LD Staff Writer
Social media has proliferated our culture. While a strong presence on social media isn’t required for success, it’s rare to find a successful business without some form of presence.
There are the big three of course – Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – but there are some niche groups that will also need to expand into YouTube, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Just having an account on these platforms isn’t enough, you need to generate content for them too!
We’ve already covered tools like MeetEdgar that will allow you to broadcast to all of your chosen platforms at once, but that doesn’t help you create the content. That’s where Canva comes in. It’s a team based (or single user) site designed around the idea that content should be easier to create.
Canva takes the guess work out of creating graphics and images in different formats, providing users with templates for various platforms. It gives not only the proper sizes, but also the tools to set up a personalized template that will hold different images or text as you might need. Setting up a banner for a weekly blog post is simple, and editing it to customize for each week is even easier!
Your first time through Canva, you’ll want to click the convenient “Create a Design” button. It immediately asks what sort of design you are trying to create.
Let’s say you want a Facebook cover image. Canva makes is super easy! When you select “Facebook Cover,” you’re given a starting point that’s exactly the height and width you need. From there, it’s as simple as adding the pieces you want – either graphics and images you upload, or those provided on the site.
Canva breaks down the bits and pieces you can add into categories like Elements, Text, Backgrounds, and even the images you’ve previously uploaded. Each helps, in its own way, to create a simple interface for creating custom graphics.
Creating a Project
Let’s walk through an example. We’ll stick with making a Facebook cover photo.
To start off a project, you could open up Elements and grab a grid that suits the sort of framework you need. This is great for keeping important information out from behind the profile picture on Facebook. Inside Elements, you can also find Shapes, Lines, and even Illustrations. The Illustrations can be customized to a specific color scheme. For instance, you could drop a popsicle graphic into your banner that doesn’t match your aesthetic, and quickly change the main body from red to a deep blue. Each illustration comes with a set of colors that can be modified easily from the top of the window.
As you’d expect from any graphics software platform, Canva also has a wide array of fonts to choose from. Each can be dropped in with a sort of mini template already in place. This saves time on trying to get the spacing just right when you need to add some information or a title. If you can’t find the combination of font and spacing that you like, you can easily shift the font of any template after it’s been added. You can even force an all caps text block for a bold look!
If you’ve gotten this far, and still don’t like how it’s shaping up, you can approach it a different way with Backgrounds. Like most everything else in Canva, there’s a wide array of free options to choose from, and almost all can be modified to fit the color scheme you’re working with. You can even get some high resolution photos to add as a background for a small charge.
Last but not least, your own uploaded photos are hiding at the bottom of the list of items that can be added to your newly minted graphic. You can even link your Facebook photos directly to your Canva to avoid the headache of re-uploading them! Canva is built to grab your photos when added to your graphics (if you’re working with a template), so they automatically fit the area without needing a lot of cropping.
Those are the “meat and potatoes” basics of Canva, and are great for a single person… But what if you need to work with a team? Canva is also built to handle that with ease. If you’re working with a multiple people, you likely have a standard color palette, as well as fonts, logos, or other company-wide style elements. Canva will hold all of these in a central area to allow easy access by multiple users, helping the team keep a consistent look and feel across projects!
We also reviewed EDIT.org, another great content creator platform. Like Canva, EDIT makes creating graphics and images in different formats simple by providing users with templates for various platforms. EDIT gives not only the proper sizes, but also the tools to set up a personalized template that will hold different images or text as you might need. EDIT is easy to navigate and intuitive, even for the most novice creator.
All in all, both Canva and EDIT were built to make semi-simple graphics work accessible to everyone. That means that if you’re even a little curious about making a custom graphic, you should log in and give it a go!
I’m sure you’ll be delighted with your results.