Canva: Graphic Design for the rest of us

Canva is an easy to use, cloud based, web app for graphic design for those that don’t have the skills to create great looking graphics.

Adobe Photoshop has long been the go to app for graphic designers to create their masterpieces. However Photoshop has so many tools that the learning curve is usually very steep for everyday people. Canva attempts to take that learning curve and turn it into a smooth paved road that you can walk on with bare feet.

canva.com homepage

canva.com – Graphic Design for the rest of us

The basic idea of Canva is drag and drop design. You drag elements from the element list onto your canvas to create designs. There are many templates you can choose from with great background images and well chosen typography. All you need to do is change the text to whatever you want and you have a great looking graphic that can be used just about anywhere.

Canva provides free elements that you can use in your designs. They also provide pay-for elements at the very reasonable price of $1 per element. Users can also upload their own elements such as photos, logos, etcetera.

canva.com - Design Elements

canva.com – canva provides numerous elements to choose from. Simply click the category and a list of elements will appear. Click on any element and it will appear on your canvas ready for you to work with.

Being cloud based your designs are saved to your account in the cloud. This means you can work on your designs both in browser or via the iPad app and all work will be available and updated in both places.

canva.com - Design Canvas

canva.com – drag and drop design elements on to the canvas to create stunning images.

However, one drawback is that it is not well suited to designers who wish to use canva for creating, for example, a complete brand identity. It isn’t possible to copy and paste elements between designs so if you wish to use the same element in another design you need to recreate it. Canva has, in recent days, announced that they are working on Canva for work. Details at this stage are a bit sketchy as to what Canva for work will be but I am sure these issues will be addressed. You can sign up for early access to Canva for work here.

canva.com - Canva for work

canva.com – Canva for work. A new service from canva.com

These graphics can be used anywhere because Canva makes it easy by providing template canvases in the correct sizes for various applications that you may wish to use your design. For example you can create Facebook cover images, Facebook post images, Twitter cover images, blog post images, etcetera. This ensures your images look just right in the correct application. They also provide a custom size option.

canva.com - Design Selection

canva.com – canva provides correctly sized templates for various applications

Layouts make it feel like you are cheating. You can select a layout and simply change the text and you have a beautiful graphic that you can download and use. Or if you are feeling adventurous you can change the look of the design by changing colours, text, backgrounds etcetera.

canva.com - Template Layouts

canva.com – canva provides template layouts that look great. You can change them to your needs or simply just change the text.

Canva is available for the iPad app for free in the app store as well as online at canva.com.

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