Introduction/Content:

Welcome to the twelfth thing in 12 Things SWKLS 2018.  This month we’re going to be learning about graphic design tools other than Canva.   While most of us love Canva, it’s not for everyone and sometimes you just want to try something else.  These tools can be used to create Facebook posts, Facebook headers, Instagram posts, website images, and more!  

The activities for this lesson are due December 31  at 11:59 pm central time and are worth 2 credit hours.  Estimated work time:  1-2 hours.

If you would rather complete an alternate topic, please go to the alternate topic page and pick one from the list.  You are also welcome to choose past topics or topics from the first round of Things.

If you get stuck and need help, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Exercises:  (Due December 31, 2018 at 11:59 pm CDT)

Tools you will need:

  • A computer with a browser.
    • A tablet or other internet enabled device will also work for most of these activities.
  • An email address.  
  • An Internet connection.

Activity 1:  (10-15 min)

  1.   Read at least two of the articles below:
    1.  The 6 Best Free Design Tools to Create Social Media Graphics
    2.   The Best Visual Marketing Apps to Create Social Media Graphics
    3.  7 Best Canva Alternatives For Amazing DIY Graphic Design
    4. 9 Canva Alternatives with More Easy to Use Options

Activity 2:  (15 – 60 min)

  1.  Choose one of the tools mentioned in these articles to try out.  I would recommend Adobe Spark Post, Over, Crello, or Desygner.  
    • If you’re new to Canva or haven’t tried out the app, you’re welcome to use Canva instead.    
  2. All of the tools above, should have an app available for your device.  Install the app for your chosen platform on a mobile device or tablet. All of the If you don’t have a mobile device, you’re more than welcome to use the website instead.  
  3. Have fun and create some graphics! 
  4. Share at least one of your creations  by posting it on Facebook, another social media platform, or sending it to a friend.  

Activity 3:  (10-15 min)

  1.  Post a comment below letting us know the following:
    1. What tool you used
    2. What you created
    3. What you learned 
    4. What you liked about this new tool
    5. What you didn’t like about it
    6. How do you think it compares to Canva?
    7. Are there other similar tools you love?  Share them below!  
  2. Reply to at least one other comment below.  
  3. Register for Thing 12.  

31 thoughts on “12 Things SWKLS 2018: Thing 12

  • December 4, 2018 at 1:21 pm
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    I used Canva. I created a logo for the Library and published it to Facebook. I went through the Canva University and learned that there are many more options than I was aware of. I was excited to learn about the other apps that were covered. We have several people on staff who will learn about and use what we learn for signs, facebook and posters. We like the fresh bright options the tools provide.

    Reply
    • December 6, 2018 at 2:42 pm
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      Holly,

      I have loved seeing your library Facebook posts lately! The pictures and images you have all been posting are awesome. There are lots of different things I haven’t tried on Canva, either.

      Reply
    • December 11, 2018 at 10:45 am
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      Holly, I’ve never heard of the Canva University… I’ll have to do some research on that, see if I can get more options than the Canva I’m using.
      Also had to find out what library you were with so I could find and “like” you on Facebook and see what all the hype was about that Janelle was referring to! Liking your creative posts! You gave me an idea to file in the back of my mind for next year, Breakfast with Santa! So much to do, so little staff/time!!

      Reply
  • December 4, 2018 at 3:59 pm
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    1. I tried out Adobe Spark Post and QuotesCover.
    2. I created a Crochet Class reminder on Spark and a “Free Books” quote on both Spark and QuotesCover.
    3. I’ve learned it’s good to branch out! Sometimes less is more when it comes to options!
    4. I like the idea of perking up quotes you find online. I LOVE that you don’t have to start over when you need to change the size on Spark.
    5. QuotesCover is SLOW if uploading your own picture! I went back to Spark instead. I really wish these programs had more of the clipart/animated pictures available!
    6. Canva would still be my first choice, possibly since that’s what I started with. I like Canva’s drag and drop feature.
    7. I never thought of using PowerPoint to create media images! Design and save them as a PNG or JPG and you can upload them as you would any other image to your social platform!

    Reply
    • December 6, 2018 at 2:37 pm
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      It sure is hard to beat Canva these days! That’s usually my go to these days and their images have gotten better. It is good to have options, though. My new favorite is Over, but you have to use an app.

      Reply
      • December 18, 2018 at 1:44 pm
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        I like over to because of the simplicity!

        Reply
    • December 10, 2018 at 11:43 am
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      Glad you were able to get along with Spark so well! I may have to go back and give it another try….maybe LOL!!! Who am I kidding….probably not!!! Thanks for your comments on it!!!

