You probably already know by now that great graphics are key to your blog or business standing out online, but if you're not a graphic designer, Photoshop and Illustrator can be very confusing to use!
Luckily, there’s an amazing online tool called Canva, which is perfect for beginners. I’m going to show you how you can use Canva to design beautiful graphics for your blog or website.
Overview of Canva
If you’re new to Canva, let me give you an overview. Canva is an online graphic design software that makes it easy for everyone (even beginners) to design beautiful graphics. They have a wide range of templates available for social media, blog and business graphics. You can edit and customise the templates or even create your own designs from scratch. Canva is free to use, or you can upgrade to get extra features for $12.95 a month.
When you log into Canva, the page will look something like this. The panel of the left allows you to create a new design and view your current designs. Along the top, there are some common graphics templates. If you click 'more', it will take you to an overview of all the graphic templates available.
Canva Template Graphics
Social Media Posts
The photo below shows the choices for social media graphics. There are templates for a Twitter post, Pinterest graphic, Facebook post, Facebook app, Tumblr graphic and Instagram post. All the templates are already set to the right size for each social media platform.
The 'Documents' templates are a perfect starting point for designing business documents. You can choose between a US letter, Presentations, A4 page, Letterheads, Magazine, Resume and Certificate.
Blogging & Ebooks
There are an amazing selection of templates available for bloggers and writers, such as ebook layouts, desktop wallpapers, Wattpad book covers, Kindle covers, blog titles, blog graphics, album covers and infographics.
I personally love the selection of infographic templates. Canva makes it so easy to design a professional looking infographic to add to your blog post.
Again, there is a great selection of marketing templates available, making it super easy for business owners to create professional branding. You can choose between real estate flyers, posters, food & drink menus, business cards, trifold brochures, gift certificates and logos.
Social Media & Email Headers
Canva also makes it easy for you to customise your social media profiles. They have a range of templates such as Facebook covers, Youtube thumbnails, Tumblr banners, Youtube channel arts, Twitter headers, Google+ photos, Etsy cover photos, Etsy shop icons and Email headers.
The 'events' template options are postcards, invitations and wedding invitations, cards and a photo collage. This is great for creating graphics for personal and business events.
The last category is ads. Canva's ad templates are, Facebook ads, two different sizes of rectangle ads, a wide skyscraper advertisement and a leaderboard advertisement.
How to Design a Graphic From a Template
Customising templates is the easiest way to create your own graphics in Canva. I'm going to show you an example of how I edit a business card template to reflect my brand.
Choose the 'business card' option from the 'marketing materials' section of the templates. Click 'layouts' on the panel on the left hand side of the screen, you can then scroll through all the different pre-made template styles until you find one you wish to use. I chose the 'The Lounge hotel bar business card'.
Click on the text to edit it to your words of choice. You can change the font, size, colour and formatting of the text at the top of the screen.
Remove the background photo by clicking on the background of the business card, then pressing delete, or clicking the little trash can icon in the corner. If you go to the panel on the left, you can then click 'uploads' to upload your own image.
Click the 'upload your own images' button and select an image you wish to use for your background. It will then load as a little thumbnail below the upload button in the panel on the left. Drag it onto your business card and adjust the size and position as you like.
As the background image was white, I decided to change the text to pink to match my brand style. To change the text and box colours, just click on them and the colour will appear as a little square in the corner. Click on the coloured square to bring up the colour section wheel to choose your new colour.
Check your happy with the design and make any final adjustments. You click on each object to move it or change the formatting in the top bar.
At the very top of the screen on the blue bar, click 'download'. You can then choose what file format you wish to download the file as and click the green 'download' button.
Thats it! You can now enjoy using your new graphic!
How to Design a Graphic From Scratch
You can also design your own graphics from scratch. Click on a template to open up the blank document of the right size. Instead of using a pre-made template from the 'layouts' panel. You can add your own text and images to create your own unique graphic.
You can flick between the tabs on the left to open different option panels.
The 'search' tab allows you to search through all Canva's images to find one you like the look of.
The 'layouts' tab is where you can scroll through and choose a pre-made template like I showed you earlier.
The 'elements' tab has different photos, grids, frames, shapes, lines, illustrations, icons and charts for you to use in your designs. I love this feature, there are some really great options to enhance your graphics.
The 'text' tab is full of different fonts and text styles for you to add to your designs.
The 'background' tab allows you to change the background colour or pattern.
And the 'uploads' tab is where you can upload your own photo, like I showed you earlier.
To apply any of these features to your design, simply drag and drop them onto the blank document. Then use the same click-to-edit method I showed you earlier. It really is that simple!