Canva is an online based graphic design platform that you can use on your computer via your internet browser, and on any mobile device that has their app available. An internet connection is necessary to edit your work.
The interface of this tool is very user friendly and meant to be used by any person regardless of their experiences in graphic design. You can create graphics and illustrations, you can retouch images, develop any social media content, use templates… In short, possibilities are almost endless!
When clicking on “Create a design” on the top-right corner (on the computer version), you will be prompted with many different template sizes. Behind the given names such as “Facebook Post”, “Logo” or any other name, clicking one of the options will set your document to the size of the chosen template. This eases the process of being sure that your creation will be on the measurements you need.
If you need a specific size for your project, you will be able to do so by clicking on the “Custom Size” button at the bottom of the drop down menu. After this step, you will be able to choose one of their templates, or start your project from scratch.
When it comes to designing, honestly, it canNOT be easier. The drag-and-drop feature is very intuitive and often leaves you with a satisfying feeling when working on a project. You can import photos, or images that you want to incorporate in your design and the most basic tools for graphic design will be at your disposition.
As much as it is easy to come up with a good looking design, there will be some limitations at some point, especially when it comes to using the Free version.
Going for their Pro version will give you to have more tools available and ultimately allow you to create better graphic designs.
As much as we all love free stuff, nothing is really free nowadays. And in certain cases that’s quite understandable. When you look at the amount of time and people that the company invested in to develop such a tool, we can only agree that it deserves some respect. And having some options only made available in the Pro version, makes total sense. At the time of writing this article, you will have to pay 109,99€ per year for one user to unveal all the Pro features. and it is worth it!
You will gain access to millions of stock videos, photos. You will be able to use any tools that they offer and you’ll even be able to schedule posts and this is awesome! This allows you to save a lot of time, especially if you schedule them all at once for the next coming weeks. Everything will be automatically published on up to 8 different social media platforms!
Last but not least, you get 1TB of cloud storage and the support will be available for you 24/7.
For 109,99€, this is definitely worth the price for all the features that are offered to you in this subscription.
Comparing Canva to a tool such as Creative Suite from Adobe is actually wrong in my honest opinion, and I don’t mean this in a negative way.
To better understand what I mean let me take some examples that are hard to compare:
And though templates might save you time and ease your graphic communication’s creative process, I dare to say that graphic designers should definitely not be scared of Canva taking over their work. There will always be a need of graphic designers as we keep moving forward towards a more and more virtual world.
If you still wonder if Canva can help you with your graphic communication, the answer is yes, it can. It can help you on different levels to create some generic designs for your business. While designers often propose to create templates for you, this can save you some money if you are on a tight line budget-wise. Canva can help you to easily manage your projects from anywhere and almost on any device, ensuring you always have the possibility to create a post no matter where you are (and as long as you have an internet connection).
If you really cannot afford a designer for your logo, and you have no knowledge about graphic design, this might be a good starting point. Depending if you have the Pro subscription or not, you should be able to create a simple logo. Further down the line you can always change your logo or let it be re-designed by a graphic designer.
Keep in mind that changing a logo can have a very good, but also very bad impact on your business. Therefore before changing, and even if you will be the one bringing those changes, you should at least consider a consultation with a graphic designer. They will be able to clarify things for you and ask you the right questions to see what could be improved or changed.
But can you go a step further and create your entire brand identity on Canva?
To be honest, I never tried the Pro version because the free version is enough for my need. With that said, I know some people that are developing their brand identity only with Canva. Take Imran from Web Squadron, for example. As far as I know, he only uses Canva (Pro) to develop his graphic communication and it looks very professional. So it is definitely possible confirming that Canva is worth it.
If you want to only use the free version, this might be quite limited and you might have to use a third-party tool in order to accomplish what you cannot do without Canva’s Pro version.
Creating your own graphic communication isn’t as simple at it first seems. In fact, many things are taken into consideration when a graphic designer works on a project. Most of it has to do with your brand identity, and being cohesive and consistent with your designs.
Like everything, there are certain basic principles that you need to respect in order to be coherent with your business and be spot on with your graphic communication. Although these principles should be known even when working with any other software, it’s easy to lose track of them when using Canva.
The reason for this is because of the many, and very diverse styles of templates you can choose from. As much as it has it’s advantages as some of them are stunning, it’s easy to lose track of your brand identity by selecting a design that you like but that would not necessarily represent your brand a 100%.
The more you will keep your graphic communication related to your brand identity, the better results you will have with your audience. Creating a brand identity by yourself can be challenging, don’t discourage yourself if the first designs you make aren’t as satisfying as you want them to be. Change it, update it, retouch it, rethink it, and more importantly, try to put yourself in the shoes of the people you are aiming to target with your communication. If you don’t understand what your audience likes/wants, it will be hard to turn your concept into a success story.
If you are really serious about your business and you can afford it of course – we all know that it’s never easy when we start – hiring a graphic designer is definitely the way to go. Not only it will save you time, but it will also ensure that everything represents your brand.
It will certainly be an investment, but if you find the right graphic designer for you and your business, this is probably one of the best and most important investments.
Nothing stops you from using Canva! There is many ways you can develop your graphic communication. The best would be to have your brand identity designed by a designer and use all the assets of your brand identity. You can easily import them to use them in the design you want to create on Canva.
In the end, there is no reasons for you to not give it a try, it’s free! The most important is for you to find the right balance and the right tool to keep your brand identity up to date.
While being accessible for us all, should we, graphic designers, be scared of Canva’s simplicity of use? Since everyone can do it, is there still a need of a graphic designer? Is this the end of our beloved profession?
Be reinsured, the answer is simply NO… why?
Because Canva has its limitations, even when opting for their Pro version. As much as we can praise that Canva is a great solution for graphic design, it does not replace any of the work that a graphic designer does. It does not replace any advices and knowledge that a graphic designer has accumulated over the years. Neither does it replace any other famous programs such as Adobe Creative Suite or any other very practical tools especially made for graphic designers.
Canva is quite generic when it comes to the tools they propose, and often you will be stuck on applying the ideas you really have in mind to your project. It’s great for people that want to easily be able to create something on the go without spending a huge amount of time creating it.
Yes, absolutely! There is many ways where Canva can become a great companion tool to your workflow.
Here are 3 ways you can use Canva as a graphic designer:
Is Canva worth it? Yes, a 100%! This is a great tool, and what I love the most is that it’s really accessible for anyone. Because of its simplicity and its affordable cost. I love seeing how technology opens the possibility for everyone to have the tools they need to grow their business. Not everyone can afford the service of a graphic designer, and not everyone can afford the (very high) prices of softwares such as Adobe Creative Suite.
Yes I totally recommend you to hire a graphic designer, even if it’s just to have an opinion about your design, but the result made by a graphic designer will be tailor-made for your project and will be thought out all the way to help you reach your goals.
I can help you develop your brand identity and give you advices on what to improve with your graphic communication! Book a free call with me, so we can see chit-chat about your business!
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