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How to create your own content using Canva

Graphic Design on Canva for small business marketing

Canva for small business owners

Canva is essentially a design tool for ‘non designers’. It’s an amazing solution for small business owners who don’t have a background in design but also can’t afford to hire a graphic designer (like me!) for every social media graphic they need to create. 

Many graphic designers try to sway their clients away from using Canva as they see it as a tool that steals some of their business away from them. I entirely disagree with this trail of thought. Having run my own marketing department and now my own business I understand that advertising your business tends to be heavily focused on social media these days. You need a lot of fresh and creative content by which to do this. It needs to be quick and easy to create. Canva is perfect for creating graphic for instagram, twitter, linkedin, facebook banners, your instagram highlight covers or perhaps even downloadable worksheets or e-book designs. I would call this ‘screen based’ design or design for online marketing. 

Can I use Canva for all my designs?

You could but I wouldn’t advise it. Canva is great for screen based designs that you’re likely to need to edit regularly or create variations of it.  I use it for my own social media content creation and I have a degree and a ton of experience in Graphic design. 

However, where Canva primarily falls down is for print design. Professional graphic designers usually use Adobe Creative Suite (tools including Photoshop, Illustrator & Indesign). These powerful pieces of software give you full control over image quality, layout and more. Canva does this to an extent but you will not achieve the same quality level and design aesthetic than if a professional designer has done it using professional design software.  If you’re getting a brochure or flyer printed that you don’t want to be pixelated and that you want to look as high quality as possible it’s better to hire a professional designer like me to do it. 

A graphic designer has trained for many years to understand print quality, file types, how to successfully design with the user in mind and why you export certain files in certain ways. 

 

Canva Pros

  • It’s quick & easy to create social media graphics using Canva
  • It allows you to resize graphics quickly 
  • It is easy to use and intuitive (compared to professional design software such as Adobe Creative Suite that professional designers train for years to use)
  •  It comes pre-loaded with so many types of templates, sizes etc. This is my favourite thing about it. 
  • It’s an amazing way to collaborate with a professional graphic designer like me. Ask me to create your unique branded templates and then you will be able to edit them again and again for various purposes. 

Canva Cons

  • There are limited free templates and elements 
  • If you aren’t confident in how to edit the templates your graphics can look like cookie cutter versions of other businesses (they aren’t unique to your business)
  • It’s not good for large professional design projects, especially if you’re printing them. You will not have the same level of control over colour, quality, bleed & margin settings, technical setup needed by printers, page numbering and many more things that are important in professional design 
  • The logo designs will be carbon copies of those used by other businesses. It might get you up and running for your first few months of trading but if you’re really taking your business seriously you need to invest in a full brand identity design. Canva logos will not be exclusive to you and there are grey areas in terms of copyright too. Given the lack of a unique logo and visual brand style it could potentially devalue your brand too.

In summary, I think Canva is an excellent tool for the creation of social media graphics and other screen-based designs. However, it has limitations that could compromise the quality of professional designs such as printing postcards, flyers, brochures & more. Unless you are a professional designer you could find the array of templates and styles overwhelming. This is why I offer my 90 minute Canva Styling sessions that allow you to define a brand colour palette, a visual style and begin the process of creating templates for the likes of your social media channels. 

Hello.
I'm Tierna

Marketer. Designer.
Small Business Lover.

If we haven’t met, my name is Tierna and I am a multi award-winning Marketing Expert based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I have a degree in Design For Visual Communication & a Diploma in Professional Marketing from the Chartered Institute Of Marketing.  More importantly, I have a wealth of professional experience in both fields. As a small business owner myself I know what it’s like to have a limited budget (or a side hustle while working full time/being a mum). I therefore am hugely passionate about helping entrepreneurs on their way to feeling empowered about their marketing efforts & small business branding. 

Read more about me, my awards & credentials here. 

empowering you to market your small business effectively& creatively

I couldn’t be more passionate about helping small business owners with their branding, marketing strategy & design. Get in touch today to see how I can help grow your brand.