When people say graphic design, many of us automatically think of complicated tools to change tiny aspects of an image and complex building processes. However, this simply isn’t the case. Graphic design is really the creation of anything digitally. It could be creating a poster on your laptop or adding text to an image. These things can add massive value to your blog and social media posts and I think bloggers need to stop shying away from graphic design.
Luckily, you don’t need to go out and pay for software like Adobe Photoshop which, while it is fantastic, can be confusing to use and isn’t always easy to pick up by yourself. And unless your blog is making money, I couldn’t justify paying out for it purely to use for blogging. You may have seen over the past few months that I have started using a certain image style for a lot of my blog posts. The green background, the white text etc.
I have been creating these using the free service Canva, which I think is absolutely fantastic! It works online, so no need to download. Just need to create an account. It has loads of templates already saved in the right dimensions for you to create images and banners for social media. Which most downloadable software doesn’t have! When I used Photoshop and InDesign I would spend ages trying to get the dimensions right and then every time I uploaded it it would be wrong! Whereas everything I have used so far on Canva has worked perfectly.
As well as templates, they also have free layouts you can use if you are completely new to design and aren’t sure how to lay things out for the best impact. But you don’t have to use one of their layouts, and if you do, you can edit and change virtually everything on them.
It is also really easy to use. You can upload your own images and drag and drop onto a blank canvas, or you can use one of their layouts and edit it for your needs. They also have a wide range of backgrounds, fonts and images. Some things you do need to pay for, but I am still using the free version and haven’t had any problems yet!
Now Canva does have its limitations. For example, you can’t remove backgrounds on images you import. There is also very little editing to the images at all once they are uploaded. So any big changes you want to make you really need to do beforehand using another program. I have used FotoFlexer in the past for anything which needs doing to individual images. It#s free and online, only need to download the image afterwards.
However, I am really enjoying being able to create more branded images for certain blog posts or social media. It makes everything fit together a little bit better and when I do have something I am struggling to find a good image for, it allows me to create one which fits into our style. It works particularly well for post series such as our introducing interviews series.