Make a Design

Make a Design
October 23, 2018 Kevin Rexroat

Are you a designer?

Don’t answer yet. We’re willing to bet cold, hard cash that even if you didn’t go to art school or spend weeks learning complicated design software, you can make some great designs for logos, social posts, ads, invitations, and more. Because graphic design doesn’t have to be complicated!

We’re gonna show you how to make a design with one of our 3,000 handy design templates, and then give you the lowdown on starting from scratch with a blank canvas.

Choosing a template

PicMonkey has over 3,000 design templates.

Click Templates at the top of the PicMonkey homepage to bring up our templates. You can scroll through all of them, use the search bar, or click the tags to find what you want.

We have hundreds of artist-created templates, and all the elements in them—like colors, fonts, graphics, and images—are totally customizable, so you can tweak whatever you need to make the design your own.

Changing your background color

Changing background color.

To change the background color of a template, go to the Edits tab and choose Background Color under Canvas Edits. Use the Spectrum or Palette color picker to find a color that’s right for you, or if you know the hex code of the color you want, enter that into the hex field. When you like what you see, click Apply.

Working with text

Adding text to your design.

You can replace the text in our template with your own— just click the text in the design, highlight the word or words you want to replace, and begin typing.

To add entirely new text, click the Text tab. Scroll through our menu to see the full selection of PicMonkey fonts, or select Your Fonts to upload fonts from your computer. Select the font you want to use and click Add text at the top of the panel. This will open a text box and the Text palette on your canvas. Type your text into the text box.

From the Text palette, you can control color, size, opacity, style, justification, orientation, and blend modes. At the top of the Text palette, you’ll also find the Effects and Erase tabs: click them to experiment with curved text, shadows, and erasing parts of the text for a cool layered text look.


Working with graphics

Working with graphics in your design.

Graphics are design elements like stickers or clipart that you can add to your projects. PicMonkey has over 3,000 graphics — browse through them in the Graphics tab (geometric shapes icon). You can also add your own logos, graphics, or photos by clicking Add your own at the top of the Graphics tab. From there, you can choose a graphic from your computer or your cloud-based PicMonkey Hub.

Drag your graphic to position it on your design. Push and pull the corner handles to resize it, and change its aspect ratio by holding the Shift key while you move the corner handles. Rotate the top handle to change the orientation of a graphic.

When you add a graphic to your canvas, the Graphic palette automatically opens. From this palette, you can control the color, fade, blend mode, and orientation of the graphic. You can also crop it, add shadows, or erase part of it if you don’t want it in your design.

If you need to replace a graphic or photo in a template, click it, then click Replace on the Graphic palette that appears.

Using the Alignment and Layers palettes

Using layers in your designs.

Click the square pancakes icon in the bottom toolbar to access the Layers palette. This is where you can see and select all of the design elements on your canvas, including text, graphics, and images.

You can reorder layers in relation to one another using the arrows at the top of the palette. You can also flatten, delete, or duplicate layers by clicking the three vertical dots that appear to the right of any layer you hover over.

Using the Alignment palette with graphics.

Access the Alignment palette by clicking the square with intersecting lines in it. This palette helps you get your text and graphics placed and spaced nicely. You can add a customizable grid to your canvas and use it to aid in text and graphics placement, or have your objects snap directly to the grid. The Alignment palette can also help you align objects in relation to one another when you enable Alignment hints by checking one or both of the options under Align & snap to.

Managing your work with Hub

Auto-save to your PicMonkey Hub.

Congrats! You’ve made a sweet design that you can be proud of. PicMonkey automatically saves your image to your Hub as you’re working, so you never have to worry about saving. And because Hub files are re-editable, you can come back to them anytime and change up anything and everything. Access alllllll your stuff by clicking Hub at the top of the homepage. Click Collections in the left panel to organize your images into groups, and share or export your image to your computer using Export and Share in the top nav.

Striking out on your own

Use a blank canvas to make designs from scratch.

We’ve explored some great ideas for working with PicMonkey templates, but we know there are times when you have to run off and be your own monkey. With that in mind, we’ve put up a slew of pre-sized blank canvases and created a custom blank canvas generator. You can put in the dimensions of the canvas you want, or choose one that’s sized for your need (Facebook cover, Instagram profile, YouTube ad, etc.).

From there, it’s all about addition: bring in and customize anything that floats your creative boat, like in the graphics, text, and background color sections above.

Bet you can’t wait to start another design. We heartily endorse such action, and we’re here to help. Whenever you want inspiration, design tips, or tutorials, you can find it on our blog.



Turn inspiration into action. Join now, and treat yourself to the PicMonkey creative toolkit.

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Kevin Rexroat

Kevin is a terrible vegetarian, mainly because of pepperoni pizza. He has never seen “The Sound of Music,” but he has seen pink dolphins. In addition to being an accomplished writer, his acting and singing have been described as “fine.”