Having good-looking graphics is one of the best ways to attract readers to your blog or website. But coming up with professional-quality graphics on your own is easier said than done. Graphic design software is often expensive, complicated, or both, and if you’re already busy working on your blog then you probably won’t have the time to teach yourself how to use something like Adobe Photoshop.
Well, worry no longer, as Canva is going to make your life a whole lot easier. Canva is a free web-based drag-and-drop graphic design app that helps you put together professional-quality infographics, posters, Facebook cover images and more without needing to be familiar with graphics editing software.
It offers a large variety of layouts, backgrounds, fonts and stock images which will help you put together a graphic that’ll turn your good blog post or website into a great one. Interested? Let’s take a quick look at what Canva offers.
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Getting Started With Canva
The first step, as always, is to register. You can connect using your Facebook account or create a new account by filling in your email and desired password. Once you’re registered, you’ll have to go through a couple of tutorials. The first is a quick 23-second video on how to create designs in Canva, while the second is a series of 5 Starter Challenges, basic tutorials that will help you get up to speed with Canva.
Once you’re done with the introductory tutorials, you’ll be taken to the Your designs page. This is where you manage your current designs as well as create new designs. This is also where you can access four more tutorials if you need more help before starting work on your own design.
To help you get started, Canva has a number of common document sizes for both print and online graphics that you can use. You can also use your own custom dimensions if none of the preset document sizes fit the bill.
Canva’s drag-and-drop design interface is simple and easy to understand. The design itself takes up most of the screen’s real estate, with a sidebar to the left with a number of tabs. These tabs are where you search for images and clip art, choose from preset layouts, add and edit text, select backgrounds as well as upload your own images.
Here’s a quick rundown of the graphic design features available in Canva. The heart of Canva is its large image library: Canva claims to have more than 1,000,000 images to choose from, ranging from clip art to hand-drawn images to high-quality stock photographs.
Note that while Canva itself is free, a lot of the stock photographs on Canva will cost $1 per image. Once you’ve found an image you like, you can just drag and drop it into your design.
If you’re looking for a pre-made layout to help you get started, Canva’s Layouts tab is the place to look. Just click on one you like and it’ll be applied automatically. The layouts Canva shows you are based on the dimensions of your current project.
The Text tab lets you add text to your designs. You can insert free-floating text or different styles of text boxes. There’s also a decent number of fonts to choose from, as well as the usual formatting options such as bold, italics and alignment settings.
The Backgrounds tab is where you choose the background for your design. Canva lets you use either solid colours or images for the backgrounds. Like images, there’s a fair selection of backgrounds to choose from, although again, most of these background images will cost $1 per image.
The final sidebar tab is the Uploads tab. Canva lets you upload your own images as well as import images from Facebook.
Once you’re satisfied with your design, you can share it on Facebook and Twitter using the Share buttons at the top of the page. You can also generate a link to the design or download the design as either PNG or a PDF by clicking on Link & Publish at the top of the page. If you’ve used any of the paid content, this is also where you’ll be charged for the images.
All in all, Canva is an incredibly easy-to-use graphic design app that will let even a complete novice come up with eye-catching and professional-looking designs in no time. If you’re in need of graphics but don’t know your Magic Wand tool from your eyedropper tool, you definitely should give Canva a try.