When you’re scrolling through your social media feed, what catches your eye? Most likely, it’s a colorful or interesting image. That’s probably why the majority of posts on social media include photos (and why we now have entire platforms devoted to sharing images, like Instagram).
But not all of us are graphic designers. I know I’m not, and when I first started my business, creating professional-looking graphics was something I really struggled with. Fortunately, I found a whole slew of tools that made it easy for me. Now, the one I use almost exclusively is Canva, an amazingly simple drag-and-drop editor with pro-level results. Best of all, it’s free!
Here are the reasons why I love Canva for graphic design:
Pre-sized templates. Canva comes with more than 40 popular templates that fit the standard dimensions of each social media platform. These include Pinterest graphics, Twitter posts, Instagram posts, Facebook covers, LinkedIn banners, and many, many more. There are even templates for marketing materials such as logos, business cards, and gift certificates. I can’t tell you how much time these ready-made templates have saved me!
Layout designs. Once you choose a template, Canva offers more than 8,000 attractive layouts tailor-made for each platform. These come in all different colors, fonts, and styles, making designing eye-catching social media graphics a breeze. You can seamlessly add images, shapes, icons, and text, as well as upload your own images to add to your designs. You’ll notice that Canva adds new layouts often, especially around holidays, the changing of seasons, and various other occassions (like World Cancer Day, for instance).
Sharing capability. When your design is finished, Canva gives you many ways to share it directly with your team members or clients. You can download your design as a file in several formats; invite people to view and edit it via email or a personalized link; post and share it directly to Twitter or Facebook; or embed it on your blog or website – all from within the Canva platform. Again, these are all huge timesavers that will help you be more efficient in creating and sharing graphics for your business.
“Your Brand” feature. In marketing your business, consistency is key. That’s why Canva’s “Your Brand” feature is so handy. It allows you to save color palettes, logos, fonts, and more so that you get it right every time (and you don’t have to go searching for the exact font or color you need). I know I’m repeating myself, but I just can’t emphasize how much time this will save you.
Minimal cost. Believe it or not, most of the above features are included in the free version of Canva! You will see that some layouts, photos, etc. do cost extra (but even then, they are only $1 each). If you do want access to all the features, you can upgrade to Canva for Work for $9.95 per user per month (when paid annually). That’s what I did, and it’s been well worth the (minimal) investment for my small business.
With Canva for Work, you can invite and collaborate with up to 50 team members, stay organized with unlimited folders, resize your designs easily using “Magic Resize,” upload your own custom fonts, and more. Canva offers a 30-day trial, so you can try it out with no risk. They also offer free not-for-profit organization subscriptions to those who qualify.
As you can see, there’s a lot to love about Canva. But nothing beats experiencing it for yourself. If you’ve ever struggled with creating slick graphics, I highly suggest giving Canva a try. You can even tap into Canva’s design tutorials for inspiration. Have fun! I’d love to hear what you think!