Kia Ora Whanau!
Welcome to another blog post about my Passive Income Journey through Print On Demand or POD from now. Today I am going to start off by covering off the main product I use to well … create designs (huh kind of figured that out from the title right??).
First off – if you’re new to this blog, welcome and if your like me, you are trying to generate a bit more of a passive income. I suggest you read my previous blog posts under Passive Income to come up to speed with everyone and also further help you get to where you want to be (especially if you’re new to this world).
For those that learn better by listening I have also completed a podcast episode on this topic and will be expanding on this. You can find the podcast episode here.
So to start things off – What is Canva.com (Canva)? Well simply put it is a website where you can create designs for thousands of different products. These can be anything from business cards, Instagram posts, T-Shirts, Posters and of course custom designs (This is for the POD use). The best thing about Canva is once your design is complete you have the full legal right to use that design for things such as POD.
I will be showcasing a bit about what Canva can do and don’t really delve into how to do every little thing but you will see that it is very simple to simply click an object and usually edit, or place this.
Full Disclosure: So I want to be completely open and honest, I am a Pro Canva user (Meaning I pay their subscription), and while I am not affiliated with them I am a strong believer that for me, Canva works. That said, I will cover off another “Design” product in the future (Look out for my upcoming blog and podcast on “Place-It”) that is also used by a lot of people but I choose Canva over this website.
But what is Canva exactly?
Canva is primarily used for word based templates and designs, but this does not mean that you are only limited to text. Far from it, as you will see. You can create thousands of designs (that’s just using their fonts, but when you see the free Elements, Backgrounds, Photos and the ability to upload your own image and you will see there is a reason why Canva is as good as I am trying to promote it!
How much is this gonna cost me?
Ok so I mentioned that I am a pro user and that means there is a subscription service. The cost is $12.95 USD (or in NZD $20.07 per month. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A PRO USER TO USE CANVA!!!
However, being a Pro user does give you a lot more access to their resources and most importantly, every design you create can be made into a transparent background … I’ll be honest this is the main reason I originally became a Pro user lol. Yes you can download the free designs and make your design transparent another way but with one click of a button … it’s much easier 🙂
You can also easily determine what is Pro or Free by hovering over the design/ photo/ element and looking for ‘Free’ or a ‘Crown symbol/ Pro’.
Now I will get into more about Pro user benefits a little bit later. First I want to start with some of the things you can do.
What Does Canva Look Like?
As you can see from above, this is the main Canva Screen and just at first glance it doesn’t look like much but trust me if you are starting your POD business you should seriously consider looking deeper into Canva.
I briefly covered what some of the benefits of Canva can be used for but I’ll be honest I have barely scratched the surface. I strongly suggest you head to their website to check it out to see if it meets your needs.
What I will be doing is giving a brief overview of all the things you can do for your POD designs.
For this I will be creating a Custom Dimension Design of 5000 Pixels by 5000. Once you click the ‘Create Design’ you will be taken to the below default screen.
As you can see there is a Navigation Bar on the Left Hand Side. Click on one of the buttons on it and a further frame should expand. In this case it is the Templates frame. You simply click on template you want to use/ change and in the Reader window you can begin editing.
The cool thing about templates is most are created by Canva Designers so all elements, lettering, colours all flow and match together. You can simply click one part of the Template and change to what you want. Above I changed the original template and moved the text around a little. The above only took about five minutes to edit and frame up.
So next up as you can see is Uploads. This one is pretty self explanatory … you can upload your own image and/or design and then add them to your canvas.
Pro Tip: In this case pro means Canva Pro – You can click on an image/ photo (either uploaded or one provided by Canva and you can choose ‘Effects’ up the top and a new frame appears where you can click Remove Background. This tool is amazing. It does a great job of removing a lot of the background and means you can easily apply a potential background change to your image.
Canva has a lot of photos for you to use and I’ll be honest the search is actually really great! You can usually find a high resolution photo mostly towards what you are wanting. Now of of course you won’t find any potentially copyright images or famous figures – If your thinking of making that Trump design your gonna struggle but if you search broadly then your usually going to find something. Now of course there are still the same restrictions with a free account but you will still be surprised with what you can actually use.
As I mentioned earlier, if you are a Pro user you can also use some of the cool effects like Background Remover.
Here we are … this is where the magic starts to form! Elements, as described by the caption, are like your own version of Clip-Art from the old Microsoft Word days!
If your not a design person but maybe you’re an ideas person (like me .. well that’s what I’m saying in this instance) this is where you can start to put your ideas into paper.. I mean Canvas/ or is it digital canvas? well anyway what I mean of course is this is where you can start developing your own designs without even having to learn how to be a designer.
Now this is no diss to any of those designers out there – I wish I had some of their skills, but those that can’t do … create a search in Canva and place it on a digital canvas!
I know it’s going to feel like sounding like a broken record but as always the advantage of a Pro user is of course more Elements etc.
I said at the start that Canva focuses more on it’s Text fonts and for good reason. There are over 100,000 fonts to choose from. It is also really easy to just start typing and change your mind with the font given, or one you want to use.
As with all the previously mentioned functions, you will notice that the left page also has some mini text templates that you can simply click and then begin editing that style – I have highlighted this in the image above but can’t stress how quick and easy it is!
You also have some additional effects you can apply to your text as well as look at things like line height and of course change styles and transparency.
So what are styles? Styles are away of applying a colour and font scheme to your design. This is really handy if you need to set up a business colour scheme! If you are a Pro user you can ensure your business style is always available and once you have a object, simply click your style on the left and everything about your object gets styled the way you want it. This makes everything consistent … which is great for your brand.
Music & Video
You can also add Music and/or Video to your design. This is something you could do with your Facebook or Instagram posts but not really needed for a POD design for uh obvious reasons I hope …
Similar to Photos and Elements, you can also have Backgrounds added to fill your open space. These are not just photos but also colours, abstract and even animated designs.
A well picked background can make your design pop or may even hide some potential issues with an uploaded photo.
This is like your document management system… or in very simple language – think of this like your ‘My Documents’ or ‘My Computer’ file structure.
The most common use will be to access all your previously created designs or any images/ text you may have liked for quick access.
The “More” section is where you can see the other cool features or ‘plugins’ that integrate with Canva.
From Instagram and Facebook to adding your Bitmoji. When you delve deeper and see what you can create on Canva you will understand why this website is a must for future Social Media Influencers wanting to ‘Trending Up’ their brand.
Pro Features – A look inside
The above image explains a little bit more of what you get for your “Pro” subscription. I have advised most of the features but you will notice I left out some features which you are more than welcome to pop along to Canva to check out a bit more in depth.
Putting it all together
So the next few images will be incorporating a background, text, elements and also show the Transparent Background button when you download. You will also see the design uploaded to Redbubble and TeeSpring.
This design is live now and feel free to check it out here to see the elements all working together.
Well I have already said that I love Canva so there is no point in me going against that. But the main reasons I love Canva are because I honestly didn’t think I was that much of a designer and this was a tool to help me achieve a goal of getting a design created and uploaded.
On a personal note I got a pure thrill when my designs arrived and I put them on for the first time. It makes me feel like I can get my artistic side of the brain flowing.
I suggest if your looking at starting your POD journey then seriously consider Canva as a great resource. Now if you have and use programs like Adobe then by all means use it!
If your like me however, I prefer to start simple and Canva makes it pretty easy.
Until next time – Thanks for reading and good luck.
Also if you want to support me, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment … or buy a design 🙂