Using images for marketing works wonders: currently, tweets with images receive nearly 20 percent more clicks, almost 90 percent more favorites, and over 100 more re-tweets than tweets that have no images; engagement with posts bearing photos make up more than 85 percent of the total interactions on Facebook; more than a third of business-to-business (B2B) buyers share infographics via social media frequently.

Fledgling or small-scale businesses, who want in on the action but have no idea how to get started, can take their pick among the various online tools they could use to produce stunning graphics despite having little or no knowledge of design. Among the best is Canva.

Overview and Brief History of Canva

No one knows how hard it is to produce engaging graphics as well as Canva co-founder Melanie Perkins. She encountered this problem firsthand in 2007, when she taught students how to use programs like InDesign and Photoshop while studying at the University of Western Australia herself. Not only did her students have a hard time, but they had an even harder time applying their knowledge in real life.

To address this problem, Ms. Perkins and Canva co-founder Cliff Obrecht teamed up with Cameron Adams, “hardcore Googler” and member of the team behind Wave, to establish a company in Australia around the technology they used to build Fusion Books, Ms. Perkins and Mr. Obrecht’s widely successful school yearbook design online tool, to cater to customers outside the school yearbook market.

Their leap of faith paid off big time. Within 2012, the year their company was founded, 750,000 users registered to their platform. Their team has grown to 42 members from 12 countries catering to professional and nonprofessional designers alike. To house their growing family, they have opened two new offices: one in California and the other in the Philippines.

Features and Benefits of Using Canva for Small Businesses

Whether for your business cards, brochures, and infographic to even the mock-up for your website, Canva’s wide array of features is sure to help you create amazing graphics like a pro at no cost.

Start with an easy project, like importing and enhancing your photos with the online design platform’s various image enhancing tools. For instance: you could increase a photo’s brightness, contrast, or saturation to make it clearer, sharper, or more vivid. All the changes you’d make will be shown on the layout screen, enabling you to make as many new changes yourself as you’d like easily.

The blur slider will come in handy if you want to make your photos look moody. For instance, if you want to make a photo look ethereal, you could give it a bit of a blur using this feature. You could also use it to sharpen your photos.

The photo vignettes are just the thing to give your photos a retro vibe. For instance: adding a grayscaled vignette to a photo makes it seem like the photo was taken with a vintage camera, which will make it perfect for your retro-themed marketing materials.

To ensure that all your designs are crisp and clean, use the various stock vector images and graphics, which will be perfect for contemporary of minimalist designs.

For family-themed designs you could use any of the various stock digital picture frames, which will give your photos a homey feel.

When marketing to a young demographic use the colorful digital stickers, which will give your photos a fun, playful look.

Having access to such a wide array of graphic design tools enables you to create graphics that are sure to engage with virtually any audience you’d target, ensuring you could grow your customer base.

To Wrap Things Up

No matter how skilled a wordsmith you consider yourself to be, you could always use a graphic. Most of the information we consume is visual, so, arguably, information is best conveyed as images. Create the most engaging visuals so that you’ll get your message across to your target audience. Guarantee your success with the best online graphic design tools like Canva.

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About the Author


Ira Zagala

About Ira Zagala

Ira is a freelance writer-editor. He was the copy editor of a classified ads paper published in the Philippines; one of the technical editors of an independent publishing services firm; and the 'Web content' writer of one of the country's leading publishers of educational textbooks. He has a BA in Journalism from the Lyceum of the Philippines University-Manila.


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