Graphic Design Apps: The Only 2 You Need
Get to know Canva and Pablo.
While we do most of our client work in heavy-lifting design programs, we know that Photoshop and Illustrator are not always the best tools for our clients, who may just want to make simple marketing graphics. But nowadays, there’s no need to be a designer to have great images posted to your social media profiles and pages. Why? Because there are so many nifty graphic design apps that feed the non-designer with great ideas and a really simple experience:
…shall I go on?
Pablo vs. Canva
First let’s talk similarities, and then we’ll break them down individually to show why they shine in their own corners and perhaps even compliment one another.
Pablo and Canva are:
- Both start-ups
- Free to use
- Under 3 years old
- Rapidly growing as tools
- Simpler versions of other tools
- Perfect for social sharing
- Connected to royalty-free image sources
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Despite their many similarities, Canva and Pablo also have differences. To start things off, we'll look at Canva.
- Basic: Free with option to purchase certain upgraded templates
- Canva for Work: $119.14/year or $12.95/month
Fairly simple interface that produces professional-looking images (well, usually!)
What Canva Says They Are:
Canva is an online graphic design platform. It offers free access to a wide assortment of design tools and options, as well as premium options for paying customers. For help, tweet @canva or fill one of these forms out.
All programs have occasional glitches or issues. Here' what we've noticed:
- If the text box doesn't have extra space around the text within, when downloaded, some of the text falls onto the next line.
- Sometimes the menu that pops up to edit text falls outside the viewable screen, not allowing edits to be made.
The Whole Picture:
Want to know more? Here's a screencast video of Canva in action:
Unique Features of Canva:
1. Add team members to your account:
Want to add your staff or business partners to your account? In Canva, it's possible to collaborate on graphic design with other users. This is a paid feature, but at only $119.40/year or $12.95/month it might be well worth it to collaborate within your organization.
2. Lots of Templates:
Not sure where to start on designs? Canva has tons of free and low-cost templates from which you can jump-start your designs.
3. A Ton of Fonts
Canva includes a vast font library. If you have Canva for Work, then you can also use any of your own fonts. Here are a few of the fonts that are available:
There are also font templates and designs to begin working from:
4. Tons of icons, shapes, lines, etc.
The sky's the limit! If you need an icon or abstract shape to perfect your graphic, Canva is sure to have it.
5. Grid lines
Make sure all of your text, photos, and icons are centered (or off-centered if that's what you prefer).
6. Canva allows you to choose any Hex Color Code
We talk a lot about the importance of staying on-brand as you work toward growing your online presence. Canva's color selection tool allows you to make sure you're staying consistent in color selection and use.
Best uses for Canva:
So what do we recommend Canva for? Here's our top recommendations for how you can use Canva to grow your business online or in print:
3. Social Media & Blog Post Graphics
4. Social Media cover images
Are you thinking that you've found the perfect graphic design app for you? Well hold on, because I'm about to introduce you to Pablo.
Super simple with no fluff.
Why do non-creatives love it?
Few design choices and minimalistic design.
Why do creatives love it?
Super quick quote images so they can spend the rest of their time creating their more complicated graphics elsewhere.
What Pablo Says They Are:
The simplest way to create beautiful images that fit every social network perfectly.
Unpredictable bugs, usually taken care of within hours or days. In the past, these included an unintentional restriction against text editing and errors when trying to download an image. As a new tool, more will pop up! Tweet @buffer or email firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
The Whole Picture:
Unique Features of Pablo:
1. No Sign-In Required
No login or password needed
2. Improvements Often Being Released
Search for Pablo features amongst this Trello board
3. Extension Allows for Sharing Images From Anywhere
4. Text Black or White
5. Image With or Without Contrast
6. Image With or Without Blur
7. Logo / Picture Overlay Resize Slider
8. Three Font Sizes
Best uses for Pablo:
Here are some of my favorite ways to use Pablo. Give it a try, and I'm sure you'll agree that Pablo is the perfect tool for creating...
1. Quote Images
2. Blog Post Titles
3. Header Images
4. An Image with a Logo
Canva or Pablo: What do you think?
Fairly robust vs. seriously simple graphic design apps. What do you think? Do you use Canva or Pablo? Or, do you have another must-have I didn't highlight? Send over your ideas on Twitter!