Many of us are somewhat proficient with professional graphics programs like Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw so using an online design tool might seem like a waste of time. But I have discovered a couple of pretty good graphic design tools that especially for marketing and social media have become invaluable to me. I want to share them with you and give my thoughts on the pros and cons.
The first tool I found was Canva.com. This tool is excellent for quickly creating visual content that fits nicely inside many social media channels and other marketing items like infographics, blog posts and straight up ads. It even allows you to export a PDF of the file so you can use this for simple graphics for screen printing.
Pros: Canva has a tremendous amount of templates and stock graphics. It is pretty easy to use and if you do use their paid graphics, the cost is typically only $1. Like I mentioned it also has other templates outside of just social media so can be useful for other projects.
Cons: The templates are very hard to search and you could be digging for hours to find that exact look you want. The specific image search typically is not very accurate and the results are nearly all paid graphics. Also, I have had a lot of trouble getting images to save correctly when I upload my own photos and drop them into their templates. Finally, their social media templates are not the most accurate and don't account for things like how profile images affect header images or other areas that move with the social media channel.
So after using Canva for some time, I went on a search for another tool that would be more accurate for social media and still fit the needs I had when I started using Canva. I found several but settled on Snappa.com because of the accuracy of the social media images. I found that it also was a little more intuitive for how I use things. It also was more open to me putting my graphics into the system and not locking me into their templates.
Pros: As I mentioned the accuracy of the templates was a huge draw. For example, a Facebook header can be squeezed in lots of different ways, and it accounted for all of those things and once I uploaded the file from Snappa the header worked great on every platform. It also has a lot more templates for different social media channels so I could easily move the graphics I wanted to give a good clean look for all the channels I was designing for. Lastly, it was just cleaner and easier to use for me. Much faster to just get in, get the graphics I needed and get the right file type to upload or use.
Cons: It does have less predone templates than Canva. Also, you do have to upgrade to a paid plan to be able to save your completed designs for updating later. The price is very reasonable though so to me it was well worth the price of admission.
You get what you pay for right? What other online graphics tools do you use?