Design is a marvelous skill. From the masters of paint – Caravaggio to Rembrandt – to the skillful graphic designers, exemplary design exists all around us, traditionally using the rule of thirds or the golden ratio. Design, from marketing materials to an email blast, also follows the same design fundamentals.

Design is not an easy skill to learn, and anyone can certainly develop an “eye for design” by studying and viewing great design. In the meantime, while you are busy developing an eye for design, Canva is an easy-to-use design platform to assist any business in crafting layouts and graphics that speak to your customer base.

See what you can design through Canva with their vast selection of colors, pictures, fonts, and layouts for a multiple set of design needs.

  1. Designs – Designs are powerful to illicit a response for any update, and they are astonishingly easy to create. Canva offers designs for presentations, Facebook covers, blog graphics, social media posts, menus, CD covers, and Instagram posts, for example. ALR created a social media visual for National Great Outdoors Month. Explore the Great
    Figure 1 – ALR social media graphic for National Great Outdoors Month created in CanvaCA
    Figure 2 – Sample set of designs
  2. Fonts & Text – One of the strongest elements to any design piece is the text and the fonts. Canva offers several different font faces – serf, sans serif, and script – and offer several examples, through the different layouts, on how text and fonts can be stacked and implemented onto an image or layout.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          CA 2                             Figure 3 – Stacked text with logo works well for some designs
  3. Color – Color is as an important design element next to text, hierarchy, or layout. Designing inside Canva allows for designers and users to pick and work with as many colors as possible. While the program does not offer an eyedropper tool for selecting specific colors like Photoshop – for branded colors, for example – the default palette is displayed, and the color wheel allows for selecting and working with specifics colors.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           CA 4 CA 3                                                                        Figure 4 – Default color palette & color wheel 


  4. Layouts – Hierarchy is an important design rule to consider when designing any piece. Whether it is a menu, social piece, album cover, or magazine cover, the order of what is important is enhanced in the layout. Canva takes the guessing out of the design with pre-made design concepts. Depending what you are designing, there are several layouts to choose from – some free and some paid – to work with.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         CA 5

Design Best Practice Tips

In addition to working with the Canva system, there are design best practices to implement.

  • Logos – Logos should be present and consistent throughout the layout. Logos can be presented in the bottom right, top right, or in any place the design hierarchy allows.
  • URL’s – Be sure to include a link to your site – along with social media icons for Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and other applicable social sites – so visitors and fans can access other sites.
  • Hashtags – Hashtags also enhance a design, as the hashtag is unique to your brand and will help in generating searches, likes, and engagement.
  • SEO – While images are not subject to search engine indexing, it can be a good idea to include keywords that are synonymous with your website. Include the keywords in the text of your images, if applicable.
  • CTA’s CTA’s or calls to action are also suggested to be a part of any design.

Whether you’re building out your designs through Photoshop, Canva, or hiring out to design agency, developing a strong presence on or offline begins with good design. For more information on why building out strong images is good for your brand, read ALR’s “Why You Should Be Creating Aesthetically Beautiful Brand Photos on Instagram (and Pinterest).”