Canva is fantastic. I have never found an easier or quicker way to generate custom images for the social media efforts of me or any company. If you work around design or marketing and you haven’t heard of Canva, then… why did you click this link in the first place?
You can upload your own photos and logos, add custom text, and even access a massive library of stock photos to use for only 99 cents. I think my favorite part is the concept of picking your final size at the beginning. This makes it INFINITELY easier to save and use your finished work. And They’re not paying me to say this, but you definitely should at least give it a try. Even if you’re a designer, you may find when you need a quick social media image, Canva can be even faster than Photoshop.
Having made that giant disclaimer above, it’s not a perfect service, though it doesn’t claim to be. Here are 4 capabilities that Canva could add that I think could make it an EVEN cooler tool and service than it is right now.
1. Add the ability to create a group of dimensions for standard use.
My awesome company always promotes new blog posts and promotions on 4 major social networks. That plus ads and blog post images themselves, and I have 7 different versions of almost the same graphic. So every time I am making those images, it looks like this:
- Pick a size.
- Design the image
- Save and download the image.
- Go back and pick another size.
- Design the same image again for that size
- Save and download again.
- Repeat the above steps FIVE more times.
This might sound nitpicky, but when you pick your size, you’re scrolling through several rows of options to find each one. It would be awesome to have a “Favorites” row of some kind which would be the default top row of options when you pick them. Of course that may not even be necessary if we could...
2. Make the sizes interchangeable in the middle of an open project.
It almost sounds antithetical to point number one, but it would be such a big help in projects. Sometimes I've picked a size and then realized that my chosen image just doesn’t work with my initial size or layout, but would be *perfect* for another. This is of course after spending 20 minutes adding text and flourishes and our logo, etc. But at that point, you have no choice but to give up and start over at the beginning. Most branded campaigns need more than one size of image. It’d be SO much easier to just finish the design for one size, download it, then change the size, slightly tweak the design for that size, then download that one. Rinse and repeat. Way better to tweak the same design elements for different sizes than to re-create them for each size. This would HUGELY speed up the process of using Canva.
3. Expand stock photo options.
Canva has a great library of stock photos. And it only costs 99 cents to use it right? Well that’s true, but it’s 99 cents to use it that exact time for that exact size. Pick a different size (for Pinterest for example) and now you’re paying another 99 cents. Also, 6 months later you you have to pay 99 cents again even to download the same exact image you made before. It would be far easier to have a $5-10 option for a photo that would *give* you the photo to use as many times as necessary. It could be a 4th option under “uploads” like “purchased” and then you could access and use for any design you do from that point on. I would gladly pay more for permanent rights to the photo than pay 99 cents each individual use.
4. Support animated GIFs
This one is extremely simple, but would be pretty fantastic. A user could upload an animated GIF to the uploads, then add static text over it. This would allow brands and all publishers an entire other way to personalize and engage their audience with visual content. Plus it would just be awesome. They could even consider partnering with a major “GIF provider” like Giphy to allow for easy search and import. Just thinking out loud here. I honestly may be the ONLY person on earth who would find this ability awesome, but *someone* has to set the trends.
Your move, Canva.
Even since I first had the inkling to write this blog post, Canva released a signup for their next iteration, Canva at Work. This newer platform may address some of the changes here, which would be awesome for everyone. So, here’s hoping. Not that I wouldn’t stop using Canva. I may cheat on it now and then with Pablo, but I can’t stay away for long.