By Aira Calina | Photos courtesy of Canva
2021. What a great year for the social media landscape. A year after the most (or least, literally) eventful one of most of our lives, a lot of things—businesses, companies, individual lives—have found a way to make do with the cards we’d all been dealt.
There is an observable rise in small business activity, and there is a swell in people tapping into their inner artists for the first time or revisiting old creative hobbies. As a result, a lot of these artistic solopreneurs have racked up their wits to establish their presence online with trendy and inviting graphics. Those who are not skilled to work big software like the Adobe programs have a handy tool up their sleeves: Canva.
So, what is Canva?
In the simplest of terms, Canva is a graphic designing platform that allows users to either make something from scratch or edit high-quality templates to fit their purpose or image.
Users can quickly make a free account and get to creating anything from social media posts, logos, and printable collaterals, to slide presentations and resumes, and just about everything in between. And the templates? They’re nothing like the ones you find in MS Office applications (sorry, Bill, but you should really think about upping your template game a bit, you know?).
I’ve personally used so many of their templates because they fit the aesthetics I’m looking for at any given time, and I have a lot; I got at least one for each of my many personalities. With some tweaks and adjustments, I’m always able to create something I would’ve only hoped to produce without Canva.
Before we get way off track, what I really want to say is that Canva is the perfect tool for today’s youth and young-at-heart, and basically anyone who has any need to put out some sort of visual signal. It’s also a godsend for wannabe graphic artists (no shade, I’m talking about me too) who want a hand at making something digital.
Zero experience? Use templates as they are. Know a few things about design principles? Fix up the premade graphics. A master at design who’s short on time but couldn’t get to a desktop soon enough? Start from scratch and make use of the thousands of awesome elements in-app.
I’m telling you, the possibilities are essentially endless.
What does the emergence of Canva mean for the designing industry?
Short answer is nothing, at least not in the way one might think. Though there certainly is a lot that you can do with Canva, there’s also tons of projects for which you would need the big guys.
Canva isn’t trying to pull down the more sophisticated design programs out there, nor is it out to get those who have put in the time, money, and effort to properly study design. Canva exists to provide more options and for more people.
So all this talk about Canva and its greatness isn’t unfounded, nor is the platform overhyped. It offers features that both novices and experts can use, and that’s what makes it so charming.
Intrigued yet? Wait till you hear about Canva Pro.
Here’s a short storytime. Back when I first used Canva some two years ago, I was happy with my free account. I had access to so many amazing features that I genuinely didn’t think going premium would make a difference.
In 2020, I met someone who was then running an online shop of hand-painted pots (hi @clever.artsph!). Apparently, she was using Canva Pro for all her posts. I scrolled through her business’s Instagram and found the posts really pretty, but I still wasn’t sold. I mean, what else could I do with a paid account that I can’t already with a free one? I didn’t know it yet, but my artsy life was about to take a change for the better.
Carla didn’t let up and I’m glad I let myself be lured into the Pro world.
Me, knowing nothing but looking smug: Ganahan raman ko’s Canva free nako. Like, daghan rako’g mabuhat. Kontento rako. (I like my free Canva just fine. Like, there’s lots of things I can do. I’m fine with it.)
Carla, knowing I know nothing and stepping up: Hmm, pero nakasuway naka’g Pro? (Hmm, but have you tried Pro?)
And I hate not being to say anything back, but all I could do then was smirk because, wow, she got me.
That same night, I signed up for a Pro account. I haven’t looked back since.
Canva had been a helpful tool in building The Love Club and The Local Creatives. If you want to try out Canva, use our link and get 30 days Canva Pro for FREE!
Aira Calina is a Cebuana writer and artist who likes to start things but has trouble finishing them. Eventually, she does. And while she’s currently looking for the next hobby to learn, she runs an Instagram “art” page, @indiegf_, and a blog that needs serious updating, indiegoldfish.blogspot.com. Aira is Team Love Club.
Disclaimer: This article is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Canva. We are merely sharing our thoughts about the platform, hoping that it will be useful to our readers. Canva is a trademark of Canva Pty Ltd.