I admit it…I am a serial content consumer.
I follow influencers, mentors, people in my same line of work, celebrities, local celebrities, to get an idea of what they’re posting and how I can incorporate similar information on my own accounts. I love seeing the creative ways other people design and share information on social media, and especially as I was starting out, this strategy of follow and learn really helped me expand my knowledge base and skill set.
Once I started learning, though, I needed to know how to take this information and put it into action. Action in the form of actual posts for social media.
I knew how to create short videos using simple tools like Windows Movie Maker and designing really basic graphics with Microsoft Publisher, but what I needed was a tool that could help me create graphics faster and with a more refined look. I tried programs like Adobe PhotoShop and LightRoom, but those programs were beyond my comprehension at that stage and frankly had too much power and too many tools at my disposal.
So I downloaded some apps from the App Store, and played around with those until I created some graphics that I thought would work for the time being…but I still wasn’t satisfied. I still lacked the ability to create consistent, convenient, branded designs for myself and my clients. Then in March 2017, my digital world was upended.
Enter Canva: my end-all, be-all design tool.
What is Canva?
Canva is an online website that takes the stress and guess work out of graphic design. With templates for everything from greeting cards to restaurant menus to Snapchat filters and Instagram stories, everything you need for you business’ in-house graphics is located at www.canva.com. It’s basically an online graphic designer, but you are in charge of your own designs.
Why I love it
There are lots of reasons but here’s a list of my top 5:
- I can create consistent, branded images. The paid version that I use saves my logos, fonts, and brand colors to my account, so I can save time by not having to constantly look everything up.
2. The template library is phenomenal. Gone are the days where I need to try to be a graphic designer. So many great templates are already in the site, and all I need to do is customize them to my brand to make it look like me.
3. Easily save in a variety of formats. Want to make a GIF? Canva can do that. Need a high-res PDF with crop and bleed marks? Done. Need a png with transparent background for your logo? CANVA CAN DO THAT TOO! With the press of two buttons.
4. Auto-save. All my designs are backed up every few seconds, saved to my account, and accessible from any device, anywhere.
5. Customer service. Occasionally Canva goes down. Its system is overwhelmed and you cannot access your designs. It can be a sad, frustrating day for this digital marketer who uses Canva for nearly all aspects of her business. But the silver lining is that Canva’s PR/customer service department is phenomenal. They are alway a step ahead by providing updates on Twitter, and they take the time to respond to each and every comment personally. It warms my heart and makes me love them even more.
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