DIY graphic design image

How Canva Might Just Make Me Tolerate Graphic Design


I hate graphic design. No. I really, really hate doing anything that even slightly resembles graphic design. Mostly because I think I suck at it. However, as a small business owner, I simply cannot afford to have every little blog graphic, presentation and sticker designed by a professional. Which is weird, because I used to have a proficient love for scrapbooking and cardmaking. I even ran a cardmaking blog, won contests, worked on manufacturer’s design teams, and GOT PUBLISHED for a card I designed. So why I cannot love graphic design I do not understand.

Canva is changing that. Seriously. My digital friend Peg Fitzpatrick started talking about Canva well over a year ago as one of their brand ambassadors. I peeked in at it. I messed around. But because I hated design, I stuck with my tried and true ways of doing things I couldn’t afford to hire out. And I continued to hate graphic design work.

Ever since I attended Social Media Marketing World, and heard every other social media expert toting the benefits of Canva, I’ve tried to use it a little more. I even filled out the survey that came one day asking what I needed from Canva. And you know what? They listened to little ol me. Yes. I know I was the deciding factor in the “Magic Resize” function. I know they looked at my sad plea for a way to resize graphics from one network to another and said, “WOW…she’s got a great idea there.” Yup, I’m sure that’s how it went down. (Have we developed a sarcastic smilie yet?)

What I love about Canva at Work

  • As a paid service goes, it is C-H-E-A-P if you’re a non-designer who needs to DIY stuff.
  • Magic resize. O.M.G. this changes everything. I design something to fit Facebook and click the magic resize button and Canva pops out the same design to fit Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram within seconds. I can leave it as is, or I can simply rearrange a few things to make it even better. So. So. Easy. All the graphics in this blog post were created in less than 10 minutes. Seriously. Tweet this raving testimonial.
  • Templates. There are so many free and inexpensive templates to choose from. And they’re gorgeous.
  • Brand Kit. I uploaded all of my brand colours to the brand kit section. Automagically, all of the suggested templates are in my branded colour! Pick one, change the text, add a different photo, magic resize and Bob’s yer uncle, you’ve designed all the graphics you need for that blog post.
  • Stock images are $1 per use. The one I’ve used today was FREE! It just doesn’t get much easier than that.
  • Upload your own images to be used as backgrounds. Now I’m shooting pictures everywhere just in case I need a ship coming out of the fog someday.
Canva at work tw

Resized and slightly rearranged for Twitter

I will still always have a need for REAL graphic designers. I could never have designed my logo and Twirp bird (and I don’t recommend you do your own branding like that either!) But Canva is helping me tolerate the necessary evil of designing multiple graphics to go with each and every blog post I write. (Tweet THIS) To blog “properly” I know you need separate images for Twitter, Facebook/Instagram and Pinterest, plus I also need a long skinny image for my blog header. They are making one aspect of my job a little bit easier and so I am happy to share the love with you.

Canva at work

Square for Facebook, G+ and Instagram

Have you tried Canva yet? I would love to read your best tips and tricks!

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