Monday, 14 September 2015

How I Create My Blog's Graphics | Part Two: Canva

Canva is a great free blog image program, with its templates, easy interface, and oh, did I say free? Check it out!

A few weeks ago, I shared why graphics are really rather important when it comes to your blogs look and it's brand, and dished the dirt on how I create some of my graphics with Picmonkey, with a promise to share how I create my other graphics, those created on Canva. This is that promise my friends, and you definitely do not want to miss it. If you thought how I created my Picmonkey graphics was easy, wait until you check out Canva..

So, What's the Deal With Canva?


Well, much like Picmonkey, Canva is a free design resource, with the ability to buy extra features, but there is where the similarities tend to end. Unlike Picmonkey, Canva has over 40 different types of template size, all for different purposes, anything from the perfectly size Twitter Header, to Menu templates, to Blog Graphics (I know!). Within those different options, there are what feels like a never ending collection of actual design templates for you to try out and play around it, (although it's worth baring in mind that not all of those templates are free to use, so do be careful). You can choose from close to 1,000,000 (yes, a million people, it's worth counting the zeroes just to check) images and over 1000 different fonts, with clip art, icons, vectors and more available just be searching for it. Drag and drop, edit and upload, Canva is fabulous. Here's how I use it.

1. Firstly, I Check Out All My Options, Then Choose 'Twitter Post'


I could say that I choose 'Twitter Post' because is the social media site I use most and promote the most on, or I could say it's because I tried them all and found it was the best fit for me, but honestly, I used it once and loved it (so of course, it's the only option I really use, typical Brit over here!) From that point onwards, I'm met with a blank slate of nothingness and lots of options in the sidebar. Do not panic, most people when they use Canva for the first time don't even know what most of the options do, and today, we're not going into too much detail with them either - that's something you can do in your own time. Once the panics over, I scroll through the template options on the left until I find a very attractive one of with bokchoy on it. Oh yum..

2. Then, It's Time to Ditch The Veg and Keep The Style



Getting rid of features about the template you don't like and switching up those you do want is one of the best things about Canva. You can add as much as you, or take it away, and my favourite thing about this template how the title, subtitle and website name are all ready to go - which mean the spouts are being kicked out. Simply click on the image of the bokchoy and choose the little bin icon. Before getting rid of the second background (spot the sheep, I dare you!) I usually switch the font colour from white to black, just so I can see everything when I do delete the second background. Once edited and deleted, I'm left with a slightly less blank, yet great slate to work from.



3. Next, I Play Around With the Fonts and Their Size


One of the important things when creating graphics is to keep the style very similar to your blogs look, so when they're on your blog, they look great, and when they're out of context and off your blog, they still look like they belong to you (because let's face it, they do!) When I first started out on Canva, I play around for a long time looking for the right fonts and the right styles, and in the end, I went with Raleway and Aileron Regular, as these are the fonts I think blend in well with the rest of my design. Interestingly, my Canva graphics are the only place on the entirety of my blog that I use black. I tried using grey in them at a later date but found I'd fallen for the look, so left it be. After some switching up fonts, playing with their sizes, and positioning them where I want them, I'm almost ready for the final flourish.



4. Insert Pretty Picture, and You're Ready To Roll


The best step is always the step when things go from bland to boom is a few seconds, and this is that step people. Go into uploads in the left sidebar, click upload images and elect your image. Once uploaded, simply drag onto the canvas, resize and tadah, graphic complete! Everybody does this step differently, and I know I personally have seen it done a lot of different ways. Most commonly known is Paper Fury's graphics, most, if not all created on Canva, using a full image background, and they do look super cool. I personally go for the white background, sometimes with a hint of grey, or sometimes a completely grey background in order to keep in with my style and brand. I tend to put my images through an intense editing session before I upload them in order to make the colours pop and get the background as white around the edges as possible, as most of my image are smaller than the actual background available to fill, allowing me to have my image as some of the background, and a plain background as the rest.



It Gets Better.. Canva Saves Your Projects. No Need To Start a Fresh!


In a much better way than Picmonkey, Canva actually saves your projects as your creating them, which is not only great if you accidently close your tab (which I do all the time) but is great in that when you're next on Canva, they will show you your most recent project. From there, you can either: open that project and make changes, recreating a new graphic with your personal template, or, copy your project and then recreate a new project from the template, all the while keeping the original. Creating Canva graphics take me all but a few minutes. I add my text, move it around, add an image, graphic complete - in fact, editing the image for the graphic takes longer than actually creating the graphic itself. Pretty impressive, don't you think?

Simple. Good Looking. Quick to Create. Canva is my Best Friend!




Do You Use Canva? Are You Tempted To Try It Out?

30 comments:

  1. I haven't used it before, but I was wondering how people got their images to look so sleek/professional, and I guess that's the answer! I had been using PicMonkey before, but the not being able to save things automatically can get annoying. Thanks so much for sharing Amanda, I'll definitely be checking it out :)

    Eugenia @ Genie In A Book

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    1. It's definitely one of the answers for sure Eugenia! Photoshop is the one people use most, but Canva can be just as good. Glad this has been helpful for you lovely :)

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  2. Ooh I didn't know Canva saves your projects! That right there might make me switch.

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    1. It's a very handy feature that more programs should consider using, it's super helpful!

