You asked, we listened. You asked for more information on how you can help spread the word about your experience. So, we’re offering regular tech tips. Each tech tip shares a free and unique social way to share your story and experience the stories of others. This week, we’re covering Canva, a free online tool that allows you to easily create stunning visuals without graphic design skills.
Photos with quotes, hashtags and fun designs have been making their way around the web for quite a while now. But, what hasn’t been around for long is the ability to do design in a really simple way– without buying and using expensive programs. That’s why we want to introduce you to one of our favorite tools. Canva is a free user-friendly tool that allows you to create professional looking designs. Our friend and fellow Ponto wearer, Guy Kawasaki, is also the chief evangelist for Canva. His clout behind any technology definitely doesn’t hurt!
Canva calls itself as the easiest design program in the world. And it’s true–you don’t need any experience to use it and the designs come out looking fresh and polished.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Sign up for Canva. Just enter your email address and choose a password, or connect with your Facebook account.
2. Take the quick “how-to” lesson. After you sign up, Canva has a quick 30-second interactive lesson for new users. It’s a great way to get use to the site’s drag-and-drop interface and learn about its features.
3. Choose a size and format. Canva makes this super easy by telling you if something works best on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. For example, if you select “Facebook post” the default design size will be 940px X 788px– that’s the perfect size for a Facebook post. There are over 20 different size options, and you can also select your own custom dimensions.
4. Choose a layout. Start by choosing a layout. This is the template for your design. Don’t worry, those photos that you’re seeing are just acting as an example. You’ll be able to add your own in the next step.
5. Insert photos into the layout. Once you have your layout, select the photo or photos that you want to put onto the layout. You can upload your own photo or select one of the over one million images that Canva users have access to.
6. Add text to photos. You can select from three default text sizes. If you’re into customization, click on “change defaults” to change the font, font size, and font color, or to justify or center the text. Once you’ve chosen your text options, click on the text box in the image and add your text. Think about where you want to place the text in your image, and drag the text box there. Many of the layouts already have text placed, so you can edit it to say what you’d like and move on.
7. Save and share your image. If you want to save your design to your computer, click “Download” in the upper right-hand corner. You can also share directly from Canva. Just click “Share” (also in the upper right-hand corner). You can also enter an email address to email the image to anyone.
Canva has a ton of additional options. We’ve simply scratched the surface here. The great news is that you no longer need to be a Photoshop expert or take a graphic design course to create your own visuals. But, if you would like to get savvy with Canva, Canva offers “Design School” — a series of interactive tutorials that guide you through features and techniques.
You can check out other tech tips for more unique ways to share your story. We’d love to see the images you create, so be sure to share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you need some inspiration, check out the #SoundMatters campaign on Instagram to see what other Ponto wearers are sharing!
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