Things have been crazy at the library lately, and I’ve had to come up with publicity materials for a lot of new programs. While Publisher is great for flyers, it doesn’t offer the flexibility I’d like for creating images for web banners and social media posts. There’s plenty of expensive software designed for these things, but as a librarian on a budget, I’m always looking for free/cheap alternatives. Which led me to Canva.
Some things I really like about Canva:
- You can choose from a variety of standard image sizes, or create something using custom dimensions. This has been perfect for making Facebook event photos.
- Canva is online, so you can access and edit your designs anywhere.
- If you sign up for the business version of Canva (also free), you can use the “magic resize” feature to quickly adapt the same image for multiple platforms. You can also share projects with other members of your team.
- There are tons of fonts to choose from!
Some things I’m not as crazy about:
- There’s no way to draw a curved line, or make text curve, in the free version of Canva. Or if there is, I haven’t found it yet.
- The free stock images you can use aren’t great. There are better images you can use for a dollar apiece, but I haven’t used any of those. You can upload your own images (including stock photos you purchase elsewhere), so I usually do that.
I know other librarians who also use Canva to make bookmarks and infographics, but I haven’t had time to experiment with those yet. I don’t have any formal training in graphic design; everything I do is self-taught, using best practices I’ve read about online and experimenting over the last four years that I’ve been creating publicity for library programs. When things settle down a bit at work, I’ll play around with other image types in Canva, and let you know if I come across anything of note.
Do you use Canva at all? Do you have a similar tool you’d recommend for creating publicity?