New tool to make great design easy

For those of us with a message to communicate (which as a minimum is all leaders) there is a regular task of designing good graphics.  It could be for a Facebook or Twitter profile, or maybe for a product or event.  It might stay online or be destined to be put into print.  Whatever the purpose or medium, the challenge is the same: creating something which communicates the essential information clearly and looks visually stunning and memorable.  Unless you are gifted in this area, and I’m not, it isn’t easy.

My usual process involves the following workflow:

  1. Search for the size of image required for the end product
  2. Search for appropriate background graphics which I can afford to use
  3. Combine 1 and 2 into a complicated photo editing piece of software
  4. Mess around with different elements to create something which looks good
  5. Fail
  6. Look online at what others have designed and try to work with it
  7. Fail
  8. Come up with something good enough and move on

Last week I found a new online tool called Canva.  In short it does 1, 2, 3 and 4 all in one place, but simply.  It also throws in a bit of 6 for good measure, but with the added bonus that you get templates to work with and so failure is not an option.  I like it because it handles the whole process from beginning to end, enabling someone who isn’t a graphic designer to create something that looks great in a short amount of time.  Where some are trying to make existing apps easier to use and others are rethinking how people find and pay for images, Canva has taken a more innovative approach by considering the whole process.  As in this previous post on innovation in practice, by asking a wider question and understanding the challenges a user faces, a truly innovative solution has been found.

As a first attempt at using the tool I redesigned the header at the top of this blog.  It’s free to use, so why not head over there and see what you think?

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