cre­ate so­cial me­dia graph­ics

De­sign bet­ter so­cial me­dia im­ages quickly and eas­ily with Canva

Mac Format - - APPLE SKILLS - Alex Blake

Make an im­pres­sion and cul­ti­vate a co­terie

Shar­ing graph­ics on so­cial net­works can be a daunt­ing task, even if you think you know what you’re do­ing.

Whether you’re post­ing to In­sta­gram, Face­book or Twit­ter, your im­ages need to be dif­fer­ent sizes and di­men­sions to avoid get­ting cropped and de­tail get­ting lost. Know­ing which web­site uses which di­men­sions can be a night­mare.

Canva is a free app that aims to make this process a lit­tle eas­ier. With a few taps you can cre­ate ready-to-pub­lish, share­able graph­ics for use on a num­ber of dif­fer­ent so­cial me­dia chan­nels. Just pick which site you want to pub­lish to and Canva gives you a ready-made tem­plate de­signed for that plat­form.

It’s quick and easy, and the base ver­sion is free, although you can pay to un­lock new lay­outs and back­grounds on the Canva web­site; we’ll come back to that shortly.

At the mo­ment, the app is mainly geared to­wards In­sta­gram, with al­most 100 graph­ics tem­plates for this so­cial net­work (there are about 50 for Face­book and Twit­ter). Once you’ve picked a lay­out, you can then choose from a range of graph­i­cal el­e­ments (doo­dles, frames, ban­ners and more), text styles and fil­ters. Each of these is cus­tomis­able, al­low­ing you to change the size, colour, font weight and opac­ity with a few quick taps.

The iPhone app makes cre­at­ing and edit­ing graph­ics quick and easy, but if you want more con­trol over the de­signs then head over to the Canva web­site ( This has a larger se­lec­tion of lay­outs, in­clud­ing pre­sets for A4 print­outs, cards, in­fo­graph­ics, email head­ers and more. There’s also a wider ar­ray of fonts, graph­ics and badges to use in your de­signs, but, as we men­tioned be­fore, you have to pay for some of these.

The more the mer­rier

There’s a sur­pris­ing level of depth and con­trol to the app, and even more on the Canva site. If you find the de­signs are a lit­tle too ‘trendy’ for what you want to post on so­cial net­works, you can up­load your own photo back­grounds, re­move the im­age fil­ter and pass up on the heart doo­dle (although we couldn’t re­sist us­ing it in the walk­through be­low).

You don’t even have to out­put to so­cial net­works – you can cre­ate swish presentations in the app, and the web­site has hordes of other op­tions, in­clud­ing let­ter­heads, al­bum cov­ers, and gift cer­tifi­cates. Canva is a neat lit­tle de­sign pack­age in its own right.

There is a sur­pris­ing level of depth and con­trol to the app, and even more on the Canva web­site

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