8 March 2015

This Company Is Making Design Amazingly Simple For Everyone

“Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything”, said Steve Jobs during the introduction of the very first iPhone in 2007, a product that really changed everything. 
Recently, I’ve discovered a design tool that some of you will find just as revolutionary. Certainly I find it one of the best tools available today. Introducing Canva: a website that lets you create beautiful designs in less than a minute. 

In one of my previous articles I gave you my take on the (non) importance of software tools. I said that, especially when it comes to presentations, the tool doesn't matter. It doesn’t matter whether you use Keynote or PowerPoint. The key is the approach you follow, the message you want to convey and how your craft it. Ultimately, a great presentation is the result of an activity that starts before you even open up the software. That’s why I suggest that you start creating your presentation in an analog way. Close your laptop, take a pencil and sketch your ideas on a piece of paper. Use the software only to turn your ideas from an analog form (pencil and paper) to a digital one (PowerPoint or Keynote). You can never turn a bad presentation into a good one by using a tool rather than another one. 

I still have the same opinion. I still believe that analog is the right way to go. However, every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. In this article I’m going to give you 6 reasons why I fell in love with Canva. Six reasons why you might fall in love with it, too.

(Before starting, I’m not saying that Canva can turn a bad presentation into a good one. Never! But for certain design types, it’s simply a fantastic tool. Let’s see why)

(1) It makes graphic design simple for everyone

With the time it takes to boot Photoshop, you can create a beautiful design in Canva. Canva’s designers have already created a number of layouts you can use for each design type. Trust me, especially if you’re not a professional designer, this tool is going to blow your mind. Don’t trust me? Watch this short video guide to see how easy it is and what you can do with it.  

(2) It works perfectly with social media  

I fell in love with Canva also because it’s the first tool ever that combines two of my greatest passions: design and social media. You can create designs specifically tailored to social media. You can choose among Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, you name it. Here are my Facebook cover, Twitter header and Google+ cover. All made in Canva in less than a minute.

As you can see, you don’t have to worry about the dimensions of your image. Canva will automatically adjust it for that particular social media platform.

Here are two other examples of designs I made in Canva specifically tailored to social media.
Facebook post
Twitter post

By choosing a specific social media platform from the Canva's homepage, you can be sure your design will look great because the dimensions are exactly right for that platform.  

These are simple designs. But would you know how to create them in Photoshop? Would you be able to design them in a minute? If not, go and check out Canva. 

(3) It works perfectly with anything else 

Not only is the social media integration amazing, Canva also makes it super easy to create other designs, such as posters, business cards, email headers, Kindle covers, etc. 
One of the things I do is I help people find great content. I do it by sending a weekly newsletter of what I see in business, communication and design, and human-interest topics and think is worth sharing. Here’s my email header, made in Canva.

Remember, (1) I created it in about a minute, (2) the dimensions are exactly right for an email header, so I can be sure it'll look good.

(4) It comes with professional fonts

You can choose among several professional fonts. Things like Calibri are not contemplated. I’ve discovered fonts I didn’t know before: Raleway, Quattrocento, Roboto, Over the Rainbow, and many others. They are all included in Canva.  

(5) It educates people

Many websites today have a blog section. Canva is no exception. However, these guys went further. Their blog is not just blog, but rather a Design School. Every week they come up with practical articles that educate you and make you get better at design, even if you’re not a pro. Canva’s designers teach you how to effectively use fonts, colour, images, background, etc. They also give you the keys to good branding. 

I love this concept for two reasons:
  • Design reason: it makes me get better at design 
  • Business reason: it makes me appreciate their product even more because it teaches me how to use it effectively. It gives me practical advice on how to take full advantage of Canva. 
That’s what businesses should do: create a great product, and give something (for free) that makes that product even better. Something that makes users appreciate the product even more.

(6) It’s free

Unless you use the images included in their library, you’ll never pay a dime. You can always upload your own images for free and use them with the nice layouts already created by their designers. Compare that with Photoshop.

Because I think tools don’t matter much, I was skeptical when I first heard of Canva. Then I tried it and fell in love with it. Try it yourself and let me know what you think. 

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