Canva Text Effects: How to Spice Up the Text in Your Design

by Dec 5, 2020Creating Printables

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Canva upped their game when they added effects for text. I used to prefer PowerPoint when it came to giving my text some extra sparkle but now Canva is on par. Seriously, the things you can do to your text is AMAZING! But let me stop talking about it and actually show you what’s possible.

Here’s a quick preview of all the nifty effects that are available for your text in Canva.

1. Shadow

2. Lift

3. Hollow

4. Splice

5. Echo

6. Glitch

7. Neon

8. Curve

Okay, I’m sure that mostly is just a list of words to you right now but let’s dive into the good stuff to show you what is possible.

What do I Mean by Text Effects?

In general, this means you are changing the appearance of your text. The common ones people use all the time are bold, italic, and underline. When you use these, they alter the look of your text. 

Depending on which graphic design tool you are using will determine what type of text effects are available. For example, until the year 2020, I had to use PowerPoint to create a curved effect but now it is possible to do it in Canva.

Related Post: 7 Powerhouse PowerPoint Tools (Your Secret Weapons for Creating Printables)

What are Canva’s New Text Effects?

Like I mentioned above, in  2020 Canva came out with text effects in their Canva 2.0. Before you would need to create these effects yourself manually but luckily those days of way too much extra work are over.

Canva heard what the people wanted and delivered. I would not be surprised if we continue to see more text effects being added as time moves on.

How to Add Text Effects in Canva?

First, you will need a text box. Use the super-nifty shortcut key “T” to add one quickly (yes all you need to do is press the letter “T” on your keyboard). Make sure to select the outline of the text box. As soon as you click it, the Effects option should appear in the editor toolbar above, right next to the spacing icon.

Okay, now that you know how to get to the Text Effects, it’s time to discuss what each one does.

canva text effects

Related Post: My Top 10 Favorite Canva Shortcut Keys for Bloggers

What are Canva’s Text Effects?

1. Shadow

canva text effects

As you will notice with this list, the name implies the effect. In this case, it creates a shadow for your letters. There are a variety of controls you can adjust to change the look of the shadow. They include:

  • Offset – I can increase or decrease the shadow’s distance from the text
  • Direction – the direction of the shadow from the text
  • Blur – determine if the shadow is crisp sharp lines or blurred
  • Transparency – the strength of the color of the shadow
  • Color – change the color of the shadow (but it does not change the color of the text itself)

2. Lift

canva text effects

Here the effect makes it appear as if your text is being lifted off the page. It is one of the more subtle text effects. There is only one control for this one and it is intensity. With it, you can determine how intense you want the blurred shadow behind the text to be.

If you want to change the color of the lift effect, you will need to change the text color like normal.

3. Hollow

canva text effects

Okay, this is one of my favorites and it works best with chunky or bolder fonts. A thin font doesn’t really work because the effect takes the outline of your text. Also, be mindful when using this one with a handwritten or script font because it has a 50/50 shot of looking good. You might need to adjust the letter spacing. 

canva text effects

There is only one control associated with the hollow effect and it is thickness. Basically, you can choose the thickness of the outline from super thick to none.

canva text effects

4. Splice

canva text effects

Ooh here is another one I like to play around with. It is like a combination of the Hollow and Shadow effects. There are four controls to adjust the look. They are:

  • Thickness – change the thickness of the text’s outline from thick to thin
  • Offset – the amount of offset of the shadow text portion from the outline text.
  • Direction – the direction of the shadow text behind the outline text
  • Color – the color of the shadow text (the outline text does not change – if you want to change it click the text colors in the editor toolbar)

5. Echo

canva text effects

This is like an echo but where the text is repeated two times behind the main text. It can give a very nice layered look. The control to personalize are:

  • Offset – the distance of the shadow text from the original text
  • Direction – the direction of the shadow text behind the original text
  • Color – change the color of the shadow text (not the original text)

6. Glitch

canva text effects

The glitch effect makes your text look like it is kind of malfunctioning or there is something irregular about it. Like I said the names of these effects are very spot on to what the effect actually does. 

  • Offset – changes the intensity of the offset look
  • Direction – the direction of the offset
  • Color – the choice of color for the glitch appearance

7. Neon

canva text effects

Give your text a bright glow with the neon effect. The only control associated with this one is the intensity. That means you get to determine how intense the neon glow will be. Move it to the right for a softer look (the text will be white with the neon glow as the background) and to the left for a harsher look.

canva text effects

8. Curve

canva text effects

Here is my other favorite. Canva has graciously given you the ability to curve your text but they take it one step further by giving you the power to control the intensity of the curve. That means you can add just a hint of a curve or turn your text into a full-blown circle. Another nifty detail is that you can make the curve go up or down.  

To give the text the curve effect, simply move the notch of the curve scale. Move it right to give the text a downward curve and move it left for an upward curve.

canva text effects

Tips for Using Canva’s Text Effects

Tip #1: Title Text Only

These effects are not made for body text where there are paragraphs. That is not their purpose. Save them for where you need text to stand out. Great places to use the text effects can be social media posts, cover pages, titles, and logos.

Here are some examples below to show why the text effects don’t work with paragraphs or small text. It can make it difficult to read and potentially harsh on the readers eyes. Also you don’t see the text effect very well which makes it pointless.

canva text effects

Related Post: How to Change Your Printables Title Text From Basic Black to Multi-Color

Tip #2: Keep it Simple

This is a common tip when it comes to graphic design and that is definitely true with fonts. Be thoughtful with how you use the text effects. Limit to using 1-2 effects max.

I don’t want to say this is a hard rule but typically too many fonts and styles can make a design look cluttered. And that tends to make it less appealing. Remember white space is your friend. Try not to fill those blank areas with unneeded details.

Tip #3: Try Font Combinations

First off, I love playing with font combinations. Now add in fonts with text effects and it sounds like a party to me. Okay, I get that I sound like a nerd but ever since I started making printables, I have a grand time trying different font combinations.

It is a simple technique that will make specific text stand out. Add in Canva’s text effects, and you are showing casing it beautifully.

Need some ideas for font combinations? Here are the common ones based on font styles:

  • Fat and Skinny
  • Script/Handwritten and Serif/Sans Serif
  • Narrow and Wide
  • Elegant and Modern

Or if you want a super shortcut, Canva gives you pre-made font combinations. Go to the Text tab on the left-side toolbar and scroll down. Click the font combination you like and it will automatically be added. From there change the text and add your choice of text effects.

canva text effects

Final Thoughts on Canva Text Effects

Each of these effects provides you the opportunity to make your text stand out. It may be a small element out of the entire design but it could be exactly what you need. I love everything about fonts (if you couldn’t tell earlier).

Something to note is that you can only use one text effect per text box. What I mean by that is if you want only one word to have the effect, you will need to separate it into its own text box.

Let’s dive into a quick recap on this blog post:

  • Canva has 8 text effects you can use: shadow, lift, hallow, splice, echo, glitch, neon, and curve.
  • Three tips when using Canva’s text effects: use only for title text, keep it simple, and try the effects with font combinations.

Use these effects to support your graphic design. Let them help you be unique.

Related Post: How to Make a Worksheet Printable in Canva

Now It’s Your Turn…

Before this post, had you ever heard of Canva’s text effects? Or have you tried them out yet? What is your favorite? Mine is splice!

Tell me about it in the comments below or send me an email right here!

Happy Days –

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