An important part of web design is selecting tools that allow you to create professional websites in a timely fashion. Canva is a prime example of a tool that allows you to do your graphic design online. The main selling points of this application is that it is free (though it does have paid options) and very easy to use, while not as powerful as photoshop it can do quite allot of the leg work. When coupled with a full blown graphics application they prove a great combination for quickly generating eye-catching graphics. When it comes down it most people use only a small fraction of what Photoshop is capable of and Canva does 90% of what most of us need in a graphics design tool, well at least for websites and social media.
As with any tool that simplifies complex processes it does come with some limitations. The two main limitations I’ve found is the inability to resize images and not being able to create a transparent backgrounds. These limitations are easily rectified by using a full featured graphics application like Photoshop.
One of the hardest things I’ve found in building websites and creating online adds is learning how to use Photoshop, or in my case the Gimp. While you can do everything that Canva can do in these applications, the built in templates within Canva make creating really nice images for your blog or website really easy. For those of you who use social media, templates for all the popular sites are available. The beauty of Canva is that it takes allot of the hard legwork out of some really cool effects.
An example is being able to place one image inside another, like a picture frame. Within Canva’s gallery they have images which you can do this with, whether this is a picture frame or a tablet. All you do to create this effect is the following:
- Choose an image that has the below instructions within it
- Drag another image onto the first image
To do this effect on Photoshop requires a reasonable amount of knowledge and from my experience can be time consuming and quite fiddly. Though I’m sure a professional graphic artist can do it quickly most people I’m sure wouldn’t be able to match Canva for speed and quality. The limitation with Canva though is you have to use one of the pre-defined images that have for this task. You can however import any image to overlay on-top.
Canva a really useful tool and I recommend it to anyone creating images for websites and social media. In fact the header image for this article and most of the other articles on this site were created using Canva.
To find our more go to https://www.canva.com/