Canva…my best friend when it comes to creating eye-catching, visually effective graphic designs with ease. In fact, you’re going to notice me talking about it a lot on here and for very good reasons; mainly because everyone can really benefit from using it. In the past, if you wanted to create a custom image for your blog posts, or wanted visual content for your Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts, you would need multiple, somewhat costly tools, the patience of a saint and a degree in neuroscience to get the job done. Canva allows you to create custom, shareable images, for all of your social media platforms and, all in one place. It comes with a bunch of cool features for you to explore. Two of my favourites being; it’s rather comprehensive image library full of stock photos and its collection of templates that can be applied to a number of different industries for your convenience.

Whether you’re creating a Social graphic for your Instagram account or infographic for your Gym members, you’ll probably be wondering where you should start with Canva. Well, fear not, for I have put together this little demonstration of how, no matter what your experience – you can start using Canva. So, grab a cuppa, settle down and let me guide you through these five simple steps of creating visual content with Canva.

Have a plan and stick to it

Having a strategy is key! Otherwise, you’re going to be blindly working on content that may not suit your goal or message. Decide clearly what it is you’re trying to say with your visuals, who you are targeting them at, what platforms you want it to go up on; whether it’s Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest and stick to the plan! A clear, strong message with an eye-catching image is always the best way to go.

Find the right template for you

One of the great joys of Canva is its extensive template library, which, to be honest, you can kind of get lost in (for hours if you’re like me!) They’ve done the heavy-lifting for you, so whether you’re looking for a banner for Facebook, a square template for Instagram or you need the dimensions for twitter; all the options are there. The worst part of designing is staring at a blank canvas – these template remove that element and allow you to explore loads of really cool ready-made options.

A picture paints a thousand words

Once you have your template picked out, it’s time to have some fun with their photo library. We all know an image paints a thousand words so picking the right one that’s going to catch people’s attention is your main goal here. In a world obsessed with sharing images, you want to jump on that gravy train and create something that will hopefully be shared on social media platforms to reach the largest audience possible. In Canva, you can type keywords to find the image related to your topic – so say it’s a food festival, find images of the food, drink, people or sure a bit of fun bunting never went astray! Once you’ve found the perfect image, just it where it needs to go.

 

Image and text – BFFs

Now that we have the right image for your food festival; say a cute food truck, all you need to do now is use the template and just edit the placeholder text with the right details for your food event – where it is, when, how much etc. You can, of course, change the colour of the text to suit you design. Canva provides a shortcut: The font pairing tool. First, pick your starter font. Then, this handy tool shows you the best font combinations. Easy, peasy!!

 

Resize and share

Bravo – you’re almost there! Once you’re happy with your design, you may need to adjust the size of it for your various platforms; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Fear not, you don’t have to go back to the start and do it all again, for a small fee you can use Canva’s Magic Resize tool which will do the work for you. If you’re going to be using Canva a lot, it’s well worth paying for this – it’s a great time-saver. Users of Canva’s free tools can still resize their designs by creating a copy of the original visual. Click “File,” “Change Dimensions,” and select the format to which you’d like to resize the design. Once you’ve done this it’s time to save your designs and give yourself a massive pat on the back!

Thanks for reading, Kat x

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