#52Tech Week 43 Canva Revisit

Back in February this year, with #52Tech No. 6, I profiled Canva, a new at the time web-based graphics design app.

Canva was pretty cool at the time, and since then – well, it’s gotten cooler, and more popular. Canva now does Kindle Covers, and has a new iPAD app just released.

Kindle Covers

Now, for free, or a small payment of $1 for professional images, you can create not only flyers, Facebook and Twitter headers, Pinterest graphics, business cards etc, but there are Kindle book covers available – use your own background images, or use the cover templates provided.

I used the new kindle covers canvas area to select a base template design, add my own graphic background, change over the text, add some text elements,  and created a mockup cover for my NaNoWriMo novel.

The filter effects applied to the template cover are applied to your own background image also – so, my clear character image was softened by a gradient. If pulled into a different template, the character picked up greyscale or other effects applied by the designer. This is a great way to create a book cover without any former graphic software experience. Although I would admit that my own usage of Canva today still found some strange things going on with display and refresh rates on my elements. And the full cover image, although saved, only appears at a half-way stage on my home page.

NaNo allows you to add a cover to your project book, and your dashboard can look a little lonely without it. So Canva is an easy way to create one.

Canva webNote: this is a totally mocked up cover for NaNo – I’ve even put NaNo ’14 onto it, and the cover has a working title too.

Note 1:  There are only a few background images available through the Kindle Cover templates – so you may find the same book covers peppering Amazon soon. My recommendation is to choose one which provides close to the right design for your title, and upload your own purchased image for the background.

Note 2: Currently the Kindle Covers aren’t available on the iPad version so must be started off in the browser version. Once created and saved there, they appear in your designs and are available for further editing through the iPad app.

iPad App

Just now released, Canva has gone to its first mobile device – the iPAD, which deals well with intense graphics work.

My first experience of Canva back in February, included a 23 second tutorial introduction to the environment. Once logged into the iPAD app, there’s now a 63 second design tutorial. I actually needed it, given I’d just found how much I’d forgotten.

The iPAD version accesses your device photos – like many people, much of my photography nowadays is on my mobile devices, and it’s helpful to not have to muck around with transferring across to my computer.

canva ipad

Using the iPAD and Canva is actually an easier experience than on the web. The iPAD’s graphics load and flow much quicker than my browser. But in my sample mocked up cover, the colours are way out in the interface from what I’d designed. Downloads correct this, thankfully.

Pinterest promo NaNo14Both the web and iPAD apps remain free, you’ll only need to purchase credits for professional images you choose from. These cost $1 each.

Left is a promo graphic I created on the iPAD, using a Pinterest  template. Instead of sending up to Pinterest, I sent this one onto my Facebook account.


I have 5 Instant Access accounts available for my friends. I’m not sure if these are relevant now, given the iPAD app can be accessed freely via the Appstore, but if you’re interested in getting into Canva immediately, just add your email address to a request in the comments.

Link: Canva.

52tech year#52Tech: This was Week 43 post in the #52tech goal – to investigate and share one technology post once a week for 2014. You can find all the posts indexed via the #52tech tag, or top menu option at hunterswritings.com


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