DIY Design with Canva

Design is the lighting up on an ideaby C.K. MacLeod

If you’re engaged in social media tasks to promote your writing or editing business, you’ll know that visual design is essential to helping your message stand out.

Do you have a blog? You need a banner.

Just wrote a book? You need a cover.

Going to a conference? You need a business card.

So, what do you do when your currency is words, and making a message visual isn’t your thing? Hire a graphic designer? Sure. But if that’s not in your budget, try Canva.

Canva is a free, online graphic design tool that you can use to create book covers, business cards, social media banners, and yes, even digital holiday cards. I created this holiday card in under one minute:

“But I’m not a graphic designer!” you say.

The folks at Canva know that. Which is why Canva contains correctly-sized templates and predesigned drag-and-drop elements in an easy-to-use interface that nondesigners can use. Building a business card, for example, is as difficult as building a tower with wooden blocks with a two-year-old. If you’re still not convinced, Canva offers free step-by-step design tutorials that will take you through the design process.

Canva has a nice selection of free professional-looking, pre-designed elements, so you can try designing something without spending a cent. If you decide to spring for paid elements, they’re inexpensive, at only about a dollar each.
Still unsure? Why not take a page from the pros? Self-publishing author Joanna Penn announced on The Creative Penn Podcast (episode 245) that she used Canva to create a simple book cover for Destroyer of Worlds, a book she’s released on pre-order on iBooks.The cover will be placeholder until she has the final version professionally designed by her graphic designer.

The online world is a visual place. Canva ensures that word people can now join in on the fun.
Image by David Joyce