Are you a graphic designer?

Then this blog is probably not for you.

You probably have both the design skills and the software knowledge to create sharp, modern looking marketing materials. No, this post is for the rest of us — for the people who need basic, but sharp looking marketing material. For everyone who may not have quick access to a great graphic designer there’s Canva.

What is Canva?

Canva is website which allows non graphic designers to put together all kinds of basic marketing material from flyers to business cards to social media headers.  Canva provides over 8,000 templates that users can customise with different colors, graphics, and content.  It also provides stock photography for purchase and printing options. Everything lives on the web, so there’s no need to download any software. And if you’re working with a group of people you can share your work as teams so that everyone has access to it. All of your designs can be downloaded in a range of file types and even at the free level the designs aren’t watermarked.

What does it cost?

That’s the best part. You can start out with the basic plan, and it is completely free! It will give you access to all of Canva’s templates and collaboration tools and let you download designs with out a watermark. Of course for 9.95 a month (paid annually, 12.95 if paid monthly) you can go up to the Pro plan. The Pro plan allows you to upload your own graphics, set branding guidelines, and export gifs and movies. The full comparison can be viewed on Canva’s website.

This is great! I’m never going to need a graphic designer again!

Hold your horses there. Canva is great for the everyday user creating basic designs, but it doesn’t replace a graphic designer for serious marketing campaigns. Where Canva really shines is if you already have branding and logos created by a graphic designer, and you need to create basic day to day things like: social media graphics, and flyers. Here at Do Space we use Canva for a lot of our basic graphic needs such as post cards, graphics for newsletters, and even flyers in the building.  However, our designs in Canva remain consistent because we had a great graphic design team put  And when it comes to important marketing, we still connect with a designer who designs things for us.

Graphic Designers? You still there?

Okay. You folks may like Canva too. The built in templates are very modern, clean, and now. So, if you like that kind of design Canva is great, even for graphic designers, to throw something together on the fly. However, be warned. You may find yourself thinking, “I should have just opened Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign.”  The UI can be frustrating if you’re used to the full range of control you have in Adobe software. The text design placement tools are particularly lacking for nuanced spacing and design.

About Author
Brie Alsbury, Community Learning Specialist
Brie is a Community Learning Specialist with degrees in art from UNO and Iowa State University. When she's not working with computers, she writes and draws comics.