Once upon a time I was a single, lonely loser and used Photoshop to outfit my Tinder profile with marvels such as these:
Then I got a girlfriend and then this job. So I deleted Tinder from my phone and said farewell to Photoshop.
But if there was anything to be learned from my days of superimposing my head onto bodies that weren’t mine, was that visual content—no matter how absurd or how good it looked—drew attention. In addition to this blog, I run SumAll’s social media channels, and I’d say producing graphics takes up more than 50% of my time. If I were a graphic designer (which I’m not), producing ten unique graphics a day on Photoshop would be a piece of pie, but I’m far from that, and even the most seasoned graphic makers would be exhausted by that. That’s where Canva comes in.
Canva “[empowers] the world to design,” and it has become the biggest, free-to-use graphic design tool online. I first discovered Canva when aforementioned girlfriend suggested I use it to make my resume. I was impressed by their massive selection of templates and fonts, and how that broad selection promised me originality in what I produced without my content looking too similar to others.
Fast forward two months, and it was to my wondrous surprise when my future boss Sam asked me to make some sample graphics with Canva. I have to admit: that assignment made me extremely nervous. I reflected on my days using Photoshop and questioned my potential as a graphic designer. I mean, would SumAll hire me if I made content like this?
But lo and behold, Canva prevailed once more, and I made some cute graphics. Sam was impressed. Now I’m churning out graphics for Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook several times a day, no problem.
What I love most about Canva is how it expedites the process of creating social graphics. It’s my job as SumAll’s Content Creator to update our social media profiles, and the fact that I can whip up a fantastic looking graphic in five minutes or less really makes my life easier.
And what I love even more is that Canva is free: while this is a great and relevant asset to the job world, it also means Canva is making graphic design accessible to everyone. Photoshop costs money and requires you to download it to your computer. Canva is browser-based and has options for iOS and Android; there is a premium option, but it’s still a lot cheaper than a subscription to Photoshop—and it’s worth noting you can’t use Photoshop at all unless you pay for it.
Maybe Canva’s one downside is that you can’t quite get into the nitty-gritty of photo editing like you can in Photoshop, but when you’re working with stock photos and focusing on font and presentation, I’d hardly consider that an issue. Okay, you want me to REALLY criticize them? Perhaps it’s a little harder to superimpose my head onto things like I can in Photoshop.
But then again, I think I put those days behind me.