I don’t think I have to remind any of you, KillerStartups readers, that the internet is a visual place. Your website needs to look stunning, your social media presence has to be packed with pics, and hey, it doesn’t hurt if you’re good looking too. Having a professional designer on your founding team is as important as having a programmer but what if you’re not at the point where you can afford it? Or what if you just have a few little jobs that need taking care of and paying a pro isn’t in the budget?
Or you could be like me, a blogger who is constantly searching for interesting, relevant images that I can legally use. If you fall under any of those categories than I imagine you’ll be as pumped as I was about Canva, a new site that makes simple design accessible to anyone.
Pick your project.
The size of the images you use is super important, especially on social media. Each site has its own ideal measurements, some of which can seem pretty random. (851×315? Really, Facebook?) Canva gives you templates for Pinterest, Facebook cover photo, Twitter header, and Facebook ads, so you don’t have to worry about sizing things correctly.
You can also create presentations, posters, graphics for your blog, documents, cards, photo collages, business cards, and invitations.
To demonstrate just how easy it is to create attractive, original images on Canva, I’m going to walk you through the process of making a new cover photo for my personal Facebook page.
Let’s start with a layout. There seems to be an abundance of hill options but even though I’m from the Green Mountain State, I’m going to go with the skull because I’m a hipster and I think it will look good with my profile pic.
Now I need to play around with those colors because they don’t quite go with my dress. Let’s get a little more contrast in there by clicking on the color I want to change. I’m going to stick with just colors, for now, but Canva also gives you the option of uploading your own photos or choosing one of their free patterns as a background.
The text is just as easy to change, although coming up with something is a little harder, at least for me. I’ll keep it simple with my name, my job title, and the name of my blog.
Now that it’s complete, I can share my new cover photo Facebook or Twitter or I can get a link that would allow others to edit it. I’m going to go with the last option, Publish, which downloads the design to my desktop.
And that’s it!
I now have a totally original image to post on as my cover photo. I don’t have to worry about copyrights and I know that I’m the only one who will have that exact visual.
And while it may seem a little silly to bother creating a whole image just for your personal profile, don’t forget that this was just an example. Canva offers hundreds of photos, templates, designs, and images free of charge for you to create engaging, original designs for social media and beyond. They’re currently in beta, so go request an invite ASAP. You won’t regret it.