Assorted Design Tips for Bloggers and Businesses

In this post I will discuss design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics.  Woo!  I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that help me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work.

I will cover my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons*  This post SHOULD have some design hacks for both beginners and the blog/biz veterans.   But why bother with visuals though?

Visual media works especially well across ALL platforms.  By this I mean videos, pictures, giffs and infographics to name a few.   What do the figures say?

  • Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.   (Source)
  • Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images.   (Source)

It’s hard to argue with that intel.  If you aren’t using visual media, you might just be limiting the potential of your blog/business.

I’m an Artist Not a Designer

I’d like to share a little gambit about my personal journey with design.  I know that sounds kinda strange.  But all will be revealed, and hopefully there will be a life lesson, and not just a design lesson about to unfold.  YEAH this is about to go down friends!

As the subheading suggests, at my core I am and always will be an Artist.  If this blogging gig gets old and if my side gigs die down, I will still rep my canvases and super awesome pen collection.  However, this has lead to a little bit of the old imposter syndrome.  Full disclosure, I didn’t study Graphic Design, I graduated with an Illustration Degree.

I’ve always landed somewhere between a Designer and a Fine Artist.  Pure design always seemed too clinical, but Fine Art didn’t seem to have an end goal or purpose.  I thought Illustration was the happy medium.  But even during my studies I felt out of place.  It wasn’t until my second year, when I stumbled upon Surface Design that I felt like I fit in.  I can put my crazy art on THINGS that have a purpose.

Like notebooks that inspire other creatives to be CREATIVE.  Or a phone-case to remind someone they matter.

For those of you that read my content, this isn't my usual shtick. What spare time I have, I dedicate to producing content that I hope so very much, will help other Bloggers to keep moving closer towards their dreams. Today I took a step towards mine. #notebook #uniquegift #blogger #BulletJournal #Creativity #Stationery #journal       In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

OK, we took the scenic route on this one.   Ultimately what I’m trying to say is … I understand what it’s like to not lean towards design, but needing to know enough to get the job done.   For example, as a blogger or business owner you need to create social media images as a bare minimum.

For any project that is super technical and lengthy, I would always suggest hiring a professional Graphic Designer.  This will free you up so that your time can be used more effectively elsewhere.

Oh yeah and that life lesson, don’t ever let imposter syndrome hold you back from talking or writing about an aspect of your skill set because you don’t feel experienced enough! *Feels*

Preamble officially DEALT WITH.  Let’s put some meat on the bones.

What is Canva?

Canva is a little slice of genius and what’s more it’s FREE.  Yehaw!  Canva is a drag and drop design app that can be used to easily design awesome graphics and documents.  If you aren’t a design pro, you can make use of the extensive range of templates and customize them to suit your needs.

A few key features include:

  • A TON of free to use images including stock photos, illustrations, graphics
  • You can edit photos using the Photo Filters
  • Make use of icons, shapes and other design elements
  • There are a BUTT LOAD of free fonts to choose from

For the purpose of this tutorial I will walk you through a few practical aspects of a recent notebook design for my RedBubble shop.

Canva Tutorial

The first step is to start with the correct template size for your end goal.  Mine is a RedBubble notebook so I am using the recommended dimensions: 1756px by 2481px

On the right hand side of your Canva home screen select ‘Custom dimensions‘ input your dimensions and click ‘Create new design.’

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

Alternatively you can pick from any of the pre existing template sizes, such as Instagram template or email header.  Just choose according to your specific requirements.

Next we need a background.  You can add the background to your blank template simply by clicking your chosen upload or choosing from the free images provided via Canva.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

My backgrounds are created using pictures taken of my canvases.  More often than not I will apply an Instagram filter to make the colours come into their own.  Canva does have its own photo filters, but I prefer the Instagram ones.

