Test Drive: How To Use Pre-sized Templates to Create Graphics

Editors note

Like many of our readers, we have to do presentation design or graphics for our magazine.  With the complex landscape of social media and the lack of standardization, you have to get creative for how you can implement and represent your brand across multiple platforms. Not an easy task.

So take a test drive with us and experience how we created our own branded graphics across branded graphics style and extensions.  We share the steps we took to create banners for Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and even the “Editor’s Note” image we created for this article. Using pre-sized templates to create branded banners across platforms is efficient and saves you lots of time (and less gray hair!)

 

For this test drive, we choose to use Canva, an online graphic design platform. They offer a wide range of pre-sized templates, images, and typefaces to choose from. Their drag and drop feature makes it easy to create multiple versions – I like to do that to see visually what I like, and it stimulates others ideas.  So let’s have fun!

I have seen Guy Kawasaki demonstrate Canva and how he uses it at The Presentation Summit in New Orleans and at two other conferences here in the San Francisco Bay area.  His passion and imagination for designs bring alive the power of what you can do. He says, “Canva is democratizing design.” What he means is that Canva is a technology that enables the everyman to do graphic design with customizable templates and industry standard templates for social media and marketing materials   We can now add banners to our social media profiles.  But creating them is simple and easy to do.  That is where the power of Canva shows how smart their technology is.

First, they have already built custom layouts for each social media platforms with the “correct” sizes for each.  All you have to do is customize it for your brand.  First, you choose your platform, and the size is correct for where you need it – no more trying to figure it out in PowerPoint or opening a huge project file in Photoshop or Illustrator.

Just select the specific banner you will need for your social media account and start designing:

SFcanva 1

Putting Canva to the Test:

I selected the Instagram banner so I could create the “Editor’s Note” graphic at the top of this article. Let me explain how I created it.  First, I found the graphic image I wanted to use on Big Stock.

instagram step 1

Next, I uploaded the graphic to the template then added two lines of text to make it mine.  I also played around with some sizes and layouts that I thought would be additional options:

editors note option 2

And then I decided to use a different layout and by using a variety of fonts to personalize it –

Capture

It was easy to do, and it looks very professional. You can drag and drop individual elements so you can find the right formula for what your design goals are.

How we used Canva-designed banners in our social media:

We also used Canva to create PresentationXpert’s social media banner. We created a brand for the social media look then we implemented across all the social media platforms.

Capture2

One of the features that made it easy to create banners for Twitter, Google+, Facebook and others. Check them out below:

Sharyn G= Presentatoinxpert

PXpert Google+ Page

twitter header

Twitter Banner and Profile

In creating some these banners, I discovered that Canva offers a “magic resize” option which offers you an easy way to create different size and type banners for different projects. It is as simple as clicking a few buttons and “Abracadabra – Resize!”. You can remix and reuse your design project by accessing them in your library.

This is just one example of a “How To” tip I found on Canva’s website and their wealth of resources and idea books to get you started. They offer several “design school” online courses that are great primers for designers. You can definitely enhance your skill set with some of their well-executed ideas.

How does Canva fit with PowerPoint?

emma bannisterGood question.We asked Presentation Studio’s Emma Bannister, who is a member of Canva Experts Design Community. Their members are leaders in the design industry who are passionate about Canva and committed to changing the way we think about design. Here is her viewpoint:

“The presentation layouts in Canva are simple and contemporary. It’s super-easy to click and drag to create professional looking designs. Utilize the numerous royalty free templates (see terms and conditions) or simply using them to kick-start your creativity. All you have to do is change the text to suit your needs! Editing of imagery is simple and efficient (think Instagram). Once your presentation is complete, share finished files via email or social media. Plus you can download a print quality PDF – perfect for hosting your presentations on slideshare.com.

Canva isn’t PowerPoint or Prezi. If you want animation or interactive presentations you won’t find it here. You can’t drag files into PowerPoint. Your only option of reusing assets is to save as a PDF and import the art files into illustrator and then reconvert. Not something I would suggest – why would you need to?

