Canva – Amazing and Simple Graphic Design Software

Canva is a free graphic-design tool loaded with an array of creative and easy-to-use functionalities which can be used by anyone to create visually appealing and engaging content.

True to its slogan, “amazingly simple graphic design software”, Canva provides a simple yet excellent platform for both designers and non-designers for developing niche content.

The tools, which facilitate the creation of both web and print media designs and graphics, have taken the online world by storm.

Canva was founded on Jan 1, 2012 in Australia and since then it has seen an unprecedented growth in the number of active users, with more than 750,000 users right in the first year.

The idea of Canva started when founder Melanie Perkins, who taught design at university-level, realized students faced many difficulties in understanding the basics of design.

To provide a comprehensive year-book designing tool to teachers and students alike, she along with co-founder Cliff Obrecht started Fusion Books.

With the rising popularity of Fusion Books, they realized that they could expand the application of those design tools to more elaborate and professional platforms.

Thus, Canva was launched by the team of Melanie, Cliff, and tech co-founder Cameron Adams.

Within a year, owing to its massive popularity, it was able to raise $3.6 million in funds from top Australian and American investors.

In August 2013, Canva launched its Beta version which was met with an overwhelming response from the users.

This is the point where Canva actually opened doors to marketers, businesses, bloggers etc for creating professional quality designs.

The curtain raiser to the website welcomed people to a host of simple drag-and-drop design tools, a library of over 1 million images, and dazzling fonts and graphics.

Founder Melanie Perkins describes Canva as a tool to re-imagine a world where every idea could be beautifully presented online.

She also brings out the distinctive feature of Canva that unlike every other traditional desktop design software, Canva presents all tools and features at one place.

On joining Canva as the Chief Evangelist, Guy Kawasaki remarked that just as Macintosh democratized computers; Google democratized information; and eBay democratized commerce, Canva has democratized design.

With 330,000 users creating 100,000 designs every week, Canva has indeed carved a niche for itself in a world dominated by online businesses and bloggers.

Canva has successfully catered professional website designing services to top global brands such as Upworthy, Yelp, Lonely Planet, Amnesty International and many more.

The Canva app is now readily available for both iOS and Android operating systems.

Canva for work

Canva can be best defined as a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) graphic creation tool. Its ubiquity in the workplace stretches from creating professional level presentations for business meetings to designing social media event flyers.

It can be even used to design captivating business cards and blog graphics.

The regular version of Canva is free for the users. But for Canva for work, you will need to pay a monthly or yearly fee.

  • Brand Kit – Here you can save your and team’s fonts, graphics, logos, colors etc once and use them as many times as required.
  • Create custom templates and save for future use. These could be for social media marketing, business cards, or any other application.
  • You can create a free team at Canva so that you can work with your creative team on this portal and share designs easily. To create a team, go to Account settings >> Billings and Teams >> select + Create a new team. The free trial is for 30 days, which can be canceled at anytime.

  • On creating the team, you can start adding members and assigning them different roles within the project.
  • A  unique feature included within this section is the Magic Resize Option. Through this option you can take a design or template of any measurement and then customize it to a different set of measurements just by single click. This feature is only included in the Canva for work module.
  • You can also easily manage your work by organizing your designs and other creative assets in separate folders providing an easy access to all your team members.

In the face of graphic design boom and a plethora of website designing services, marketers are facing tremendous pressure to churn engaging visual content for their campaigns.

The visual aesthetics of a document holds equal importance as that of its content.

Gone are the days when bland and basic formatting and presenting of ideas and sales pitch worked.

Today, it has become imperative to add the design “x-factor” in each and every aspect of business, since creativity spells competitive advantage.

To make the best of tools such as Canva for ascertaining a lead in the race, follow these steps:

  • Offer your clients a Canva Brand Kit Package, to help them create authentic visual content on a daily basis.
  • Create design templates which can be used and reused in several cases through simple edits. Designing a new template every time could be time-consuming.
  • Educate your clients about the universality of your design templates especially social media covers and graphics, marketing campaigns, SlideShare etc. This will help you get more business and opportunities and also ensure the growth of your client.
  • Spend more time on designing and less time on editing textual matter.
  • Repurpose your designs by using the magic resize button.

Canva as a teaching aid

Education today no longer remains confined to age-old textbooks and drab classrooms.

Teaching techniques are evolving into more tech-oriented formats.

Canva, as an essential design and graphics tool, can also be utilized to develop effective teaching tools and resources to make learning more accessible and fun for children.

Teachers and educators and take a closer look at the features facilitated under the Canva For Education module to enhance their teaching pedagogy.

  • Infographics are a great way of imparting knowledge to students, especially n subjects such as History where the chronology and significance of events matter a lot. Through Canva’s Infographic tool, you can now create your own infographics to help students better connect with the subject matter.
  • Another radical method to teach students of the elementary level correct phonetics is Initial Selfies. This feature of Canva isolates vowels and phonemes and helps kids grasp the correct pronunciation of words.
  • Mathematical Modelling with Candy is an excellent platform for the children to understand complex mathematical concepts through simple and relatable items such as colored candies.

Using Canva to gain Social Media following

Canva’s remarkable designing tools and a library replete with striking images can elevate your social media following, which in turn will help you gain a competitive advantage over your peers. Smart use of Canva designs and graphics over the big 5 social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest, can set your brand value high.

