPS are standard vector formats.
How Do I Know If My Design Is Of High Quality Before Exporting?
Ensuring the quality of your design, especially when using tools like Canva, is essential. Here’s how you know if your design is of high quality before exporting:
- Zoom In: The simplest way to check the quality is to zoom into your design. If you’re working with raster images, they might appear pixelated or blurry. On the other hand, vector elements, such as vector illustrations or vector logos, will remain crisp and clear.
- Check File Types: If you’ve incorporated external files into your Canva design, ensure they are of high resolution. For vectors, SVG, EPS, or AI files are ideal. For raster, high-resolution PNG or JPEG files work best.
- Opt for Vector Elements: Whenever possible, use vector graphics in your designs. They are inherently of high quality due to their mathematical composition. This ensures that whether it’s for digital display or print design, the output remains top-notch.
- Canva’s Quality Indicator: Before exporting, especially if you’re planning to print, Canva may show a warning indicator if the design’s resolution is too low. This is a useful tool that gives a heads-up if quality might be compromised upon exporting.
- Test Export: Another reliable method is to do a test export of your design. Download it in your desired format, be it SVG for vector artwork or JPEG for raster images, and review it on various devices or even do a test print.