Super Vectorize Me: Getting Personal with Your Canva Graphics

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I’ve gotta confess using un-customized stock photos feels icky. Yes, I’ve done it, but those stock photos are a poor companion for the original content that I strive to craft. Every blog post needs a graphic, though. So, what’s a non-graphic designer supposed to do?

This is where Canva* and Super Vector Graphics (SVG) save the day. Using Canva and vectorizing my handwriting or photos makes me feel like an artist when I create one-of-kind graphics from my own gloriously imperfect handwriting. The vectorized graphics are way more unique and personalized than any font I’ll ever find.

Here’s one of Canva-created graphic with my vectorized handwritten words.

The fish and chalkboard background is a stock photo from Canva. Courage follows action, though, that’s my vectorized handwriting. I wrote each word separately to make it easier to adjust the spacing and change colors.

Good luck finding this graphic anywhere else and that’s one of the dope things about vectorizing your handwriting or photos. Your vectorized images turn into one-of-a-kind art for your blog or for social media sharing. Also, I absolutely love Canva* and appreciate any reason to create.

While I know I dissed stock photos, it’s part of the reason that I pay for Canva Pro.* Canva Pro comes with so many more photos and elements that the service is worth the nominal fee. Their stock photos and elements become the basis of creating personalized graphics.

Okay, let’s vectorize! For simplicity’s sake, we’ll focus on handwritten words.

  1. Write the word or words that you want to vectorize. Below, I used a blank index card and the Copic pen on the left. While any pen or marker will do, markers with the broadest points give you the boldest lines. Uni Posca Bullet marker* (left) is my favorite. This dual-tip Copic pen* (right) is the runner up. Honestly, a Sharpie* will do. Because Canva lets you change the line color, don’t fret over marker color.

  2. Take a photo of your handwritten words and export it to jpg format. It’s a requirement for the website that will create those vectors.
  3. Go to https://picsvg.com/
  4. Upload the jpg version of your image.
  5. If you want to get fancy, you can choose a filter. By default, inverse #2 is selected, but pick the one that you like.

  6. Click on the “Download SVG” button.
  7. Upload that downloaded SVG image into Canva. You don’t need the paid version to do this. From here, you get a scalable graphic that’s transparent and won’t look pixel-y as you enlarge. Black is the default color, but you can change it using Canva’s color picker.
  8. Get to creating! Play and have fun with it.
  9. Lastly, here’s my vectorized creation with my handwritten words “Do not settle.” I marked up where in the image you’ll find vectorized graphics “Do Not Settle”, the hand-drawn heart, and this photo that I took from a tech company’s panoramic views of San Franciso.

I tried multiple sites and programs for vectorizing images. Most of them were paid or felt spammy. Picsvg.com was by far and away the best option. Also because it’s browser-based, Picsvg.com is operating system independent. Mac or Windows? Who cares?! Oh, and it’s free.

What do you think? Looks easy? I promise it’s fun, too. If these steps help you create, please share. I’d love to see your one-of-a-kind creations. Also, If you have questions, reach out. I’d love to help.

Becky Elliott

After dropping out of a liberal arts college that focused on reading and discussing the “Great Books”, Becky Elliott found her way to a career in IT. For 20+ years, she has held a number of roles in Dev and Ops, and the area in between the two. In working for organizations in which poor security practices can cost lives, she’s an ardent believer in integrating security through the entire design process. Becky holds a number of industry certifications including the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

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