Canva is probably our most cited tool. The free and endlessly useful graphic design platform is used by our team every day and after upgrading to their paid platform, we’re complete brand advocates. We thought it would be helpful to share our favourite Canva features for small businesses so that you can get the most value from the platform and start designing like a pro. Every feature mentioned in this list we use every single day, so you can rest easy they’ll add value to your workflow. If you haven’t already, create an account and try these awesome Canva hacks for yourself.
1) Use the magic resizing tool to create multiple designs super quickly
As any Content Manager knows, there’s going to be many instances where you need to repurpose your content for different platforms. One of the tools we take advantage of the most is Canva’s magic resizing tool. No matter what size design you’re creating, you can click in the top left of your screen on ‘Resize’ and you’ll be given a host of options for your template. More often than not, we recreate our designs for Instagram and Twitter to ensure the best presentation of our content across all of our social media platforms.
2) Upload your company branding to save time
As we’re at the beginning of our journey as a company, one of the things we use Canva for most is creating J&R assets. A lot of time, we need our visuals to be in our own branding. The paid version of Canva allows you to save key branding elements, such as your company colours and fonts, to save you time each time you create a new visual asset. It’s also handy for storing your brand hex colours should you need them for other platforms. Simply click on ‘Your brand’ to save all your important branding elements – you can even upload your company logo.
3) Use the ready made templates to get started
If you’re brand new to creating visual assets, try Canva’s own templates to get started. The platform was built by designers, so a lot of their templates look fantastic. Their blog is also jam-packed with useful design tips – headover to their ‘Learn’ section to get to grips with some principles of design and how to apply them to your own social feeds and blogging assets.
4) Use their ‘frames’ functionality to create pro-looking team photos
Whether you’re building slides for a presentation or you’re uploading images to your company website, team photos are bound to be something you’ll need to create again and again. To keep ours looking consistent and professional, we like to use Canva’s ‘Frames’ functionality. By creating everyone’s team photo the same size, you’ll keep your slides looking great and your brand on point.
5) Upload your own flat icons to create stunning visuals
By far our favourite hack, we can’t recommend you use this enough. Head over to Flat Icon and search for whichever kind of icon you need – you can even edit the icon to match your brand colours if you so need. Download it, and then upload it to Canva. Not only can you reuse them again and again – you’ll be able to create the exact visual you’re after. It’s worth noting that Canva offer loads of fantastic icons for you to use, but we’re fans of finding our own and editing them to match our brand. It’s precisely how we create our famous ‘&’ posts on our Insta feed –
Happy #pridemonth🌈 followers! The #LGBTQ community is a constant source of inspiration for us at J&R, so we wanted to show our solidarity with the #queer community by sharing some of our favourite Queens, Rebels & Innovators: 🙌 @sashavelour – Creativity Super Qween & all the round inspiration 🙌 @rupaulofficial – For constant advocacy of the #LGBTQ community 🙌 @lenawaithe – For that Met Gala cape and brilliant storytelling skillz You’re an inspiration, everyone of you! #pride #queercommunity #pride2018
6) Use their text templates to bring diversity to your visuals
Just like their visual templates, Canva have also got a host of text templates you can repurpose. This is really handy if you’re creating copy-led visuals such as Instagram posts. Our only advice would be to keep it on brand – don’t use a thousand different fonts, find a style and stick to it to keep your channels looking professional .
7) Organise your uploads into folders to save time in the future
Our final favourite feature for Canva is another paid feature. As an organised and somewhat neurotic Content Director, I enjoy keeping my assets organised and labelled. I’d say the paid platform is worth it just for the folders feature – the only thing it’s missing is a bulk delete feature, which we’ve requested via Twitter. That’s another thing worth noting – Canva are very responsive on social media, so if you’re stuck be sure to reach out and ask a question. We’ll even try and help if we can. Just send over your query to us @jnragency.
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