Last week our business owners and professionals were joined by Tara Lee, Prospect Library’s Digital Literacy Coordinator, at our Network Prospect Business Event, ‘Design like a Pro using Canva’. This workshop was very popular and well attended – we ran out of chairs for attendees!
Attendees were able to put theory into practice and ask technical questions throughout the night. To provide some follow up resources and to continue the learning journey, we have put together some key points as a summary for our readers.
Canva is a free graphic design platform that is widely used by professionals and non-designers for content marketing.
1. Begin with a content marketing strategy
It’s important to identify your content goals, and the platforms that will best suit them. For example, we want to create a post to share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, and a visual that would work as a poster to print and display locally.
Visual content is 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. 2. Browse the templates library to find and create the right content
The templates page is arranged into categories types of content and subcategories for themes or topics. For example, you can choose between templates for posters and or presentations, based on the content marketing strategy your formulated in the previous step. Plus, each one is already optimized in the right dimensions for things like banners, headers, and cover photos for specific sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
3. Enhance your image with a filter
Filters are a great tool for easily changing the tone of an image. Plus, applying a custom filter across your various posts can help to create a theme and tie your campaign together, boosting consistency. To add a filter, select your image, click on the filter button, then choose from any of the 14 custom filters available in Canva. Use the slider to control the intensity of the filter. There are also advanced options that allow you to play with different settings like brightness, contrast, and saturation, or to add effects like a vignette.
4. Marry image and text through typography
We can just edit the placeholder text and add in the right details. The best social media content is a marriage of visuals and text — remember the statistic we cited earlier about the shareability of copy that includes the right amount of imagery. However, making sure your font complements the rest of the visual content can be tricky. While some professionals have years of experience to help them pair fonts, Canva provides a shortcut: The
font pairing tool. First, pick your starter font. Then, this handy tool shows you the best font combinations for your chosen typeface, as well as real-life examples from the web. 5. Resize your whole design to fit various platforms
We’re done creating our visual. That was quick, right? Now, we have to post share it across various social media networks, and print our poster. That also means we might have to resize for those various outlets but rather than going back and re-designing the entire visual according to the dimensions required by each one, we can use Canva’s Magic Resize tool. The Magic Resize tool is available for Canva for Work users – a paid plan. That said, Magic Resize is quite a time-saving feature that lets you copy and resize one design into formats for various channels. Just click on “File,” navigate to “Magic Resize,” then choose the different formats you want to use to adapt your visual. Then, click the “resize” button, and you’re done.
6. Collaborate with a team or post the visual to social media
Canva allows you to collaborate with your team or design partners on a visual, within the same platform. Simply click on “Share”, navigate to “Link,” and choose the “can edit” option to generate a link that allows others to edit your design. Alternatively, you may choose the “can view” option to allow someone to see your design, without the ability to edit it. Otherwise, you can post your final design directly to Facebook or Twitter. There’s also an embed option, which generates the code to embed your design into your blog or website. For other channels, or if you want an offline copy of your design, you can download an image file in a JPG, PNG, or print-ready PDF format.
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