Canva is doing for design what Macintosh did for computers

Canva is doing for design what Macintosh did for computers

By SANSHEY BISWAS | | 17 October, 2015
The Canva Magic Resize tool.
Having been in operation for only a couple of years, Australian company Canva have got tech savant Guy Kawasaki on their board as the Chief Evangelist. “Macintosh democratised computers; Google democratised information; and eBay democratised commerce. In the same way, Canva democratises design.” Kawasaki announced upon joining. Canva.com is a website that functions as a design suite in your browser. It provides users with features that help create beautiful layouts for banners, posters, collages, cover images, social media posts, business cards... all with the familiar drag 
and drop. 
Last week, the team from Australia flew down to New Delhi for an India launch. Canva has already been used for creating one million designs in India. It has 2,20,000 Indian users with 2,000 people signing up every day, and around 2,00,000 designs were created in India in September itself. That makes India their fourth largest market out of the 179 they’re operational in. Since Canva is already doing well in India, the launch event and a string of other community-building events offering more localised content  are an effort to get more users on board. They even plan to make Hindi fonts available soon. 
When Guy Kawasaki says that Canva democratises design, he means the site works equally well for a beginner as it does for someone who is well-versed in conventional tools like the Adobe suite. On creating an account, the quick-start-guide lets users start creating designs within a minute, and the experience of creating is simplified. It helps build confidence and encourages users to create and publish more content. The team behind Canva doesn’t just want you to use their platform to design banners, ads or posters, but also presentations and CVs. 
Their plan for professionals, called Canva for Work, works  more as a collaboration tool. The Huffington Post has already started using Canva for Work with writers, using it to tweak pre-designed templates. On the dashboard, there is the “Brand Kit”, which serves as a guideline to create designs. Members on the same team of Canva for Work can then edit, reuse designs that exist in the library, while also monitoring the expenses being incurred for premium content.
Canva.com is a website that functions as a design suite in your browser. It provides users with features that help create beautiful layouts for banners, posters, collages, cover images, social media posts, business cards... all with the familiar drag and drop. 
 
Designers and photographers can add their work to the online library and avail royalty every time their content is used. Beyond being a great model for contributors, it also helps users considerably. For instance, if you need the photograph or design for a project, you pay a nominal $1 fee for one-time use, instead of buying the full rights at a much higher price to use it multiple times .
Canva does, however, draw the line at pixel manipulation, which means no drawing or creating logos. But designers are increasingly using it to collaborate with their clients. Designers can use pre-existing software such as the Adobe suite to bypass this  limitation, after which they can upload the designs on to the site, and then share the layouts with clients. Sending an open file can often take hours to transfer because of its size, and traditionally, that process is often repeated multiple times  as suggestions and feedback need to be incorporated. On Canva, the process is sped up and simplified: if the clients want to change the text, all they have to do is select it and type in what they want, all on the cloud. They can then download the final design in the format they need. And because it’s made in Canva, the “Magic Resize” tool lets you change a Twitter post into the dimensions of a Facebook cover image without losing any of the elements 
or proportions. 
Being an online tool, Canva roll out updates and changes on an almost weekly basis. In a couple of weeks, Canva is going to see lots of changes, so it becomes a task to keep  users up-to-date on the latest features. That’s where the “Design School” comes in. With video tutorials and growing content, users can learn to use Canva more efficiently and effectively to put their ideas down in pixels. Only two years into their existence, they’ve had to sacrifice certain elements and prioritise developing their database, making sure people use, love and recommend Canva. Their app only  works on iPads and, in order to grow faster in India, they might have to consider an app on Android as well. They also need to expand on their mode of payments — currently restricted to credit cards — to include other options as well. However, Canva has reached a point where the company uses the website internally as well — to design mockups and user interfaces, helping the team build interfaces for future versions while also discovering ways to make the current tool better.  

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