In the latest of our PRmoment Tool Reviews Louise Chandler from Hartford Care rates graphic design tool Canva.
Tool name and maker
Graphic design tool Canva
What this tool does:
Canva prides itself on allowing the user to design any promotional documents or materials using a drag-and-drop approach. This leads to professional layouts and good quality graphics for your promotional creations.
Price as reviewed
There is a free membership that gives you limited access, but it gives you a good insight into the service and what it can offer. Alternatively, you can pay $12.95 per month (roughly £10) for a whole host of settings, unlimited designs and access to images, plus you can share the same document with your colleagues to make amendments simultaneously.
When you log in to Canva, you can begin to create a design based on: social media, documents, adverts, personal, marketing, education and events scenarios. This is then broken down in to a list of different items – for example ‘flyer’, ‘card’ or ‘poster’.
When you start to create your design, you can move items, make them bigger or smaller, change the colours and more…
The website allows you to download and save the documents, share it to allocated social media accounts, email it to your colleagues and print it.
What we asked this tool to do
I needed to design an infographic to launch an internal staff recognition scheme that would give the reader simple pieces of information in an attractive layout.
When you choose the ‘infographic’ template, another window appears, giving you a range of pre-designed layouts, colours and formats (with images, logos and text) that you can choose. There is a lot of choice of topics that you can choose from such as a ‘charity infographic’, ‘business’ or ‘educational’. Click on the one that looks the best for your purpose and now you can amend it as you wish. Depending on your membership level, some templates will be free, and others will come with a price tag of a few pounds.
You can change the background colours, text style and font size. Feel free to add in images by performing a simple search using the ‘elements’ option or upload your own logos and images that you want on the infographic. There are a lot of similar settings to Microsoft Word that you will recognise, for example, spacing, bold and italic font choices plus filter settings that will change the hue of our images (if you require that).
How it performed
The site is quick to respond to tasks, but finding options can lead to a lot of clicking.
The recent update and version of Canva 2.0 is a lot more reliable than 1.0 so use that for ultimate performance.
- If you have particular colours that you use for your brand – you can programme these into your Canva profile so they can be easily chosen for all designs.
- The professional results are great and really help you to create work that has a slick appearance.
- If you are lacking imagination to create marketing and PR materials, Canva gives you guidance and inspiration for layouts and designs.
- It’s great that you can share the document with colleagues within your team so you can make amendments to the same documents.
- The app version is easy to use, but doesn’t have all of the design options available.
- Canva offers a ‘Design School’ to coach and train you which is helpful if this is your first time designing items.
- When you want to search for particular images or graphics, the search can show you ideas that aren’t relevant for what you need.
- It depends what you are designing but it can be very finickity on what you can move and where you can move items within your design, so you need a bit of patience.
- There is a lot of choice which is a good and bad thing – sometimes it can feel like you’re scrolling through endless options.
Star rating (out of 5)
Review by Louise Chandler, PR and communications manager at healthcare company Hartford Care
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