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After completing the direct mailers with Photoshop the week before spring break, we switched gears and worked with Canva this week in public relations publications. 

For anyone who doesn't know what it is, Canva is this amazing online graphic design software that comes with free templates and sources. All that you have to do is create a Canva username, and it takes literally seconds. Canva has a design school, which teaches anyone the basic principles of graphic design. I highly recommend anyone in strategic communications, marketing, entrepreneurship, etc., to create an account with Canva because it is good for several reasons.

First, as I mentioned, the design school. The design school tutorials are a good way to jump into graphic design. When I first started in design, my designs were flat-out atrocious. I really wish I had known about Canva and its design school for that reason. 

Next, Canva is simple to use. You can pick from a multitude of professional-looking templates to begin an aesthetically design. Instead of having to learn commands and the general set up of Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, Canva lumps all that into its design interface, by categorizing templates by use, such as social media, print, etc. The tools on Canva are a breeze to learn as well. 

Thirdly, it's free. Instead of paying hundreds to thousands of dollars for the Adobe Creative Cloud, you can do so much of what you can do on the Creative Cloud for free on Canva. This yields a high ROI, especially if you are a freelance designer, marketer, etc. 

Canva is amazing. However, it does have its shortcomings. 

What you see is what you get. On Canva, it is impossible to do small tweaks to designs, such as changing the weight of a line. This task can be accomplished easily in all the Adobe programs. 

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Unlike doing a traditional design on InDesign, you cannot add fonts to your library on Canva, which is limiting, especially if you are working with a brand, like I was in this assignment. I designed my social media pieces for an artist I know who I'm in the process of branding. In many of the materials I have designed for him, I utilized Bebas Neue and Palatino as my font choices. Canva has Bebas Neue, but it does not have Palatino. 

The bottomline is Canva is good for designing pieces that will be used or seen for a short period of time. It's great for social media and fliers. I would not design an annual report or something more longterm in Canva. These types of pieces would present many types of challenges that may not be easily solved in Canva. 
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For my project, I created social media pieces for an artist/family friend. 

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Last summer, before I began my career a the University of Oklahoma, I knew I needed experience in public relations. His art career was taking off, and I figured he could benefit from my expertise (what little I had). I wrote news releases and started a Facebook page for him. Because I did not know much about public relations at that point, I became disenchanted. He kept getting into shows and exhibitions, but because of his work and acclaim. 

Now, since I have more experience due to my PR courses, I have begun helping him more in his communications efforts. I wanted to help him even further with this assignment. 

To do so, I designed three social media pieces: a profile picture to replace the general picture of one of his paintings, a cover picture to replace the atrocity of the one I designed and an Instagram picture for an upcoming show. Canva was very helpful in creating these pieces.

With his brand in mind, I created the three pieces. I incorporated elements from his paintings and elements that reflected his brand and upcoming events. Overall, I am very satisfied with them. I think he will be as well.