 

  • Create Facebook timeline pictures and cover photos for your brands through Canva and regularly update them to highlight any new information such as offers and discounts or show your festive mood. Canva provides a Facebook cover photo option which ensures that your image doesn’t get rejected by Facebook bots.
  • Similarly, Twitter banners and posts can be created through the use of Canva’s extensive range of design tools. Instagram , Pinterest, Youtube – you will find tools to develop social media specific content in Canva within the professional layout section.
  • You can upload your own image or make use of the abundant library resources to stun and capture the attention of your users and followers.
  • By adding dazzling effects and filters along with text, you can create winning designs for your social media platform.

Facebook Cover pictures

YouTube Channel Art

Pinterest Graphics

Canva for “Me”

While the designs and graphics of Canva remain arguably the best online tools for promoting your business, there are quite a few features in it which are uniquely tailored to serve your personal needs.

There is a wide range of appealing templates and custom designs for personal planners, postcards, desktop wallpapers, photo collages, announcements, calendars, recipe cards and many more.

These exclusive features of Canva will add more vibrancy and panache in your day-to-day activities.

Daily, monthly or weekly planners can be easily created customized to suit your needs in visually appealing designs, which will motivate you to keep up with the planned agenda.

Through the Canva Personal planner design,  you can chose stunning designs from the Canva Library or even add your own images, use effective filters and texts, and make your very own personal planner.

You can even add neat free features such as stickers and icons on-the-go.

Canva – Empowering Social Causes

To enable non-profit organizations to make the best use of premium Canva features and create high-impact social campaigns, Canva offers its premium services for free for non-profits.

Through this initiative, Canva has opened avenues of opportunities for non-profits so that they can also take advantage of the stellar features of this platform to promote their social message and cause world-wide without incurring any expenditure.

  • They can benefit from Canva for creating Infographics, social media headliners, newsletter templates, attractive email invites for volunteers and donors, graph generators etc.
  • To revamp the aesthetics of your designs, you can utilize more than 8000 design templates to suit your social campaign need.
  • Free online photo-editing software makes using Photoshop obsolete.
  • By using premium Canva features for free you end up saving hundreds of dollar every year.
  • To get Canva for Non-profits , you need to apply as a non-profit by submitting a list of tax documentations such as 501c(3) qualified by the IRS for the USA.

Below given are a few templates and designs created in Canva for social causes and non-profits.

Canva Design Tutorials

In addition to the copious number of elegant features and ubiquitous design tools, Canva also provides comprehensive design tutorial which can essentially teach any beginner to evolve into a pro-level designer.

The basic step-by-step method starts from teaching how to add a splash of color on your template that extends to the more elaborate techniques of adding composites and animations.

Through a unique interactive format, Canva design tutorials can get you into the business of designing without any relevant experience.

There are various tutorials for blogs, presentations, graphics etc which will bring out the niche designer in you.

These tutorials discuss in details how the right fonts and font pairings can dramatically impact the design and its intended message.

There are various tutorials on color relationships, creative color palettes which speak about building relevant color combinations closely aligned to the purpose of the campaign.

There are extended discourses which shed light on the significance of images, backgrounds, shapes, and icons too.

Branding, as an essential part of building a comprehensive campaign, has also been discussed in many modules.

Overall, Canva Design Essential tutorials aim to empower users, both beginners, and pro-level designers, with wholesome, detailed, and extensive knowledge of designing and graphics.

How can you become a Canva Layout designer?

Recently, Canva put a marketplace for layout designers in motion. Through this platform, designers and professionals can design and upload their own layouts and earn remuneration every time their design gets purchased.

This has significantly bridged the gap between common users in need of creative graphics and professional designers.

And this also increased the library content of layouts manifold, with thousands of layouts being added to it every week.

If you also want to become a contributor to this vast platform, follow these basic steps:

  • Create a design layout in Canva and publish it so that it’s visible to all users.
  • Upload your own designs, images, illustrations etc and get paid every time your work gets purchased.
  • Use Canva’s pro-designer toolkits and massive library contents to create your designs and earn your way through it.
  • Design for millions of users worldwide and open up to a considerably larger audience and endless new opportunities.

Is the paid version of Canva worth it?

There are different versions of this platform – Free, Canva For Work, and Canva Enterprise.

Although the freeware comes with a host of convenient and handy tools, the paid versions further equip the designer with additional valuable features much sought after more professional and elaborate designs.

To understand what benefits you get under each module, refer to the points below:

Free forever Canva

  • 2 folders to organize your work.
  • You can add up to 10 team members for free.
  • 1 GB storage space for images and other creative assets.
  • 8000 templates available
  • You can upload your images and access the photo stock for $1 each.

Canva For Work ($12.95/user/month)

  • In addition to the above features, you also get the access to Magic Resize Button
  • Upload custom fonts and color palettes.
  • Add up to 30 team members.
  • Unlimited folders for your designs
  • Priority customer support.

Canva Enterprise

  • Canva Enterprise is an extension of Canva For Work
  • Access to advanced analytics and team administrative controls
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Single sign on and 99.9% uptime SLA

Conclusion

Are you ready to give Canva a try yet? You can use its free version and test allthe features today

Diclaimer: We are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with Canva.

Canva – Amazing and Simple Graphic Design Software

by Danny Donchev time to read: 13 min
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