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Canva Blog

20 June 2023

Canva Blog

Katya Buryakova

If you haven’t heard of Canva before but feel that it’s time to revamp your collateral, website or social media presence – read on! Your design dilemmas may come to an end, and it’s easier than you think.

 If you are already using it, you may learn a new trick or two since Canva’s released a couple of very cool features this year!

What is Canva and why is it so good?

Canva is a powerful graphic design platform which makes day-to-day design tasks very easy. It is a great alternative for those creatives who do not have access to/knowledge of Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. Plus, it is user-friendly, easily accessible, and has a tonne of features and templates that can make your designs look polished and professional without the help of a graphic designer.

What can you use it for?

Users can design posters, flyers, presentations and other visual documents with drag-and-drop design tools with a stock library of photographs, illustrations and imagery or using their own images which they can easily upload to the platform.  A quick browse will show you what is possible (lots!), and we love the fact that Canva has a huge library of templates available. So you have two options: you can either start your design from scratch or use the many templates available. 

Where to start?

Canva is easy to sign up for, using either an email, Google account, or Facebook login. You can choose between a Canva Free (no cost) and Canva Pro (£10.99 a month).

Canva Pro does give you access to some extra features, but Canva Free is a great place to start and you can get loads done here!

Canva Free highlights:

Canva Free offers access to hundreds of templates, graphic elements like images, stickers, frames and videos, and you can upload your own images to work into the design of your choice. Simply click on the ‘Create a new design’ button if you are starting a new project, and then you can save it and continue working on it at another time without losing any progress. You will notice that some elements are not free (the little crown icon), these are available with Canva Pro or can be purchased separately.

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Canva Visual Worksuite gives you access to docs, whiteboards, presentations, social media designs, video, print material and website content. Our top picks for creatives would be templates for social media, brochures, resume, opening hours, price lists, posters, logos and business cards.

Magic Design: on March 22, 2023, Canva launched Canva Create by introducing new Magical tools and features to the Visual Suite (and yes, AI plays a big part!). Magic Design is an AI-powered design generator that lets you upload any media and generates templates that match the content and context you need. It will basically whip up a curated selection of unique templates just for you. It’s a simple way to visualise any design – and you can choose themes you like, add titles and of course select the format. Easy!

Create Animations: The”Animate” tool allows users to create simple animations and GIFs. You can add motion effects to elements such as text, shapes, and images, and set the animation to play on a loop or just once. The tool includes a timeline feature that allows users to adjust the timing and sequence of their animations. Great pick for social media stories or to just catch someone’s eye quickly on socials!

Draw: this new feature allows users to create hand-drawn designs and illustrations within the Canva platform. With this tool, users can use a variety of brushes and pens to create freehand drawings or sketches, and adjust the stroke size, opacity, and colour of their lines.

Craft NI tip 1: we encourage you to spend a little bit of time to see what is available; not all templates may be suitable for a craft business, or to your own practice. Spend a bit of time to find something that resonates with you and your work!

Craft NI tip 2: for those of you struggling to plan ahead, especially on Instagram, an IG grid template is invaluable! Simply select one, think of your content for the upcoming weeks, upload images and start curating and planning. It’s a great way to visualize what your grid will look like, colour flow, content variations, and also a good reminder to keep your social media fresh.

Craft NI tip 3: or should we say Canva tip? Head over to Canva’s Design School and start learning. Their tutorials are great and so easy to follow.

Canva Pro Highlights:

Unlimited access to premium images and 100+ million premium images, fonts, audio and more.

Brand Hub: this feature helps you centralise your brand and keep your logos, colours, fonts, icons, imagery, graphics, and brand guidelines all in one place for everyone to use. This is very helpful and keeps you organised!

Tools for scheduling social media posts on 8 different platforms, more AI-powered design tools such as Magic Eraser, Magic Text, tools for removing image and video background, 1T cloud storage.

Worth noting that if you’re on the fence, Canva offers a Free Trial for Canva Pro, so you’ve got nothing to lose!  Also, non-profit organisations, teachers and primary and secondary students have access to Canva Pro for free.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better user-friendly graphic design platform than Canva. Suitable for all levels, it’s great for professionals who value their time, and for beginners who want to use software with a straightforward interface.


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