Click your chosen background design and it will appear on your blank canvas as shown below.   You can move the image by click and dragging, or resize by clicking and dragging from the corners.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

Canva Grids

If you don’t feel comfortable with a blank background you can use Canva grids.  Grids are layouts that you insert your images into.  They are not set in stone like the image templates, so they provide a bit more creative freedom.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

To demonstrate I have chosen the grid with the two rectangles.  You simply click to make the grid appear on your blank canvas.  Then choose an image to insert into your grid.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

The image will appear in its original format initially, all you need to do is drag the image over the chosen section of the grid to insert it.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

Canva Frames

Canva frames, change your uploaded images from their original format to match any shape you can find a frame for.  You can access the frames by selecting ‘Elements‘ on the side bar and typing ‘circle frame‘ / ‘star frame‘ etc.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

Add your desired frame to the canvas by clicking it, and then drag and drop your  image over the top of it to insert.  I used this technique to create the bauble design for my recent Christmas collection 🙂

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

This is the final background layout I went with.  Now to add some more Pzazz!

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

There is going to be a heartfelt message written on this notebook cover.  So i’ve gone the literal route and chosen a heart shape to provide a blank background to add my text to.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

My art backgrounds are WAY too crazy to add text to directly.  A neutral coloured shape always bridges the gap between background and text nicely.  You can change shape colours by selecting them and using the pallet section on the left hand side of the screen as shown below.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

I have chosen to resize the heart shape from it’s default size.  This allows more of the background art to show through.  The background is the most unique aspect of the design, so I don’t want to cover too much of it.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

I’m loving the grey colour, but the heart is looking a little lost against the background don’t you think?   I’m going to add a border to it to resolve the issue.  I’ve added another heart that i’ve made slightly bigger, and re positioned it, so it sits behind the grey heart.   This is achieved by selecting ‘Position‘ from the right hand side of the screen and then selecting ‘Backward.’

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

HAZAR!  The outline is created.  BUT I don’t like that red.  So let’s change it shall we.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners    In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

I’ve changed the colour using our old palette pal from earlier.  I’ve also amended the transparency slightly.  The Transparency icon is next to ‘Position‘ on the right hand side.

Here is how we are looking so far.  Now time to add some text.  My LEAST favourite part of any design project might I add.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

Canva Typography Tips

I HATE typography, I don’t have a natural affinity for it at all.  But I want to share a positive message to anyone that believes in my work enough to make a purchase.  Today’s message is going to be ‘YOU Matter.

Below is the final example, but how did I get there?  I’m going to share a few Canva tools that help to make your text POP.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

I constantly use the spacing and line height function within Canva.  Sometimes a little spacing adjustment is all you need to make a weird font appear clearer.  The text below has been spaced out so you can see the contrast.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

You can find this function on the left hand side of the screen as shown below.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

The rotate function can also add some extra jazz hands to a design.  I’m not happy with how ‘Matter‘ is looking here.  I’ve selected the text box and used that circle/arrow symbol to add a slight tilt.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

I also use the various text size and colour options numerous times before landing on the final version.  It takes me a lot longer than it should!  I can assure you there is a lot of ‘Ctrl Z‘ occurring during this process.

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

Here is the final design for the first version.  It is available on my RedBubble shop 🙂 You can access it by clicking the image below!

In this post I will be discussing a few design tips for bloggers, and or business owners aspiring to design their own graphics. Woo! I will delve beyond the Canva template designs you may already know and love and disclose design tips that have helped me greatly with real life briefs and my personal work. I will be covering my favorite elements of Canva and my newly discovered love for Easil. *Swoons* #BloggingTips #DesignTips #BrandingTips #BusinessTips #Bloggingforbeginners

BUT I want to experiment further.  So the design journey continues.  It never hurts to have two variants of a design after all.

Easil

I’m just starting out with Easil and I’m loving it so far.  It’s very similar to Canva, but with one marvelous addition.  ADDING A TEXT MASK.

Allow me to elaborate, with Canva you can use basic text colours, but with Easil you can use Text Masking to create next level funky text.  It is a game changer lemme tell you.