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  3. YES I LOVE CANVA IT IS MY LIFE. I basically use it for ALL of my graphics. I like it because it's got that ruler, whereas Picmoneky makes ME line things up. Omg, Picmonkey, don't do this to me. I can't handle it. Soooo, it's canva like 90% of the time for me. (Although picmonkey is better for layering graphics, for me.)

    I looove how clean and professional your graphics always look. :D

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    1. Oooo, yes, the ruler that helps you space things out and get it centered, that's very handy, although awkward when you don't want it in the middle and it jolts, like STAHP. Layering and editing on Picmonkey is so much easier, but for quick, attractive graphics, it's Canva right? Aw, thank you Cait! *tackle hugs you in return*

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  4. I absolutely looooooooove Canva. I use it for everything. I don't know what my life would be without it, to be honest. And god! I still need to grab hold of Picmonkey! Lol.

    Vane at Books With Chemistry

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    1. It's super cool and lets you do amazing things, it's so good to see other people using it too Vane! :)

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  5. I'd love to start completely creating my own graphics, and made my last graphic using your tutorial on Picmonkey :) I've not really come across Canva before, and found that Picmonkey tended to be a little slow to respond over my internet. I got a little annoyed over the fact that there's no way to place the text in the centre, but apart for that found it much better than anything I've got on my computer!

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  6. I'd love to start completely creating my own graphics, and made my last graphic using your tutorial on Picmonkey :) I've not really come across Canva before, and found that Picmonkey tended to be a little slow to respond over my internet. I got a little annoyed over the fact that there's no way to place the text in the centre, but apart for that found it much better than anything I've got on my computer!

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    1. I did notice how really great your last graphic was - it was professional and it was to the point, the kind I love! I think when it comes to the center, it's a guessing game. I can usually get it in the center horizontally by elongating the box and keeping the text center, but vertically, it's a guessing game unless you use 'enter' a few times above and below and work it that way. Both programs are really great, free alternatives to Photoshop! :)

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  7. Canva is literally the best! I use it all the time. :D

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    1. I'm not surprised Angel, it's really really good! :)

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  8. Canva definitely feels like the winner when it comes to online graphics programs. I have 15 years of Photoshop experience and I switched to Pixelmator two years ago when I boycotted Adobe products (those money-grubbing a**holes will not get any more money from me!) So I use that for all of my graphics. It doesn't have the nice templates though like Canva. I have to create everything from scratch. I use it for blog graphics and covers for my books.

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    1. I have no experience with Photoshop whatsoever, so free resources are my go-to when designing. I think creating from scratch can be a positive - you can have unlimited creativity, but having a template can be helpful, but it's great to know that you like Canva too, you've got awesome experience under your belt, it says a lot :)

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    2. I have no experience with Photoshop whatsoever, so free resources are my go-to when designing. I think creating from scratch can be a positive - you can have unlimited creativity, but having a template can be helpful, but it's great to know that you like Canva too, you've got awesome experience under your belt, it says a lot :)

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  9. This is great! I tried using Canva when it first was released and I was pretty confused xD Although that could have been because I had a slow computer so doing anything was torture. I'll have to check it out again, it seems really convenient!

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    1. I think once you've cracked how to use it, Canva is brilliant. It's worth trying again for sure Alise :)

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  10. Oh this looks awesome! I think I will need to check this out. I'm usually really terrible/lazy at making graphics for my blog haha.
    Thanks for the step-by-step!

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    1. Canva makes even the laziest of people feel productive with it's ease of use! You're welcome Cyn! :)

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  11. Thanks sooooo much for this, Amanda!! As much as I love Picmonkey, it doesn't make thecleanest graphics so this tutorial is just want I need to start my Canva journey!

    Like Cait, I love how clean and profesh your graphics look too. xD

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    1. Thank you Ella, you're really lovely to say that! I'm the same, I feel that Canva is much cleaner in it's interface and style, but I can't walk away from either - they both serve me well differently. Good luck! :)

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  12. I'll have to look into using this. :)

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    1. I hope you do Nicole, it's such a great resource :)

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  13. This looks like an amazing tool! I've seen it around before but never really tried it. It looks like a perfect tool for creating blog graphics. I like that it has templates too for people who don't know how to layout a good title placement. Awesome walkthrough!

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    1. Thanks Stephanie! It's templates are some of the best I've ever seen - perfect for all sizes, and great for beginners for sure - I love Canva and it's great to introduce more people to it :)

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  14. This is so wonderful, Amanda!! <3 Thank you SO MUCH for it!! I'm fairly new to Canva. I absolutely LOVE it! I actually only found it a few weeks ago. I've been playing around with it and have made a few new graphics myself for our blog. These pointers were so helpful too, so I'll be sure to play around with it some more, after reading your post, and see what else I can come up with! :)

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    1. You're welcome Lisa! I think I've seen a few of the new graphics and recognised the style, and they look lovely, you should be very pleased with yourself! There's so much to Canva even I don't know, playing around is the best way to learn for sure :)

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  15. I'm not a fan of Pic Monkey, but I am fan of Canva! It's easier to use and there's so many options, it's great. I love that you added in your own photos, the graphics look so professional and sleek! Thanks for running through this with us :)

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  16. The blog is absolutely fantastic. Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need. Thanks. professional logo

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