Can Canva Make You a Design Guru Overnight?

Anyone who is not technically or graphically inclined knows that trying to design visually appealing marketing collateral isn’t easy. Design tools like Photoshop and InDesign impose a major learning curve for even the simplest projects. Farming out design work can be costly and sometimes misses the mark when implementing your concept.

Thanks to Canva, a new web-based design tool creating serious buzz in the industry, the days of complicated and time-consuming processes for simple projects might be a thing of the past.

What is Canva?

Canva is a free tool that helps users generate “amazingly simple graphic design.” Its unassuming interface provides all the tools required to create everything from flyers to website and blog designs using a simple drag-and-drop process. Font, images, backgrounds, and virtually everything else about your project is completely customizable.

Elements that make Canva so compelling include:

  • Layouts. For those unsure of where to start, there are a variety of layouts to choose from.
  • Text. Users can easily change font, text size, and other effects and can select from pre-created text boxes.
  • Backgrounds. Build a layout from scratch starting with one of many free or low-cost backgrounds.
  • Uploads. Upload your own images for further customization of your project.

Using Canva is virtually free; some of their premium images cost $1.

Why is Canva Such a Game-Changer?

Canva might just be changing the game in the design industry. Although trained designers are best for more complex projects, if you’re looking to make a quick infographic or sign – or if you don’t have the budget for an outsourced designer – you can still produce great-looking content that does your brand justice.

Its cost (mostly free) and web-based presence could also mean serious competition for software-based tools. Why would someone with a relatively simple and immediate design need go to the trouble and expense of buying and downloading Photoshop when they can get what they want with just a few clicks and drags? The answer: they wouldn’t.

As Inc. Magazine points out, Canva could also have a negative impact on graphic designers who aren’t at the top of their game. It’s hard to compete with a program that can roughly approximate top quality product at little or no expense to the user.

What Does it Mean for My Marketing Strategy?

Like everything else, the utility of Canva is in the eye of the beholder. For hands-on types who like their design with a sign of simplicity and instant gratification, this hot new tool makes visual marketing immeasurably easier.