For some, creating content for websites is a piece of cake. For others… it can be dark magic. We all have to agree on one thing: preparing digital graphics takes not only skills but also time (which we know is money). And because many of us have to post on social media daily or weekly, our need for beautiful and original images is a constant problem. Could Canva design your graphics and images?
Visual content was never as relevant as it is now – even researchers claim it’s much more powerful than written texts. It’s a fact that our brains are way more likely to remember pictures we’ve seen rather than books we’ve read – and somehow, we’re more eager to share posts that are pleasant for our eyes.
Many entrepreneurs hire freelancers, spending more and more to get their images done – but there are other, equally valid, and free options. Today, I’m going to introduce one of them, which is Canva.
You may have already heard about it, as it’s one of the easiest graphic design tools we could come across, and also, it gives spectacular Photoshop-like results. How does it work? Well, you drag and drop ready-to-use elements – registering gives you access to thousands of free photographs and vectors. If you want, you can use your photos and logos, too.
But what’s most exciting is the fact that Canva offers a wide variety of templates, allowing you to modify them according to your personal needs. I love using Canva design templates. Thanks to them, you become able to design all kinds of content in very little time! Think about it – you have all the resources and inspirations in one place, isn’t it wonderful?
And you can create all types of content, not just graphics for your social media accounts. Need a poster for your launch day? You can design it here, on Canva. Need business cards for your mom’s dentist’s office? Show her other people’s Canva design templates. Among others, Canva lets you create:
- Blog banners
- Book covers
- CD covers
- Desktop wallpapers
- Email templates
- Magazine covers
- Marketing presentations
- Social Media cover
- Thank you cards
Let’s analyze the creation process step by step.
First, please go to www.canva.com and sign up. To do it, you need either an e-mail, a Google account, or a Facebook profile. When your account is ready, access Canva.
The myriad of free Canva design templates will surely be fun to play with, so give yourself some time to explore available options. When you’re done playing around, ask yourself: what’s your marketing strategy? What are you trying to sell, and why?
Decide what will be your brand’s colors, most-used fonts, and catchy slogans. Analyze what you are going to post, where, and how often. Once you know and have a project in mind, type the right keywords in the search bar, e.g., postcard; Click on the right option showing in the dropdown menu, and the website will open blank canvas for you. If you have artist’s block just by looking at it, relax, and look at the left side, on the templates. Browse the categories to find what you need, and then get creative!
Pick a template, and replace the original images with your photos or vectors. Place headlines and text paragraphs, so that the design can speak in more detail to your customers.
Be patient with your creation – at times, combining everything into a satisfactory result might take time. Work on the composition until you’re satisfied with the final effect.
Pro tip: use filters – sometimes, all you need is to change the tones of all chosen pictures to make them look better together.
When you’re satisfied with the result of your experiments, you can either download the project to your hard drive, or directly publish it on social media, or a third-party website.
One of the best things about Canva is, once you’ve learned to make one type of image (e.g., a brochure), creating other types will be extremely easy.
What about the disadvantages of this site, though? Like everything, Canva can’t be perfect. So what are its imperfections?
One is very basic search options for images. The search bar returns both paid and free options – it’s impossible to ask Canva to show you only free pictures. And since some topics aren’t trendy, it might be frustrating to see lots of beautiful but paid stock.
What comes to our rescue are free stock websites, such as Unsplash, Pixabay, or Pexels. We can use them to download all images we might need, and use the upload feature to get them into Canva.
Another downside of Canva is picking the size of your project. Make a mindful choice here, as later it’s impossible to change the resolution (unless you sign up for Canva Pro – we talk about it a little later in this article).
And the next downside of Canva is: it doesn’t support videos. You can’t use it to create video ads – which means you will either have to outsource or invest in professional software like Wondershare, Filmora and spend time with the tutorials.
Also, Canva becomes addictive, very fast. With all its outstanding options, you might feel tempted to spend more time playing in it than necessary. And while marketing helps, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing, too. Likes don’t equal sales, and social media’s conversion rate is still lower than an email ‘se-mail’s. Also, at times, what you need is launching a new product – and not more marketing.
Last but not least, if you’ve been using Canva for a longer time, templates might grow old. And because Canva is so popular, you might find projects similar to yours all over the web, especially Pinterest. Thus, unless you alter the designs a lot to ensure that they’re 100% original, you’re risking giving your clients something that they might have seen already.
Let’s discuss Canva Pro now – the paid version of the service. I recommend it for business people who work as graphical designers. If you have to create several projects for people that all have different needs, one folder might not be enough to manage it all. Disorder in your files means chaos, and chaos means time lost – and here’s where Canva Pro helps, offering you as many folders as you’d wish.
Thanks to the brand kit, you can easily and quickly design social media content that’s going to match your client’s brand, and create new, matching images. You finally don’t need to do everything manually, which saves your effort.
Thanks to increased storage, you can keep many more designs online (to tweak or modify them later). And trust me, you will need space! Because with the Canva Pro subscription, you get access to over four million images. These are paired with over 20,000+ new templates – that probably aren’t used as often as the free ones, which restores the originality of your pictures. You can also choose from over 1000+ premium fonts now, and resize your images. Want to turn a Twitter cover into a Facebook cover? No problem!
Last but not least, Canva Pro allows for creating gifs. This is really an advantage, as nowadays, animated images are called “the language of the internet” and people love engaging with them. Although they aren’t videos, they still catch attention, and let you skim the whole story in just three or four animations! They are much cheaper than videos, and mobile-friendly – which is essential, as nowadays, everyone uses cellphones for surfing the net, and even making their purchases.
Have you ever worked with Canva design templates, free or paid? What are your experiences? Maybe you are using another similar software? If yes, please let us know in the comment section below!