Using Canva for Designing Graphics
I have recently tried out Canva for creating infographics. I had thrown a question out there on edchat Twitter asking for recommendations for software to use to make easy infographics. I would like to make a series of graphics linking the course content in a professional development program I am coordinating with the outcomes of a Professional Certification framework that our students gain credit towards.
I have not had a chance to use the program for a full out work infographic but I did create a few small graphics for work and used it to create the outline of my final assignment course that I featured in my last blog post. I have also used it to create images I am using as buttons in my Canvas homepage for a course I am designing.
Here is what I have found:
Easy to use – the layout is familiar, the tools are clearly labelled and easy to use, there are a few major functions – add media, text, photos, backgrounds and then it is pretty intuitive how to manipulate them.
Lots of great templates – There are professional looking templates for a variety of types of media, print and digital. I found a template for a google classroom header as well as templates for pamphlets, posters, etc. There are many great options for ed including lesson plans, certificates etc as well as Classroom Décor Kit templates which can serve as really nice, personalizable printable for your classroom. The image above is a template for Youtube channel art.
Shortcuts to good design – Even if you choose not to use a full template there are coordinated image and background collections, sample text boxes that include well-coordinated text options that are already laid out in flattering sizes and proximity to each other, and other easy shortcuts that you do not get in higher end graphic editing or publishing software like that from Adobe.
Huge archive of resources – You can access lots of icons, stickers, photos, etc. premade. The colour in many of these can be changed as needed.
The price is right for K-12 – Canva has free accounts for teachers and students in K-12 education and for non-profits. There is also a free but limited subscription for everyone else. I found the free subscription too limited for my needs but a paid pro account was very affordable coming in at about $150 CA for a team of four per year. I pay for a number of different creative software packages and the pricing here was definitely competitive. I liked that the base option was for a team rather than one person at a price you woul
d pay for one account for many other products.
There are nice little touches – My fave right now is that when you go to select a colour for something the first palette that comes up are colours already in your document including colours pulled from photographs. It makes it easy to create a nice
colour pallet from an existing photo and keep everything coordinated.
Animation options – I have not played with this much yet but many stic
kers are animated and you can animate elements of your designs. This would make for cool animated infographics or explainers as well as animated content for social media accounts, onlin
e classrooms as well.
– the templates and resources are generally well designed and modern lending themselves towards trendy aesthetics that will appeal to younger audiences. There is not the risk that you can have with more traditional software of ending up with printables or publications that look dated because of the colours or templates used.
I have not come across any major cons at this point other than the free service being very limited. This is not at all a concern for those in K-12.
I am excited to keep working with Canva and working collaboratively with my work team to design content that is useful online and off.