Create an Interactive Magazine Using Free Online Tools (Canva and Issuu) | Amber H. | Skillshare

Create an Interactive Magazine Using Free Online Tools (Canva and Issuu)

Amber H., Instructional Designer

Create an Interactive Magazine Using Free Online Tools (Canva and Issuu)

Amber H., Instructional Designer

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7 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Course Introduction

    • 2. Before You Begin: Materials Needed and a Few Tips for Success

    • 3. Creating Your Magazine: Getting Started with Canva

    • 4. Creating Your Magazine: Making it Your Own Part 1

    • 5. Creating Your Magazine: Making it Your Own Part 2

    • 6. Exporting Your Project in Canva

    • 7. Publishing Your Magazine to Issuu and Course Wrapup

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About This Class

In this course, you'll discover the basics of creating a beautiful, interactive magazine. First, we'll learn to create a simple layout using a (free!) graphic design tool, then send our magazine to a free, interactive magazine platform to bring it to life.

In this class you will learn how to:

  • Create a magazine spread using a free graphic design site (Canva)
  • Customize and design a simple, yet beautiful layout including photos and text
  • Export your project
  • Bring your content to life by uploading your project to a free, digital publishing site (Issuu)

Sample Project

I created this short magazine to share a few of my favorite places in Spain. Click on the arrows below to check out the example. This project could easily be expanded to include more places, reflections on my trip, lists of favorite places, and more! 


  • Introduction Video Music: Artist: Nicolai Heidlas, Title: Warm Lights

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Amber H.

Instructional Designer


Amber is an instructional designer based in the Pacific Northwest. Known for her enthusiastic delivery and passion for technology, Amber's courses hope to spark joy in her students and "make technology fun again!"  

Her first course, "Creating an Interactive Magazine with Free Online Tools," walks students through the process of designing a beautiful magazine spread, then bringing it to life with links and multimedia. 

Amber loves taking photos, Japanese Kit-Kats, hidden street art, and traveling off the beaten path. When not working with technology, she dabbles in crafting projects such as creating Halloween costumes for her two Boston Terriers. 

