Create Awesome Facebook Ad Graphics with Canva

how to create facebook ad graphics with canva

Not many businesses are exhausting the huge potential Facebook Ads have to offer. According to statistics, 25 million small businesses have accounts on the platform, but out of all of them, only 4% are actually using Facebook Ads, which is a shame, since they really are effective and can give a massive boost to your business.

With that said, there are certain rules and things to consider when you are creating graphics for Facebook ads, so it’s not such an easy task. You have to think about dimensions, Facebook’s 20% rule, the purpose you are trying to achieve with the ad, whether people will respond to it positively and so on. Frankly, it can get a bit overwhelming. The good news is – it doesn’t need to be such a hassle.

All you need is a little bit of guidance and an introduction to a couple rules and tools, and you can start creating Facebook Ad graphics that are eye-grabbing and convert.

How Should a Facebook Ad look?

When you are making your own Facebook ad, you need to consider 3 elements: title, image and body text. For now, we will just focus on images and what you need to know about them.


Have you ever heard the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”? In this case, it’s a hundred percent true. We are visual beings and respond much more to a photo than to plain old black-on-white text, so the image you choose is what can make or break your ad.

I personally prefer using Canva for all my social media images, including Facebook Ads.

In a nutshell, Canva is a platform that allows you to make graphics for every social media platform, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter headers, or blog posts. I’ll talk about Canva some more later on, when we get to the actual process of creating an image, but for now, here are some technical rules Facebook has on images:

•All images need to have 4:3 or 16:9 ratio
•Images can’t be larger than 5 kilobytes
•Facebook suggests to use 1200 x 667 pixels for the best results

You don’t have to necessarily follow these rules, but you really should. If you upload an image that defies any of these three rules, Facebook either won’t upload it or will automatically resize it, so you’ll end up with a weird-looking, stretched image.

Facebook also has a really useful guide to help you figure out which size is most suitable for which type of ads.
As for what is actually allowed for an image, you can’t show before and after photos or ones that show unlikely and exaggerated results (like we often see in those pesky popup ads on the web where, for example, people lose a huge amount of weight in a week).

You also can’t upload images that show a functionality your product doesn’t really have.

The 20% rule

Most importantly, you have to follow the 20% rule. What it basically means is that you can’t use images that have more than 20% of text in them. Facebook will discard all images that don’t follow this rule, but how do you know exactly how much text is in your image? You have to use Facebook Text Overlay Tool. Once you upload your image, you’ll see a grid over your image. What you need to do is check all the boxes that overlap an area with text in it – you can’t have more than 5 boxes.

Also keep in mind that logos and text on a product sometimes counts, but sometimes it doesn’t. There’s really no way to tell which way it will go and it all depends on Facebook.

Some general guidelines

Before we move on to the next element of a Facebook ad, here are some general tips you might want to consider when creating a graphic.

•Image quality – you want to use images in high resolution. They not only make you seem more professional and look more polished, but they are also much more attractive than blurry, low-quality photos, right?

•Color – since the ad will be displayed on Facebook, you should avoid using white and blue for two reasons. First of all, they are not really bold colors that attract a lot of attention like, for example, red or pink do. Second of all, these are Facebook’s colors, so the majority of a person’s home page is already filled with blue and white. If your logo had these colors, you might want to try and separate it with a border or use a different version of the logo, if possible.

•Clutter – avoid images that have too much going on in them and instead go with an image that has one object that serves as a focal point of it. If the image has too much clutter, the viewer won’t know where to look first, so you’ll only confuse him. You want your image to send a clear message, so it needs to look that way, too.

•People – Facebook suggests that images of people produce good results. After all, it’s a social network, so it’s all about people and the human component. By choosing a photo of a person, you are showing more personality and looking more relatable.

•Avoid logos – while it’s good to include a logo in the corner of your image, you shouldn’t make it the focal point. It works for major brands like Nike or Apple that have globally recognized logos, but if you are a small business, the logo won’t really evoke any response in your target audience.

•Shutterstock – Facebook has recently partnered up with Shutterstock, and now you have access to their photo library for free. It’s a great way for you to find photos for the Ad campaign without browsing through hundreds of photos on the web. Shutterstock has amazing quality images, which makes the process even easier.

How to Use Canva

Canva is especially useful to people who aren’t naturally gifted at design and don’t have any special knowledge about it. It is a fully-responsive platform that’s really easy to use – all you need to do is choose a font you like, a color and an image, an your social media graphic will be ready in no time.

Before you get started, you need to sign up for Canva, so make sure to check out our post on that topic as well.

In the dashboard, you’ll see the “Create a design” section – that’s where you’ll choose which type of a post you need.
CaptureCanva offers two options: either you’ll choose one of their pre-made templates or use custom dimensions.

If you are a beginner, I would suggest using the template. As I’ve previously mentioned, Canva offers a whole bunch of templates for every purpose and social media outlet, including Facebook Ads. To access the template, click on the more button and you’ll see a list of all the available templates.

When you choose the template, your screen should look like this:
The majority of the screen will be your canvas, and on the left you’ll find a library of different elements you can add to your design:
•Pre-made layouts
•Icons, frames, shapes, lines, charts etc. (all located in the “Elements” tab)
•A tab where you can upload your own images

Note that not everything on Canva is free. You have to pay for certain pictures or shapes, so make sure to look for a dollar sign at the bottom-right of every element – that’s how you’ll know whether it’s free or not. Paid elements cost a dollar each and you will be notified that you’ve used them before you download your design, so you don’t need to be worried about accidentally buying anything.

Before you start designing, ask yourself this:

•Who is my target audience?
•What is the message I want to spread?
•What am I selling?

When you answer these three questions, you will have a much clearer idea on how your graphic should look like. Your answers will ultimately guide your design because different age groups have different preferences, the image has to support the overall message and your product will dictate what is suitable to use and what isn’t.

For our design, we’ve chosen one of the predefined layouts. Canva works on the drag-and-drop principle, so every element is easy to both select and move around.
If you want to change the font, its color, transparency, size or delete it, you just need to click on it and a menu will appear:
Changing every other element works the same way, too.

You can also add a filter to your image; all you need to do is click on it, choose a filter you want, adjust it some more if needed, and your image will look more beautiful in a matter of seconds.
When you are done with the Facebook Ads image, click on the download button in the top-right corner and choose a format in which it will be downloaded: JPG, high quality PNG, standard PDF or PDF for print.

Uploading the image on Facebook

To upload your image on Facebook, go to the Ad tab, which is the last tab on the left side of your screen in your campaign manager.

You can choose a single image or up to 5 different ones. Carousel images might be a better option if you are telling a story, highlighting different features of a product or explaining a process. Otherwise, you might want to stick to just one image.

If you scroll down, you’ll see three tabs marked 1, 2 and 3. When you click on the second one, that’s where you’ll upload your image. Capture7Hit the “select image” button, choose the photo from your computer and wait until it uploads. Below it, you’ll see three boxes: for your headline, description and URL, so make sure to fill those out as well.

On the right side of the screen, you’ll see a preview of how your ad will look like in different formats: mobile, desktop feed, desktop right column, audience network and Instagram.

When you decide that you are happy with how everything looks, you can place your order and see the Facebook Ads campaign work its magic.

Facebook Ads are a really great way to attract more visitors to your website, advertise a product or promote your page, and with Canva, you can reduce the amount of time you need to create your images as well. If you combine the two platforms, they are a pretty inexpensive tool to advertise your business with amazing results.

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