As far as graphic design software goes, Canva has to be one of the easiest ways to increase your digital marketing collateral with limited outlay. All you’ll need is a little bit of creativity and basic computer skills. Even better, there are heaps of free features you can use in the program, so you don’t even have to spend a dime!
In this blog we take a look at some of the best features in Canva for both free users and Canva pro.
What is Canva?
Canva is an Australian web-based content creation platform. It allows everyone from novice content creators to expert-level designers to create stunning graphics, including social media banners and posts to logos, resumés, book covers and more. There are even templates for when you’re in a need of a little inspiration!
Depending on the features you require, Canva has both a free and paid subscription, starting at $13.99 a month AUD. If you’re a larger brand or corporation, there is an enterprise version, allowing multiple users to work under the same account using a brand kit with set brand colours and fonts to ensure unity. You can even lock sensitive documents from fellow users.
Whichever account you choose, there are an abundance of features to try. Your designs will never be the same again.
History of Canva.
Canva came from humble beginnings in Perth, Western Australia. Canva co-founder Melanie Perkins was teaching university students how to use Photoshop, InDesign and similar programs, soon finding many students found the programs too complicated for their simple design tasks. She began the mission of creating a program which allowed everyday people, as well as designers, to create great graphics with ease.
In 2012, Melanie, Cliff Obrecht and ex-Googler Cameron Adams launched Canva, which saw 750,000 users in its first year alone. Since then, the browser-based platform has grown exponentially in popularity and functionality, and is ever-evolving to meet the needs of its users.
5 Best Free Canva Tools
1. Canva templates.
With more than 8,000 FREE templates, Canva’s presentation, Instagram story, letterhead, logo and other pre-formatted designs are a lifesaver. Once you’ve selected your template, it’s as easy as dragging and dropping your uploaded images (or using some of Canva’s stock images) and selecting the colour palette. If you’d rather design to your dimensions and designs, you can do this also.
2. Canva animations.
Animations have the ability to take your social media posts to another level. Most of Canva’s free animations are created with transparent backgrounds, allowing you to simply drag and drop them over your current design to make your content pop! Did we mention you can even change the colour of some animations?
3. Image editing.
A free Canva account has access to image editing! So jump in and upload your photos and give them a little touchup before posting them. You can also edit their library of stock images.
4. Drag and drop.
Did we mention everything on Canva is drag and drop? Drag and drop allows you to quickly create content, combining features within the program with your own uploaded images and graphics. Canva also allows you to lock features in place while you move and adjust your other elements.
5. Canva design school.
Canva design school is by far one of the most useful tools available to those using the platform. The school is made up of five short courses tailored to Canva users’ needs, including graphic design basics, presentations and social media tips, as well as branding.
Canva is always adding new short courses to their design school, often in response to their users’ needs. For example, the latest course available is called “Canva in the classroom”, which already has more than 55,000 users enrolled. It’s aim is to educate teachers on how they can use Canva in their classroom.
4 Canva Pro Features Content Creators Will Love
1. Canva brand kits.
Canva brand kit allows you to create on-brand content every time, without fail. Brand kits allow businesses to upload their own fonts, colours and even logos, meaning they won’t have to upload the features every time they use the software.
However, if you do require more than one brand kit, you’ll likely have to upgrade to an enterprise account. While the price for an enterprise account is significantly higher, it’s undoubtedly a great asset for larger companies, or those requiring the ability to design content for multiple brands. Other features included in the enterprise account include:
- Automated workflow management.
- Restricted document access.
- 24/7 platform support.
2. Resizing tools.
Resizing a design you love to suit multiple platforms has historically never been an easy task. Now, Canva Pro members, don’t need to worry.
The Canva resizing tool lets you resize any design with one click of a button, saving you time and money. You may need to tweak the placement of a few graphics, but it saves you starting fresh.
3. Canva stock content.
Canva has a content library to rival the likes of Shutterstock and Unsplash, with more than 60 million premium stock images, animations, videos and graphics to complete any design. Aside from your standard presents and image editing options, Canva Pro members have access to additional editing features including, but not limited to, background remover, static filter and pixelation.
4. Canva Pro Templates
While templates aren’t exclusive to Canva Pro members, those with a higher membership do have access to an additional 52,000+ templates. There are templates in almost every design type you could possibly desire, whether you’re designing an Instagram story or a resumé. You can even add videos and animations to your designs.
Disclaimer: This is not a paid partnership — we just love Canva that much!