create social media graphics
Design better social media images quickly and easily with Canva
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 (canva.com). 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