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1. Course Introduction: Hello and welcome to this sculpture. Of course, my name is Amber, and today I'll be walking you through how to create an interactive magazine using a variety of free online tools. When you clicked on this course, you might have thought an interactive magazine. That sounds pretty cool, but if move, you might be wondering, What can I use this specifically for? Well, first, before we begin, I would like to share with you a few ideas in the course Project will have the opportunity to create a year in review for to create a album of photos from a special trip. But there are so many other uses for interactive magazines. Here are a few examples One thing that you might want to do if your business and your look to put together maybe a collection of products, a menu or a brochure using the tools in this course, will you allow you to create a very polished magazine very easily, and then you'll be able to share it on social media embedded directly on your website or even included in an email newsletter. Another idea might be to assemble a portfolio of photos, documents or other things that you're proud of and might want to share with a potential client or even just put on your website. But its not limited just to industry use, such as photographers or graphic design. This is something that could absolutely be used by an instructor looking to assemble a lesson plan. You might use this to put together the instructions for a product, but together a guide for your city. Really, the possibilities are endless. Before you show you a sample project, let's talk about the goals for this course on what you accomplish by the time you finish first will look at a really awesome graphic design tool called Canberra, and if you haven't used it before, it's going to quickly become one of your favorite tools. What's really great about Camba is that it provides a launching point for you to choose a template, and then you can very easily customize it, so I'll be showing you how to do that. And what we'll do is we'll actually customize our design with photos that you have imported and Texas Wall of Flight. Then I'll show you how to publish your magazine spread and exported from campus and last but not least, will use a free digital publishing tool called Issue, where you'll be able tow, upload your document and optionally layer on some interactive things, such as a video or a hyperlink. Let's go ahead and take a look at a project sample. I'm gonna go ahead and head over to issue dot com, and I've prepared a sample magazine that all showcase for you. All right, so here you can see the cover page of my magazine and over on the right hand corner, there's an arrow to advance the page where I can also use the arrow keys on my keyboard. All right, now we're into the magazine, and here's a two page spread. It's basically two pages that I've put together in issue, and you'll see that the photos and texts are all very nicely laid out here at the bottom. I've put a latitude and longitude for San Sebastian, Spain. Clicking on that will actually take me to a GPS map or Google map that will showcase the viewer, Wary visited. All right, let's get back into the magazine. And again I use the arrow keys or the era on screen to advance to the next page. As you can see here, Kim, it gives you a lot of very creative options for laying out your photos. So I have a four page spread at the top and then towards the bottom. I've actually included a link to a video of difference street art photos that I assembled together and put on YouTube. So if I click on the link here, one very cool feature is that this link or this video is going to open up and play directly in my magazine. Hurry. Once we finished, we can use the arrows, the bottom right hand corner of the screen or the escape key. In the next video, we'll talk about the items you'll want to assemble together before working on your project . 2. Before You Begin: Materials Needed and a Few Tips for Success: before we head over to Camba and begin to create your interactive magazine. Let's talk a little bit about some of the materials you want together beforehand. Obviously, you're gonna need to have some visuals with your magazine, so I recommend before we actually head into the troll to take some time and look through your photos and try to select at least 10 images you liked it, including your magazine. Try to include a variety of different shots, so it's gonna be pretty boring if you only have a portrait or if you only have scenery, here's a an idea for you, so try to have maybe three portrait. It's four interesting shots on maybe three beautiful landscape photos, but you'll be able to decide that as you go through your foot, just try to have a variety. You may also want to include some tax into your magazine. So before we get into the tool, you may want to go into Microsoft Word or Google Doc and begin to write some of the text because Kimball will let you very easily copy and paste the content. Once you have all of these items, put them together in a folder and try to put them on your desktop or a location where you'll be able to easily find them and then go ahead and head to camba dot com and in the next video off, show you how to begin laying out and customizing your magazine. 