Canva - Graphic Design for Everyone

A Graphic Designer Evolves into a Mentor

2020-12-26Updated: 2022-08-31 DARE Print & Sign Co

When I first opened our print shop in downtown Cañon City in January of 2020, I thought that I would help everyone with the graphic design before printing the job. Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong. First of all, I  nowhere near anticipated the amount of other graphic design talent that was local to Fremont County, Colorado. 

Since opening our print and sign shop, I have gotten to experience the joy of working with other talented designers and to see their projects through the print process. As a graphic designer, it is extremely gratifying to see your work printed and looking fabulous. 

This got me thinking that the small business owners I work with would love to be able to make designs themselves - at least for social media graphics. Typically, all of these print and sign projects would be designed with professional graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop. These software packages are pretty intense and have taken me years of full time usage to be able to master.

Over the past year, I have been working with a browser based design program called Canva in order to give design power to my content development team of writers at Sagentic Web Design. I wanted them to be able to create their own matching graphics for the content marketing articles that they write for our clients' websites. 

This also led to them being able to create graphics for social media to include with the posts they wrote to promote the articles. Having custom graphics created for the brand by the person that wrote the content made the articles and posts more in tune with the graphic content and decreased the time to publication.

Canva Gives Non Designers Tools to Quickly Create Professional Graphics for their Daily Needs

Canva gives me the power to share branded templates that I create for my clients simply by sharing it with their email through the browser. They can make a copy for themselves and adjust the designs easily with appropriate text and photos for their daily graphic post needs.

I started using Canva for other things besides social media at that point to test the capabilities of the software. I found it extremely user friendly and absolutely fell in love with how it works. Canva doesn’t tie your hands, and they are constantly innovating to make the software better.

Now, I can make small animations and branded videos without having to learn the details of Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premier. The timeline for being able to design and publish is much faster than my workflow in Adobe, as well. The reason for this is that you can quickly add or duplicate a slide to create a series of branded graphics very quickly.

However, there are still advanced print and sign projects and aspects of design that keep me utilizing Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Lightroom on a daily basis. Being able to design in Illustrator actually allows me to create really cool svg vector graphics that are game changing when it comes to creating large scale graphics in Canva for printing signs and banners.

I also started designing business cards in Canva. I did ours first to test it and see if it would be a good print quality pdf, and the cards turned out beautifully. After that, I started making a lot of clients' cards in Canva because of the simplicity of the software and the ability to quickly make a copy of the artwork in a bigger size to turn it into an animation for social media.

Canva Empowers Small Business Owners to Design their Own Vision

One day, Ryan McBride with So Co Firearms Training showed up and wanted postcards printed, but he had designed them himself in Canva. This may seem simple now, but I was astonished that a small business owner that isn’t trained in graphic design could easily put together a stylish postcard exactly how he wanted it to look after getting brand setup and guidance from Kody Page, who designed a gorgeous logo for him.

Seeing how fantastic his postcards looked when they came in really changed my perspective on graphic design itself and how I should approach it. My job as the expert in print services and graphic design shouldn’t necessarily be to design the entire project from scratch every time.

If I can give my clients the tools and templates they need, then they will be taken off the leash of being attached to me and given freedom to create things that they haven’t ever experienced before. With Canva, I can upload vector graphics as svg files, so all of the elements and text can be resized without losing any graphic quality.

Seeing a client be able to take ownership over their brand and be able to update the details of what they want to put out to the world is incredibly empowering and not at all a threat to me. It is my responsibility to share and teach this capability to as many small business owners and non-profit organization leaders as possible to help them to accomplish their marketing goals in the most effective and efficient way.

Canva Pro is a Cost Effective Tool in Your Business Toolbox

At only $12.95 per month for each of my team members, I absolutely cannot compare the pricing with the cost of what I pay Adobe each month. The cost savings there is significantly more when you consider it provides my team with greater capabilities in one browser based program.

The free edition of Canva is still really amazing, but there are so many tools, stock photos, video, audio, and graphics that are available through the included premium stock on the tool that I would be foolish to not have the Canva Pro edition for them.

These resources are available to purchase individually in the free edition of Canva. If you want to take control of your brand and be able to make really cute designs for social media or print, then try out Canva Pro for free for 30 Days with this link. If you have a team of people, you can save even more because this offer will allow you to pay for up to 5 team members with only one pro membership!