Forget Adobe use Canva!

Note: No they did not pay me and I don't have any affiliate links or pop-ups.
Ok I seriously just created my very first design online using Canva! Now, you have to know what kind of designer I am. I absolutely love my Adobe Suite which includes: Lightroom, Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign. OK truth be told I have more Adobe programs but those right there are the ones I love to use most often for image files. For this post I just want to highlight the differences between Adobe's Lightroom, Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign and let you know how you can now use Canva instead, and especially use Canva when you're in a pinch!
(created this one in 5 min, so quick at least for me!)

The Old Ones

  • Lightroom is my fave for making a picture perfect! I should say pictureS because once you edit a pic in Lightroom you'll want to do the same with all of them. And no I am not talking about a million filters or getting people to look like their high school versions of themselves, LOL but just to make pictures of real people look AWESOME! However, you can't add text or titles, so you're just using it to edit the actual raw image. 
  • Photoshop can edit pictures/photos too AND gives you freedom to add text, shapes, designs, and provides you with unlimited layers and much more. I can't really even say everything it can do because I haven't even used Photoshop to it's full potential, so many wonderful features and tricks. I think Photoshop is just magical! I create invites and handouts in Photoshop which combines my desire to edit pictures, illustrations and add text all in one program. 
  • Illustrator is perfect for LOGOS, illustrations & playing fun text/type styles and text anything you want to resize and keep the quality, not great for pics. You can zoom in and out as much as you want from whatever you design in Illustrator, export the files in any size and you never lose the quality. I seriously love this for logos or huge posters. I LOVE LOGOS!
  • InDesign is my hero! It's like Word, Word Perfect, Quark Express all into one. You can make books, auto fill place settings with data from tables in another file, make yearbooks, flyers, layout anything. Makes duplicating things 1000 times easier than copy pasting. I love that I can "place" an image I've edited in Photoshop and lay it all out, then if I need to tweak the image again it updates it automatically and stays linked to the Photoshop PSD file. After I design the Business card logo or flyer image, I lay it out in InDesign to export a PDF. InDesign is a must!
While all of these programs are essential in a Photographer's & Designer's world like mine, I can tell you right now that they can be overwhelming to learn, because of their many bells and whistles. I've had requests from friends and others to teach them how to create something they think is simple. While it is simple for me, it would take me thousands of hours to teach you what I've learned. Basically because I'm self taught, people go to school to learn these programs so I for sure won't be able to teach anyone these programs in an hour. Even when you've used the program for years and have designed hundreds of handouts, flyers and business cards and edited thousands of pictures, you can literally spend days on one image/design just because you can. And then you find yourself tweaking every little aspect of your design down to the pixel. So while one may like to have that flexibility sometimes, because it is cool, we can totally apply the rule I learned from President Walker at a Church meeting when he said, "just because you can, doesn't mean you should." And why shouldn't we? Well, for me it's because I have a family, more design ideas to work on, social media posts to schedule for the entrepreneur hubby's biz and other social media accounts I manage plus so many other things I can spend my time on instead of sitting and editing the text on my handout because I can't decide if it matches perfectly with the font choice or not. LOL Honestly, I can't tell you how many times I've "wasted" time on those projects, I have to talk myself into believing it's an investment and not a waste. You know you've had to do that too! 

The New One!

Canva! So just having used Canva for an hour. I've decided I'm going to use it for the rest of my life!!! I designed my mom a flyer so she can rent her room, this is THE first thing I've designed in Canva. She needed something quick and I didn't want to open Lightroom, Photoshop and InDesign and who knows I probably would have found an excuse to open up Illustrator for a pattern or title tag or something. So, I did a quick search of "online flyer maker" hoping to maybe just pop pictures in and edit a flyer and there was Canva! 


  • Seriously so intuitive. 
  • Easily pick a layout you want.
  • Upload a pic or a few pics in my case, adjust the brightness or apply a filter and crop it if needed.
  • Add/Edit the text. Use the pre-matched typefaces/fonts or pick your own from their huge selection!
  • Add a pre-designed element. I loved these!
  • Create a watermarked photo.
  • Then export in any format you need! PDF (to print flyers), PNG (to share online).
Just look at the choices, way better than Word! (OK I'll have to do a post on how to use Canva instead of Word too!)


Here's the Rent a Room Flyers I designed! Not my best work I can admit that, i was sloppy because I needed to do it so quick, sure I could have made it better by spending more time on it, but I can't beat the 30 min it took to design it. I did have to add a lot of text, I don't like people calling with questions. ;) 
I lightened the images, adjusted contrast, cropped them, laid out both front and back pages, added text and exported the images and a PDF file then emailed them to my mom. I made my mom so happy, and isn't that what it's all about and why we do what we do? To make others happy! And who better than my own mother, the most amazing woman I know. 


[Update as of May 30th] Here's a sample of some of the other designs I've created since the first design (my mom's house flyer was created Jan 23rd, which is when I first used Canva), so easy you could create a hundred designs in probably just a day. Not a lie!


Don't take my word for it, go to Canva.com and play around. I know you'll love it! No experience is necessary. I will still use my trusted Adobe programs when I need to spend more time or when doing a photo shot for a client, but really I'm grateful to have a new "go-to" program I trust for all of my image creation needs. 
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2 comments

  1. I love Canva too! Working for a rural public library we don't have the funds to pay a designer or purchase expensive programs (then invest hours teaching/learning them). We have Canva for Business and it makes creating a flyer, Facebook, and web ads a snap with their "Magic Resize" option! I basically design it once then tweak it to fit the new shape.

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    Replies
    1. Ooooo...I've never resized! That sounds awesome though. Thanks for the idea!

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