5 Ways to Use Shapes Creatively in Your Designs

Shapes are a versatile tool in your Canva tool kit. Think outside the box and use shapes creatively in your designs.

From framing your content to create emphasis to creating a unique text box, shapes are a simple tool that can be used to add professional effects to your designs.

Here we show your five clever ways to use shapes. Happy designing!

01. Frame your content with a border

Frame your content with a border

Frames are a great tool to focus your content. Search ‘frames’ or ‘borders’ in Canva to navigate different options.

If you want to add a border around a section of text as seen in this example, use the Alt + Shift + B shortcut to add a solid line around your text.

02. Resize a shape to create emphasis

Resize a shape to create emphasis

The size and color of shapes can be easily changed, making them a versatile tool for many of your design needs. Resize a shape by expanding it at the corners, allowing it to increase and decrease in scale.

In this example, a rectangle has been resized to create emphasis under the title ‘Hawaii’. Also note how the color of the shape matches the text color – this is a great technique to create visual harmony.

03. Fill in gaps in letters using shapes

Fill in holes in letters using shapes

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your typefaces – especially if they’re a feature element on your designs.

In this design, circles and a triangle have been used to fill in the hollow areas of the letters ‘B’, ‘R’ and ‘A’. Note how this adds an element of visual interest and makes the title stand out.

04. Use shapes to highlight numbers

Use shapes to highlight numbers

A solid shape will become a point of focus in your design. Take advantage of this visual factor by placing numbers or important elements in a shape.

For a more subtle effect, increase the transparency of your shape to help it blend seamlessly into your design.

05. Layer shapes creatively

Layer shapes creatively

Put your creative ability to the test and find unique ways to later shapes. They can be a useful tool for basic infographics, or if you simply want to add an original touch to your designs.

Want to try it for yourself? Try the interactive tutorial below to discover how you can use shapes to add creative flair to your designs!

Anna heads up several of Canva's content marketing projects, including her favourite: Design School. She's passionate about the way content can be used to create a meaningful synergy between businesses and their audiences. Say hello on Twitter @AnnaIsabella92.