Do you ever scroll by a company's posts on Facebook and feel a twinge of envy as you look at their pretty graphics? Some people would have you think that creating graphics takes hours upon hours, complicated software, and perhaps even a hint of magic.
Looks can be deceiving. There’s are many tools you can use to make professional-looking graphics like these in a matter of minutes. We have a particular favorite that we'd like to introduce you to: our bestie Canva.
Canva can feel like graphic design magic. You can easily and quickly jazz up your social media feed by using one of their thousands of templates and integrate your brand colors, logo, and favorite fonts easily. Here's how to get started:
- As a very easy first step, create a free Canva account. We use Canva for Work, an upgraded version that lets us create accounts for our team, upload our brand assets, and much more, but it's not required!
- When you log into Canva, click Create a Design. You’ll be able to choose a size that's appropriate for a bevy of marketing materials, from social media posts to brochures. You probably know that each channel you use has an optimal size for the photos and graphics you post to show up the best. Make sure you select the channel you’re designing for before you get started. If you’re not sure, use the generic social media graphic (800 x 800).
- A new window will open, and that is your Design Editor. On the left side you'll see different elements you can incorporate, like pre-designed text or icons or shapes. You can also find pre-made layouts, which you can customize for yourself. Upload your own photos and logos, or use the Search button at the top to find specific elements or icons you might need.
- When you click on an element, like an icon or shape, it will appear on your editing space. Click it to change it however you'd like, by resizing it, changing the color or the transparency,
- All done? Awesome! You’ll be humming I’m So Fancy while looking at your own social media feed in no time. Click Download to save your image to your computer.
Keep these design tips in mind:
- You may like all the colors of the rainbow, but your brand colors should tell your audience who you are and help them identify you easily. Try to choose two to four colors to use consistently throughout your social media posts. That way your audience will become increasingly familiar with your brand and able to tell when a graphic is yours before they even see your name! For an example of this, check out Cadbury’s Facebook page. As you scroll through it (and likely start craving chocolate), notice how all the colors you’re seeing revolve around their signature purple and white.
- Choose your fonts wisely and stick with them. Similar to colors, having a set font or two that reflects your brand will help your audience know you better. Remember our Nike examples from last week? Well, they do a great job of using their iconic bold uppercase font on the majority of their social posts. Check out this infographic about font pairings or go on Pinterest for some inspiration.
- Canva has a ton of different filters, effects, and colors you can apply to images. While it is fun to play around with all of them, try to pick a certain style and stick with it for consistency. Whether you’re going for the sun-drenched vibe of Corona’s feed or the crazily colorful feeling of Bando, stay true to the emotion your brand is trying to convey.
One last, important note: as fun as it is to use a tool like Canva, nothing replaces the work of a trained, qualified, awesome designer. Making an investment in your brand identity and graphics with the help of a professional is a wonderful thing, and designers can do much more than put together a few Facebook posts. If you can afford it, work with a designer who you really click with; we know some great ones if you need a recommendation or two!