With the alternate ‘YOU Matter‘ notebook design I have been able to use Text Masking to achieve GOLD text.

Once again you can access the notebook by clicking the image below 🙂

YOU Matter

In this Pin design example I have used my artwork to create colourful text.  You can access my Pinterest blog post by clicking the image below.

how_to_rock_pinterest_pinterest_short_2(1)

Now I have set the scene and hopefully got you excited, let’s start the Text Masking tutorial.  Wooo!

How to Create Metallic Text with Easil

Here is an example of Unmasked Text on version two of my notebook cover.  Bit of a yawn fest don’t cha think, but we can soon change that.

Unmasked Text.JPG

I have highlighted the Text Mask icon below.  Select the textbox you wish to mask and then select the icon.

Text Mask Icon.JPG

You will then be asked to select an image from the sidebar to use as your text mask.  You can either upload your own image or search the stock image library.  I want to get some gold going on, from past experience the best phrase to search for is ‘glitter.’

Text Mask glitter search.JPG

Select your chosen image and watch as your text turns a beautiful shade of GOLD.  *Happy tears*

Masked Text.JPG

In this second version I have used an uploaded image of my art.  Pretty funky am I right?

Text Mask my upload.JPG  Masked Text my art.JPG

FIN

That’s it for today.  I hope I have managed to get you excited about the various design features highlighted in Canva and Easil.  Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments.  I have tried to be thorough with the screen shots etc. but I’m only human, so I might have glazed over something important.

Did you find my design tips helpful?  Did I miss anything?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

If you are interested in purchasing any of my products, check out my RedBubble shop!

P.s. If find my content useful and enjoy what I share, why not throw me a tip?  It’s like internet busking 🙂

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

P.p.s.  I will be spending next weekend away from the Blogosphere.  Working during the week, doing my side gig and then powering through blog posts during my weekend is  tiring.  Since it is my Birthday weekend, I’m giving myself the rare treat of a weekend off  🙂

Catch you on the flip side!

Rach x

7 Comments

  1. Chloe Chats

    November 26, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    What a fab post, I only recently started using Canva and I do love it, it makes designing things so easy, this is handy though as I’m probably not using it to its full potential, so thank you for sharing this! Your notebook designs are so cool as well, it’s pretty cool that design these and have your own little shop, love it!

    Chloe xx
    http://www.chloechats.com

  2. Taiwo

    November 26, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    This is an amazing post Rachael! I never knew Canva was this advanced. Thank you so much for this guide ❤
    Taiwo | http://www.alifestylenerd.wordpress.com

  3. Ruth

    November 27, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    What an amazing guide (as always!) I hadn’t heard of Easil before, so I will need to take a look at that one. By the way, I love how colourful your art is, it’s fab!

  4. Bexa

    November 28, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Your colourful and fun art always makes me so happy Rach! I love seeing it pop up on my social media! This is a fab guide! Canva is such a cool app, I currently only use it for Pinterest pins, but I think I need to play around with it more to use it to its full potential. It looks like you can do so much with it! Will have to check out Easil too. Thanks for the recommendations lovely and have a great birthday weekend too! <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  5. Michael Neale

    November 29, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    This was an awesome tutorial for Canva. I use Photoshop (poorly) myself and I have always been reluctant to use Canva because I see the templates used everywhere! This, however, has changed my perception slightly- thank you!

    1. rachaelhope90

      November 30, 2018 at 6:38 am

      Hey Michael! Yes I know what you mean a lot of people just use the templates and that’s it. Which is understandable if you’re not a designer but need a quick graphic. I try to use those templates as a very rough guide if I’m low on inspiration. I’m not a big fan of Photoshop but I only ever used it for the basics anyway 🤷🏻‍♀️ The amount you get via Canva on their free plan is amazing really! Thanks for stopping by 🤓

  6. Deborah Kos

    November 29, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    I’ve always liked Canva. It is a very nice design program. I will be looking at Easil as well. Thanks for sharing.

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