Friday, 4 August 2017

Designing your own Blog Graphics with Canva

designing for your blog with canva by silvermoss

Designing and creating your own graphics, banners, and buttons online is nothing new and is, in many ways, easier than ever. On this blog I've previously created my own banner heading as well as the side buttons for quick links to collections of blog posts - see them on the right hand side.

I also created the main image, above, for this blog post using Canva, after playing around with some of their templates and changing colours and font.

I've dabbled with using both PicMonkey (the free version) and an old copy of Photoshop Elements, plus recently I've also been looking further afield and that has included Canva. Yes, you do have to sign up to use it, but you also have to do that for PicMonkey now as well - PicMonkey used to be handy for 'quick' edits when I didn't want the hassle of either signing up or signing in, trying to remember my password, failing, having to reset it, etc... Now, however, both PicMonkey and Canva both require an account, even for their free versions.

While Canva is, obviously, different from PicMonkey, many of the tools and techniques they use work in a similar enough way that means it's easy enough to pick things up quite quickly if you've used the other, and if you've not utilised online image editing before (and even if you have!) then a brief web search on a specific problem can provide answers.

It's often better to learn as you try to create something (this applies to jewellery too!) than to try and gain a working knowledge without using it practically, so to teach myself a bit about Canva I decided to spend some time experimenting. I began by trying to create a new side button for my blog, and then ended up creating a whole set of them.

Here's what I made first:

first jeweller interview canva blog button by silvermoss

And here's what I made when I'd worked out what I was doing and decided to be a little more ambitious and create something more specific to my overall blog design:

jeweller interviews canva blog button by silvermossjewellery book reviews canva blog button by silvermoss

I created a custom-sized template and used one of Canva's own backgrounds, before adding text and choosing font, size, and colour. I may well re-do the buttons with an image of my own, to make it more personalised to my blog.

At the end of this flurry of time on Canva I very quickly chose a template for this post (see the first image, above) and adapted that to use some of my own blog colours, taking just a few minutes to complete.

I created all my images using used free components on Canva although they do have a paid version as well, with more options. I prefer the free version of such applications and tend, in general, to avoid paid versions as they often involve subscription models (as Canva does) and they just don't suit me - I'd rather pay up front and own something than hire it. Also, I don't create enough images to justify paying a fee and so it is helpful that places like Canva have a good and usable free version.

Canva allows you to upload your own images to incorporate into design elements, and although you can also upload your own fonts this is unfortunately only available on the paid version. One very handy part of Canva is that is has the facility for you to copy an image you're working on and adapt it or alter it slightly, without having to start over again - you can also chart your own progression as you do this, and change your mind and use an earlier version without having to undo changes you've made.

If you've never used this kind of graphic design and image editing software before then, when you first start out, it will take a little while to create anything you're happy with, but using a web application like Canva will, with a little practise, allow you to make banners and buttons and pretty much any graphic you care to without much fuss at all. If you are more adept in using such software then you should adapt to this quite fast and may well enjoy having some different options for new designs.

PS. I designed this alternative post banner as well, a few days after I'd created the above graphics, just to see how much I remembered. It was still very easy and also a lot of fun.

designing for your blog with canva by silvermoss


Please note - I was contacted by a representative of Canva about creating this post. However all the content has been designed and created by me and I have received no payment of any kind and am not connected with the company in any way. Nor are any of the links in the post affiliate links. The opinions in the post are, as always, my own, and have been given honestly.

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