I might be giving away some inside secrets here, but it’s just too good not to share!

When I started at Quill Group, my Marketing Manager introduced me to Canva.com and boy has it been the discovery of a century for me, all for the grand price of FREE.

As someone that has always enjoyed dipping my toes into the creative pool, I have wanted to do a graphic design course because I think in today’s world this skill is highly sought after. I have wanted to progress beyond just moving images around on Publisher or applying pretty filters to Instagram photos.

Why use Canva

Since using Canva, I have been able to absolutely ‘fake-it-‘til-you-make-it’. Canva has hundreds of on-trend templates available where you can literally drag and drop your own images in and create killer marketing collateral. Canva is a great tool to have on the side when you;

a) are starting a small business and can’t afford a graphic designer or

b) want to free up your graphic designer’s time to let them focus on the more complex jobs.

How user-friendly is it?

Say you’ve got an event you’re hosting or you’re opening up your own bar and restaurant. You want to send out a modern, eye-catching flyer to invite and entice people to come check out what you have to offer. The event is next week so you’re a bit pressed for time and you just want to whip something up and get it out to the guest list fast.

To show you just how user-friendly Canva is, here is a fake event invitation I did which took me under 15 minutes:

quill sample canva invitation


That’s a fresh and day-time style invitation but maybe the event is at night and you want more of an evening look. Easy. Just upload the image you want then drag and drop:

secret to free graphic design


Before Canva, if I needed a quick design, like an invitation, I would normally use Publisher. If you’ve used Publisher, you’ll probably agree that making your design look half acceptable takes hours of playing around. An invitation like the one above is a great quick solution and of course, you can spend a lot more time and choose from lots of other designs if you want to take it to the next level.

Another sample design I did was a flyer for a new business. For example, you might be opening up a new bakery and you want to get some flyers printed out. Again, this took less than 15 minutes and does the job when you can’t afford a graphic designer because you’ve already spent a lot of money on refurbing and getting the business ready for opening.sample business flyer secret graphic designer


Available templates

So, if you are interested in giving Canva a go, here is just an overview of the project and design types they have available:

  • Presentation
  • Poster
  • Facebook post
  • Blog graphic
  • Card
  • LinkedIn post header
  • Letterhead
  • Magazine
  • Trifold brochure
  • Food and drink menu

Canva for personal projects too

Canva is not just for businesses. It’s great for personal use too for when you, for example, want to create beautiful invitations for that dinner party or get-together. They’ve even got amazing resume templates that will make you stand out from the crowd!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from discovering Canva, is that the internet is a huge, deep ocean of (often free) resources so it definitely pays to do some research and find tools to make your business run smarter.