Making Book Covers in Canva

Ever heard of Canva?

Well, if you haven't, go Google it now (or click on this link) and sign up for a free account, because it's pretty amazing. Canva is a web application that helps you create beautiful graphics (blog banners, posters, magazine covers, desktop wallpaper, etc etc) easily. You are spoiled for choice with loads of great fonts, icons, frames and pictures (many of which are free, some of which cost $1 to use) that you can arrange as you like, and you can upload your own images, too. When you're finished, you can download your picture as a jpeg, png or pdf.

Anyway, now that I've finished gushing about the glories of Canva, I'm going to tell you what I did with it.

Or, rather, show you.

This is the new cover for my gamebook, The Misadventure of Bolingbroke Manor. Whaddaya think?

Now, I'll be honest. That picture of the haunted house wasn't from Canva, nor was it made by me. I edited it from an image I got off of Pixabay, which is a website full of high-quality public domain images (that's another thing you should go and check out, by the way). But the text and the layout was all done on Canva, and there are several things about Canva's functions which made it easy peasy, including ...
  • Canva has a template especially designed for Kindle covers
  • Canva has a really good resizing tool which scales objects up and down without making them look blurry or pixellated
  • Canva shows you when objects are aligned with each other
  • Canva has tools for adjusting letter spacing and line height for text
Basically, Canva has a great user interface, which means that you don't have to be a technical person to use it. In fact, the editor is just as pretty as the designs you make with it!

However, the Canva editor is only part of the package. They also have a Design School blog, which gives you great tips on how to use Canva effectively. I used some of those tips while making my cover; using only two or three fonts, using only a few colors, not cluttering up the image with stuff. Canva frequently uses the phrase "Less is more", and I'm inclined to agree with them.

So, in short, I love Canva because it's brilliant. It gave me the tools to make an amazing book cover, and I'm very grateful for that.

I heart you, Canva. Forever.

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