App listing guidelines

Learn about what makes a meaningful app listing on the marketplace.

When a public app is released to the world it gets its own listing in the Apps Marketplace. This listing can drive attention and engagement to the app, so it's worth taking the time to craft compelling copy and graphics that clearly communicate the app's benefits.

You can customize the content that appears on your app's page via the app's Add Details page in the Developer Portal. This must be done before submitting your app for review. Once your app has been approved for release, you can make further changes by creating a new version of it.

One of the most important ways a user first experiences your app is through the description when they find the app on the Apps Marketplace.

  • Use fewer than 10 characters, including spaces (more than 10 characters may lead to overflow).
  • Any references to an external platform must match the platform’s registered brand name, such as spelling and capitalization.
  • Use the app's name consistently in your messaging.

The tagline appears on the modal when users select your app from the Apps Marketplace. It should explain what the app does at a glance, because it appears before a user selects the app to learn more about it.

  • Highlight the main benefit of what the app does.
  • Use one sentence of fewer than 50 characters, including spaces (more than 50 characters may lead to overflow).
  • Don’t end the sentence with punctuation (no period, exclamation mark, or question mark).
  • Don't include marketing claims of any kind. For example, don't describe the app as the "world's most popular" app in its category.
  • Don't use emojis.

Users can see the app description once they’ve selected your app to view or learn more — it’s an opportunity to describe your app in more detail about what it does. This is also the best place to describe what your organization does in general or highlight features that exist outside of the app.

  • Don't include marketing claims of any kind. For example, don't describe the app as the "world's most popular" app in its category.
  • Use 2-3 sentences, with fewer than a total of 200 characters, including spaces (more than 200 characters may lead to overflow).
  • End the sentences with punctuation (a period, exclamation mark, or question mark).
  • This description will be translated, so the shorter it is, the easier it will be to translate into languages that require more characters to convey the same meaning.
  • Use "design" to describe the what a user is creating in Canva.
  • Be consistent with the purpose described in the app tagline and short description.
  • Write the description in plain text without line breaks, because formatting is not supported.
  • Don't use emojis.

A short description is similar to a tagline, and helps users quickly understand what your app does. Unlike the tagline, it appears below the app’s name in the Apps Marketplace.

  • Use fewer than 50 characters, including spaces (more than 50 characters may lead to overflow).
  • Avoid acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, slang, and jokes, because they’re confusing and don't translate well.
  • Be consistent with the purpose described in the app tagline and app description.
  • Write the description in plain text without line breaks, because formatting is not supported.
  • Don't use emojis.

A hero image is the visual representation of the functionality that your app provides. The user sees this image in various places in Canva and the Apps Marketplace.

Hero image

A hero image is 1-2 separate images depending on the complexity of the app.

A Hero image should be 2400 x 1800 pixels with a 4:3 aspect ratio.

The hero image is seen in various places in Canva and the Apps Marketplace:

  • Trending carousel Trending carousel
  • The app listing modal App listing modal
  • The featured and trending section in the app sidebar Featured and trending section
  • The app connection screen. App connection screen

The app icon is the visual representation of your app in the Apps Marketplace.

There are two visual approaches to creating app icons:

  • logo
  • graphic/visual

When using the graphic approach, it's best to demonstrate the app's functionality.

App icons should be 512 x 512 pixels with a 1:1 aspect ratio. Because this is such a small size, your visuals should be simple, bold, uncluttered, and best represent your app.

Where possible, have a visual relationship between your app's hero image and the icon. This can be done through color, imagery, or graphics.

Examples of logo vs graphical or visual app icons

At Canva, we have a number of guidelines for how to visually represent an app and what it does.

We have designed a library of Canva templates to help you get started. You can use these to create your app images or as inspiration to create your own. Find the templates here.

Illustrate functionality by showing UI and how it functions in the app.