      Reply
      • December 19, 2018 at 6:57 pm
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        I originally thought Spark was really easy, but ran into problems. I don’t know if any of the problems I experienced with my email would help solve your issues or not?

        Reply
    • December 10, 2018 at 11:56 am
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      Hi Suzie,

      Canva is my first choice as well. I love using it! It’s great to know that you can resize your work on Spark, that is one thing I find very frustrating with Canva, although sometimes I can manipulate the size of the output/final piece by changing the settings on our printer!

      Reply
    • December 10, 2018 at 12:00 pm
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      It’s good to hear the problems some apps/sites have. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on a facebook post!

      Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:41 am
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    I tried Adobe Spark — NOPE!! We didn’t seem to get along very well so I deleted that App and tried Over! Over did what I wanted it to do!
    I created a closed sign for the Library being closed December 24th and 25th using a photo of our Christmas Tree and Fireplace as the background.
    I need to play around with it more and learn how to do some of the other aspects. It was easy to use! I haven’t used Canva in a while (due to everytime I picked a pic to use, it was one you had to pay for and so then I had to go back and find a free one…ugh) so I like Over better!

    Reply
    • December 11, 2018 at 11:36 am
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      I downloaded Spark and I agree with you. It is not really very user friendly to me. It has some neat options but, I need to spend more time trying to figure it out! But, who has time for that! I need quick and easy when I need something to be made. I am thinking it will be deleted as well.

      Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:51 am
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    1. I used QuotesCover
    2. I created a new Facebook cover photo for our library
    3. This is a great tool when timing is an issue and you need to create something asap.
    4. It was super easy to use and the gradient overlays were nice.
    5. I felt somewhat limited on creativity such as text and photo placement.
    6. Canva has much more versatility and a lot more templates.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 11:58 am
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    I started to try Crello but realized the home screen looked like Canva. Switched to Desygner. I created a facebook post for our Photography Showcase this month. I liked the crispness of the photos they offered. I didn’t like that it was hard to find the block I wanted to work on as everything is a pasted image or overlay. I will probably stick to Canva, it seems easier to use.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2018 at 11:31 am
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    We use Canva here in our library to make our book shelf posters for our themed end caps and to make many flyers for different events. I have made pricing sheets for the concessions stand at the high school a little more appealing by using Canva. I downloaded Spark Post on my iphone and have now played around with that using the different options on it. Its fun to see all the neat ways to create a new graphic for just about anything you can imagine! Even using personal photos or backgrounds that you have already on your phone. The hardest part is printing it off! Canva is the easiest for me to use out of the ones I tried.

    Reply
    • December 11, 2018 at 3:06 pm
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      I agree with Stephanie! The printing can be tricky but the end result is worth it! 🙂

      Reply
    • December 19, 2018 at 9:19 am
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      Printing from Canva has been an issue for me also but most of the time I just had add my flyer to our facebook page and that is pretty easy to do.

      Reply
  • December 11, 2018 at 1:37 pm
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    Well this was my first time using Canva and thank goodness Rae (co-worker) was here, she help me a lot with it. I definitely need to use it more often. Liked the finished product and will use it again. I have tried Pic Monkey before and think is more friendly to use than Canva. But like I said, I just need to use it more.

    Reply
    • December 12, 2018 at 10:07 am
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      I think pic monkey would be an interesting program to try, but unfortunately i dont want to have to spend money to see if I like it or go through the hassel of deleting a free account before it starts charging…

      Reply
  • December 11, 2018 at 3:04 pm
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    I created a “wish list” so people could purchase books for the library and I wanted to create a flyer to send as a thank you so I used Canva! I did find Canva very easy to use once I got that hang of it! I liked that I am able to easily change the images/text boxes. I did not care for the printing part, you have to download (which was fine) but I can see where people could very easily think they’d have to make a purchase to print.

    Reply
  • December 12, 2018 at 10:01 am
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    I used Adobe Spark
    I made an annoucment for trivia
    I learned their was programs specifically for designing qoutes
    one Thing that i liked about some of the programs was that they had quote banks in them not just picture.
    The thing that I didnt like about alot of them was that they seemed to all be Canva rip offs. IDK if thats true, but since i started out on canva, idk if any of the other programs really offer anything that would make me want to have to try to learn a whole now layout. Which is my other big problem. Adobe didn’t seem as intuitive as canva did. It also really seemed to limit my options. IDK if that is really true or if its just because im so used to how canva does everything.
    In High School we used Photoshop, which is really cool, but probably overkill for what we need, and it is not really affordable, and you have to have a manuel to figure out how to use it.

