This post was graciously written by our guest blogger, Kayla Wright of AmbitiousMompreneur.com.
Six years ago, I was hired as a visual communications specialist. I stayed in that position for three years, that is, until I had my first child. Aside from my desktop publishing classes in high school and my continued tinkering with design, I had no experience. The business that hired me was new…it hadn’t even opened yet. There were three people on staff: me, the owner, and the graphic designer.
As a visual communications specialist, it was my job to deal with the clients and learn how to do basic design. At the very beginning of employment, all three of us went to Dallas to train for our new positions. It was pretty awesome to have a new full-time job and a three week, all expenses paid trip to Dallas. I met lots of people and learned a ton of incredibly useful things.
Once we returned, it was time to open. Business wasn’t booming at first, so I had time to learn the design side of things. I was being trained on the Adobe Creative Suite 5. I know everyone raves about it and I was super excited to be learning it, at first. The graphic designer on staff requested Corel Draw for his work computer. He had over 20 years experience at the time and that was his preferred program. Our boss was happy to provide.
I learned the Creative Suite and probably used it for about a year. During that year, I’d run to the back of the shop countless times asking Pete, our graphic designer, how to do simple little tasks that you’d think should be easy to achieve. Most of the time, he’d have to tell me 3-5 different steps to achieve something simple.
That’s when Pete said, “You should download Corel onto your computer. This takes like a third of the time in Corel.” Always being fascinated with software, I gratefully accepted. And you know what? It was a lot easier. He was absolutely right. It did take a lot less time. Corel was much more intuitive than Adobe and accomplished the same things.
Now, don’t get me wrong, if you’re doing crazy-awesome photo editing, Photoshop knowledge is a must. But, if you’re a blogger or a graphic designer, I think the Adobe Creative Suite is a little overrated and more than you need.
For the rest of my employment there, I used Corel Draw. Even into the beginning of my online business, I still used Corel for most of my design needs and it did pretty good. That is, until I discovered Canva.
Canva is the most intuitive design software for everyday designers I have ever seen.
They keep things simple.
When you watch a video of the Adobe Creative Suite, you’re like “Oh, wow, I can’t wait to design something like that!!” Then you buy it, open a new document and you’re like…Now what am I supposed to do??
You don’t know where to start. You’ve got this blank screen, a ton of menus, and a ton of buttons. You almost have to take a course just to learn the program. I’m not knocking the Creative Suite, it’s incredible for advanced designers who need it.
But we’re bloggers. We don’t need a fancy schmancy program to create Da Vinci work in, we just need something simple and intuitive that will allow us to create our graphics with ease, speed, and inspiration.
In Canva, when you get ready to start a new design, they already have categorized layouts for you to choose from:
- Blog graphic
- Social media header
- Letter pdf
- You name it, they got it.
You don’t have to know pixels and resolutions, they do all that for you.
When you hit that “Create a new design” button and you pick your size, you’re taken to your design page.
The page is white, but there’s not a bunch of buttons and menus just waiting to never be clicked on. There’s a sidebar and a top menu bar.
The sidebar is the first thing your eye goes to and it’s full of suggested layouts for your blog graphic or social media header or what ever kind of design you’ve started. You click one and BOOM!
You’ve got a layout that just needs customized.
You can change images, colors, and fonts to your liking, add or take things away, pretty much whatever you want, and Canva makes it super easy.
You know what my FAVORITE thing about Canva is? It’s something the Creative Suite and Corel Draw doesn’t automatically do for you…
CENTER SNAPPING. I don’t know if this is the super technical term for it, but you get it. Here’s a screenshot to show you what I mean:
I’m grabbing my text block and moving it with my mouse (I circled it in blue). You can see where Canva is showing me the perfect center point for my text block (circled in green). In Canva, it will snap automatically when you get close.
I can’t tell you how incredibly fast and easy this makes things. In fancy design programs, it always a few menu button clicks or a Ctrl + letter key to achieve this.
Even when something only takes a few extra seconds, the mental strain it adds is usually what’s bothersome.
Do I prefer Canva over every professional design software out there? You bet I do.
So much so that I recently emailed my old boss to let him know how much time it will save his designers and how much efficiency it will add to his business.
And hey, let’s not forget….Canva is FREE!!! They do have a pro plan, but the free plan does just fine for me.
If you’ve not yet explored Canva because you think it might be too hard to learn or because you’re already accustomed to a different software, friend, you must try it.
Just give it one hour of your time. Design a basic blog post graphic and see if you’re not completely in love with it.
If you’re a mom, you want to learn about something other amazing tools for your online business, and how to make your online business incredibly successful with or WITHOUT a blog, take my FREE course that I create just for ambitious mompreneurs. You’ll be so glad you did.
I wish you the best on all your design endeavors.
I’m Kayla. I’m a mom with a ton of passion and a deep craving for freedom. I love a cup of coffee, sunshine, and Dave Matthews Band. There’s no better earthly blessing than watching my sweet babies grow. I’m a Bible-loving Christian and love to let my light shine as bright as I can. Aromatherapy and natural health are just a couple of my other passions. Oh, and the business stuff? I believe in NEVER giving up. I have tried many different things, and often times you have to fail, fail, fail, before you succeed. I want to teach you what I know so you don’t have to go down the long road that is trial and error and more importantly so you can have the freedom to be with your family whenever you want, wherever you want. The beach? The mountains? Your back yard? 9 am, 3 pm, 3am? Whatever you want because you’ve got the time and the finances to do so.