Update: We double-heart Canva. They read my post and sent over a link I can share with all of you to give you instant access PLUS $10 in free credits. What are you waiting for?
For years, we looked with envy at the professional graphics others used, making due with our less-than inspired images for our own site – until one day, Canva appeared and changed everything!
Even if you are a bit of a designer and worry about the lack of flexibility in an online tool (and yes, there is some here), think of the time you could save!
With templates, images, elements, text holders and even fun “dress up” items like glasses, hats and mustaches, you can have a lot of fun on Canva while creating graphics that are going to make you look really good. If you purchase images from Canva, they’re just $1. Upload your own, or create something with just free elements and it’s completely free!
I asked one of our community managers, Tina, to tell us why she loves it. “It has quickly become my “go-to” tool for editing Pinterest and blog images. The graphics are fun, fresh, and professional quality. In about five minutes I can create an eye-catching image with layers and a fabulous fonts. What’s not to love?”
“No Naked Images!”
We’re big believers in having at least one image on every page that includes descriptive text. That makes for the best pinning (What’s that? Not a Pinterest user yet? Learn how to use it for business). Adding images, backgrounds and fancy text are great ways to make your images stand out from the crowd. Here are some ways you can use Canva creations.
Perfect for Blog Images
This is where we’ve used Canva the most. Grab an image from Canva, add a background, some text and voila! You have an impressive and pinnable image. At $1 per image with most other elements (like text and many backgrounds and “dress up” elements) free, you cannot beat the price.
If none of the million plus images in their collection work, you can upload your own, or even connect to Facebook and use images in your albums.
When you visit the home page, you can choose a blog image, or use a custom size. I always create mine 506x506px for ideal display on Facebook. You can of course resize them after you download – as that would be too large in the blog!
Not sure how big it should be? Just choose Facebook cover when creating your next Canva image.
It would be wonderful if there were a way to have the Facebook template mark out the spot that will be covered by your profile image, but maybe some day!
Really Impressive Presentations
If you’re anything like me, looking at a blank slide in PowerPoint is enough to bring all your creativity to a screeching halt. It’s just so – blank!
Enter Canva. Get some serious inspiration and create a fabulous cover page. Then add as many more as you need. When you’re done, you’ll download your design as a .pdf file, but you can then convert that to PowerPoint if you count on the slideshow effect. You won’t even need a converter if you are uploading to Slideshare.
Effective and Beautiful Collages
Ever see a particularly complicated but effective collage and wonder, “How’d they do that?” Me, too. I’m not sure how they did it, but next time I want one (and I may just have to find an excuse to make one), I’m using Canva. The array of templates is amazing. Just drag and drop images for perfect layout and spacing every time.
Getting Started on Canva
Head on over to this special link Canva gave me and get in now (normally you have to wait for an invite) and get $10 in credits.
It’s simple enough to figure out that you can just start by playing around with it, but a fabulous series of very short videos gives you a nice overview of the features and how to read them. I especially recommend the one on searching for images. Sounds simple, but there were some features I’d missed until I watched it.
Even more helpful to me were the Getting Started Tutorials, available right under your designs on the home page. You’re given simple tasks that familiarize you with their great features. If you need a little more help, you can view extra hints by deleting elements on the design. The way they use the product to teach the product is fantastic.
Paying for Images
When you download a design that includes a non-free image, you’ll be prompted to enter your credit card to pay. You can just pay for this one design, or pay ahead with a credit pack. Perfect for allowing your employees to create awesome designs just using Canva.
Images you purchase from Canva are licensed for one-time use only. When you purchase a One Time Use license for the images in your design, the license covers the use of the images in that design. You are free to use that design yourself, with your clients, and your clients are free to use the design in multiple ways. The ‘One Time’ restriction restricts the number of designs the image may be used in, not the number of ways the design may be used. New licensing options are reportedly in the works.
Free elements and images made up of only images you upload plus free elements are fair game.
How have you used Canva? Tell us about it in the comments! Want to give it a try? Get in on it now!
- Image Copyright Infringement – Part of the Template? (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- How Images Get More Traffic to Your Blog (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- Images – the Perfect Complement to Social Media Marketing (scalablesocialmedia.com)