Favorite Tool – Canva
I have never been a skilled graphic designer. Adobe PageMaker was about as good as I could get visually, and that’s been discontinued for years. I’m just not a visual thinker, which I’m totally fine with because there are tools that help me elevate my design abilities without being too cheesy or locked into templates.
I started using Canva a couple of years ago as students in my professional writing courses seemed to start turning to Canva more and more for their visual assignments. It was really frustrating at first because they were all using the same basic templates with no real rhetorical choices being made. Instead of banning them from using it, I started digging into the tool myself and saw that it was more powerful than the students’ work represented, so I found ways to incorporate it into my courses a bit more.
Canva is a design tool that allows you to create a variety of visual documents – from posters to resumes to infographics to social media graphics – from their extensive library of templates and options for customizing the design. The free templates allow you to edit text and layout, add shapes, chance background and text colors, and choose stock images from their free library (many other images are available for a small fee, usually $1). Because I can use this tool for both work-related documents like course posters and syllabi (see right) as well as for Agile Faculty tasks, I pay $12.95/mo for the advanced version. The best features with the paid subscription are that you can create and reuse your won templates (see below) and you can resize any design into another format, like changing and Instagram post to a Facebook page header. For me, the money is worth it.
So, go to Canva and play around. If you aren’t a graphic designer or interested in learning the deeper features of Photoshop or InDesign, I highly recommend Canva.
(*This is not a paid advertisement/endorsement for Canva. I just like the tool.)