Original post March 2019; Updated February 2024

What can I do about it?

Blurry images are a frequent complaint among Canva users. Even when a design appears sharp and perfect in the editor, it often becomes blurry once downloaded for use on your website or social media.

I first addressed this issue in 2019 and am still uncertain why it hasn’t been resolved in Canva.

Let me share a few workarounds.

Understanding Image File Types

 

Which one should you use? 🤷‍♀️

JPG – Smaller file size, lowest quality of the three.
High-quality image file.
PDF – Ideal for high-resolution printing.


JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
files are compact and ideal for emails and websites where file size matters. However, they lose some quality with each save due to compression, leading to potential blurriness, particularly in graphics with large, flat color areas.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics) files maintain quality with lossless compression. They’re high-quality, web-friendly, and support transparent backgrounds, unlike PDFs or JPGs.

PDF (Portable Document Format) files are high-resolution and perfect for print. They’re larger and not suited for web use but can be converted into higher-quality JPGs and PNGs.

 

Solving the Blurry Issue

Converted PDF

Downloading as PDF and converting to JPG or PNG often yields clearer results, especially in graphic designs. Canva’s PDFs download at a resolution closer to 300×300 dpi, while JPG and PNG are now at 96×96 dpi. The difference in quality is noticeable, as seen in the image comparison below.

This is where I believe the root of the issue lies – in the Resolution.

How we compared it: 

  • Downloaded Canva design directly as a JPG and PNG (top row).

  • Downloaded the design as a Canva PDF converted to a JPG and PNG with Adobe Reader Pro. (middle row)

  • Canva PDF and converted to a PNG and JPG with Photoshop. (the bottom row )

Doubling the image Size in Canva.

Many people recommend doubling the size of your Canva design, and before, it used to increase file size significantly, but not anymore.

  • The resolution now is around 200×200 dpi.

  • File size remains below 1 MB for both JPG and PNG formats.

How we compared it:

  • Doubled (2x) the size of the graphic in Canva

  • Downloaded the design as a PNG and a JPG (middle row)

  • Compared the original downloaded Canva graphic JPG and PNG (top row)

  • Compared with the Photoshop-converted image (bottom row)

 

Yep, it works. It’s definitely crisper than the original-sized graphic.

The file sizes are all manageable in size, the JPG is just 634 KB with 300×300 dpi resolution, while the direct download at double size is 949 KB at 192×192 dpi.

And doesn’t require any additional steps.

Using the image for a website?

I highly recommend using the Photoshop converted PDF method to JPG.

You want the highest quality image with the smallest file size, and a JPG can provide that.

Why Images Become Blurry on Social and Email Platforms.

Image compression.

A JPG or PNG at 96×96 dpi may seem adequate, but these platforms further compress the image.

Repeated opening and saving of a JPG can degrade its quality.

There might even be some sharpening for the web in the download process in Canva.

Hopefully, one day, Canva will resolve this issue, so we don’t need a workaround. Until then, these are the solutions …

 

Step-By-Step Solutions to Improve Image Quality.

 

1. Use Photo editing software. (highest quality)

  • Adobe Illustrator and InDesign will all allow you to open the PDF and “save as” (or export) as PNG or JPG; this results in the best quality image.

2. Double the Image/Graphic size in Canva. (high quality)

  • Choose a template or design size in Canva. Select JPG for download, set quality to high and double the “Size x.”

3. In Adobe Reader Pro (not as crisp)

  • Open the PDF, go to File > Export a PDF > Image > choose PNG or JPG > Save.

4. On a Mac (not as crisp)

  • Open the PDF in Preview, go to File > Export, and choose PNG or JPG under Format.

5. Online Converter (not as crisp)

  • I recommend www.smallpdf.com. It’s user-friendly and a great tool if you don’t have Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  • Another good option is https://pdf2jpg.net/ (no email required!)

While I can’t offer a direct fix for the Canva blur within Canva, these methods are effective alternatives.

Despite this issue, Canva remains less cumbersome than traditional graphic design or photo editing programs. It makes basic daily content creation simple.

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