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November 11, 2013 / carlispina

Simplify Graphic Design With Canva

Canva-LogoGraphic design projects frequently involve complicated and expensive software, but Canva aims to change all of this. This new tool, which is currently in beta, brings all of the tools you need for simple graphic design projects into a single application.

You start by picking a document template. Options include sizes appropriate for standard A4 documents, Facebook covers, presentations, cards, business cards, posters, photograph collages and more. Once you have selected a template, you then choose from a number of different layouts, which include background elements and text areas, though these can be altered, removed or added to if the basic template doesn’t suit your needs. After you have created the basic design, you can add elements, new images, or text using the options in the left menu. Canva provides users with access to a wide range of icons and images for free with additional content available for $1.00 an image. The image search feature makes it quick to sort through all of the available content and both free and paid content are clearly marked so there is no risk of inadvertently selecting a paid image. And, you don’t pay for the content until you actually publish your project, so you can try out any of the images to see if they work in your design before committing to a purchase. You can also upload your own content to use in your designs.

Moving and editing elements on the design make use of simple drag-and-drop techniques that are very intuitive. If you hover over any of the buttons, text pops up explaining what the button does, which makes the design even more user friendly. Designs are automatically saved periodically so that you won’t lose your work. Finished projects can be published with a couple of clicks and can be downloaded as an image or PDF or shared via Facebook, Twitter or a URL. When sharing via URL, you also have the option to generate a URL that lets the recipient edit the project.

I found Canva much easier to use than most design tools and I think that it would be perfect for most simple design projects. Because it brings content and design together, you can create a project from start to finish on Canva, even if you don’t have your own elements and icons when you start. I have a few invitations available for the beta, so let me know if you are interested in giving it a try! You can see Canva in action in the video below:

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