Introducing Canva: the New Graphic Design Platform

Have you met Canva? Perhaps it's time to get acquainted. Discover what the new graphic design platform means for professional and DIY designers alike.

Australian start-up Canva recently launched its online graphic design platform in beta, allowing not only the masses to expand their clip art repertoires and start producing their own appealing designs, but professional graphic designers to better create and collaborate.

Thanks to its simple drag-and-drop design tool and a library of more than a million photographs, graphics and fonts, Canva may be the DIY design tool of everyday users' dreams. But what does it mean for design pros?

While Canva may have reimagined design in a simpler, more streamlined way (its web-based platform brings all the necessary tools together in one space), it's not meant to take the place of heavy-hitters like Photoshop or InDesign. In fact, it may even function as a complementary tool for designers. Imagine fine-tuning a logo using InDesign then uploading it to Canva to adjust the layout and share with the client.

Decide For Yourself: Will Canva Be Your Newest Design Asset?

Because it's brand new and I've only just requested my login, here are some of the yet-to-be-tried-out features Canva has up its sleeve (or easle):

  • For basic users, it provides a simple way to design. Throwing a party? Easily create invitation designs for web or print.
  • For more advanced users, like professional graphic designers, Canva provides a faster way to create layouts and collaborate with clients. Imagine, no more back-and-forth emailing! (There's also an opportunity for designers to sell their own graphics and layouts to Canva for cash.)
  • Simple search and drag capabilities. Users can search Canva's library of images or upload their own graphic design elements and then drag-and-drop to create and showcase designs. 
  • It's online and free (with the exception of purchasing images). Canva isn't software, so all you need to do is create (or, at this point, request) a login account
  • Choose from hundreds of fonts and images, including stock photography, or upload your own. 
  • Collaborate with clients, coworkers or the invitees to your party. Canva lets you share and edit your designs with anyone, anywhere.

While Canva in no way replaces the need for a professional graphic designer, it sounds like it could be a helpful tool to add to your arsenal – whether you're a pro or a novice. What's your initial opinion of Canva? Let us know what you think of the new graphic design platform and how it might affect you as a graphic designer.