Grow Your Business Blog

Our Favorite SAAS Tools: Canva

Written by Zack Jones on September 09, 2015

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It’s pretty obvious Hubspot is our favorite SAAS tool, and while it’s an “all-in-one” marketing solution, there are many other tools we use. We asked our fellow teammates: “What is your favorite SAAS tool (besides Hubspot)?” In this blog series, we will find out what they are and why.

Does the thought of using graphic design software make you cringe? Are you filled with dread when you must create an appealing, eye-catching concept from scratch? If you’re anything like me, perhaps you’re not exactly fond of designing images and if you’re anything like the rest of the world,  you prefer things as simple as possible. That’s where Canva comes in.

Canva is an online graphic design tool that brings much-needed simplicity to the world of graphic design. If you need to create an image for the web, a poster, a postcard or even a business card and you struggle with complicated and expensive design tools (or you panic at the site of a blank page)  you should give Canva a try.

Canva did the world a favor by closing the gap between graphic design and on-the-go creators who don’t have the time or energy to learn complicated design software. Some claim that they took the “fun” out of graphic design by making it less intricate. But when a deadline is looming and team members are relying on you I say, the simpler the better.

It starts with choosing a template (I know, I love templates too) or, for the over achieving and bold creator, start from a custom-sized blank canvas.  Templates include social media posts, documents (including presentations), blogging and ebooks, marketing materials, social media and email headers, events, and ads. Canva keeps always up to date on the optimal sizes for each social network so you don’t have to.

You then browse the layouts options within the template and discover a rough idea of what you are wanting to create. These tabs, along with intuitive controls such as simple drag and drop gadgets are the backbone of Canva. After a template is selected and you are at the controls, decide if you would like to manipulate an image of your own, search for an image within Canva or simply create one from scratch.

Uploading an image to Canva could not be easier. Either drag and drop or navigate to the image on your computer and upload.  Or, browse thousands of Canva’s images simply by typing your keyword. Most of the images you’ll see on the search results are premium images and will cost you $1.

The beauty of Canva is that it is almost fool proof. A lack of options can often be a godsend to design-impaired creators like me. For example, each template chosen begins with a color scheme that is recommended. Obviously, the colors are not mandatory but most of the time it is hard to disagree with their choices.

Adding, removing and editing text is also a simple task. Design element such as shapes, lines, boxes and swirls can make your text stand out (oh, and you can adjust the transparency, too). The font for every template is also pre-recommended but you can change it to whatever your heart desires - limited only to their fonts.

Perhaps my favorite feature of Canva is the fact that everything is done by grabbing, pulling, dragging and dropping pieces. I am always frustrated when a tool or function on my computer doesn’t let me drag and drop whatever I want whenever I want, but then again there’s probably a reason for that. Maybe I’ve got something there, a drag and drop anything and everything operating system.

Instead of acting as a graphic designer Canva allows any user to produce professional grade graphics. I like to think of Canva as a puzzle and all the puzzle needs is to be organized into what you think is cool. Thank you Canva, for smoothing out the friction and allowing Ordinary Joes with mediocre design skills to create professional grade images.  

Are there any Canva tips or tricks we missed that you'd like to add here? Let us know in comments! 

 

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Topics: SAAS