3. Creating Your Magazine: Getting Started with Canva: sorry. Before we get started, you'll want to sign up for a free account on canvas dot com. We'll cover the basics of Canada in this course, but please feel free to check out campus tutorial located over here on the left. Inside. Under learned to design. Cuba has a wide variety of tutorials available. Anything from the beginning of using the tool to learning some really great graphic design principles that you can apply beyond the website. We're ready to creative project. We're gonna come appears at the top left corner on creative design and scroll down until we see magazine cover, which is located underneath documents. All right, over here on the left. Inside, you can see that there are many different templates available. Make sure that you select a free template. There are some great paid templates. But every time I've used camp, I've really been able to take advantage of the free templates and simply customize and Taylor Until I find the product that I'm really happy with, I'm gonna scroll down until I find the template that I selected, which I believe was the nomadic template. All right, there it ISS and hovering over the template and you can see in the top right hand corner. But there's a number two. This one has five on. What that means is that there are two or five different page templates available in this theme, and you can even makes a match of you want to and try to tell her the template to the overall look and feel of your project. When I'm ready to apply the template, what I'm gonna do is just simply click on it and I can see the two different pages I want. Apply the cover ph of this first page, so I click on it. And then when I'm ready, I will go down to the add a new page button, and I'm going to apply in my second regional. Right now I have this nice blue background. This could be really great for the back of my magazine, but I'm not done yet, so I need to add some more content. Let's apply this template here and there. It ISS now, before we move on, Teoh adding your own pictures and your own content. I want to show you a little bit around the Campbell work, seeks and get you comfortable with that? So let's take a look over here on the left hand side of some of the different things that are available again. Here we are in the layouts panel, so if you want to try a different template, you can play with that. Underneath elements there things such as free photos, icons, illustrations, frames to add a nice finished look to different pictures and again, even some free photo. So if you can't quite find the photo you're looking for, try searching in Canberra. This is the text section, and there's three different options. If you want to add text, simply, just click and drag one of the boxes over. There are also some really nice pre made tax arrangements that you might find handy as you work through your project. Less than at least we have backgrounds and then upload. So this is where you're going to add your pictures, and it's really just a matter of clicking and dragging the pictures from finder or from your file explorer or clicking the upload your own images. But so you'll want to make sure you do this before moving on to the next video, depending on the size of your pictures. 4. Creating Your Magazine: Making it Your Own Part 1: Okay, now that we've gone ahead and added a few pages Torn magazine, let's begin to really customize it and make it our own. First, let's come up with a dramatic title and change this if it's the name of our project. So again, everything in canvas customizable. If I click on it, I can change the color. I can change the font, and all I've done is just club clicked on it can and and up in the top of 10 corner, you'll see that there are many different thoughts that I can choose from. Something that I really like about Camba is that there are more than just the fonts that come on your computer. There's tons of artistic fonts that you can select from so anything from something that looks a little hand written architects, daughter, maybe something that's a little bit more bold, dramatic. But I really like the thought that came with this template. So let's go ahead and go back to it and camel a story or fonts above the tops. If you don't remember which one that you were using, you can look at the very top and see the fonts for your project. That looks great. Okay, so this is not a first issue. So let's seem set to issue one. And I thought it would be fun to add a family here, an American in charge of this magazine. So let's go ahead and put the year instead. If you see that message, don't worry. Texas still going to show up just fine. This section here is really great to put some of the contents sort of a preview of your magazine. So let's click on edit text Heart. And once it kicks in, I can go ahead and start to change this, and I'm going to replace it with some of the names of the cities that I visited trying to use a little bit of a liberation. So how about sun and surf and Sand Sebastian, just Barcelona street art in Salamanca and museums of But of course you can put with everything. Now I'm gonna come over to my uploads and remember, that's for all of your pictures that you've uploaded from The last video are going to be found, and if I want to find a picture, it was scroll down. And that's something that's maybe like a landscape. Better service, A nice background. I'm gonna move it over and I'm gonna purposely making the stake here on notice that my picture isn't showing up and this is a common mistake. So what you want to do to fix that is actually click on the picture you wanna replace and then simply click and drag over, and I kind of like the look and feel of this camera has put a filter on this as part of the template. If you don't like the look of that, all you have to do is come up to the top left hand corner and click on the filter button. And if you just put on Original, it will reset all of those settings. But there's some looks and feels even do black. So, depending on your subject matter, play around with this and find some really creative effects. Your big fan of instagram filter cells look pretty similar. Okay, like this, but so it's a little busy from my team, so let's try a different pictures again. I clicked on the picture. Just make sure that was my target, and I like the boats here, but I'm missing a little bit of a tree. So did you got Teoh A. Just a photo. I'm in a double