Designer friends, this post is for you! It is all about my experience using Canva Pro as a designer and the pros of using this design software as well as what makes what makes it dangerous. I’m talking about my main objections to it originally and what I think makes it worth it now.
If you are interested in trying Canva Pro for free, click here to check it out!
My Original Objection To Canva Pro
Let’s start with my main objection to Canva as a design software. I have to first say that as a designer, I do not use Canva exclusively or for my main design work. I still do the majority of my sketching on paper or with my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil and use the Adobe suite for most everything else.
Many professional designers have been frustrated by the introduction of Canva into the design community for some time. The ease of use with the intuitive and simple interface as well as accessibility and price of Canva makes it widely available to anyone.
Moreover, users without any design training or experience can market themselves as designers, which can be damaging to the industry.
If you are a trained and professional designer, are you still using Canva Pro? You should be! Let me tell you why. There are so many amazing features that Canva has to offer that can improve your workflow tremendously. As a designer myself, I rolled my eyes at Canva for years and avoided learning about it.
But after I decided to give it a try, I am thrilled with the things I have come up with that now make my life so much easier. This is not to say that these things can’t be done using Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign. I just find them to be faster and easier in Canva.
I don’t do this all the time but sometimes I like to create my brand presentations with Canva. When I am ready to show a client the first look at their new logo, brand colors, fonts, elements, patterns, etc… I will put it together in a presentation-style file using Canva Pro with explanations of what each thing is and why they were chosen and are important.
Then I use this presentation to record a video for my client presenting everything to them or hop on a Zoom call with them (I prefer this so that I can SEE their reactions and they can ask questions in real-time.)
I can also send the presentation to them to reference later if needed.
Another thing I love using Canva Pro for is mockups. Specifically tech mockups! Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of stunning stock photos out there that are great for certain projects. But when it comes to showing off websites and brands in action, I love using Canva’s tech mockups.
Their frame options make it easy to snap pictures in and move them around. No clipping masks needed. Also, all of the photos you import are always right there next to your workspace for easy access.
Creating Templates For Clients
This is the feature that really sold me and got my attention to finally give Canva a shot. When I finish a branding project, I create (as a bonus!!) social media graphic template for my clients. I do this for a few reasons:
- Added surprise and delight and elevated client experience
- It makes your client’s life easier later on down the road. They may not have known to ask for something like this because using templates in Photoshop or Illustrator seems scary or they don’t want to pay for those programs when they don’t have a large need for them.
- Keeps the integrity of my designs across more platforms for a longer period of time.
Let me explain that last one. This is the major key here. When you use Canva Pro as a designer, you are able to design the template for the content your clients will be sharing on their social media and keep your design integrity intact! Nothing is worse to me than designing a beautiful brand for a client and then what they design for social media looks pretty bad.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want my name and my reputation as a designer to live on graphics that were inspired by my work but are actually designed poorly by my clients. And the truth is, your clients won’t want that either.
Designing templated graphics in Canva Pro as a designer takes the risk of this away tremendously. You can pass on the template to your client and they can change small things like photos, color, and copy, and then tada! Beautiful graphics on socials that everyone can be proud of.
Reference Guides Or Freebies
I make my freebies using Canva Pro! Yep, I said it! If it has a lot of copy, typically I’m making it in Canva. Why? Simply because it takes less time and less space on my computer. I’m not talking about designing magazines or something that needs more attention to detail. But any kind of free guide is a great thing to make in Canva.
This is especially true for FREE content. You want to make quality content for your audience but also cannot afford to spend too much time on it. This is a great route to go. Want to see an example? Check out my free font guide for beginners learning how to pair fonts well for their business.
I love to animate graphics for Instagram Stories, Posts, and Pinterest in Canva. They have some very simple animations that you can quickly apply to your graphics and export them out just as fast as a video or gif file. No fiddling with frames or getting the animation just perfect.
I only do this for graphics that need some kind of small attention grabber. Nothing really fancy. Small animations like a wiggling arrow or a headline moving in after everything else can go a really long way, especially when people are not expecting it. This helps hold their attention a little longer to what you are saying.
I love this Canva Pro feature because I can preview all of the options quickly before choosing the one that fits my content the best. Also, the export is so simple and fast! This is a major pro to using Canva Pro as a designer in and of itself.
Using Stock Photos, Videos, And Elements
Another way you can use Canva Pro as a designer to your benefit is that you have access to stock images, videos, and SO MANY fun elements that can really elevate your designs. All of this is part of your Canva Pro subscription so no extra fees or additional subscriptions needed for access to features like this.
I like to make as many of my elements as possible when I am designing. But when I am working on cranking out a large batch of work, especially for Pinterest, I love these features of Canva Pro because I have so much material to work with right there in front of me. I don’t have to go hunt down or create a million assets.
I am often experimenting with Pinterest so I don’t like to spend so much time on each individual graphic. I like to interchange these elements and see what works best and I love having so much to choose from.
I believe in myself as a designer and my ability to create beautiful things regardless of the tools I use. I also value my time and am always looking for ways to improve my workflow and streamline my business. I have found so many features of Canva Pro to be efficient for me and the kinds of projects I am currently working on. I hope you have learned something fun and new!
If you are interested in testing out Canva Pro as a designer for FREE, check it out here. You might find some really useful tools for you too!
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