How to Add Gradient Color to Text in Canva

Gradient

Don’t let the lack of a gradient effect for text in Canva stop you.

Gradients can create a pretty amazing effect in your designs. If you want to subtly – or not so subtly – make some text stand out in your Canva designs, you can use a gradient color effect to do so. You can never go wrong with a gradient. It naturally brings attention to any element without making it tacky.

You can use a gradient with two different colors or two tints of the same color. The gradual blending of one color into other in a gradient is so natural that it doesn’t feel odd. And no matter which combination you choose to go with, it’ll produce a stark effect. They also allow you to add more color to your designs instead of using a single color. But if you’re using Canva, there’s a very obvious obstacle in your path to adding a gradient to text. There is no such option!

So, why on earth are we going on about it? Because, as usual, even if there isn’t an obvious way to achieve this, you can still do it. You just need an iron-clad will and a little time on your hands. And don’t worry, it doesn’t even require that much time. Just a tad more than if there had been a direct option.

Anyone can use this method to create Gradient text, free and Pro account owners in Canva.

The Only Catch!

There’s one catch with this workaround that lets you add gradient color to text in Canva. You cannot have any font options with this method. You’ll be stuck with the same font in all the designs you choose to have gradient text. But the gradient will set it apart, so it shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Also, this method is more suited for headings or other bigger text in the design that doesn’t have that many letters, as the letters used here can take up a lot of space. What we mean is that you can’t use it for anything even remotely resembling a paragraph. With that out of the way, let’s dive right in.

Adding Gradient Color to Text

Go to canva.com and open an existing or create a new design of any size.

Then, go to the toolbar on the left and select ‘Elements’ from the options.

Scroll down in the elements menu until you see ‘Frames’ and click ‘See all’ to open all frame options available.

Scroll down in Frames, and you’ll see that there are frames in the shapes of letters and also numbers if you scroll past the complete alphabet. These frames are the ones we’re going to use for our text in the design. This is the reason we mentioned the above catch. As we’re going to be using frames and not text, you can’t change the font.

If you don’t know what frames are or how to use them in Canva, check out this guide: How to Add a Photo Frame in Canva.

Select the frames for the letters your text contains and add all of them to the page. Then, adjust the size and position of these frames to create your phrase. You don’t have to stick with the size of the text, though. You can keep them bigger at this stage as they’ll be easier to work with and decrease their size later.

One thing you should do before increasing or decreasing the size of the word is group the letters. Grouping will allow you to change the size of the word as a whole, thus ensuring that the different letters in the words aren’t of different size. That would be a disaster. It’ll also be more time-consuming to resize them separately.

Select all the letters by dragging your cursor across them, and select the ‘Group’ button from the toolbar above the editor.

Once you’ve grouped them, positioning the word as a whole will also be easier. You can drag it across the page, or go to the ‘Position’ option and select a position for the text.

Now, go to the Elements option on the left and search for ‘Gradients’ from the elements.

Canva has a lot of gradient elements in different colors and patterns that you can use. You can also customize a gradient’s color.

After selecting the gradient, drop it on all the letter frames separately.

Once you’ve dropped the gradients onto the text, it’s time for a little adjustment so that it actually gives off the gradient effect. because, currently, you’ll that there is no coherent gradient effect to speak of. It’s just a motley of colors.

Although we have added the gradient image, there is still no gradient effect in the text.

Go to the first letter, and double-click it. The gradient image will be selected. You can also resize it to increase the size if there are more letters. The bigger the size, the more area you’d have to work with. Now, drag and drop the gradient so the left part of the gradient is on the first letter. Once you’re happy with the position, click ‘Done’.

Now, move on to the second letter, and similarly, double-click it to select the gradient image. Resize it to the same size you did with the first letter. Then, drag and drop so the part of the gradient slightly next to the one in the first letter fits in the second letter.

So, to create the gradient effect, you have to move from the left part of the gradient to the right in each subsequent letter. So when you get to the last letter, the right part of the gradient image should be visible in the frame.

After adjusting, the gradient effect is visible. It is starkly different from the text where we had just dropped the gradient onto the letters.

Now, this might seem to you like it’ll be too time-consuming. But once you get down to doing it, it shouldn’t take more than a few seconds.

💡Tip: Canva also has some moving gradient effects. And you can use them in your letters to create rippling, swirling effects. The basics will remain the same, and just like the image, you’d position the gradient video from left to right in your letters.

An animated gradient effect in text.

Customizing a Gradient

Even though Canva has a lot of gradient options, there are going to be times when none of the colors match your design. That’s not a problem. There are some gradient images in Canva that you can customize. If you like the effect of the gradient, you can just change the colors to whatever you want.

Start a new design with a blank page, or add a new blank page to your existing design.

Then, go to Elements and select the gradient you want to customize.

Note: A gradient is only customizable if the color option appears in the toolbar above the editor. If it doesn’t, either pick a new gradient or use that gradient as it is.

Select the gradient so the toolbar with options specific to it appears above the editor. If the gradient is customizable, go to the color in the toolbar and click the color you want to change. You can change all or some of the colors of the gradient.

The color panel will open on the left. Select the new colors. Select all the colors of the gradient one by one to change them.

Once the customization is complete, resize the gradient so it takes up the whole page.

Now, go to the Download button and download this new gradient as an image onto your computer.

If you added a new page to your existing design, you can download just this page.

Then, go to ‘Uploads’ option on the left and click ‘Upload media’.

Then, select ‘Device’ to upload the gradient you just saved to Canva.

Now you can use it just like any other gradient by dragging it onto the frames.


Gradients can add a distinct effect to your designs while bringing attention to any important text. Hopefully, with this guide, you can create gradient-laden text in a jiffy.