What are the uses of Canva

Tool tip: Create your own designs quickly and easily with Canva

In the age of Instagram and Co., visual marketing has become an indispensable part of the standard marketing repertoire. Image-heavy contributions get a lot more attention than those with little or no image material. It is all the more important to use appealing images in posts, as well as in posts for Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and of course Instagram.

Many marketers use a number of different programs or websites to create an appealing image: first, the image is edited in Photoshop, then the layout is adjusted in InDesign. And matching filter programs and apps are already a dime a dozen. But most of the time, these programs also cost money and, above all, a lot of time.

But are you really dependent on external services? Is it necessary to hire a designer who packs my content into a beautiful design? And do I also need a photographer who can take suitable pictures for me?

We claim at this point: No. At least not always. Granted, that's easier said than done. Creating visual content is often quite time-consuming and you need various tools. And there are now very many of them. You immediately ask yourself the next question: which tool is the right one for me? And what can something like that cost? This was also an issue during our sprint last week. The hoteliers and restaurateurs would like some input and assistance here.

Today we would like to introduce Canva to you. Canva is a user- and cost-friendly online platform that combines image processing tools with publishing programs and thus makes graphic design quite easy, even for laypeople. Canva is particularly geared towards the social media suitability of the generated elements and offers a selection of templates that are suitable for a wide variety of industries and occasions.

 

 

First steps

Registration takes place at www.canva.com. There are different subscriptions, we have opted for Canva Pro for just under 11 euros per month and are well equipped with it.

 

 

A Canva Pro subscription enables, among other things

  • unlimited storage space for photos and materials
  • setting up color palettes for your brand, uploading logos and your own fonts
  • exclusive access to 400,000 free photos, illustrations and templates
  • the management of photos in different folders
  • and much more

recommendation: In the “Trademark documents” menu, you can upload your logo, fonts and colors and use them to personalize your designs later.

 

 

Create your first design

Canva has a good collection of matching templates for a wide variety of content. The templates are divided into categories (the type of content), which in turn can be separated into additional sub-categories such as design and topic. For example, you can choose between templates for posters and presentations, depending on the content strategy you are currently pursuing. The templates are already optimized to the appropriate dimensions, such as banners, headers and cover photos for sites such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. You should think about the platforms on which you can best reach your target group and get your message to the man / woman in the best possible way. In our example, we are creating an Instagram post to promote this post.

Click on "Create design" to start!

You now have the option of designing a blank page yourself or using a template. We choose an empty page for our design and color it in traction purple, after we have removed the existing text fields. We'll add our own text fields later.

 

 

By clicking on the “Insert text field” button, you can also choose between a template for a text field or an empty text frame. Write your text and choose a suitable font after you have marked the text field with one click. You change the font in the same way, so you don't have to select all of the text as you know it from other programs such as Word - the text frame is sufficient.

 

 

Working with templates

First, enter a term in the search bar and select a photo or illustration. You can find many different images in the photo library, from abstract designs, textures, or landscapes to people and animals. Once you find the perfect image, just drag and drop it onto your design and place it however you want. Of course, you can also upload your own images, which you can then use in your design. This is ideal for B. insert your company logo or other elements.

It is possible to adapt the template by deleting, replacing or re-coloring existing images and text. The templates offer an ideal starting point for creating a design. For most, it's easier to start with a template than a blank sheet of paper. You don't have to reinvent the wheel with the help of the templates or even pay a design professional to create your everyday graphics.

 

Add elements

Now create your design with a picture and add your logo or other suitable elements. Choose from the elements and images available in Canva or from your own material, which you can easily upload using the “Upload” function. By the way: changing a frame size is always done by dragging a corner point in one direction. Dragging a text frame larger or smaller also affects the size of the text.

 

 

As you can see in our example, you can customize your desired image as you need it. Anything that goes over the edge is automatically left out. If you double-click on the motif, you can still align it optimally. If elements or text are covered by the image, simply adjust the “Position” (button at the top right). In our example, the motif with “Backwards” moves into the background and the line elements come back to the foreground.

 

 

Tip: If you don't have a suitable picture at hand yourself or are looking for inspiration, we would like to recommend Unsplash to you at this point. Search and find thousands of free images to download here.

 

Working with Canva Photo Filters

Of course, Canva also has different filters. They are suitable for adjusting color tones quickly and easily. This is how you can get the most out of your pictures - just like you probably would on Instagram.

To add a filter, select an image, click the "Filters" button in the upper left and select one of the filters. Use the slider to set the intensity. In the advanced options you can adjust further settings such as brightness, contrast and saturation or even add effects such as a vignette, individually. We are actually quite satisfied with our picture, the colors are rich enough.

 

Completing the design

And this is what our finished design looks like now.

 

 

You may want to use this design for other platforms as well. With the Canva Pro subscription, you can easily change the size by clicking on "Change size" in the upper left corner and selecting a new format or medium. This is a time-saving feature that allows you to copy designs in no time and adapt them to different formats. Just “Resize” and “Copy and Resize”. That’s it.

In our example, we would like to adapt the design for a Facebook post as well. Please note that most designs cannot be converted 1: 1 to other sizes without adjusting all elements proportionally. Adjust easily with drag & drop.

 

 

Don't forget to give your design a name. We usually name them by medium (this reveals the size) and topic, such as “Instagram_Canva”.

 

 

Publish design

If you are happy with your design, you now have several options to publish it. If you have linked your Canva profile to your Facebook account, you can publish the design on their Facebook page directly from Canva.

 

 

To post on other social networks like Instagram, you can download the design as a JPG, PNG or PDF. The PDF file can also be printed out directly.

What is quite new are the animation features in the Pro subscription: You can download your design as an MP4 file or as a GIF, there are a total of six animation styles to choose from.

Canva also offers other design editing options. In addition to social media posts, you can also create presentations, business cards, brochures, and more.

What sets Canva apart from other tools is that the design process is basically almost the same for all designs. Thanks to the ready-made templates, you can create many different motifs with just a few clicks and without design knowledge. So if you are not afraid of visual content, just give it a try. Then you will see what works. We look forward to seeing your creations!