Are you looking to design graphics for your website? Would it be even better if you found free website graphics?
This article will introduce you to Canva. Canva is a website graphic design service that you can use for free. When I first found Canva, I thought the free service would be somewhat limited but was pleased to find that there are many free graphic options available. On the other hand, I guess you could consider it limited when you look at how much Canva has to offer through their PRO version. The Pro is $12.95 per month of $9.95 per month if you pay by the year. You can do a free 30-day trial upgrade to determine if you want to commit. I have found the free version quite workable at this point but depending on your circumstances I can see that upgrading would be well worth the fee.
Now you may be thinking “I have no idea how to design graphics”! Well that’s why I’m sharing this. Canva is so extremely easy to use that it takes no time at all to find your way through and design awesome graphics!
If you’re still unsure when you get there, there is a “design inspiration” section and a “learn to design” section. I’ll talk more about that later.
The Canva design platform allows you to create folders in which to save your work and saves it automatically as you work.
You can create any of the following:
- business cards
- social graphics
- web ads and banners
There are templates for all of these.
Actually, there are 500,000 templates in 44 Categories!
Within the templates you have access to the following:
This selection will offer you design layouts for your selected graphic category. Below is an example of one of my favorites. Once selected, you have the option to change each element within the layout. What that means, is that you can actually upload your own photos or use Canva photos and change the wordings to anything relative.
All the layouts have the capability to be adapted to whatever you want to show through pictures and your own words.
Within the Elements selection, you have access to photos, grids, frames, shapes, lines, illustrations, icons, charts, and I Love Canva!
Each of these in turn,offers just a ton of options. As with anything in Canva, they are completely workable to meet your needs.
The text options give you letter styling and fonts and different layouts of text. A simple click on your selection pulls it into your canvas to be manipulated into whatever you want to say. I counted 175 font selections but in the upgraded version you can even upload your own fonts. You can change the font size, color, and make it bold or italic. Here are a couple of examples:
Your background selections can be solid colors or patterns. You also have the option to add custom colors from the color wheel.
Learn to Design
As I mentioned near the beginning, there is an option for those wanting to learn how to use Canva and for design inspiration.
The Inspiration segment if where you can view all the created files that have been made public within Canva. This will give you some ideas of what can be done.
The Learn to Use Canva, opens another window full of tutorials. They are very complete and will take you through all of the areas I have listed above. And yes, they are free!
Within every area described, there are free selections, paid selections, and those only available through PRO. Like I said early on, the free options are quite extensive and have served me well so far.
I have not come across anything yet that I haven’t been able to do. You can even change line and letter spacing as well as link your URL’s to the photos or lettering. Heck you can upload your own photos and graphics and play with them. Here’s one I did in about 60 seconds. I uploaded the graphic and added the border.
If you purchase any of the options, they will be saved in a “purchased” folder. Oh and I almost forgot Facebook! Images from Facebook are can be uploaded as well!!
And then there’s Sharing! When you download your file you will see the following ways to share socially and by email:
There are also other options for Sharing your work. You can share with co-workers and allow them access to view or to make changes. You can also Embed your work directly into your website without even downloading. See below for these options:
It doesn’t matter who you are, you can find a use for canva. Have that friend or family celebrating a birthday who you’d like to embarrass just a little with an old photo? Upload it and add a thought bubble! You can create invitations, announcements, presentations. Just for giggles, I chose a presentation layout which I have not yet done before. I changed graphics and text and had downloaded a PDF file in 15 minutes.
There are likely still some features that I have not covered here. Canva offers just so many possibilities. I have been using it for approximately 3 months now and have not even utilized every aspect within the free version. This is a wonderful tool for anyone but particularly those maintaining websites. You can check it out at www.canva.com.
Let me know what you think and share some of your creations too if you like!