Looking to turn your favorite vacation photos into a collage? Or, are you hoping to spice up your blog with some eye-catching graphics? If so, one of these tools could be your new best friend.
What is Canva, exactly?
Canva is a web-based application that makes creating graphics easy.
What about FotoJet?
FotoJet is a very similar platform, and it is web-based as well. Like Canva, you can easily create graphics. Unlike Canva, FotoJet puts an emphasis on making photo collages.
Should you use these apps?
If you want high-quality graphics but don’t have an Adobe subscription, these apps are for you. You will also find these apps useful if you need to make quick designs or want the creative guidance of the free templates each offer.
How does Canva work?
When you log onto Canva, the main page will display a menu across the top with design options. Below it is the space where your designs will be stored. To the left, you will be able to access your profile settings and your folders.
Selecting “more” will allow the menu to drop down, showing different categories of designs.
I’m going to select the “Social Media” option, because I want to Instagram my favorite quote. This opens up the design interface.
Next, I’m going to select a layout to get me started.
I’m going to choose the upload button and select one of my own photos I want to use for the background. I’m going to delete the current one.
Next, I’ll position the photo the way I want it to appear in the background.
Now it’s time to choose the font I want. The old text can be removed by selecting it and using the “delete” or “backspace” key on your keyboard. Under the “text” option on the menu, you can find font templates to use, or you can just play around with the fonts on your own.
Click the arrow that appears when you’ve selected a font in order to view more options.
To make the quote pop against the background, I’m going to select the background and choose “filter.” Now I’m going to bump up the intensity.
You have the option to add more elements, throughout but I think our design looks pretty good. Don’t forget to give your design a name:
Now, select download and choose your file preference.
I chose “Image: for Web (JPG).” Ready to see the final product?
How does FotoJet work?
After you log in, FotoJet presents you with three project options.
To shake things up, we’re going to make a collage. Once you select an option, it’ll give you a series of design options to choose from. There were many more that you can explore as well!
I’m choosing the “modern” option. Now, we’ve entered into the design interface. It has a lot of tools similar to those available on Canva.
I’m going to scroll down and select a template. Notice how the image from the preview doesn’t appear in the template. For some this is a positive, and for others it’s a negative. It depends on what you want.
I’m using the “add photo” option to add a photo of my own sleepy dog. I’m also changing the date and removing the FotoJet text in the bottom right.
I’m going to personalize the graphic by picking new fonts. Select the text you wish to change, and then the “A” on the menu to access the fonts.
Now, it’s time to save the design to your computer.
And, here’s my creation!
So, what can you make with Canva?
- Social media posts: Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest/Tumblr images.
- Documents: presentations, letterheads, magazines, resumés.
- Blogging & eBooks: eBooks, desktop wallpapers, kindle covers, blog titles, blog graphics, album covers, infographics.
- Marketing materials: flyers, posters, menus, business cards, gift certificates.
- Social media & email headers: Facebook event covers and cover photos, YouTube thumbnails and channel art, Tumblr banners, Twitter headers, Google+ photos, Etsy cover photos and shop icons, email headers.
- Events: postcards, invitations, cards.
- Ads: Facebook ads, ads sized by IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau).
What are the pros of using Canva’s templates?
- Canva has templates that are professional in nature and can help you build your brand.
- There are so many templates and customization options, the odds of your creations looking like someone else’s are slim.
- Canva is also available for use as an iPhone app.
What about the cons of Canva?
- Although Canva offers plenty of free stock images and designs, most of the graphics they offer cost a dollar or two to use, which can add up over time.
What can you make with FotoJet?
- Collages: “classic” style, “creative” style (including 3D and posters), comics, “fun photos” like face-in-hole, magazine covers, frames, greeting cards.
- Designs: posters, social media headers, social media posts.
- Photo editing: filters, cropping and resizing tools, clipart, text and more.
What are the pros of FotoJets’s templates?
- FotoJet has a leg-up on Canva when it comes to collages — it has a completely separate design area for the purpose.
- You can make basic grid collages in Canva, but FotoJet offers templates for everything from the “creative collage” and greeting cards to comics and face-in-holes.
Any cons for Fotojet?
- Everything on FotoJet’s website is free to use, but for some designs you have to create an account in order to gain access. However, this doesn’t take long, since you can choose to connect with Facebook.
- Each template has “FotoJet” written on it somewhere, and although it can easily be removed, it can be a bit of a nuisance.
Verdict: If you’re looking for a program to create high-quality, professional graphics, you may want to stick with Canva. It offers templates for more practical uses. If you’re looking for free and fun collages, FotoJet is the place for you.
What can you do in Canva’s interface?
- It’s easy to switch between tools in the design interface.
- With the ability to save your creations to your online library, you can easily come back to them and add updates or download them again if you can’t remember where they saved to on your computer.
- Creating folders within the library makes it easier than ever to keep your designs organized.
- Your library includes a “Shared With You” section. If someone sends you a link to edit one of their projects and you click the link, it will add the project to this section. (It won’t appear here if it was just a link to view the project, and not to edit.)
- Each user has a public profile, so you can make designs “public” and share them with your followers.
- You can create a “Team” with Canva for Work for $9.95 a month (with a month-long free trial!) where you can add team members, create and save a brand kit and easily resize and organize designs.
- To hone your skills, Canva has a design school filled with interactive tutorials. From choosing compatible fonts to building a brand kit, these tutorials cover it all.
What about FotoJet’s interface?
- The interface is simple and the tools are displayed in a way that they’re all visible throughout your design process.
- It allows you to save your designs straight to your computer.
Verdict: FotoJet and Canva have almost identical design areas. However, Canva has features that promote organization and collaboration, making it a better option if you’re looking to frequently use the platform.
What’s the price?
It’s free to create an account on Canva, but if you choose a template or graphic that isn’t marked “free,” you’ll be asked to pay for the the elements before you can download your image. If you need some time to think about it, you can save your design to your online library within Canva, and return to it at any time.
As mentioned earlier, you can create a Canva for Work account for $9.95 a month.
It’s completely free to create designs on FotoJet and use them as you please.
Where can I find them?
If you want your collage to stand out, FotoJet offers a number of “3D” templates. The future is now!
Need to save some time without spending a dime? Select the search icon within the Canva design interface and type “free.” A number of free stock images will appear, so you won’t have to spend too long searching for a free image to use in a time crunch.