Over the course of the past couple of months, we’ve been hosting Virtual Coffees where the makers in and out of our community come together to support one another, learn new skills and to network.

The topic of our most recent coffee was on Canva, and how this graphic design platform can help with your marketing efforts. There’s a common misconception that a creative maker who is skilled in their art is able to exercise creativity in all areas of life. However, social media marketing and design is a unique art on its own, and many of us find value in the tools and programs available. Canva is one of these tools.

What is Canva?

You can quite easily create a Canva account and spend hours exploring the various features and functions that it offers.

Essentially, it is a graphic design platform that allows users to create various graphics – from social media images to presentations, posters, and other business-related stationery.

Canva is available as both a website as well as a mobile app, allowing you to create effective graphics on the go.

login to canva

What Does Canva Offer?

The reason Canva works so well for beginner (or explorative) designers, is the ease of use. The platform has several templates grouped for different purposes. These include, but are not limited, to the following;

  • Personal – invitation, cards, resumes, planners, etc.
  • Business – presentation, logo, business card, etc.
  • Marketing – poster, flyer, infographic, etc.
  • Education – lesson plan, worksheet, certificate, etc.
  • Social media – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

There are a multitude of templates, each offered in unique dimensions that are perfectly sized for their particular use. This makes designing an effective Facebook cover image or Instagram story as easy as pie.

Creating Content In Canva – five easy steps

With so many features and templates, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed when you first arrive on the platform. But creating content in Canva is easier than you’d think. It allows you to use your own photography and images while being inspired by existing templates.

  1. Decide what sort of graphic you want to create and pick a template that matches its description and dimensions. There are specific templates to choose from, as well as blank pages in a readied size.
  2. If you have any specific pictures of your work that you want in the graphic, then you can upload them to the platform.
  3. To include your content, it’s an easy process of drag-and-drop. There are also additional elements and graphics that you can include in the design (all available on Canva).
  4. You can further customise your design by changing the font and colours of the graphic.
  5. Once you’re happy with your design, you can download your graphic in a choice of file types.

Collaborate And Share Your Content

One of the best perks about Canva is that you can work as a team and invite other people to collaborate on your design. This is particularly useful if you have an intern, business partner or rely on teamwork for success.

Canva also allows the functionality to share your content directly to various social media platforms once you’ve synced the profile. This means that you don’t need to download your graphics and then re-upload them to social media, but you can share directly from within the app, adding a desired blurb and title if needed.

A Record-Keeping Design Tool

Canva also serves as an online library of all previous designs and uploaded images. This is incredibly useful when you want to repeat campaigns, want to use certain designs as templates and have an online storage library of graphics.

A free Canva account offers 1GB of storage and up to 8,000 templates. There is also the option to upgrade to Pro which offers more storage and additional templates.

Sharpening Your Social Media Marketing Skills

Canva is just one of the many useful tools that are freely available online. By signing up for an account, you’re opening a gateway to fun, branded designs that are easy to create.

You’re able to keep a consistent look-and-feel across your various platforms, strengthening your brand appeal in the process.

Finally, if you’re a small and independent UK-based maker, we’d love to hear from you and invite you to join our community of artists, crafters and artisans. You can find out more about how to join Artisanry Co here.