Canva Keywords For Creating Professional Designs

Even a year and a half ago, Canva was the unspoken graphic design tool that companies and freelancers used but never talked about. No one wanted to give away their secret graphic design weapon. Now that it’s spoken about so casually, we’re revealing some keywords that may be helpful when creating a Canva design.

You can do almost ANYTHING in Canva. Whether it’s creating banners, Instagram highlight icons, infographics, email designs, or anything else your heart desires, you’ll want to utilize the “Elements” tab for the following keywords. After that, you’ll be able to choose whether you want to apply that keyword to graphics, stock images, or videos

With any of the following keywords, you can get more specific. We’ll use the first word as our example: “watercolor.” Say you’re creating invitations for a baby shower and you want to make use of watercolor floral designs; you can get more niche by typing in “watercolor flower,” and you’ll be presented with plenty of options!

Now, let’s make your Canva experience a little easier.


You’ll get a variety of watercolor designs (leaves, flowers, clouds), along with abstract shapes and brushstrokes.


You’ll find images and vectors of pattern continuations. If you look just above your results, you’ll be able to narrow this down by the type of pattern: geometric, floral, texture, abstract, background, dots, etc.


This one is pretty self’ll get lots of variations of brush strokes. You can use the filter in the search box to show animated or static results as well.

Gradients / Oversaturated Gradients

Another basic but useful keyword. By putting in “oversaturated gradients,” you get a HUGE variety of neon gradients, 3D gradients, psychedelic gradients, and more.

Now moving on to the interesting keywords…

Abstract Portrait

If you’re looking for more of a human element (literally), this is the keyword for you. You can find countless, faceless - abstract - portraits.

These can be excellent for creating a more personal logo, invitations, business cards, utilizing on a website, quotes on social media and, hey, even highlight icons!


This will provide you with a more neutral, almost midwest to west coast, desert-like inspiration. If you love the design but not the dusty tones, you’ll be able to change the color for most of these graphics.

Shapes Memphis

A lot of the designs that come up for this one may bring you back to the 1990’s style...except with a modern twist. This one can be so nostalgic that we’ll let you search this one on your own.


This usually goes one of two ways: boho or cutsie. But if you dig, you can find other great, customizable options too! Another self-explanatory one, we may use “tape” if we’re creating a graphic that we want to look like it’s tacked up on a corkboard or someone’s fridge, or if we want it to look like tape is holding a polaroid photo in place.

Photo Corner

Another great option for photos, this filter simply allows you to frame an image in a more unique, scrapbook-like way.


After you search this, you’ll definitely want to filter out these designs by “graphics.” As you may have guessed, this provides rougher, grainey, almost more 3D-looking options. This is definitely a very specific type of vibe.

Vivid Leaves

Because just typing in “leaves” is soooo 2020. If you’re looking for a fun design but want to get a little (emphasis on “a little”) crazy with your colors, this is the keyword for you.

Sacral Geometry

This is definitely a unique one and very specific. This keyword usually results in thin, geometric, mirrored shapes and designs. These usually are some type of gold or foil-color that can’t be changed.

Minimal & Minimalistic

Minimal: This is similar to the “Aesthetic” keyword, except these are no-fuss, simple, thin graphic elements.

Minimalistic: This will show you graphics that are closer to single-line sketches of faces, natural, and abstract elements.


These remind us of designs that someone drew with a thick crayon - professional designs, of course. If you need some random, rough-edged shapes to fill in some blank space, this will do just fine.

Ripper Paper

Surprise,’s ripped paper! Like “tape,” this is a great go-to if you’re looking for a handmade, scrapbook feel.

Sketch / Minimal Lines

We’re grouping these together because they produce similar results with a bit different aesthetic:

Sketch: this will show you a mix of realistic, 3D and 2D graphics that look like they’ve been sketched (seriously, these are impressive). These usually aren’t thick and contain very thin lines.

Minimal Lines: This is sort of a mix between “Minimal,” “Minimalistic,” and “Aesthetic.” Of course, colors can be changed, and you’ll find a bit more random-looking, abstract lines here.


No, this is not the name of Elon Musk’s child. We’re closing out our list with a code that will generate results similar to our first keyword, “Watercolor.”

You’ll find a mix of sketch-like, watercolor flowers and nature elements that have almost a modern 1970’s aesthetic to them.

Side note: capitalization matters with this one.

See how much fun you can have with graphic design? And it can now be so much easier!


Did you know that Social Light is a full-service agency? That means we focus on everything from fully branding your socials, to creating graphics, to marketing and advertising!

Interested in lightening the load? Contact us to set up a discovery call to see how we can help!