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Hi everyone! Blunderwoman here, and today’s blog post looks at the amazing tool that is Canva—my new favorite resource when it comes to designing anything with graphics. (And no, they are not paying me to advertise for them—I’m just a big fan.)

As most of you already know, I’ve made a bit of a niche for myself on Facebook and Instagram with my ads that highlight funny typos. Here are three of my favorites (there are many, many more).

While I’m learning marketing and advertising on the fly and not all my ads have landed with my audience, I’ve had great fun designing them. All my ads, my newsletter, “Through my Window,” “The Blunderwoman Blog” graphics, and my Maine Woods Editing logo and website graphics were made using Canva. And to really increase the difficulty factor, they were created with a free Canva account.

Canva is an amazing tool that allows you to create anything from social media posts (sized correctly, whether Facebook pic rectangles or square Instagram post) and logos to documents, presentations, book covers, and posters. The nice thing about Canva is that it doesn’t have a steep learning curve. It’s pretty intuitive and very simple to get the look that you want. Now, to get that look without paying for a subscription takes a little more time and searching through Canva’s elements, but it can be done. And they do offer a 30-day free trial, which I am taking advantage of right now to replenish my stock of ads. (If you've been saving a great typo or grammar question for the right moment, this is it. Send it to me!)

The free account allows you to share creations on social media (scheduling posts is a perk of a paid account) or download them as JPG, PNG, PDF, MP4 video, or GIF files (you need to pay for SVG file options). You can also have Canva print your items and ship them. (I haven’t used this option. If you have, leave a note in the comments about how it went.)

One feature of Canva that may be more controversial in terms of creatives is their Magic Studio. It’s a form of Artificial Intelligence that will create text and templates as well as edit videos, photos, and other visuals. As with the print-and-ship feature, I have not played around with this. I don’t want to turn this into a post (or an argument) about the pros and cons of AI, but I personally support artists, writers, photographers, and videographers. Canva does say that they compensate creators with royalties if they opt-in to having their content used to train the AI models (opt-out is the default, so they say no content is used without permission), but I haven’t heard that any creators have weighed in on the process and compensation. I’d be interested to know what they think.

Now that I’ve shared my obvious enthusiasm for Canva, it’s time for you to check out the program for yourself. Leave a pic of your newly created projects in the comments below—I’d love to see them. Maybe you can create your own ad with your funniest typo. Next week’s blog post will be about more free stuff and how you can take full advantage of it.

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