A friend and mentor, Jack Humphrey is a successful business owner, Internet marketer and social networking guru, especially on Google+. Yet despite his success and his ability to hire professional graphic designers and artist, there are times where he just needs an image quickly. Moreover, even for a successful entrepreneur, it gets cost prohibitive to constantly turn to a professional just for a quick image to post on social media. That’s why recently he excitedly shared with the members of the Directions University Bachelor’s Program about this new free software call Canva.
They have free design templates and basic images you can use to create professional looking graphics. However, sometimes you want a more polished look. That’s when Jack uses Canva’s professional level templates and images for his designs. The professional level is just $1.00 per image used whether a template, picture or design. When he pays the $1.00 fee, they remove their watermark.
If you like Jack lack the artistic skills and training to create professional level graphics quickly for your site or social media posts, use Canva.com to get more polish- fast. The following is a primer on using Canva.com to create a design, in this case, a photo collage.
Step 1 – Start a new design
This is the first thing you see when you go to Canva. You have a variety of layouts to choose from:
Step 2 – Choose Type of Layout
The first decision was to go with a blog graphic. This image shows some of the free design templates you can use to create a graphic for your blog.
Step 3 – Choose Blog Graphic Layout
This four image collage fits the need. Canva has a wide variety of free layout designs to use. Or you can choose the premium designs. They also provide a huge number of free text designs, like sales tags, stamps and callouts. There are multiple premium images for $1.00 too.
Step 4 – Editing Title
Click on the title to bring up the ability to edit the title. Notice here how you can change content of the title and the background color of the title as well as the font and the color of the font used on the title.
Step 5 – Changing Title Background Color
As this collage demonstration is for a St. Patrick’s Day event, green seems the appropriate title for the title’s background.
Step 6 – Changing Subtitle
Next, make the same change to the subtitle by changing both its background color and the words of the subtitle.
Step 7 – Changing Subtitle Background Color
You can change the background color on the subtitle too as well as the words of the subtitle.
Step 8 – Upload your own images-1
In this screen capture, Canva gives you the option on the left of uploading your picture or of dragging it from your desktop or Facebook onto your gallery.
Step 9 – Upload your own image-2
The folder on the top left holds pictures on my hard drive from the Disneyland Resort on St. Patrick’s Day 2014. In the middle of this capture, you can see the last image being dragged into Canva.
Step 10 – Upload your own image-3
When you drag an image onto Canva to upload, it goes first into your gallery on the left sidebar with your other uploaded pictures. It still needs to be placed into the 4th quadrant of this collage.
Step 11 – Upload your own image-4
Notice in this screen capture that the uploaded picture is now in the collage.
Step 12 – Completed collage
This screen capture shows the completed collage.
Step 13 – Link & Publish
Your final step, now that the graphic is complete is to publish it or share the link. You have the choice to send someone a link – and decide whether to allow anyone with the link to edit it or to publish it in either an image file or a PDF.
Step 14 – Designed in Canva
This is the screen you will see if you clicked on the link instead of saving it. “You have been invited to view this design. To edit please ask the owner.” Obviously, I did not check the box for the link to allow others to edit this collage.
Step 15 – Preparing your image
When you choose to Publish your graphic design as an image file, you get the following message: “You’re able to publish this design free of charge because you’ve used only free Canva elements and your own images. If you do end up using any of Canva’s premium elements they’re just $1 apiece!”
The image file is in PNG format. This means you will need a program like Microsoft Paint or Adobe Photo Shop Elements to re-save it as a JPEG. Not being a graphic designer, I prefer JPEG images because I can optimize the metadata for the image so that the search engines will index the image properly.
Step 16 – Download my design
“Your browser should automatically save your exported design, but if not, click this button:”
“Download my design”
This saved the collage to my download file.
Step 17 – Saved Collage
In this screen capture, you can see a couple of my pictures saved on my hard drive in a folder for Canva.
This is the finished collage celebrating the Disney special “St. Patrick’s Day After Hours” party to renewing annual passport holders.
This was so easy and fun to do that I used a different design template to create another collage, this one for the Los Angeles County Arboretum.
Using a slightly different graphic layout, I used Canva to create this collage of the Los Angeles County Arboretum. In this case, I used Photoshop Elements to put the words on the center picture. I have since used Canva’s Text feature to put words over a picture.
If you want to get more knowledgeable about the elements of graphic design, check out Canva’s tutorials.
Jack Humphrey continues to use Canva to create quick graphics that have a more professional look than most people without the talent and training of a graphic artist. With Canva, you too can have fun developing professional looking graphic designs for both your online and offline needs.
To receive information regularly on how to develop and apply strategy to your small business, get your free ecourse, “9 Steps to Finding Prospects Who Want What You Provide” now.
Building your profits through strong relationships,
John R. Aberle, John R. Aberle, Aberle Enterprises
P.S. Regardless of the nature of your small business, the Internet offers the potential to meet your ideal prospects better than any other marketing tools. The challenge, however, is getting their attention. Graphics add the visual excitement that draws people in to look at your posts. Join my community to get ongoing tips and insight into growing your small business, starting with your free e-course, “9 Steps to Finding Prospects Who Want What You Provide .
I have a strong love for small businesses, especially brick and mortar companies. After an 18-year career in sales and marketing, I started my own service company, which I grew in both sales and profits for the first five years. In my sixth year, the bottom dropped out of the printer market such that it made more sense to sell my assets and return to Southern California. There I went to work for an international small business consulting company. I spent over three years on the road with them helping small businesses to become more profitable and better managed. I then started my own company specializing in sales and marketing consulting, coaching and training. My emphasis is on heart-centered, relationship selling that empowers prospects to make their own choices.
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