Creating images for blogs and social media can seem intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. If you can’t afford a designer, there are lots of tools that you can use to create your own great images. The one I love, use and recommend is Canva. I use it to create all the images I use on my blog and on my social networks.
Here’s the thing:
I didn’t have a clue what I was doing when I first started using it! I’m not a graphic designer, but I soon got to grips with it. Now, I want to show you how easy it is to use with this step-by-step guide.
Add your brand colours
Canva has the facility for you to save your brand colours. This makes it easier for you when it comes to designing your images. If you’ve saved them to Canva, you don’t have to dig around for the code you need because they will already be in the colour palette. So, find out the Hex code for your brand colours. An easy way to do this is to use a colour picker such as ColorZilla (which has an extension for Chrome).
Once you know your Hex codes, click on ‘Your Brand’ on the menu on the left and under ‘Brand Colours’ click on the plus sign. You’ll see a colour wheel pop up and at the bottom, there is a box for your colour code. Paste the code for the colour you’d like to add in here.
Add your logo and fonts
This feature is available if you pay to use Canva. There is another way to save your logo, however, if you want to use your own fonts, you will need to pay to use Canva.
You can add both in ‘Your Brand’. To add your logo, click the plus sign in the logos box and find where your logo is saved on your computer. Select the version you want to use (I recommend a .png file) and then click OK.
Follow the same process to add your own fonts.
Once you’ve done this, your logo and fonts will be available each time you create a new image.
Create a design
Now you’re ready to get started on your design. Canva has plenty of blank templates to get you started; all the major social networks are covered.
So, pick the layout you need. If you don’t see what you want, click on the plus sign on the top right-hand side of the screen and this will reveal more pre-sized templates. Select the one you want to use and Canva will open a new tab for you to start your design.
Time to get creative!
If you like designing your own images, you can easily do this using Canva’s different elements. Simply pick what you want to use and click on it. The element will be added to your design. If you add a shape or line, it will automatically use the first of the brand colours you added.
If you need some inspiration, this is where Canva’s layouts feature comes in handy. Scroll through until you find a layout you really like. Then click on it and it will be added to your design.
Now’s the time to change the colour to match your brand colours. Click on the element you want to change. You’ll see a colour menu above your design. Click on this and pick the colour you want to use from your brand colours.
I will say here that some of the layouts are free and there is a cost for others. If you pick one that has a cost associated with it, you will be asked to pay for it before you are able to download your image.
Add your own photos and images
Whilst Canva has images that you can use (these are in the ‘Elements’ menu), you can add your own, which will make your designs unique to you. Here’s how you do it:
Click on the ‘Uploads’ menu on the left-hand side and the click the ‘Upload your own images’ button.
Now, remember when I said there’s a way to add your logo if you choose to use the free version of Canva? Here is where you do it!
Download your masterpiece
Once you’re happy with your design, all you simply need to do is download it and save it to your computer. Now, your image is ready to use.
When you download the image, you can choose between .png and .jpg files. I recommend opening the image once you’ve downloaded it to make sure everything is in the place it should be. If not, go back and edit it.
I just have to tell you about my favourite feature in Canva. It’s called ‘Magic resize’ and it saves me a huge amount of time. I create the image for my blog, but I want the same images for my social networks. Here’s where the brilliant feature comes in. ‘Magic resize’ lets you resize the images you’ve just designed to any of the other size templates Canva offers! This is a paid feature, but it’s well worth it if you want to create lots of images in various sizes.
And there you have it. Creating eye-catching images for your blog or social networks doesn’t have to be hard. Using tools like Canva gives you a simple way to create bold images that will complement your blogs or social posts. Using imagery in your marketing is important – it helps them stand out. Why not read my blog post on how to create your own infographics?
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Also published on Medium.