Why Canva and PowerPoint Are My favorite Graphic Design Programs

Creating attractive graphic designs for your website, social media, and other places around the web can seem daunting for a lot of small business owners. As small business owners, we want to make the best first impression we can. That used to be focused solely on the best in-person impression, but now we reach people across the globe through our online presence. Our graphics play a big role in creating a professional and impressive first impression.

No More Graphic Designer for Graphic Design

It used to be that we needed to hire a graphic designer to create our graphic designs, but now we don’t need to thankfully to all the free tools at our disposal. From Gimp, Canva, Adobe Spark, and even Microsoft PowerPoint, anyone can create a stunning image for a blog post, social media update, or website. And hire a designer for those really big projects- like a new website design.

You may think that these free tools aren’t as good as having Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, but let me tell you something. I have Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, and I actually prefer Canva and PowerPoint for blog and social media posts graphic designs. And here are the three reasons why.

No Need for Stock Images

Canva

Canva.com has an ample number for images, illustrations, shapes, and so forth, for you to use in your images. They also allow you to purchase images for a small fee. But it does save you the hassle of setting a stock photo account and paying for credits to download images.

I find the Canva images varied enough so you can easily find one that fits your needs. Need a typewriter, check. Need a sky image, check. Need a car, check. The images are also large enough to be used as a background image or you can shrink to thumbnail size.

PowerPoint

With PowerPoint, you will need to have your own stock images. But you may be able to use an existing image you have or a clipart image. But I find using fonts and shapes sufficient for most of my graphic needs.

Easy Graphic Layout Options

Canva

Canva has preset sizes for different social media platforms, marketing collateral, presentations, or you can use a custom size for your graphic designs. You can go one step farther by selecting a layout for text and images; meaning number of columns or layout of columns or squares. I usually select one column, use an image background, and add text.

But if you don’t want to do it from scratch, Canva has beautiful template designs for  you to start from. Canva event lets you select template text styles. They really did think of it all.

PowerPoint

PowerPoint doesn’t have any templates for various social media platforms or marketing collateral; but you can change the size of the slide and make it Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter friendly. You can also do the same for marketing collateral.

Nor, do you have any graphic design template options. You gotta do it all yourself. But I create a presentation for each social media platform, and just add a new slide when I want to create more images for Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Basically, you can have an Instagram presentation file, and just add or duplicate a new slide.

Fast as Heck

Canva and PowerPoint

The main reason I prefer Canva and PowerPoint over Photoshop or Illustrator is because I can create several images in 1 hour. Plus I can access both files on the go, wherever I need to. Canva lets you access and edit files on their website, and I just save PowerPoint files to my cloud account.

Final Thoughts

Canva does with a free and paid option. Just use which feels right for your needs. Since I primarily use Canva for social media and blog posts, the free account works splendidly for me. I will never tell you to spend money if you don’t need to. Canva has an app for iOS, but at the time of this writing, has not released an Android app.

Saving images on PowerPoint is actually pretty easy, save the file like to you normally do but change the file type to .png or .jpg. PowerPoint will ask if you want to save every slide as an image or a specific slide- I save a single slide. As a safety, I would recommend saving  the presentation file normally (as PPT) first, and then save as .png or .jpg.

Try each graphic design option out, and see which works best for you.

Links:

Canva
Gimp
PowerPoint Tutorial

Gargi
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Gargi

Gargi Bhola has extensive expertise in every facet of online marketing and branding: including developing, implementing and managing comprehensive online marketing initiatives for many organizations. She takes a hands on approach in formulating creative marketing campaigns that enhance brand value; increase brand recognition; and improve customer communication, which has results in revenue growth for the businesses she works with.
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