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Monday 24 August 2015

A blogger's guide to Canva

Have you heard of Canva before? It's a blogger's dream. For a long time Photoshop was the dedicated blogger's go-to tool for improving the appearance of their work, but now there's a new kid in town. I've only been using Canva for a few weeks, but it's completely blown me away. It allows me to create images that look as though I have way more artistic talent than I actually possess. And this really pleases the artist within me - I can finally start pushing myself to create the images I picture in my head.
Here's the low-down if you're interested in finding out more.
So, what is Canva?
Canva, simply put, is a website found here. But more than that, it's a tool. It offers free and paid picture elements, and guides you through graphic design to allow you to create more exciting images than you ever have before.

What can I do on Canva?
Pretty much anything you'd ever want to do to edit an image. There's the standard options that everyone is familiar with - crop, sharpen, change the contrast, add a filter (I actually really love Canva's filters, and often use those instead of Instagram's now). What makes Canva different are the premade layouts - these are complete designs that include an edited image, picture elements and text. These serve as an easy starting point if you're lacking inspiration for an image, as any single element of these can be edited as you choose. Quite often I will browse the layouts for a font or filter I like the look of and then apply these to my own images. What's even better is that Canva provides these layouts for images with different dimensions - there are some for Social Media (square), posters, blog headers etc. Canva's picture elements allow you to add another dimension to your designs. It really is a great stepping stone into graphic design, and a brilliant tool for even the most experienced designers.
Are there any restrictions?
Yes. Canva has its own Terms of Use (found here), which explain the legal side of things. To summarise, once you create an image on Canva with one of their paid-for elements (made obvious by the watermark displayed on them until you pay for them when downloading the image), you have 24 hours to edit the design. Otherwise you have to buy the elements again. This is called the One Time Use Licence Agreement, and it's how Canva can offer these elements for only $1 a time. The contributors are guaranteed a dollar every time their design is used, as opposed to just $1 per user. I don't know about you, but this strikes me as entirely reasonable. Once you've paid for your design you're permitted to use this just about anywhere - on social media, promotional material, even book covers. Prohibited uses are mainly the common sense type things, such as distributing the stock media, saving the stock media for later use in a different design or using the media in defamatory materials.
But I don't have an artistic bone in my body - is Canva for me?
Yes, absolutely! It's free to create an account, so please give it a go and be amazed at what you can create :)

Have you discovered Canva yet?

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  1. oh I have never heard of this before, will definitely try the site:)

    Eilidh from Velvet-Winter

  2. I've been using canva for a while as well and I absolutely LOVE it. It's great for getting pictures Pinterest worthy.. I love how many fonts they have, and how easy it is to use.
    Thanks for sharing!

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