Canvas sizes are an important aspect of a successful design. Dimensions dictate the height and width of a design and vary based on the application of the project. Online and web images are defined by pixels, while print images are represented by inches or centimeters. Knowing the sizes you need will prevent unwanted scaling or cropping, which can affect the outcome of your designs.
I’ll take you through how to scroll through presets in our free Shutterstock Create program and set custom sizes in pixels, inches, or centimeters with just a few simple steps.
Pixels are the simplest building blocks that make up an online image. They represent both the horizontal and vertical measurements of a design or image. This unit of measurement is unique and exclusive to web formats only.
An online-only design is rarely measured in inches or centimeters. These forms of measurements are reserved for print images.
Shutterstock Create offers multiple presets to choose from, all represented in pixels. You can access these predetermined sizes by hitting File > Create new > Blank Canvas and selecting your canvas based on their respective pixels. If you know your pixel sizes by heart, you can just type them into the Create custom toolbar, then hit Make it!
If you’re already inside the tool and need to know what size your canvas is, simply hit Canvas > Resize Canvas to see what pixels you currently have. If you need to make canvas size adjustments, here’s the place to do it!
These custom sizes range from 1 pixel to 12,000 pixels. Anything below the minimum or above the maximum will not register in Create. The link icon also ensures you maintain proper proportions when adjusting sizes.
If you don’t want to keep proportions, simply click that link icon to let your new specs do their thing.
If you’re using customary systems of measurement for print designs, it’s best to use inches for your canvas size.
Create automatically defaults to pixels. However, if you need some guidance on inches to pixel conversion, simply scroll down to the Print Sizes category. You’ll notice the inches and pixels are all right there for the taking.
Common print sizes to reference for your design:
Now that you’ve got these specs in mind, you can also find Create’s preset canvas sizes for each of these options living in the Blank Canvas tab (as shown above).
All in all, know that Create does the heavy lifting for you, as you don’t need to scramble your brain on numbers and conversions. If you do need something outside the parameters of Create’s canvases, use a simple centimeters to pixels converter or inches to pixels converter from the web and then type those specs into the Create custom toolbar for easy and instant customization.
And, if you want to take things a step further, we also want to let you know about our beloved Smart Resizer tool, available as a Creative Flow+ premium feature. This asset (one of our faves) lets you make copies of your current design for multiple digital platforms in just one-click!
If you’re designing for a Twitter post and also need that same design for a YouTube banner, Etsy shop banner, and Instagram post, you can do all of that in no time with Smart Resize.
To use it, click Smart Resize, select the new dimensions you need (or type in custom ones), then click Copy & resize to apply! The new assets will now be made available to you and save you oh so much time.
Once you’ve got the right canvas size, there’s nothing you can’t do. Now go and prove us right!
License this cover image mockup via Cast Of Thousands.