Every once in a while you come across a platform which is difficult to describe using a single word or phrase. Canva is one such oddity. It is a web app which can be used to design documents, presentations, banners, website and blog graphics, posters, infographics and even Facebook posts.
You can start using Canva by logging in with an account or use a social media account. Canva supports Facebook and Google accounts for quick sign ups. Once logged in, you can begin designing your content by picking a category.
Canva comes with millions of stock images, handy photo editing options, frames and all kinds of document customization features you can think of. Hence, Canva is a PowerPoint alternative for designing awesome presentations, a place to create good looking documents and an affordable PhotoShop alternative for making more professional looking banners, posters, magazine covers and social media graphics.
The available categories include; Social Media, Presentation, Facebook Post, Facebook Cover, Facebook App, Blog Graphic, Poster, A4, Twitter Post, Pinterest Graphic, US Letter, Resume, e-Book, Desktop Wallpaper and more. Alternatively, you can also choose to start a design with custom dimensions.
There are a plethora of readymade layouts related to a number of categories. Once you have picked a template, simply use drag and drop to fetch elements, placeholders and images to fashion your designs. The search bar on top makes it easy to look for images, whereas the Layouts tab gives free and paid layouts to choose from. You can customize these layouts by playing around with available tools, with the utility to upload your own images. Moreover, you can even fetch images from your Facebook albums.
Canva also has built-in image editing options which can be used to retouch images with filters and to perform basic editing functions like cropping and adjustment of brightness, contrast, saturation, blur, intensity, etc.
The Elements section gives you Grids, Lines, illustrations, Shapes, Icons, Photos, Charts and Easter eggs that can be incorporated in your designs with ease. The Photos section in elements usually reveals free stock images as compared to the search bar on top which is more likely to show you premium ones.
The backgrounds are not just limited to solid colors, as there are also various textures and colorful backgrounds that you can choose from to design your documents, banners and presentations.
Designs created at Canva can be downloaded in image or PDF formats, as well as shared online using email, social media or direct link. It is worth mentioning here that each download costs a certain amount so your designs can’t be downloaded for free.
While Canva looks pretty much like a free web app, however, the real catch is that you need to pay for your designs before you can download them offline. This is why Canva is more likely to appeal to professional designers or people engaged in a business where there is value for designing premium content.
Despite the premium factor Canva is an excellent design app that works from the cloud, does not give you frequent hangs and is fun to work with. You can also use Canva via the official iPad app or incorporate its WordPress plugin to your blog to design better blog posts.
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