  • Find a focal point: With limited space and short attention spans, we should always have a focal point when showing UI. Less is more, so focus on the functionality and what you're trying to communicate. Find a focal point
  • Play with scale: We don't need to see the full Canva editor to understand the app or product functionality. Cropping in on the feature is a good way to create impact, especially within smaller formats. Play with scale
  • Be selective: A considered approach when it comes to selecting photography or other graphic elements is important in creating an elevated look and feel. A good starting point is to select images that have uncluttered backgrounds and a focal point. Be selective
  • Add some color: Don't be afraid to use color to add some vibrance. Feel free to use Canva's playground brand palette or your own colors. Where appropriate, you can use the Canva doc type colors to create product affinity. Add some color
  • In motion: Designing layouts that look like they are in motion can feel more dynamic and less static. It can also act as a demonstration on how to use the product feature. In motion

Canva has a core and a playground color palette, which apps are welcome to use.

We use the mid-light colors for background colors. Avoid using the darker colors for the background, because they are too heavy in the digital space. The exception to this is using the dark gray in the context of the object panel.

If you are using Canva's colors, use the playground palette in harmonious sets, making the visuals feel cohesive. Take accessibility into consideration, particularly with copy.

Core and playground colors

In addition to Canva's core and playground palettes, you can use the Canva doc-type colors when we are talking about these products. If you aren't referring to these products, stick to the core and playground palettes (or your own brand colors).

Canva document types and color

For more information, see the Canva brand hub.

If you're using photography as part of an image in the app listing, it's important to select the right image that most effectively shows the app's functionality.

  • Find a focal point: There should be a focal point when selecting an image. Remember that less is more. Find a focal point
  • Clean and uncluttered: Selecting photography that has uncluttered backgrounds allows the focus to be on the subject matter. Clean and uncluttered
  • Light and bright: Selecting photography that feels light and breezy (vs dark and dim) creates clarity, especially at smaller sizes. Light and bright
  • Diversity: To ensure we are being inclusive and representing the spectrum of Canva users, include people of different backgrounds, age, and genders. Diversity
  • Canva imagery: Make sure you are using licensed imagery, whether from your own sources or within Canva. Canva imagery

We have designed a library of optional templates that developers can choose from. We have split the library into two styles: editorial and contextual.

  • Editorial: We call this approach editorial, because the aesthetic feels like something you'd see in editorial design. It's bold, graphic, and meant to grab your attention. The editorial approach focuses on the app functionality by showcasing the final product. Editorial style
  • Contextual: We call this approach contextual, because it's all about showcasing the app in action within Canva. Like the editorial approach, it is bold and graphic, but has more detail by using the UI to create context for the user. Contextual style

Your option for selecting templates is:

  • 1x hero visual (Editorial)
  • 1x hero visual (Contextual)
  • 2x hero visuals viewed in a carousel (Editorial + Contextual)

We recommend a maximum of two hero images. This is to avoid the user having to click through a carousel, creating a poor user experience.

To ensure images can be understood by Canva's global audience, avoiding using text within images unless it's necessary to show the functionality of the app. For example, if the images for the Text to Image app didn't contain text, the images wouldn't appear relevant.

Canva's text to image app

When using text is necessary:

  • Use the minimum amount of text possible
  • Use actual text, not placeholders (for example, gray bars).
  • Only add a few elements on the thumbnail, so that it can be bigger and clearer.
  • In the following image:
    • The object panel is the right color
    • Soft green for design
  • Scale and crop of image is simple and bold, shows the functionality of an app accurately
  • Accurate UI (as seen within the product)
  • Too many elements within the thumbnail makes it hard to see at small sizes
  • In the following image:
    • The object panel on the left should be dark gray
    • Blue, green, and yellow are not harmonious with Canva's colors
  • In the following image:
    • The focal point is too small and should be something bigger to create impact and clarity.
    • Split screen is cropping the focal point (woman's head).
  • Don't abstract the UI by layering floating elements
  • Don't use gray bars to represent text.