You’ve heard of Canva, right? We’ve talked about it a few times on this blog. When it comes to easy-to-use, affordable, and accessible graphic design, Canva is really hard to beat.
This is why we decided to integrate Canva’s design tool directly into Lulu!
More API Action
I’ve talked about this before, but one of the major improvements we’ve made at Lulu over the last couple of years was to rebuild our print-on-demand platform using API infrastructure. This allowed us to offer publishers direct (and free) access to our print network and was our basis for the Shopify App we created.
Well, it turns out that Canva also offers an API to their design tools.
All of this means connecting the Lulu bookmaking process to Canva’s designer was (more or less) a walk in the park.
Meet Our Canva Cover Designer – Beta
[Note: The Canva Cover Designer – Beta is a new feature and as such may not be 100% perfect. If you notice any problems, please let our support team know.]
You’ll find the Canva option on the Design step when creating a print project. Once your interior file is uploaded and passes our automatic-check, you’ll select your specifications and move on to the cover step.
Here’s a video from our amazing creative team that walks through the process:
And here’s a little more detailed breakdown of the Canva Designer on Lulu. First, you’ll see your cover options on the Design step:
If you select Cover Creator Powered by Canva – Beta, the cover designer will expand to show you the cover specifications and offer you a template for use with Canva:
Review the dimensions and download the template, then click Design on Canva to open the creator!
Using The Designer
If you’ve ever used Canva before, the Designer on Lulu will look familiar. You’ll see the left sidebar with different options, from templates to uploads to shapes and elements unique to Canva.
Canva will offer you a variety of templates based on the specifications for your book. You can create an entirely original cover too, using the shapes and elements, as well as images you upload.
Speaking of uploading, I recommend uploading the Template (from the step before opening the designer) and using it to overlay your cover. Here you can see my template on top of my cover and set to 25% transparency:
Now I can see that the spine I’ve created matches the template, meaning my cover will work perfectly for my book!
Be sure to carefully review the template and your cover before finalizing your cover. You’ll want to remove the template layer too (just right click and delete it or use the trash can icon). The video above walks through using the template to check your cover’s spine as well.
And of course, once you’ve completed your cover you can always open the designer again and edit it!
Your Cover, Your Way
When we relaunched our site in April of 2020 (sooo long ago), we knew the cover designer wasn’t great. Improving the cover creation options has been the most consistently requested improvement over the numerous surveys we’ve conducted over the last 8 months.
Side note: thank you to everyone who took the time to give feedback.
The Canva Designer Beta is a first step toward making it easier to create a cover on Lulu and giving you the options you need to create your cover.
If you’re ready to give the Canva Cover Creator a try, head over to your Lulu account and create a new project or revise an existing one. We’re looking forward to your feedback on this new cover tool so we can continue to improve your bookmaking options!
Paul is the Content Marketing Manager at Lulu. When he's not entrenched in the publishing and print-on-demand world, he likes to hike the scenic North Carolina landscape, read, sample the fanciest micro-brewed beer, and collect fountain pens. Paul is a dog person but considers himself cat tolerant.