Canva is one of the most helpful tools for PIOs. We take a look at the basics and some great tips on how to get the most out of it as a content creator.
We only ever recommend tools that we use ourselves and know to be worth taking the time to look into and use as part of your role as a PIO. Canva is a very popular and useful tool for streamlining your content creation as well as adding a professional and creative feel to your branding across all platforms and channels.
There are so many amazing features that come with Canva that we can't show all of them in one blog, so here is our getting started list of things to look at when it comes to using Canva as a PIO.
Don't have Canva? Sign up for a free thirty day Canva Pro trial so you can try out our tips and tricks below.
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What is Canva?
Canva is an affordable online design and publishing tool that anyone can use to create impactive graphics for social media channels, online content, media releases and more. It's an excellent resource for those who don't have the resources for a full graphics or multimedia department but still need to show professional and on brand graphics throughout all comms channels.
What kind of things can I create with Canva?
Many agencies will use Canva for creating job adverts, social media campaign artwork such as Twitter cards and TikTok graphics. Once you have it set up, it will automatically resize images, save your brand colors and templates as well as allow you to animate GIFs and download print-ready documents.
Set up your brand kit
Once you've signed up for your free trial, you need to set up your brand template. This is where you save your colours, fonts and images for your brand.
Just follow these steps;
- Navigate to your Canva homepage.
- Click on Brand Kit from the left sidebar menu.
- Click the button labeled “Add and discover palettes” to add a new color. If you already have a color palette established, you can click the + tile to add a new color.
Use high quality logos
It's really important that your brand looks professional by using high quality images of your logo. That means you should, where possible, upload only high quality photos in 300 DPI.
Always check the file type chosen during download because a downloaded design’s quality is affected by the file format that you chose.
- JPG is useful for saving images at small file sizes. It’s usually chosen for Web use but also produces the lowest resolution designs.
- PNG is ideal for saving line drawings, text, and icons at small file sizes. It’s also a common choice for Web uploads.
- PDF Standard is ideal for viewing multi-page, text-heavy documents.
- PDF Print is the only file format which saves professional print quality at 300 DPI. Use this file format when printing or if you want a high-quality version of your design.
Add background blur to your photos
There may be something in your images that you don't want in full focus, and if you work in law enforcement, it's always good to be aware of what's going on in photos. Adding a background blur will still make action shots look good, but potentially hide any identifying features of people or places.
Make the most of the content planner
Canva has a great content planner that means you can create images and schedule them straight from your dashboard. If you're looking for inspiration, they also include key dates such as holidays. This really helps if you're looking for a light touch content management planner.
Use templates for consistent look and feel
It's important to ensure consistency in your branding, no matter where you are putting your designs. Once you've created your templates you simply make copies and adjust them accordingly. This means that no matter where you are on someones timeline, they'll always be able to see its you.
Use the video making tools
Canva has got it all - the video making tools are so easy to use and because they are all in one place, it's super easy to have brand consistency. You can now film yourself talking over explainers or presentations as well as import interviews and quick videos from out on the ground. It's very easy to make a dull video come alive with free to use music and graphics. You can also share directly from Canva to your social channels.
Create once, resize often
A great time saving feature of Canva is taht you can resize to pretty much any format. That means you jsut need to get one design in place and tehn resize it for all your channels.
Always make sure you have permission to use images
There are a whole host of free images that are already licensed through Canva. If you want to use other images, you must be absolutely sure you have permission to use them. The best way to check is to use Google images tools. Once you've search for your image, click on 'tools' then look under usage rights. "Creative commons' are free to use with credit in most cases. See below.
Want to learn even more?
The Canva design school is packed full of useful information and will help you get on top of all your designs and creations.
Don't have Canva? Sign up for a free thirty day Canva Pro trial