The curse of Canva

Why using Canva without professional input is a bad idea.

Now where do I even start on this subject, this specific subject is the reason, the sole reason I set up Coach me Creative. Now don’t get me wrong Canva has its place, and I am going to be completely honest it’s a powerful tool and one that I use for my clients (no don’t worry I haven’t lost to plot and turned my back on Adobe).

There are a couple of facets to this topic, and I plan on hitting them one by one.

Design DeJa’Vu

Have you ever been stopped dead in your tracks mid rabbit hole scroll and thought “I’ve seen that graphic before”, or even worse “I’ve posted that graphic before” this is what I have aptly named the curse of Canva. You set your account up without any previous Graphic design experience and they hit you with all those lovely looking templates, beautiful layouts, impressive and impactful, that will do the trick. There’s one problem with this scenario Canva have over 75 million (according to Forbes) users as of September 2020 and each one of these people will have been introduced to those lovely templates too. Cut a long story short if you choose to use the ready-made templates, beware you are more than likely to see those graphics repeatedly.

Directionless Designs

This is where we hit problem number two. Let’s say you sign up for that brand new account having never ever putting a social media graphic together before and you choose not to go down the route of using a premade template.

You choose the right size then you get the options, all the options. You get to choose the colours, the image frames, you are introduced to a wealth of free photos, there’s stickers, soooooooooooooooooo many stickers, you can add charts and grids the choices are endless and there lies the problem.

Ever heard the term “you don’t have to use all the colouring pencils in the tin”, well I’m not going to lie this could very well be a full-on Mel ism, I digress. Basically, having all the options when you are an untrained eye is not always a good thing. There is a fine line between great design and design that could do with going down a grate if you get what I mean.

Branding BooBoo

Now don’t get me started on the concept of designing your logo on Canva I’m not even going to go down that never ending Rabbit hole.

This one kinda ties in with the Directionless Design point but I thought it was worth a whole paragraph to itself.

Let me start with a bit of a confession, I am a terrible magpie, I see something shiny, and I absolutely have to have it, if something piques my interest I’m gone, rabbit holing till the end of time and there are a lot of you out there I am sure this would resonate with!

How does this relate to branding? well this is where keeping your designs “on brand” is a little more challenging. You see keeping “on brand” should be an exercise of restraint, pure unadulterated focus on your Brand, its values its purpose & its visual identity.

If you use a graphic designer to build you your brand they take time, a lot of consideration and care into developing it for you in the most purposeful and practical way possible. We entrust that brand and all its related assets onto you, trusting that you will protect it just like a new baby (I kid not sometimes it is literally like giving birth developing these brands, we have sooooooo much invested interest in them and what you do with them). Then what do you do! stick a bloody sparkling star sticker onto it and post it all over your Instagram (not naming any names, but you know who you are pmsl).

Getting over these Humps

How do we get over these humps? Well like I said at the beginning of this short but sweet article I have nothing against Canva, iv reluctantly come to love it over the last few months it’s a powerful program and with a little bit of purposeful forethought it could elevate your social media posting without the massive outlay of us graphic designers.

Defining your brand is Key (Keep your eyes open there is a blog post coming on this subject) then stick to the guidelines you set yourself.

Build your very own library of templates or ask your designer to do this for you check out the ones I did for Fern.

If you don’t have a designer on hand and you aren’t confident enough to do it yourself, you can buy a set of templates (Check out Coach me Creative).

Keep it simple, clean designs have a much better impact than busy designs with mixed messages and too much content.

Keep it consistent.

If you would like us to look at your social media design work and build you your very own individual library of templates, please do give us a shout on hello@ohagency.co.uk or fill the contact form.

Don’t Stop Here

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