Steve has been writing on this site for 10 years now and has in the past written on many subjects. He now concentrates on helping people.
What is Canva?
Canva.com is a brilliant site for designing all of your projects where graphics and photo designs are needed.
The best bit of all is that you can use it and get good results without spending any money. A free account is totally free. I like that. To be honest it's not often that you can do something for free and get such good results.
I was always led to believe that sites like Fiverr and Upwork were the best places to go for the best results. Check them out by all means for ideas, but believe me when I say that you can get fabulous results by doing what I do at no cost.
The tag line on the Canva website is 'Design Anything'. It seems that this is absolutely true.
Get your FREE Canva account.
All you have to do is sign up by doing a Google search of Canva.com and you are good to go. What you will find when you start having a good look around, is there is a whole host of different templates for different design jobs. The site has plenty of free templates for you to use. They even have free to use photographs to work into your designs. I use a mix of my own photographs and free ones on Canva.
Creative commons sites are also a good source of great quality, relevant stock photos and videos. Pexels.com is brilliant for this and I would advise checking in the description of the photo that it is licensed for use under the Creative commons label.
Creative commons means that you are able to use with the permission of the owner / producer without the risk of any copyright infringement. What you should do when using CC photos and videos is attribute it to the owner in the embedded photo. You will see this if you look at the first picture in this article.
Follow the steps.
By following the steps below you will be able to make a brilliant cover like the one I have produced for this article and it won't cost you a penny. Now that's what I like to hear.
- Open Canva.com
- Choose a template, in my case it was a Blue and Gray Minimalist Technology Facebook Cover
- Add the title
- Add a photo, either one of your own or a free to use one from Canva
- Choose the colour for your cover
- Download the finished cover or print screen and paste into Paint on your laptop or PC
- Crop the background of Paint out, leaving your Cover only in the frame
- Save to your computer
- Upload your design to the site you made it for
Press prt sc and paste into Paint.
Change text and background colours.
It's very easy to change and edit colours and fonts in Canva. My advice is to play around with different ones so you quickly get the feel for how the site works and how you can get the best out of it. Just highlight the text you want to change and click on the colour you like or make your own version using the custom colour changer.
Using Paint to edit your designs
Working with Paint will help you work between it and Canva to edit your covers until you are happy with the finished result. When I first started I was editing on Canva then downloading every cover to my Laptop. I soon worked out when wanting to alter the cover to a square to make a thumbnail, I didn't need to make another cover. All I needed to do was crop the area of the first cover and move around the lettering on Canva into the area of the square.
You can see what I mean if you look at the pictures in this article. Follow closely and you too will be able to edit your cover to look how you want it to.
Paint is really easy to use and has some really funky features. The best part is that it is easy to use, something that pleased me. I particularly like that you can literally paint out text and objects replacing them with the same colour of the background if that is what you want to do.
10 minute Tutorial - Paint.
It might be a good idea to spend 10 minutes watching the tutorial to give an overview on how to use Paint before you dive in to make your first cover design. I think you will find it worthwhile, especially if like me you hadn't used Paint for a long time. The features it now has is really good.
Grab a coffee and and relax as the tutorial guides you through. Before you know it you will be making professional looking designs and covers.
How to use Paint - Tutorial in 10 minutes.
Paste into Paint.
This is easy. All you need to do is press prt sc and it will take a screenshot of you computer screen. Go to your Paint screen and simply click on the paste button and it will appear on the Paint page ready to be edited. You will remember seeing this described in the 10 minute Tutorial.
Screenshot pasted into Paint.
Cropping your cover using Paint.
I usually make and finish the design I want for say, a Facebook cover and save it. Once saved I can then crop the design and change it into a Thumbnail if one is needed. In this article I have used a Thumbnail at the top so that it shows up on my HubPages feed as a square. I learned this by trial and error. If you look in my feed you can see the designs where I have created Thumbnails and some where I have just used the finished cover.
Never pay for cover design when you can do it for FREE. Once you get the hang of it making your own covers is so simple with a little practice and the results are really professional looking.
You don't even need any special skills.
Why do you need covers?
I need covers all the time as I spend a lot of time writing on the internet as well as using Social Media. I have also started writing E-books to publish on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing then converting them to Audio books. All of these projects need covers in the form of thumbnail squares of a certain pixel size or book covers.
For me to avoid having to pay a professional designer to do this for me I took the decision to learn for myself.
Practice makes perfect.
What are you waiting for?
Thumbnail or rectangle cover, which looks best?
Have a look at what I mean. Below are a few examples of covers I have made for my HubPages feed. I like the square cover best but I also like the half and half picture as it keeps you guessing what is on the full version. Decide for yourself.
The main thing is either way they look as though they have been created by someone who has a lot of technical knowledge. You never know you might get so good that you could sell your services on the sites I mentioned earlier. Practice makes perfect in everything you do so practice getting good results for your online design projects.
Examples of my Thumbnail designs.
Build your brand.
I tend to stick to same format and so just alter the colours and layout of the same template. It pays off if you are creating a uniform brand. It makes designing your covers much easier but you can have fun and change your designs as and when you like.
Keep it simple.
Keep it simple is my motto. By not over complicating things you will get your designs done really quickly and your projects published and out there in the public domain.
What will your first project be?
With any luck you will already be planning your first project. Will you use it for Facebook or Instagram posts and covers or maybe you have a blog?
Don't put off having a go thinking it might be beyond your capabilities. I can tell you that I'm not that tech savvy but I usually know what I want to do so it is just a matter of trying to gain knowledge on the How. Hopefully this article will help you with the How bit. Solving problems is easy if you know where to look.
If you found this guide helpful then feel free to share it with your friends / followers. It is always my intention to write articles which will help people cure a problem. Giving good value is always a goal for me even when I am giving tips away for free.
I hope you found it of use and that you will come back to look around my problem solving articles on a regular basis.
Thanks for reading.
Cheers for now.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Steve Mitchell