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Is Canva adequate for designing brochures for print?

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  • Is Canva adequate for designing brochures for print?

    Hello! I am totally new to graphic design and have been asked to design new brochures at work. Canva is the only tool I can use for this at present, I have started learning Adobe CC.

    I am concerned about the final quality of the brochures when they go to print. Does anyone have experience using Canva for this purpose and what was the result?


  • #2
    Hi Berta and welcome to GDF.

    I've never heard of Canva, sorry. Maybe someone else will chime in.

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    Sketching not only helps you work out good ideas, it helps you get past the bad ones.


    • #3
      I had never heard of Canva until your post prompted me to have a look. The "amazingly simple" drag/drop, touchscreen interface is nicely demonstrated, and plenty of printed-material templates are presented, ostensibly geared for business purposes, creating the impression that the app is a viable tool for producing production-worthy, print-destined design. But frankly I am quite skeptical on several levels.
      • Print design can get very messy in the hands of the untrained, efficacy of the tools notwithstanding. And so, being "totally new to graphic design," I expect you'll make critical, and potentially costly, mistakes regardless of whether Canva facilitates the production of print-worthy files.
      • From a technical standpoint, software tools capable of producing real-world design cannot be "amazingly simple." That very notion is rather self-contradicting.
      • Having not tried the app myself, I won't make assumptions with respect to the depth of its capabilities, but it is obviously marketed to non-designers, and the video demonstrates nothing in the way of professional level page layout features like color management, spot color, guides/grids, bleed/slug/marks, layers, masters, styles, alignment, paragraph composition, tables, etc.
      Go ahead and learn the requisite Adobe CC applications, and hopefully you'll quickly outgrow Canva, but if you have no formal design training, you really should get some of that too before proceeding with design of materials that will represent your company's brand in the marketplace. It's a bit frightening that the company takes its responsibility to the brand so lightly as to put it in the hands of a "totally new" amateur.

      Get competent help. Be cautious. Go slowly. Good luck.
      I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.


      • #4
        I have never heard of this either.

        I would highly suggest you call the printer who is going to be doing the brochure for you to see if they've heard of it and can instruct you how to handle color, profile, and making a PDF they can output.

        Get a proof.

        Don't forget your bleeds and safeties.


        • #5
          As a printer, I would simply ask:
          - Does it support CMYK?
          - Does it make a usable PDF file?

          After that, you take your chances.

          Definitely get a proof.


          • #6
            Just from the lack of details on file handling, what formats it supports and what formats it outputs, the program is not at all geared to the pro environment. I wouldn't be particularly caring how easy it is to use or how many templates/fonts/whizbangs are available, I'd be more worried about how you go about printing it. A lot of these low end things are RGB. Many don't make usable PDFs. Many don't have an interface that will make it easy to determine image resolution; and heaven only knows what its transparency engine will do in a print rip.


            • #7
              Although I've never used Canva, I'm a little bit familiar with it because our social media person creates various graphics for use on Facebook, instagram, etc. She's not a graphic designer, and Canva lets her create nice-looking odds and ends that she uses for various things, which is fine.

              One day, she decided to try her luck with a Canva brochure thinking she would surprise us all with her abilities. Umm, what a disaster. Everything was low-resolution. All the RGB data had been converted to CMYK with all the black text being composed of all four process colors. Vector information had been converted into low-res images. There was no bleed. No dot gain adjustment for the uncoated paper she wanted to use. I could go on with more details, but needless to say, we needed to redo it in InDesign.

              In all fairness, I don't know if the fault was hers or Canva's. For all I know Canva can handle all these things if the person working with it is actually aware of the issues involved. Really though, that's the problem. Amateurs with no experience don't know when they're making fatal mistakes since the concepts and requirements of print are completely unfamiliar to them. It's as if they think that arranging stuff on a monitor to look nice is somehow all it takes to makes it print-ready.






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