Great Design Website: Canva

Canva has been around for a few years now and I was introduced to it as a possible source for creating my own ebook covers. I dismissed it at the time, mostly because you couldn’t create anything too custom – you get what you pay for, understandably. Suitable for other things, but not particularly for book covers.

Last week, I had my first experience with using the site. A client asked me to design a couple of simple images for an article; I was impressed with the range of options available. It starts off with custom templates – do you want to create a Facebook banner or a book cover, a profile picture or a poster, a letter, a presentation or a magazine? There are many options to choose from and if you don’t like them, you can always create your own custom design and shape.

Once you’ve done that, it takes you to the design area where you create your image or images. Search from a database of millions of images to put your presentation together. There are many free images, but you’ll find that most are not. Paid-for images are just $1 each. The more you use, the more you pay naturally. Have a play around, get a feel for the site and put your image together. You can actually buy a package where you pay $10 up front for 11 images. I think there are other packages too.

There are several safety checks you can go through to make sure you are getting what you order. As a trial, you can download your presentation with images that still have the watermarks on. This way, if you’re producing it for somebody else you can show them a draft version. If you pay for it and they then change their mind, you have 24 hours to make your free changes. Once that time has passed, you’ll have to design and pay for a new image.

Though I am not a designer and don’t expect to spend a lot of time on the site, I can see how useful it is. I expect in the future to use it to update my Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink Facebook banner and maybe even have a go with some ebook cover designs.

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