Canva is my favorite free online graphic design program. It’s so user friendly! I have used it to create ads, flyers, social media graphics, infographics, logos, scrapbooks, Christmas cards and more.
Canva is free, but you can opt for a paid plan if you want to unlock additional tools.
Sign up using an email address and password. Once you sign in, you will see a range of templates in various sizes. You may also choose custom dimensions if you have something specific in mind. If not, I recommend using the Blog Graphic template for a piece that can be used across all social media channels.
Below you will see the Uploads tab. This is where you will store all of your personal photos. I love that Canva saves all of the pictures I’ve ever used, it makes it easy to go back and grab something, rather than re-uploading every time.
The Elements tab (below) is a lot of fun to play with when designing a new piece. I use grids, shapes and lines on a daily basis because they make my images look clean and modern. I have also used icons in the past for my infographics. I tend to steer clear of Free Photos because I prefer to use all my own photos on my blog.
The Text tab is an excellent tool for beginners. I have relied heavily on the suggested text layouts in the past. These are great because they showcase interesting ways to play with various fonts and sizes. Once you become more experienced, you can create your own text by using the “Add heading,” “Add subheading,” and “Add a little bit of body text.”
Alright, let’s create a blog graphic. This is a simple, 4 step example to show you the general process. First, I start with a grid, this avoids the photo from cropping poorly. I only need to use one image for this piece so I selected the one-image grid.
Next, click on your selected image. I had a photo from my trip to Tulum, Mexico on the side bar so I went with that.
Now it’s time to get a little creative. I like the look of a slightly transparent circle on top of my graphics so that’s what I’m doing here. You may choose any color you’d like – you can even enter a color code if you need to stick to specific branding guidelines. You can also choose your transparency level in the top right hand corner.
Then, you can add your text. Once again, I kept this pretty simple and created my own using the “Add subheading.” There isn’t much of a difference between the 3 heading choices because no matter what, you can select your font, font size and font color.
Once you’re happy with your image click “download.” Canva will recommend a file type for you based on your template. I typically go with a png file for my social media graphics.
Canva has been such a help to me in my personal and professional life! I use it several times a day and have recommended it to countless friends. I love that it’s versatile, easy to use and FREE!
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding Canva.
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