Canva enables anyone to become a designer ~ PSFK Creative Intelligence
If you’re not bitten by the Canva bug yet, you’ll be after you read this post.
Canva is an awesome design tool, but the fact that it is easy to use is something that should make you sit up and take notice.
I’m forever an addict of free great tools for graphic design, my popular graphic designing course for beginners is a testimony to that.
In this article let me show you the steps I followed to create a cute awesome e-book in less than 30 minutes.
Here we go.
2 Helpful Features You’ll Like
Canva is gorgeously feature-rich, but for creating an e-book or a presentation you’ll surely like 2 important helpful features.
Take a look at the following image.
One – Move, Copy, Delete Slides / Pages
The utility of the 3 buttons on the side can’t be stressed more (see image). They make the job of styling different pages differently like a cakewalk.
The image above is the cover design for my e-book on online teaching strategy. What I did here is that after creating the first page I copied it for the second page. And then I removed the pink colored graphic.
The Move, Copy and Delete allow you to arrange your pages any which way you want, and omit those you don’t want.
Two – 4 Output Options
This is another great feature I’m so fond of.
You can straightaway get the PDF file for all the pages you’ve created, which is what I did for the e-book I’m going to do in this post.
PDF is cool also for publishing your work as presentation on Slideshare (you’ll see this soon). Canva preserves the external hyperlinks, so it’s a great help really.
If you prefer image output, I’ll suggest that you go for high-quality PNG format. Don’t worry for the size since you can easily reduce that losslessly with free image optimization tools.
Okay, let’s now delve into actual making of my cutest e-book. Here are the steps I followed.
Step One: Select a Template
Canvas’ versatility becomes obvious when you see it has more than 50 pre-formatted templates to choose from – for both web and print media.
Don’t like any of those? You’re free to go for a custom template.
For me what clinches the issue is, when I hover on a template I immediately get to see the dimensions in pixels, cm or inch as the case maybe (see image above).
I want to create the e-book in landscape format, and not the usual A4 size. So I select the Presentation template, which is 1024px x 768px.
Step Two: Select a Design
For every template chosen, Canvas gives you a range of designs, both free and paid. If you’ve any particular requirement, use the search option to find that.
As is usually the custom, the designs come on the left pane, while the work area is on the right.
Some of the designs have derivatives that are sub-designs of the main. Moving the cursor on each design reveals the number of derivatives it has.
In my brief experience with Canva, I have to come to see and value the designs, whether free or paid. These are unquestionably some of the best works done by creative designers.
This brings me to a quick tip for you –
Okay, so let me select this Stockton Café design for my need. This is created by Paul Gernale, and has 9 layouts as you can see in the image below. I’m going to use all the 9 layouts for my cutest e-book.
Step Three: Have the Contents Ready
I cannot but stress this step more. Experience has taught me it is easier and tempting to tweak a design than know what to create instead.
For example, in this slide (image below) where you’ve 3 images to be replaced, and also replace the texts alongside, it is better to prepare beforehand what those replacements will be. Otherwise your work may simply drag on for long before you get things in shape.
Image sizes vary, so to know the size of an image, click on it, then select Crop. As the full image comes to view bounded by thin dotted lines, right-click on it and select Copy image. You can then open the image in an image editor like MS Paint, and note the size.
The images in the above slide are 800×600 pixels (4:3 aspect ratio). This means, the replacement images should also be 800×600 pixels to make your work easier.
Step Four: Redesign Each Slide with Your Contents
The stage is now set to replace the components in the existing slides with your contents. The easiest is of course to change the colors, and Canva makes it so easy to do.
For my e-book I chose different shades of ‘pink’ with near-similar appearance, their hexadecimal codes being #F38DBA, #F38BB9, #F389B8, etc.
The problem arises when the principal color being used overlays on an image. It’s then that a bit of adjustments is necessary so that the overall appearance doesn’t strike as too dissimilar from one slide to the other.
That said, my e-book has come…well okay if you ask me (not patting my back :)). But it’s for you to decide that.
Here is the e-book below as SlideShare presentation. If you wish to feel the e-book itself, here it is.
Feel free to download it for a closer look. Btw, if you have any question about online teaching, don’t hesitate to ask me.
What’s Great Using Canva
I have tried to explain how I made my cutest e-book free of cost using Canva. I also mentioned some of the excellent features that Canva provides that makes my job easier.
In other words, like Stencil, there is no tool to download on your device which is such a big relief. The only time you want to click on the Download button is when you want to save your final work on your computer.
As I write this post, Canva has surpassed 10.8 million users contributing more than 77 million designs, and over 80 million images.
And to imagine how popular Canva is, just consider that it launched less than 3 years before now.
I feel privileged and honored to contribute in this post for the benefit of whoever reads this.
Thank you, Canva!
Here are some of my creations with Canva as a free user.
Feel enthused that you too can create awesome graphics with Canva!!