Creating Beautifully Looking Prose with Canva

Admit it, you love sharing inspirational or philosophical musings with your social media friends — who doesn’t? A tranquil photo of a sunset with a reflective quote about life’s meaning does wonders for the psyche. And what better way to let your views known than circulating a quote by your favorite politician, featuring a patriotic background?

Why not harness that power for brand storytelling?

Had a little too much time on my hands one day and decided to turn one of my favorite quotes into an image.

Had a little too much time on my hands one day and decided to turn one of my favorite quotes into an image to share on Facebook.

A quick scroll through my Facebook feed this morning produced a couple of dozen image quotes — Noam Chomsky on apathetic general population, Bill Maher on freedom, Maya Angelou on thriving in life, an assortment of politicians, plus anonymous authors waxing poetic on everything from parenting teenagers to folding sheets.

I had previously used ReciteThis to create a sharable image quote for fun, but I hadn’t thought about using a quote-making tool for professional purposes. Inspired by a recent post about image quotes in the Write to Done blog, I decided to try out one of the listed tools, Canva.

I needed a specific quote for a future post anyway, plus I had some time to kill at 6 in the morning. (Not my favorite part of the day. Ever.)

Like the Haiku Deck presentation app I tried recently, Canva has no learning curve. It’s a website-based tool so all you need to get started is a free account. A quick demo shows you everything you need to know, and after that you can go wild.

The Canva design dashboard

The Canva design dashboard

And by wild, I mean wild. To start with, you get various choices of templates (not just for image quotes), from posters and Facebook covers to Twitter headers and business cards. The user interface is as simple as drag and drop. There are a few glitches in the interface, but I found them a minor inconvenience.

Once you settle on the type of image you want (in my case, it was an 800 by 1,200 px blog graphic), Canva gives you various premade designs that you can either adapt or customize.

(Tip: Do that step first because if you want to go back and change that design after adding text and photos, you have to rework things.)

You can get quite creative with backgrounds, your own photos, buttons, fonts etc etc. Canva has a decent number of free options, but if you want premium stuff — especially the better photos — you have to pay ($1 per piece).

My image quote created with Canva

My image quote created with Canva (the original is larger, 800 by 1,200 px)

I decided not to “splurge” and I was short on time, so I did a quick design using only free choices. For a quickie, I was happy with the result.

Canva saves your image so you can go back and tweak it (even allow others to change it if you wish), and you can either save it as an image (PNG) or PDF.

You can also share it directly on Twitter and Facebook, though I didn’t like it on my Facebook page because it randomly cropped the graphic to fit the Facebook format (as happens to all Facebook images).

I can see where Canva (or other image-quote making apps) could become a regular part of digital storytelling for those who don’t normally create their own graphics — or for those like me who can but don’t want to bother.

How about you, have you tried it? Let me know what you think.


Author: Rodika Tollefson

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