Yet Canva is a great resource for Infographics and typography layouts. If you’re a designer and know what you’re doing, Illustrator has more professional features. But for the everyday user who just needs an idea, and simple tools to create layouts Canva provides so many solutions. Just take a template, and follow your nose!”

Thanks, Emma!  In my opinon, Canva is a great compliment to PowerPoint or any other design platform. The only limit is your imagination.

 

About Sharyn Fitzpatrick:

The Presentation Summit 2013Sharyn has been part of the PresentationXpert team since June 2012.  She is the host and produces all of our webinars in addition to her new duties as editor.  Her journalism background, her love of design and technology gives her a passion for anything to do with presentations.  In addition to PresentationXpert, Sharyn is the Chief Marketing and Webinar Guru at Marcom Gurus which she started the agency in 2000 and is known as the “Webinar Chick” online.  Email her at sfitzpatrick@presentationxpert.com. Follow her on Twitter, @PXpert and @themarcomguru.

Five Presentation Silver Bullets You Can’t Live Without!

PXP_WatchNowIconIn this very engaging webinar with graphics guru, Mike Parkinson, you’ll learn the 5 silver bullets that guarantee a successful presentation. Each is proven to improve understanding, adoption, persuasion and/or performance. Use one or all of the silver bullets to make your next presentation a winner.

After this educational, interactive session you will:
• Build better presentations—fastersilver bullets2
• Increase understanding and recollection of even the most complex content
• Make compelling presentations
• Craft presentations that get results

Have you seen an amazing presentation? If so, one or all of the 5 silver bullets were used. The best-of-the-best presenters and presentation designers use them to make their content stand out and be remembered. Apply what you learn to PowerPoint, Prezi, Keynote, SlideRocket, Google Presentation, Emaze, Articulate Presenter, and any other presentation software you choose. The 5 silver bullets work in any presentation situation. Watch this recording now and it will change how you make presentations.

Mike Parkinson captionAbout Our Speaker:
Mike Parkinson of Billion Dollar Graphics brings a wealth of experience and talent to today’s webinar. He really understands the power of graphics. You will see him transform simple PowerPoint graphics into powerful visuals that make a statement. Mike has authored several books on presentation graphics and created several resources that any of us can used to enhance any PowerPoint presentation.

Here are the handouts for this webinar:

Slide001

Copy of Mike’s Slides 

Slide046 “Free” Graphics Cheat Sheet

 

 

 

 

 

Print

Unlimited Graphics Subscription for our Community –SPECIAL OFFER!

 Save up to 93% and communicate better…”

For just $99 per  month – which is a 93% savings – you can  communicate better with 100% editable, professional graphics. Improve understanding and recall while saving time and money. Make better presentations, proposals, educational materials, marketing, sales documents, white papers, and websites. Get My Graphic infographics are designed to clearly communicate complex information.

…there is a great resource out there with “templates”/inspiration for infographics. See [Get My Graphic] http://www.getmygraphic.com. I consider the site a best practice for proposal graphics. ~ Melissa Bevins, Boeing

[The] graphics from [Get My Graphic]… have been life savers!!! They have allowed me to be more creative in an area that I didn’t think creativity was possible. In addition, everyone thinks I’m a graphics rock star now! Thanks a million… ~ Mary Brick, Noblis,Limited Exclusivewww.noblis.org

EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENCE!

Save up to 93%. Get instant, unlimited access to these graphics for you and your organization with your Unlimited Subscription. All graphics downloaded are yours to use immediately and indefinitely. With unlimited downloads you can make the perfect professional graphic because you can combine graphics, add icons and symbols, insert photos, sample and apply styles across graphics, and animate. You can evolve your graphics as fast and often as needed. All graphics are easy to edit, combine, and animate in PowerPoint. Graphics can be exported and used inany software.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS EXCLUSIVE OFFER!!

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest