Canva is a Social Media Graphics Tool For Interior Designers

We use Canva for all of the graphic design found on our blog

We use Canva for all of the graphic design found on our blog

Not many people outside of graphic designers get excited about using new design software, but high-quality graphics can help define expertise. For most of us, it’s just one more program to learn and another step between an idea and marketing our business.

This is certainly true when it comes to graphic design programs. Adobe Photoshop, the industry’s flagship program, has incredible capabilities—if you have years to learn its features. Even if we step back and think about some of the easier to use graphics programs such as GIMP, Pixlr, and Paint, there’s still a steep learning curve. The controls aren’t intuitive or, to increase “simplicity,” basic design functions are unavailable.

So what can you do to add graphic design elements to marketing your interior design business? How do you add illustrations and call to actions to websites, blogs, and social media posts? If you have the time and money, hire a graphic designer. If you don't, you should try Canva. Canva is graphic design software that can help you with social media graphics, but it’s just as useful for print posters, invitations, Web graphics and the graphic design you might create in Photoshop.

How Canva's Graphic Design Tool Works

Canva starts users off with the choice of eleven prefabricated templates. This may not seem like a huge number, but these are just starting points. Templates include concepts like “Presentation,” “Blog graphic,” and “Facebook cover.” “Social media” is its template, too. And if you want to start from scratch, you can always select a blank canvas of any custom size.

Once you’ve selected a template (or if you’ve been bold enough to choose the blank canvas), you can begin defining your design with the choice of layouts and backgrounds. Using the existing layouts and backgrounds can get you well on your way to a fully designed graphic; at the same time, you’ll have the freedom to let Canva create a rough sketch while you take care of all the details manually.

Canva has succeeded in developing intuitive easy to use controls. These tools are what we have long hoped for in a design platform: drag-and-drop elements that can be added, removed, or pushed around your canvas.

Admittedly, there’s a price for intuitive design. Canva does not feature the same detailed gridlines you may expect, like those for the LucidPress typesetting service. There are live orientation guides to assist your design as you move objects, but don’t expect the kind of detail present in platforms like Photoshop.

Adding text is easy. You can either create new free-style text blocks or start with Canva’s options for stylized text, complete with background images to match. If you have a set of fonts you prefer for your work, you can quickly and easily change the default Canva fonts to match your preferences.

Canva offers the immediate choice of between five and eight colors for your text or other glyphs. This is, in part, to help keep you focused on simplicity. That said, as we’ve already seen, Canva blends both simplicity and control. While it presents a limited color palate, there are no real restrictions. You can just add the hex color code to pull quickly up the perfect color for your next social media ad.

Perhaps best of all, Canva saves all previous designs, and you can quickly choose an old template to reuse for your next project. This process helps you maintain consistent brand messaging for a campaign, to say nothing of the countless hours it will save you each time you go back to create new design.

Affordable Images That Make Social Media Posts Pop

More often than not, finding professional images for your designs—without torpedoing your marketing budget—is the biggest sticking point. Canva's integration with Getty Images is unique. Only a handful of the pictures featured within the Canva platform are free, but Premium images come at a remarkable rate of just $1 each.

These $1 images are the perfect price point for any advertising campaign but are especially useful when it comes to social media. Your social media presence may require near-constant posting, and the last thing you can afford is to shell out $20, $75, or $150 for a photo to illustrate a new blog you’re tweeting out or even a paid ad that appears on Facebook.

But if you happen to have a ready stash of all the professional photos you’ll need, you can just upload those images to your design free of charge. You can also access photos connected to your Facebook account. In short, you’ll have plenty of free or near-free options when it comes to images.

Adjusting images is as simple as double-clicking them, which allows you to resize quickly an image (by pushing or pulling at the corners) or move it around your design. You can also apply filters to adjust the tint, blur, saturation, contrast—almost any element of a photo—so that your design has the right look and feel. If you fall in love with a particular combination, you can copy and paste your filter code to apply it on all images. What could be easier?

About Canva Now and in the Future

Canva was born out of its Australian co-founders’ previous experience creating a platform for the development of school yearbooks called Fusion Books. That market led to elegant yet intuitive design—simple enough for students to use and attractive enough for them to want to use it.

When it comes to social media design, Canva represents the beautiful and practical tool you need. You can even add social sharing buttons to your designs with simple drag and drop. It’s these thoughtful features that have made Canva so popular among novice and professional designers.

The future, perhaps, will not be the world with more full-time designers churning out exquisite designs, but more easy-to-use and comprehensive software tools like Canva, which allow the beginner to immediately bridge the knowledge gap and compete with professional designs for the eye of the consumer.

Get started with Canva today, and see how it can take social media marketing for your interior design business to the next level!

About Michael Conway and Means-of-Production

My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition. Contact me for a free-of-charge consultation and marketing review. It takes about 40 minutes and you'll be provided a list of actionable improvements designed to solve your specific marketing problems. 

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