Around a month ago I was introduced to a new online tool / app called Canva by Guy Kawasaki, Peg Fitzpatrick & Mari Smith in a Google Hangout. Its a simple tool that runs through your web browser and is Free to use - it's like photoshop but without the hassle, the only time it costs anything is if you use one of their images as a background or layer on the graphic - so simply upload your own and use the tool completely for free.
For each type of design there are lots of templates, with more coming online each week and more design formats. For example this week Canva added Google+ photos to the design criteria with a handful of templates. But unlike lots of tools that offer similar functionality, Canva doesn't lock you down - simply add or remove any element to make it 100% your design ... but the templates stick to best practice usually and ensure that your design is as engaging as possible.
What are the use cases?
Canva can be used for all kinds of things around your brand, from simply adding your logo to an image with some great looking text, to being used for perhaps your facebook cover image, website calls to action or amazing looking posters. You can also use canva and it's templates to ensure that your images are hugely shareable on facebook, twitter, google+ and of course, pinterest.
Here are a few uses of Canva that I have posted to social media since starting playing with it.
It's About Brand Recognition
The main point of great images is to ensure your content is seen, remembered and shared across the web. But what many people forget about is that great imagery within your social media should also be about reinforcing your brand image, here are a few tips for keeping your brand intact with imagery on the web:
- Use Colour To Make A Statement Be bold, be clear and try to always use the same kind of colours to match your brand.
- Be Consistent Use the smae tone and voice across social media and images too. A post on a regular basis.
- Simple is Meaningful The simpler your image metaphor the better - so don't fill your image with crap!
- Be Human, Have Fun Most brands do better online with a persona and not as a corporate entity.
Give Canva A Go!
Seriously give Canva a go, it is amazing and only takes a few minutes to get used to. It will improve your social media engagement and reinforce your brand.
Once you've had a play post a link in the comment or to my twitter @andykinsey with the results!