Canva For Your Cover (Integration)

Canva Cover Integration Graphic

You’ve heard of Canva, right? We’ve talked about it a few times on this blog. When it comes to easy-to-use, affordable, and accessible graphic design, Canva is really hard to beat.

This is why we decided to integrate Canva’s design tool directly into Lulu!

More API Action

I’ve talked about this before, but one of the major improvements we’ve made at Lulu over the last couple of years was to rebuild our print-on-demand platform using API infrastructure. This allowed us to offer publishers direct (and free) access to our print network and was our basis for the Shopify App we created. 

Well, it turns out that Canva also offers an API to their design tools. 

All of this means connecting the Lulu bookmaking process to Canva’s designer was (more or less) a walk in the park.

Meet Our Canva Cover Designer – Beta

Creating a Photo Book with Lulu and Canva blog graphic

You’ll find the Canva option on the Design step when creating a print project. Once your interior file is uploaded and passes our automatic check, you’ll select your specifications and move on to the cover step.

Here’s a video from our amazing creative team that walks through the process:

And here’s a little more detailed breakdown of the Canva Designer on Lulu. First, you’ll see your cover options on the Design step:

If you select Cover Creator Powered by Canva – Beta, the cover designer will expand to show you the cover specifications and offer you a template for use with Canva:

Review the dimensions and download the template, then click Design on Canva to open the creator!

Using The Designer

If you’ve ever used Canva before, the Designer on Lulu will look familiar. You’ll see the left sidebar with different options, from templates to uploads to shapes and elements unique to Canva.

Canva will offer you a variety of templates based on the specifications of your book. You can create an entirely original cover too, using the shapes and elements, as well as images you upload.

Speaking of uploading, I recommend uploading the Template (from the step before opening the designer) and using it to overlay your cover. Here you can see my template on top of my cover and set to 25% transparency:

Now I can see that the spine I’ve created matches the template, meaning my cover will work perfectly for my book!

Be sure to carefully review the template and your cover before finalizing your cover. You’ll want to remove the template layer too (just right-click and delete it or use the trash can icon). The video above walks through using the template to check your cover’s spine as well.

And of course, once you’ve completed your cover you can always open the designer again and edit it!

Your Cover, Your Way

When we relaunched our site in April of 2020 (sooo long ago), we knew the cover designer wasn’t great. Improving the cover creation options has been the most consistently requested improvement over the numerous surveys we’ve conducted over the last 8 months. 

Side note: thank you to everyone who took the time to give feedback.

The Canva Designer Beta is a first step toward making it easier to create a cover on Lulu and giving you the options you need to create your cover. 

If you’re ready to give the Canva Cover Creator a try, head over to your Lulu account and create a new project or revise an existing one. We’re looking forward to your feedback on this new cover tool so we can continue to improve your bookmaking options!

Paul H, Content Marketing Manager

Paul is the Content Marketing Manager at Lulu. When he's not entrenched in the publishing and print-on-demand world, he likes to hike the scenic North Carolina landscape, read, sample the fanciest micro-brewed beer, and collect fountain pens. Paul is a dog person but considers himself cat tolerant.

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Canva is too tricky for normal people – and I have used Lulu for many years and published many Lulu books. I only tried Canva as the normal make a cover method was not working for me. For some reason the ‘image preview’ is not working for my current book and having tried different images and different covers I thought hey, I’d have go at Canva to try and get around the problem. I watched the you tube, tried all sorts of things but it is impossible. Why? Most people just want a heading, author , illustration and back blurb. They don’t want to spend 100s of hours laying out fancy artwork when all they are doing is publishing bit of family history.

Please get the old ‘normal’ front and back cover program working again (or is it just me?) so the average author can have success.

No problem with have both options available… Yes, I get professional designers are different, but that is not me! And I bet most lulu writers are more like me!

Some clearer explanation on templates would be helpful. Is it necessary to download a standard Lulu template before starting the Canva option? What’s the difference between that and selecting download template on entering the Canva option? Why do the templates appear empty if the first was chosen?

Love this option! Any chance that you’ll add Canva as a design/layout option for items other than photo books? I’ve already created a pdf planner in Canva for clients & would love the option of POD without having to recreate everything in Adobe. Thanks.

How it this any different from logging into our Canva account, setting the dimensions for a new cover and uploading the supplied cover template to design a cover? Does the finished Canva cover automatically upload to our LuLu project?

Thanks for providing this option.

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