click on it could drag it to the left or the right. I like that. It's a nice contrast between in the blue, A little bit of the trees and boats there. Quick check in the top work. Look out and we're done with her. Our cover page. Now I want to show you one designed to really bring your project to the next level. This is a trick I use on a lot of different projects right now, this white box can't see anything underneath it, and we're gonna do kind of a little peekaboo effect. We're gonna let the picture show through from behind. So what we'll do is click on a picture and headed to the top right corner and click on the transparency button. If you take this found a little bit gonna actually be able to see picture. Be careful. Don't do too much because the text can be a little hard to read if you go too far. But now I can see those mountains peeking through and then I'll just click anywhere on the background hands were all set. We have our cover page completed. Let's take a look at the second page. Okay, So the first thing when the when you do is maybe replaced with victory over the top. Think what I'm gonna do for these different pages is highly a different city that I visited . And so I'm gonna click on my picture that I want to replace and then simply click and drag the photo over to replace it. Now, what's cool is I double click, reinvest it in a bit like that on it, cut my head off. So if you want to fix that and get into step, click and then I can move it down just a little bit more. Merry go. That looks great. And let's begin to replace some of the tax here. So let's take in the breathtaking beaches of San Sebastian, way pretty beaches, and then we'll double click here. You've seen that my Texas actually going to start to wrap around, and there's two ways to fix that. I can use that handles on the left and right hand side to drag that out. Or in this case, I think I'm gonna want to make this a little bit smaller. So this highlight the text and choose a smaller font size. I'd like for there to be a little bit more space between Sand and Sebastian. Right now, it feels top of each other. And as the title of my page, we can play with it a little bit. So what we'll do is we'll click on it and then go to Spacey. And they contained the line, right? And also the line letter spacing. And that could be really fun to play with. I wouldn't recommend doing that too much with paragraph text where you have a lot of text, but it could be really great if you're are doing something small, like like a title or caption. I got one head and got rid of that, Ellen, and we're gonna add a new began. Just drag the box over and I'm gonna put the coordinates for Sansa function. I want to take it in. I can go to highlight this change my father signs of that bite. I thought that's a little too big. Let's make a little smaller, perhaps make this bold and looks change the color going to the color panel and choosing white. And again, Kim is going to save your colors to at the top. So be very easy to reuse those throughout your design. I don't like something. Click on it and hit the trash can and let's look over at this paragraph here. This is a lot of text, and since this is just a vacation memory book, I don't want to write too much rate, maybe one paragraph so I can go ahead and come in here and start to type. Ideally, I would I would fill this all out. You want to do that for your final project, but for the sample was gonna read a couple sentences here, and I can highlight it. Make the font size a bit larger to take up more space, make it a little bit easier to read, too, And something that I like to do is design. Element is is add emphasised color. So I want to highlight that like that. I like movies shades here. So what are we dark in color that we already have? Click on the plus sign and use the slider lighter going to the left for a little bit going right. And once you found the shoes that you like simply click out of a color boxer on the color square, you can see there's just a nice A little bit of contrast came the last thing I'm gonna do on my page. Change it from Nomadic Christine and be sure to change your page numbers. That's one thing that's easy to miss. Camba isn't going on medically at your page numbers, so go ahead and change that to Page one or the number for your page, and now we're going to go ahead and add a new page. 5. Creating Your Magazine: Making it Your Own Part 2: for this page, I'd like to add a full page picture, Something that I always really liked when I'm reading a magazine is to see a nice, high resolution, glossy picture. So to do that will come over to our uploads and find a picture that we'd like to add. I really like this picture here and I'm gonna drag it over and then I'll use adjustment, which is the little school. Are circles on the corners of your photo well training center. You can make it bigger if we wanted to be completed off the page or move it over to look inside and add a little bit a march. In that way, we can see the full church in the picture. Let's add another page. And maybe we want to create our own custom design, perhaps with a little bit of text and then maybe three or four photos. Something that's really nice about Camba is underneath the elements tools. Be careful, not under laid out its under elements. You can find the grids, and these are premium layouts that you can very easily click and drag to your page, and you'll see it takes up the full page. So this is great if you want to do a collage of photos that will take up your whole page. But in this case, I actually want to add a little bit of text. So I'm going to use my adjustment circles on the left or the right hand side and bring those up and you'll notice that eight resize is the pictures on medically. Neither all placeholders so I can drag pictures over. So let's go to our up loads tool and pick a couple of pictures that we want to