Gem of a Find: Canva (a Free Graphic Design Tool)

I made a pretty amazing find the other day – I discovered Canva.

Canva is an online graphics design platform that makes is easy for you to create beautiful graphics for your blog, website or social networks. You can start from scratch or pick from a large collection of pre-made customizable templates that you can play around with to make the picture your own.  For those like me who like to look at ‘pretty’ pictures but have no clue how to put one together (matching fonts is really hard!) – this tool has been such a saving grace, not to mention lots of fun to play with.

How it Works

First you start by selecting a type of design.  Choose from Pinterest, Social Media, Presentation, Poster, Facebook Cover, Blog Graphic or Document.

Canva Dashboard

Once you have selected a design type, you will have access to many pre-made designs to customize. The elements are all editable – you can change the colour, font, size and shape to your liking.   If you are feeling extra creative, you can start from scratch by specifying your file size.  Canva boasts over 1,000,000 graphics in its database.  Don’t worry – the free selection will be more than sufficient.

Canva Dashboard

If you have a specific image in mind that you would like to use, you can do that too by uploading the picture as the background or use as part of an element. You have the option to purchase stock images right from within the program.

I would like to add that if you decide to create your own image from scratch – this can be quite a timely process.  To sift through all the options and available fonts, colours, icons and design elements can take quite a lot of time if you don’t already have a clear idea of what you want to create.  If you are looking to design something quickly, it is best to just use one of the ready-made templates!

Once you’re done creating your graphic, you have the option to save the image as a PNG or a PDF.

Canva LogoI love Canva – because it is so obviously created by people who are creative and love design.  Not only do you see this in the graphics they have created – it is evident in the UX design of their website.  Canva is entirely intuitive with drag and drop functionality.  There are orientation guides to help you align your elements and a robust search function to help you sift through their collection of icons, banners and images.

Canva is an amazing tool for beginners and professionals alike.  Now I can’t wait to write blogs, just so I have a reason to use Canva!

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