How to create collages & vignettes for your presentations

Learn how to use our all-in-one Canvas design tools to create compelling visual collages and product vignettes. Easily resize & layer images, mirror images and remove image backgrounds.

You don't need different software, apps and tools with complicated features to make compelling visuals. Canoa makes creating your design presentations simple and straightforward. Easily create vignettes and collages all from one platform, using our lightweight design tools.

Canvas Toolbar

At the top of your Canvas is the toolbar. This is where you can find and add Products from our Products library, add text as well as add images.

Getting Started

First, find and collect any inspiration images. You can save these images on your desktop, a Pinterest board, or copy-paste them into you Canvas directly from a website or another Canvas.

Then, start a New Canvas, open an existing Canvas, or start from one of our Templates!

Creating a Collage or Vignette

Our design features are the common tools you typically use when wanting to edit your images. Using a combination of these features will allow you to create compelling and professional looking collages and vignettes.

Add Inspiration Images:

Drag & drop or copy-paste inspiration images into your Canvas. Want to learn all the ways to add images to your Canvas? Read here:

How to add an inspiration image

Resizing Images:

To resize an image while maintaining its existing aspect ratio, simply select your image and hover over the corner until the arrow icon is activated.

Then, while holding down on your left mouse key AND the Shift key, drag the image until you get a size that you like.

Cropping Images:

To crop an image, either double click the image or select the image and then select the Crop icon that appears below in the context toolbar to start cropping. Crop is also located in the right-click menu in Canvas.

The borders around your image will now become editable. Drag and drop those lines however you'd like to crop your image. When you are done cropping, simply click Enter on your keyboard.

Cropping, for now, only works on image based file types and product images from the Public Library. If you'd like to undo your crop, click CTRL + Z, or right-click and select Undo from the menu. You can always reset your crop to the original image size.

Removing the Background from Images:

Removing the background from an image allows you to clearly layer images which is critical for creating realistic product vignettes. You can remove the background from an image with two-clicks, rather than having to edit the image in another program.

To remove the background, select the image. Click on the Appearance icon, and then toggle on Remove Background button.

Greyscale an Image:

You can transform an image to black and white quickly and easily with the Greyscale toggle within the Appearance icon in Canvas. After you drop in the image you'd like to make black and white, select it, click the Appearance icon, and toggle Greyscale on.

This is a helpful tool when you want to apply a custom finish or color to products you are designing with. A best practice at Canoa is dropping in an image or a screenshot of the correct finish in the upper right corner of the product. Making the product grey eliminates confusion.

Mirroring and Flipping Images:

To mirror or flip an image, select the image and right-click. Select either to Flip Image Vertically or Flip Image Horizontally depending on the orientation you are looking for.

Stretching or Shrinking Images:

To stretch or shrink an image, or resize an image without maintaining its aspect ratio, simply select your image. Hover over the corner or edge until the arrow icon is activated.

Then, while holding down your left mouse key, drag the image to shrink or stretch as desired.

If you distort the image too much and want to return to the original image, then right-click and select Reset Transform to bring the image back to its original state.

Layering Images:

You can bring images forward or backward to layer them against each other. Select the image, right-click and select either Bring to Front or Send to Back.

Using Automatic Snapping & Alignment:

Our automatic snapping & alignment allows you to create structured or grid collages easily. Dragging the images allows you to easily see the distances between elements. You can also use your arrow keys to nudge images closer or further away.

Distributing and Aligning Images:

Located in the right-click menu while designing in Canvas, Distribute Selection, Align Horizontal, and Align Vertical are simple tools that allow you to make precise compositions to elements quickly and easily.

  • Distribute equals spacing - Space elements evenly apart from one another vertically or horizontally.

  • Align equals moving - Move elements to line up with one another to the left, center, or right.

Make sure you have more than one element selected to use Align, and have more than two elements to use Distribute.

Grouping Images:

Grouping is a helpful tool when you are working with a lot of images, drawings, and product cards that need to work in tandem with each other. When you group together several objects, they will work as one group. You can then choose actions to apply to the group, saving time than selecting each object individually.

  1. Select several items on your Canvas, like product cards, images, and text, by holding down the Shift key and clicking or dragging your cursor over the items.

  2. Once your selection is complete, right-click it and click Group Selection (CRTL + G).

  3. To Ungroup selection, simply right-click the Group and click Ungroup Selection from the menu (Shift + CRTL + G).

Grouping is a different action than using Frames. Frames allow you export your work to PDF, JPEG, or PNGs and help you organize your Canvas as if they are a page or slides of a presentation.

Read more about Frames here:

Working with Frames

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