I have now been using Canva for over a year and I am so happy with it that I would like to give you feedback on this free tool!
Maybe you already know Canva, because it’s a tool that comes up very often when you want to create thumbnails for YouTube or to design flyers for your company.
For my part, I use it mostly for my blog articles and more and more in an e-commerce perspective. I will show you in this article all its power for your online activity!
There are a lot of possibilities, that’s why I’m going to show you how I use it to create visuals easily and how you can do the same to simplify your life.
But before that, what’s the real reason why I use Canva?
In fact, as far back as I can remember, I’ve always liked to tinker with stuff in Photoshop. It was fun at first, but it took a long time to use it in the long run.
Each time you have to run it – which still takes a few seconds -, make the changes, which means remembering the manipulations to be done, then save with the right format and settings and start again.
Photoshop’s capabilities are downright honourable, but I only needed it for very basic tasks like resizing or adding a little bit of text.
That’s where Canva comes in, it allows me to do the same things much faster!
But it doesn’t stop there, Canva is available online and all you need is a simple account to start creating without limits since the paid version is absolutely not necessary.
How do I use Canva for this blog?
As you can see on many of the articles on the site, the thumbnails are personalized. Well it remains in my image, very simple.
I could have done it with Photoshop, but that would have meant saving a typical PSD file, launching it whenever I needed it, making the changes, saving with the right format and settings, then starting over.
With Canva, I created a template for my blog thumbnails:
These miniatures measure 795 px * 470 px
All I have to do is change the text and the background, and then upload the image. It should take me less than 2 minutes per thumbnail. Since Canva’s strength is that it offers a bank of royalty-free images, I just have to find one that suits me and drag and drop it.
The time saving is very present…
- No software to download
- No resizing to do thanks to pre-designed templates
- No image to download, just drag and drop them from the image bank
- The download of the final result is done in 2 clicks.
But that’s just one of the many possibilities that Canva offers in its free version. In fact, I use it for other things as well.
Using Canva for an e-commerce store
There are a lot of things to manage with an online store, including adding products on a regular basis. You may also want to maintain a blog or your social networks. Canva provides everything you need in this case too. Here are the different possibilities:
#1. Create a logo
Canva is particularly dedicated to logo creation since there are pre-designed templates that you can freely use for your online store. Just go to Create Design > Logo to work with a square base of 500px * 500px.
The models are grouped into different categories according to your activity, fashion, clothing, beauty, furniture, high-tech, etc… Here is an overview of logo templates for a fashion store:
You select the one you want and change the colors and texts if necessary to get a quick result:
An example of a modification of the first basic model made in less than a minute…
There are really hundreds of models, you only have the embarrassment of choice to create your logo and afterwards, a real branding very simply and at a lower cost.
#2. An advertising banner
To announce an exceptional offer such as Black Friday, a limited promotion or the new product lines available in your store, banner ads are a quick and effective way to get your message across.
Canva also offers standard models of 728px * 90px that you can of course adapt to your own dimensions, I show you how to do it lower.
The proposed models are as great as for the logos:
There is less choice, but it’s still banners, they have to be quick to understand for the users. And once again, you can quickly make personalized banners:
As such, you can also use Canva to resize the images on your product pages or make business cards, that works too. That said, the tool becomes really powerful for social networks.
#3. Pinterest pins
Are you a fan of Pinterest for your activity? Then Canva will save you a lot of time. Since Pinterest pins have to have a specific size, creating a working base with the right dimensions is essential.
Even though the developers at Pinterest recently implemented the Pin Builder, Canva’s templates can save you time if you’re like me and don’t have a lot of inspiration. Here’s a simple example:
The background images are all editable, it is not a single image!
Another very interesting feature is to connect Canva directly to Pinterest to publish in 1 click, without having to upload your image and then upload it to Pinterest.
If this is not the case, I strongly encourage you to use Pinterest for your store, the developers regularly implement updates to improve the possibilities to promote your products.
#4. Instagram stories
Yes yes, it is possible to create a personalized story with Canva. It works just like the rest: you select a template, customize it to your liking and off you go.
You can also add a video available in the archives or that you have filmed yourself. Here is a story:
When there are watermarks with the Canva logo, it means it’s a paid resource, I’ll talk to you about it later.
#5. A tailor-made design
In addition to the examples I gave just before, Canva allows you to go much further, thanks to the creation of CD covers, postcards, labels, tickets and much, much more.
However, if you need to obtain models with specific dimensions, this is also possible. Simply select Custom Size, then enter the width and height and you’re done.
Depending on the size, Canva will offer pre-designed designs, but of course you can start from scratch with all the different images, design elements and fonts.
What is the price of Canva?
The Canva online tool is completely free and you only need to register to start using it without any limits. There is a premium version for 11.99€ per month with several interesting additions.
The first interesting thing is the possibility to create a graphic identity that you can reuse for all your projects: logo, banners, social networks, etc…
Apart from that, you have access to premium content which includes :
- Millions of images, videos and resources
- 60,000 models for pre-designed designs
Otherwise, you can also buy individual images for $1, it’s still the best.
From what I know, Canva is by far the best online tool to create visuals quickly and without getting confused. There is no need to learn how to use it since the interface is intuitive.
The best tool for non-professional designers!
As we have seen, Canva offers a complete kit to freelancers and other web professionals for their activity. It really saves a lot of time and allows you to get designs at a lower cost.
In a strategy of content creation or development of an activity on social networks, I would say that it is a must thanks to the ability to synchronize publications.
Personally, I use it a lot for Pinterest and for my sites, I get great images that I can share afterwards in a few clicks.
For non-professional designers, Canva remains by far the best tool on the market!