When it comes to design, photography, and branding, women are constantly asking us some really smart questions. Our new “Dear Betty” column will answer those Qs on a monthly basis. We figure, if one person is asking, there are probably a good number of you that want to know the same thing. Have a question that only the Betties can answer? Send us an email, and we might use it for an upcoming blog post!

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Dear Betty,

My budget for design is in the negative numbers. Do you have any free resources that I can use to create images for my Facebook page and printed flyers that look professional while keeping my brand solid?
Natalie C.

 

Hi Natalie-

Yes, yes we do. We have exactly one resource, since it’s been the only free one that’s met our very high standards.

Usually when we hear free graphic design program, we cringe. Visions of starbursts and comic sans run through our heads. But, we were recently introduced to the online site, Canva. We were completely blown away when it shot down every one of our preconceived notions about a free graphic design program.

“The photos must look really amateur.”
Nope. They’re gorgeous.

“Well, they must have a horrible selection of fonts.”
Negative. They have every font available on Google fonts, and then some.

 “There must be really limited layout options.”
Nuh-uh. They have layouts for every social media outlet, business cards, flyers, you name it.

“There’s no way they’re giving you high resolution files for printing.”
Oh, they do. And they do it in PDF format, so that they’re easy to upload to your favorite online printer.

“So how are they making any money?”
Canva offers premium graphics that you can purchase for a dollar. But most of the time there’s no need to. Their basic graphic pack is pretty great, and you have the ability to upload your own images as well.

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Everything in Canva is customizable. You can change the colors on any of their design elements to coordinate with your own brand. You can upload images, like your logo, or your own photography. You can also choose a font that matches your brand from their extensive list. You know how we’re always talking about consistency? Canva can help.

The design process is pretty straightforward, but if you do find that you need a little help once you get going, Canva offers tutorials, as well as their own design school that gives you all the clever little tricks the pros learn in school.

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While we think using a program like Canva is great for the everyday design needs you might need in your business, if you need to create something really important, like a logo, or a website- save up your pennies for a professional. We know how to take care of copyright issues and licensing, as well as knowing how to create a design that’s going to function and work for you long term.  Need some heavy duty design work? Send us a note, we’d love to hear more!