Canva is a graphic design and photo editing tool where you can use your own photos to create your own layouts or choose from thousands of built-in images and design templates. You can adjust brightness and contrast, resize images, overlay images with colours and text, and much much more. Once you’ve finished creating, your design is uploaded to the cloud and you can access it again easily wither through the app, or through the web interface on your laptop or desktop. You can export via email, or as a Facebook post or on Twitter, or download the design as a JPG, PNG or PDF file.
The thing about Canva is that it is really easy to use. There is no steep learning curve to using this app. You’ll be up and running and churning out really usable and compelling content before you can say viral social media feed. If you’re struggling with sending your photos to an app like Photoshop and trying to navigate your way around making something usable there before being able to post, then Canva might just be the app you’re looking for. The layout of the app is clean, consistent and friendly to use. It really is an excellent and versatile tool.
5 Things to love about Canva
1. The templates
All your basic social media platform sizes are here, pre-sized and ready for you to add your own unique content. Designing is made ridiculously easy without having to get into pixel counts - and the free template selection is impressive in its range. There are more to choose from if you want to pay for them, but the free selection is pretty choice. You’ll be designing some sweet content before you know it.
2. Customisable and user-friendly
You can customise the templates easily to match your brand, and it is super simple and intuitive to use - even on a small smartphone screen.
3. Effortless elements and text
The pre-designed text options take the pain out of trying to think of something to say. You can take them and use them straight off the shelf, or give them a tweak to fit your message and the moment.
4. The LIVE camera feature mode
For me, this is one of the best features of Canva. You can take a photo live within a design template and add the text you want. Or even better, choose the layout you want and add the text that fits your plan. Then, just tap on the background photo and replace it with the image coming through your live camera feed. The beauty of this is that you can line-up the photo and the text and zoom in if you need to. Add a filter if you want, and you’re done. You can use this to create professional images at live events, create batches of images on-the-fly, and more. It’s a brilliant feature.
One of the best things but the app is the sheer convenience and power of designing on-the-go that it offers. You probably use your phone a lot more than your laptop these days. Having this in your phone toolbox to produce cracking design in seconds is a modern miracle.
If there’s something I don’t like about the app it’s that the search function seems pretty limited. I can’t seem to find what I want easily, so I end up scrolling through the options that might be available. Resizing also isn’t as easy as it could be, and I sometimes find myself having to manually rearrange some items.
Canva is a fantastic way to make something that looks good fast. Of course, it doesn’t have an many features or as much flexibility as Photoshop or Illustrator but iff you go to the developer website, you can find a whole load of guidance on design and more there. For the trade-off between getting to learn to use the app, and actually producing something really polished in a matter of seconds, its Canva ftw.
What do you think about Canva? Do you think it might be useful for your i photography and design needs? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Download Canva (Free with in-app purchases - but you don’t really need to):