Are you tired of the old and boring presentation templates? If you are looking to easily step up your presentation game, you’re in the right place. I’m Ashley Gideon, a junior at Temple University majoring in advertising. For the past summer, I became a marketing intern for Preferred Sands where I began utilizing an amazing creative tool: Canva. Canva is such a powerful (plus colorful) graphic design platform, yet I only discovered it last year from a group project. Although I was still unfamiliar, even then, I was impressed with how much more fun the templates were compared to the plain and dull PowerPoint ones. Canva isn’t just for creating pretty slideshows though, it has everything I needed to design fun social media posts for Preferred Sands. After using it for a while, here is my advice for using the powerful graphic design tool.
Tutorials First, I have to mention the packed library of free tutorials Canva offers. At the start of my internship, I made it my goal to know the ins and outs of Canva, so I could be capable of making any design my brain could imagine. Aside from reading about features and playing around on drafting pages, I learned that Canva has created essentially a school, consisting of courses that teach you how to use Canva and about design. The tutorials are really interactive and helpful for newcomers, and even some experienced designers. To take advantage, simply visit the Canva website and go to the ‘Learn’ tab in the navigation menu. You’ll see various resources that can help you become a better designer.
Unlimited Graphics Once you’ve opened a draft file and are ready to dive deep, try out the ‘Elements’ tab, where you can search any keyword. I typically go through all the results under ‘Graphics’ and pull out a ton of them to experiment for my social media posts. There are so many amazing designs done by such talented artists, but don’t forget there are also other elements you can use for more creativity and ideas. I know I tend to forget with how much I get carried away dragging and dropping those great graphics.
Comments Every page you add onto your file, you have the ability to create comments that stick to the side of each page. This is incredibly useful for getting down any notes you come up with in the middle of a creative and productive session.
Brand Hub Without needing to purchase a Canva Pro subscription, you can use the ‘Brand Colors’ feature which I found to be very convenient. You’re allowed to save up to three colors of your choosing that always appears in the color menu for easy and quick access. Though that is the limit on a free plan, it was just enough for me and if you are working or interning for a brand as well, this will really come in handy. If you pay for Canva Pro, designing with an existing brand identity will become even easier as you will be able to save logos, fonts, and more. It’s just a really thoughtful and useful feature on Canva that I had to mention it.
Symmetry Did you know, pressing and holding the Alt key on your keyboard allows you to see the distance between items, even between the edge of your page? You just have to be sure to move your mouse’s cursor around to see the distance between different things. That’s not all though, I have another keyboard shortcut for you for the most ease when designing. Here’s what you do if you want to move an item across more quickly and keep it in a line. Have an item on your page selected, press and hold shift, then press the arrow key in the direction you want it to go. Instead of moving one space over, it moves a couple spaces at once and will save you time.
I hope you found something helpful! Everyone has different needs and you might need to play around with Canva to find what works for you. It’s always fun learning about great and useful resources, not to mention a free one. After learning about Canva, your design knowledge and capabilities will only expand. It may even spark some inspiration and excitement you might’ve been missing.