I heard about Canva in two places in the last week. As I am currently doing the Sunday Librarian thing, I decided to spend some time playing around with it. Above you see a minimally altered example of the kind of thing you can do with Canva. You sign up for a free account and then have the ability to work a number of different options for specific, pre-made sizes or you can customize your own. For each size, there are different templates you can use and alter or you can disregard the templates entirely and put together one of your own using backgrounds and images from Canva. It’s a freemium service. You can access lots of great stuff without paying, but for more involved layouts and images you must pay $1.00 per element for each time you use it. Then you can download or link to the images and they are also saved with your account. There’s the option to share with Twitter and Facebook, bien sur.
I think the strengths in Canva for librarians are probably for infographic-type posters, flyers, and images for presentations. Although I don’t put loads of effort into my everyday Powerpoint presentations, I can see myself leaning heavily on Canva for professional presentations to pull together an eye-catching, memorable talk. Canva could also be great for other non-library things: blog icons, invitations, Christmas cards, and other design-y things that you may want to look great but not have to pay someone else to do for you.
Another great service similar to Canva but for photo editing is PicMonkey. You can do a lot of basic photo editing with it, and it also has options for adding some fun to photos. Behold, the fun I had last Halloween editing myself into a Cherry Pie Vampire:
While I do love me some old school design fun, I’m not one to turn up my nose at these great, fun services to take some of the learning curve out of getting me what I want. I’ll definitely be making use of Canva and PicMonkey in the future.