add. I would like that besides, your face a little bit more so. Double click. They can use that adjustment in a click and drag to sent her picture. What? I double click Juckes. You really start to get the hang of this because you're gonna repeat the same steps over and over Monkey playing saxophone, assuming a little bit more on less than not least, how about a wall mural? See if we can zoom in a bit. She looks great now. One thing with Kimba is there's all these really great photo editing features that I often forget about, so as a reminder is the design tip. You can click on the picture, come up to the filter, and you don't have to add any crazy effects. We can do something a simple as adding a little bit more saturation, the brightness that are bright in the colors and then also a movie. A vignette, too. Hone in our eye on the center of the picture, and I can add a little bit more contrast. So I'm gonna take a few minutes to increase the contrast on these. He's gonna really Assam popped my photos canvas. Six. Great. So let's borrow from our own design element that we already have, which is this idea of having the city and the latitude and latitude. So if I click and drag outside of the page and then move in, you'll notice that I'm highlighting the different elements, and this is a really great time saver. If you do that, you can move a whole bunch of things at once and either click control, see or command scene and hit Control V or Command V. It's gonna pace exactly what it waas. So if you have re occurring design elements across pages, this is a huge time saver I'm gonna use my control circles again to move down my box. Let's play with this a little bit. I think I want to get rid of that white line bearing Let us out of having a little bit of trouble. So don't forget about the plus and minus Sign in the bottom right hand corner could be really helpful if you need to zoom in on an element. I'm assuming here, there we go and then I'm gonna hit, delete and I'll finish playing with the layout of my beach, all right, and I'm gonna continue playing with the layout of this page and maybe adding a few more pages. But now it's your turn to give it a go and add a few pages to your magazine. Begin to customize and add pictures and texts. Don't forget to share your spread with the sculpture community. I'll be jumping in there giving feedback and also other skill share. Colleagues who are taking the class give you some feedback, this ball. So to do that, what we're gonna do is we're gonna come up to the top right hand corner and click the share button, and Campbell has several differently share your project, you can choose to send an edible link. Um, if you're collaborating with several different people on a project, you can embed it directly on to your website. You can post it on to social media, or what we're going to do is we're going to share a gallery link, which will allow someone to view the project but not edit it. So we'll come up to the share button, click on Link, and then just make sure you change it from can add it to can view. Copy the link, and then you can head over to the project page on this course and write a little bit about your project. Let us know what you're working on, what you like Feedback on and peace a link and myself and others in the class will be able to give you feedback 6. Exporting Your Project in Canva: all right. Well, I finished my magazine, and I am super super excited with the final project. One thing I wanted to show you before I move on to the export portion had actually get your magazine out of Camba. And put in issue is that you can start to plan for some of the interactive elements that you might want include even before you get to issue. So you see your old friends age. There's a little square that says Standard Street Art. What is done is I've put together a image or a little thumbnail from the YouTube video that I want to eventually include in Mexico. And I added Texan Arrow to draw attention to it, Get to issue will actually be able to put a hot spot on this. Here's how you get to the icons you goto elements on. Then new shapes. If you want to highlight a particular omit, the arrows air actually underneath lines and drag goes in. And it's just gonna be really nice, a visual call of of action to my readers that the content they're looking at is interactive , so you can start to do that with some other contents such as links. Maybe if you want to link to a Google map or if there's another video you can even linked to specific pages in your magazine. So be creating something like a table of contents might be candy. But actually, one more example. Maybe I have this full page picture here and I want to link to a video of my husband trying to serve on an epically failed. I can add some text again, use my control buttons there. I can move it around. It's changed just a little bit. And then I'm gonna go to my elements and then under shapes, remember, we have our lines, has our and that happens to Cuba to direct. Minute doesn't work. Make sure you click on the picture call to action, finishing with one of these Prior they have it. Once I get into issue, I can actually high like that and add a hyperlink to the video. So now that we're all down their project, we need to get it out of camp. What you're gonna do, you're gonna come up to the top right hand corner and you're gonna click on the download button and there's actually several different file tapes under file tape. You can click on that shape pig, P and G and then also pdf, if you had some images you could use, J. Peg. If you have images of text, never really knew this. But use PNG and your text will come out much more crisp. That's just a great tip. And then we want the highest quality version of our projects. We're going to select PdF for print, and then once we've done that, we can actually choose if we want only one or two pages or