A picture is worth a thousand words — or so they say. As someone who earns a living from writing, my problem with that statement is that I’m a terrible graphic designer.
I’m not alone in this problem. Whenever I speak with fellow writers, they always tell me that they struggle to find suitable images to complement their written work. This is why we see countless blog posts furnished with the same stock images all over the web. Then there are those writers who still think it’s a good idea to use Google Images as a picture library — it’s not!
For many of us, particularly those of us who work alone, sourcing images is problematic because we just don’t have either the design resources or design skills at hand.
Even if we do have access to a graphic designer, we often have to join the back of the queue when we need artwork. In a world where our work needs to be engaging, relevant, and timely, sometimes you just don’t have time to wait. Seriously, who is going to be interested in an article that everyone else wrote about last week?
Many will turn to freelance channels like Fiverr for a low cost, fast turn-around design solution. But even a site like Fiverr takes time and money if you want to engage one of its many design freelancers.
Hint: You often get what you pay for on Fiverr — so be prepared to throw a little bit more money than the obligatory five bucks at a design problem if you want something useful.
So, where do I turn to when I want original and quick artwork to accompany my blog posts?
My first port of call is an app called Canva.
Canva allows me to do the kind of stuff previously only available in a design tool like Photoshop, without the skills required to operate a design tool like Photoshop.
The free for life freemium package gives designers access to a wide range of design templates for a vast range of projects, including social media posts, ebook covers, event listings, etc. It also comes with a fairly usable bank of high-quality stock images and design elements.
Upgrade to the Canva Pro package (for only $12.95 per month), and you’ll have access to millions of stock photos and design elements as well as the ability to access advanced design tools enabling you to do things like creating transparent backgrounds, videos, and animations.
I know that since I’ve become a Canva user, I rarely call on a graphic designer’s services for those more simple jobs.
So, could an online design app like Canva really disrupt the graphic design industry?
Yes and no.
Big design projects will always need the trained eye and skilled hand of a designer if they are to stand out. However, those little jobs that you need now — an image for a blog post, a social media campaign, or website graphic are perfectly suited to the capabilities of a service Canva driven by someone who isn’t a design professional.
Could Canva help you create more engaging content with beautiful, right on time design? Try Canva for today for free.