Finding images for your blog is a pain. You have to deal with costly stock photo memberships or figure out how to create simple designs with a complex program like Photoshop. Either way, you’re done wasting time and you just want a simple fix. Well, I have a solution for you…
I recently signed up for Canva beta, a super simple design platform for non-designers. Yes, that means you don’t need any design knowledge to create some pretty sweet graphics.
How does it work?
Canva is an entirely cloud-based design solution where all files and images are stored online. You choose from a selection of templates, stock photos, backgrounds, and typography layouts to create designs for almost any occasion.
They have layouts for everything from presentations to business cards and infographics which makes it easy to get started quickly.
First, you specify your dimensions. There are a list of options to choose from or you can create your own custom dimensions. Keep in mind that if you go with anything other than the predefined options, you won’t have as many template options to choose form later on.
Who is it for?
Canva, in my option, is great for marketers and small business owners. It’s for anyone who wants to create quick and simple graphics without the need for a graphic designer or complex photo editing skills.
It’s for all those times you want to add nice typography to a blog post’s featured image. Or when you want to publish a cool image or quote to your Facebook page.
I can also see students having a lot of fun with Canva. It brings your photos to life by allowing you to use templates to easily add context or tell a story.
Design like a pro
Each design size option comes with a list of templates to choose from. In the image below (created in Canva) you can see some of the templates on the left and different background options on the right.
The best part is, it’s as easy as dragging and dropping elements of your design to change it around.
Make it your own
Many of the templates included in Canva have options to add your own image either from your computer or from their library of stock photos. They have over a million stock images to choose from and while some are free, most images cost only a dollar.
You pay for the images you use in your designs and only once you’re ready to publish. If you’re familiar with most stock image sites, that’s a pretty good deal.
It’s great for Facebook, too
Social media marketers will love Canva for creating beautiful branded cover photos and page post images quickly. Now you don’t need to delay your campaigns because the graphics won’t be finished in time and you don’t need to worry about requiring someone else’s time or resources to finish a project.
Another cool thing about Canva is the ability to invite other users to collaborate on projects with you. That way if you want someone’s feedback or you want someone to finish a project you started, it’s super easy to work on a project together, just like you can with Google Docs.
The bottom line
Canva is a great solution for non-designers or someone looking for quick, simple, and easy graphics for almost any occasion. It’s still in Beta so make sure you join the wait list and reserve your username.
While I think Canva has a lot of awesome features, I hope to see improvements coming in the next few months such as more template sizes and the ability to scale and resize images you’ve already created.
It’s definitely not as flexible as a program like Photoshop, but I think there is a big opportunity when it comes to smaller, everyday design-related tasks.
Bottom line: Go check out Canva and see for yourself! Enjoy!