if we want the whole thing. In this case, I'd like my whole project. And then I'm gonna click download on me, take a few minutes, depending on the size of your project. In the next video, though, I'm going to show you how to actually exported Teoh issue and add those interactive features and you'll be done 7. Publishing Your Magazine to Issuu and Course Wrapup: all right. Now that we've exported our project out of Camba, it's time for us to add some interactive features and really bring it to life using issue. So issues a completely free website. There are some creatures available if you're going to be using it a lot for business purposes and might not want to add that you want some analytics. But free version has served me very well and it's all over. So to get started, we're gonna go up Booth corner. So what? Slick files. Something. Find your project. Also, dragon, take a couple minutes to upload your pdf. Especially depending on the side. Larger magazine night together. This could take a little bit of time. What we can get started on the basic information title A short description and this is really important to you are hoping to use this as a catalogue. Try to add some descriptive forage your business name. This will help others to find it. Man, once we have a description, we're gonna choose our type, and this is really just to classify it. So people are browsing nation site. They can more easily find the type of content that they're looking for. So whether, like you're gonna choose editorial or Motion and and for my project, I am going to choose Editorial. Since this is a magazine on the for the most part, get most of these other options. Here you do get one free, unlisted project. Otherwise the projects are going to be public. So just a friend of mine I go over to this section here says where those business pictures , if you wanna love viewers, download your contact and you might wanna consider upgrading to. But again, I've only used a free account. It's totally fine for my purposes. If I click on publish now, that is not quite ready, meaning that my project hasn't finished uploading When you grow up at the top, you watch the progress here. So the files almost done now, registering well, validate and last but not least, convert. And I know that it's ready once the thumbnail image of the cover of my magazine shows up in place of words stress. So there we go. I can do the cover of my magazine, and the title has also been updated there. It's all one of publish and then I can add my interactive content. Okay, so I've gone ahead and clicked on the links option. And now I can see small thumbnails of all my pages. And what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna actually bring those lodge itude and latitude numbers that I put here earlier toe life. So let's click on page number two and you'll notice now that my cursor has turned into a cross hair, it's going to allow you to actually draw a box where I wanted in on it. So it's really over the latitude in Monte tried to give yourself a little bit of extra space, go to Google maps and type in San Sebastian. How long should copy the link with the top there? How cool would it be to maybe talk about a restaurant that you into a museum and link right to a map or linked to the museum paid so he had friends and family were interested, they could find out more information. Now I'm going to go ahead and go over forward cage unless Interfax YouTube video that I mentioned so again drag a box around where we wanted to head over to you, too. Find the link back in just a second, all right. And there we go. Now anyone will be a little click on the video and watch it without even having to leave the magazine pretty cool. When we've added all your interactive futures, let's quickly at what other features there are so you can link to any love site. A video shopping. This is great. Using this is a business you can link directly to a product or if you want to create people of contents. Two. Go to page option is really handy. Evenly all the pages and make it easy for reviewers. Access a specific page, but I think we're done for now. It's all hit. Cancel. Get rid of that guy and hit save. And just like that, you've created an interactive magazine that you can share with friends and family. Or use it for a lesson, perhaps for sure or portfolio, don't you? One less thing before take a look at what, like so open. But wow three. With tears on the screen ever over my life YouTube video, I just wanted to hear records from Sorry and what's B share features to its might be handy for you to see different options, so I actually prefer to use the share button outside of this page. We go back, click on share. You'll see these air that this is the full list of all the share options. You can even make an animated GIFs to put on your page. You have a lot of pages. This looks really cool, checking all these different options in bed directly linked to it. So play with ease and you'll see that there's tons of different ways to share your project with it, with all audiences, no matter of the platform. And that's it. You've now created a beautiful interactive magazine that you can use to share with friends and family, or perhaps use it as a business as a business tool, marking information and so much more. Please be sure to share your final project on the course projects page, and I'll be sure to take a look and give you feedback. And I know that the other members of the community it would be happy to do so as well. And also keep an and I on the course Resource is as I'll add more project ideas and resource is there for you so some more information about issue some technical links that might be handy for you. And then I also have a list of some great free design resource is that might serve you really well as you work on these projects and maybe get started on some other types of projects as well.