Almost immediately, Canva stood out. It’s an easy-to-use tool that anyone can utilize to create professional and beautiful graphics for their business. It offers a wide array of templates for Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations, blog graphics, presentations and more.
What makes me a design tool expert: Before launching my business in 2012, I created interactive designs for clients like Eva Longoria, National Geographic, Angry Birds and Wolfgang Puck. Since then, I have been on the lookout for something easier, faster and cheaper than Adobe products (Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign) to develop high-quality graphics for my clients.
Disclaimer: Canva is currently in Beta and can be glitchy. But the customer service is friendly and responds quickly if you hit a snag.
Check out this quickie video that shows you a Canva process in 15 SECONDS!
How To: Canva
To demonstrate Canva, I create a graphic to showcase my newest weekly blog featuring an array of high-res quotes and tips for readers to download. It’s perfect Pinterest content, but needed a professional cover for easy marketing purposes.
: Decide on a project template. I chose the Pinterest template.
Action steps: Try out the Facebook cover first, it’s an easy landscape to start with for practicing. Once you feel comfortable, move on to a poster or presentation. This is an excellent tool for free opt-ins!
: Choose a layout. Pick a layout to reflect the material it will represent.
I nabbed a simple graphic to display the amount of images included in my blog.
Action steps: But yourself in the place of your business’s target audience and ask, “What would attract you to read or view that material?” Search on Pinterest for similar pieces of content and see what others have created. Pinterest is an incredible place to build up creative inspiration.
: Format the content. Canva offers hundreds of fonts. The color, size, and positioning can be altered to fit your preference.
I kept the calligraphy text, but changed the bottom half in alignment with my brand.
Tip: Formatting the text can be frustrating as Canva creators are still building the program. Stick to the original layout to start with, and then practice creating your own text borders on round two.
Action steps: For an eye-catching look, blend a calligraphy or handwritten text with a sans-serif. A sans-serif does not have any small projecting features called “serifs” at the end of strokes. For example, Arial.
: Change your background. The Canva database has a large array of patterns and photos to choose from. The patterns are mostly Free, while pictures cost $1.00. But you can upload photos, create color palettes, and mix patterns and colors together. In addition, Canva features a beautiful photo editing panel to tighten up unedited photos.
I chose a simple pattern and added a color on top of it. Specialty colors are added to the palette by using the color picker or typing in your brand’s six-digit hex color code.
Action steps: Play with Canva’s options before deciding on one. Upload a picture, use a pattern, add your brand colors to the color palette, and decide what looks best. Do not allow the font to compete with the background. What is most important is that online readers know exactly what the content is without much effort.
: Brand it. Make it easy for online users to find your business. Canva’s photo sizing tools adjust logos and allow for easy positioning.
I added my logo, website link and branding pic to the design.
Action steps: Upload a .PNG file. They are more clear than .JPG’s and allow for a transparent background.
: Download. Look over your design once more and download. It can be downloaded as an online graphic or a PDF that can be printed out. Canva automatically saves your work, so you can return and edit it at any time.
Additionally, a team member can edit the image if you click the box option.
Action steps: Download your design as an online graphic and also a PDF to compare the differences. Online graphics are much smaller, while printable designs are quite large.
For more Canva tutorials, watch the YouTube videos Canva made to hook you up!