    Reply
  • December 18, 2018 at 1:35 pm
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    1. I used Desygner
    2. I created a picture for a post about being closed for New Years
    3. I’m glad I tried something new, sometimes I get stuck on some things
    4. To me it seemed a little more easy to figure out than canva. Canva and I had issues of being user friendly
    5. That you have to search and search for the right style and then hope it’s free
    I like using Pixabay on my computer because I can search for example, Christmas, and it brings up Christmas themed pictures. Also, I know I can use any of them to download and then add text to in Publisher and save the whole thing as a jpeg when done for posting. Sometimes I just feel like I’m wasting time when trying to use the designer apps.

    Reply
  • December 19, 2018 at 9:16 am
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    I used Crello to create a holiday closing sign. Canva and I have a love hate relationship as Janelle will agree. I think I know what I am doing on Canva and something weird will happen. Placing text sometime is an issue for me but I notice with Crello that you can work with the font very easily and changes can be made with a touch of a button. Printing is sometime difficult on Canva. I think I will use Crello more often as it seems easy to maneuver. Graphics on Crello remind me of Canva . With such limited time adventuring out to find a new program doesn’t happen so I am always happy when I learn from others about a new program. I would highly recommend Canva or Crello as a go to program to use.

    Reply
    • December 20, 2018 at 4:32 pm
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      Crello sounds interesting. I didn’t try that one. Sounds like I need to look into it!

      Reply
    • December 26, 2018 at 11:36 am
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      I agree Ruby. I like Canva, but I think Crello may be a little easier to use. I will probably use these as my “go to”. But, I do want to check out some of the other alternatives. Some of the options (animation) sound fun.

      Reply
  • December 19, 2018 at 6:52 pm
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    I created a post to advertise our ‘Child-Crafted Gift” day at the library using Adobe Spark. I first thought, “this is easy!” finding a graphic that I liked and just simply adding the text, piece of cake. Then I had all kinds of problems getting it posted. Since Ginger is the administrator for our library Facebook account I thought I’d just post it to my personal account but I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I had to save it and then try to email it to myself so I could post it .?.?.? I guess, IDK what the deal was! I ended up calling my daughter and she came to my rescue! 🙂 She figured out that I apparently didn’t have my email account on my Facebook account because it kept saying I didn’t have an email or my password wasn’t correct. Once we got that figured out so it would to recognize my email and password I was able to post it. It did say, however, that I had “shared” it even though I created it originally but I don’t know why. But I did learn a lot, I have never even used Canva so I have nothing to compare it to. I am of the “Clipart era” so finding out that there are SO MANY cool pre-made graphics out there was exciting!!

    Reply
    • December 27, 2018 at 11:31 am
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      I am glad you got all figured out! I find it easier to download images from Canva and Spark and then upload them to Facebook. That seems to work a lot easier than using the Share button. (The download button is right next to the share button in Spark.) The sharing doesn’t always work so slick.

      Reply
  • December 20, 2018 at 4:30 pm
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    I looked briefly at Spark but didn’t really find a “spark” for me. I decided to try Over & downloaded it. I made a post about our kids’ craft day for our Facebook page. I’ve been using Canva for awhile but for some reason had forgotten I downloaded the app to my phone, so when I did this activity I rediscovered the app! Yay! So far Canva is still my favorite. I went back to it to create our holiday closing post. I always download posts like that to make signs for the front & back doors when we are going to be closed, two birds with one stone.

    Thank you, Janelle, for all your hard work on 12 Things! Once again it has been a great learning experience, teaches me new things, and forces me out of my comfort zone!

    Reply
    • December 27, 2018 at 11:13 am
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      Canva is still my favorite, too! Thanks for all your hard work as well! I always love to read your and Diana’s comments. I know you have both worked hard to get the things done!

      Reply
  • December 26, 2018 at 11:15 am
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    I gave Crello a shot and at first try it doesn’t seem very different from Canva. But, I didn’t do much with my design. I did a FB cover; for the new year. The design was already set for 2019, so I just changed the background color and the font. I tried different colors on other parts of the design, but liked the original colors best. It did seem a little easier to just click on the design rather than have to drag it over to the template (as in Canva). I can’t say what I didn’t like about it, because I didn’t do much with it, this first time. But, I do want to play around with it more and see what it can do. I am interested in a few other Canva alternatives mentioned in the lists. But. that will have to come with time. I’m not overly interested in the “mobile” designs, though. I’m just not much for using my phone for those things.

    Reply
    • December 27, 2018 at 11:16 am
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      I like having the ability to be able to quickly do designs on my phone, but I get how you wouldn’t want to use your phone for those things. I need to do more with Crello myself. I keep comparing everything to Canva and I need to branch out a bit.

      Reply

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