Canva: An Extraordinary Design Tool for SME’s?
What is Canva?
With Canva you don’t need to be a fully-fledged graphic designer to get it right. In simple terms, Canva is a web-based design software created having the limitations and needs of non-professional designers in mind. We’ve all probably heard of how awfully difficult it is to come up with a design using Photoshop and the hours of work that it takes to master such program. We’ve probably even had a go at it and ended up being terribly disappointed with the results.
Canva has pretty much changed that as it’s very much like the user-friendly version of Photoshop and alike software, offering you an array of professionally designed templates that can be used as they come, or be fully customized. If you’re a lover of compelling design, yet do not have the technical knowledge to produce through Photoshop or Illustrator, you will likely find Canva to be the perfect accessory to your projects.
How can Canva help with your designs?
Social media management.
Communicating with your audience in a virtual world can often feel daunting and too time-consuming. Getting the look right, coming up with relevant content, and then translating this into all sorts of different social media platforms and their unique formats take time away from your business’s core functions and this can be a disincentive to posting consistently. As you may know, posting routinely whilst maintaining a certain look and feel to a social media feed is a huge part of the successful management of such platforms. Consequently, an eye-catching design becomes essential to engaging potential and existing customers on already very saturated social media feeds.
This is where Canva can be particularly useful as it offers a library of 60,000 upwards professionally curated templates following market trends and which are tailored to be posted on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Linkedin.
These templates can be personalised by integrating videos, music, Gif’s, QR codes, Google Maps, graphs/ charts and much more; as well as upload your own photos, logos, colour schemes and fonts for maximum customisation.
It is not just with social media that Canva can help you with. Amongst others, they offer templates to help you put together presentations, business cards, CV’s, email marketing, etc. Presently, for instance, Canva has a whole library of ready to use templates with advice on Covid-19 to help your business communicate with your customers on these uncertain times, as seen in these Mp4 animations created and edited starting from a Canva template.
You don’t need to download a complicated app that is going to take a big chunk of your computer’s storage to be able to use Canva. Being a fully web-based service, all you’re going to need is a computer device and an internet connection and you can access your designs anytime from anywhere as Canva also stores your designs from 1GB storage with Canva Free, 100GB with Canva Pro or unlimited storage with the Canva Enterprise option. They also offer a mobile app so that you can access your designs on the go.
Canva can also be ideal if you have a small budget to work with.
You can use Canva absolutely for free if you don’t anticipate using this service extensively, and then do one-off in-app purchases of special photos, videos and other features that you would only be able to access otherwise with the Canva Pro or Enterprise versions.
On the other hand, if this tool is going to become a must-have program in the creation of your company’s visuals you should consider subscribing to Canva Pro or Enterprise for added permissions such as extra storage, their brand kit feature, one-click design resizes and the background remover feature with a month free trial for you to experience Canva Pro at its full potential before financially committing to it.
And you’ll be pleased to know that Canva Non-Profits comes out of charge for charitable organisations, all you have to do is register your interest on their website.
As mentioned before, Canva can particularly help their non-savvy users to accomplish elevated designs. Even when creating a design from scratch, Canva has arguably managed to develop a very instinctual interface that allows the user to quickly add, modify, remove, crop, search and upload any of the elements that will constitute a design. Example of this is the readily available library of shapes, images, icons and background remover that would otherwise be very hard to achieve using a photoshop program.
And if you still need some guidance using this program, Canva gives you access to their Design School and some other teaching materials to help you create your dream design.
Another great feature of Canva is their Brand Kit feature that can be used to highlight your favourite and preferred colour schemes, logos and fonts for easy access and unmistakable consistency. You can even collaborate with other Canva users by sharing your creations and giving them access to your designs.
Where can Canva improve upon:
There is much more that can be said about this software, and like with any good product or service, there is always something to be improved upon. Canva is no exception to this.
Existing almost perfectly and graciously on the virtual world, where the translation of this program can be at fault is in its printing solutions. Canva does suggest a printing service to help materialize your creations, but this service is potentially more expensive than an average add-on, and of lesser quality since the pixelation of images and videos can be lost when expanded or used in certain formats.
Undoubtedly, there are still things to be refined on Canva, but all things considered, Canva came to positively impact the non-professional designer world since launching in 2013. No wonder they are now one of the fastest-growing tech companies in the world, with over 15 million active users across 190 countries; and with over 1bn designs already created using this powerful software.