Why Canva for Work is a worthwhile investment for authors
I get asked constantly how I create my graphics for Pinterest, my newsletter, Instagram, and my website, and honestly, the answer is:
I use Adobe Photoshop. Adobe InDesign. Pixemator. Crello. Canva. It really depends on what I'm creating, how much time I have, what my vision is.
But if you were to ask me which graphics program I would recommend for authors?
Yes, Adobe Photoshop is far more robust. But that full-featured glory comes with a high price. Adobe Photoshop is complicated as hell, and the learning curve is a doozy. Unless you already know Photoshop, unless you're angling to become a full-time designer, unless you really get off on learning new tools, and unless you've got something really complicated in mind for your design needs ... you don't need to learn Photoshop.
If you're just looking for a way to create attractive Facebook graphics, book teasers for Instagram, non-ugly Instagram stories, or a banner for your website, Canva is easier and faster.
It's also free, and if you're just starting out, the free version is all you need.
But I'm actually not here today to talk about the free version. I'm here to talk to you writers who've used the free version, and are wondering if upgrading to Canva for Work ($12.95/month as I write this in January 2019) is worth it?
Yes. It's worth it.
Here are the top 5 reasons Canva for Work is a worthwhile investment for professional authors, or those who want to become professional authors:
(1) You can save your brand colors
One of the easiest ways you can create a consistent look for your brand is to use the same colors across all of your creative assets. And while the free version lets you choose whatever color you want, the paid version lets you save all your most-used colors for easy access. It looks like the below. It may not seem like a big deal, but you'd be surprised how much time it saves to have your colors available "at a click."
(2) Transparent pngs
Ever wonder how you can create an image with a transparent background? For example, a logo or text that you want to overlay on top of something else? Swag, or a colored background on your website, etc? You'll need a .png file format to do so (jpgs don't preserve transparency), and in order to download a transparent background .png on Canva, you'll need the paid version.
(3) Photo Folders
While you can upload your images (think: book covers) on the free version, the paid version of Canva lets you create folders for your uploads. So you can keep stock photos in one folder, your book covers in another, your logo in another, your iPad graphics, etc in another.
(4) Magic Resize
This is one of the cooler features of Canva, and one area where Photoshop can't compete. With the paid Canva service, you can create a graphic in one size, say, a square for Instagram. And then you can select their Magic Resize option, and select multiple sizes you want created of that same graphic; Facebook cover, Facebook post, Pinterest, Instagram story, you name it. It will create all of those sizes with a click. Yes, you'll have to do a bit of tweaking to make sure the elements look good on all the different sizes, but you'll still save a tone of time versus starting from scratch with each image size!
(5) You can save templates
Another huge time-saver, the paid Canva account allows you to save certain designs as templates to ensure you're able to create a consistent, branded teaser or sale announcement with a quick click. Now, you can sort of fudge this with the free version by creating a duplicate of an existing graphic and then updating it, take it from someone with thirty books and thousands of graphics, having a template folder makes it much easier to find the style you're looking for!