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Canva: a detailed review

Canva is a cross-platform graphics editor, designed for creating layouts. Launched in 2013 in Sydney, it has now reached a MAU (Unique Users Per Month) of 60,000,000. According to Forbes, Canva raised over $6 billion of investments in 2020, which suggests that the product has great potential. In addition, the scope of Canva is very wide, so we strongly encourage the reader to pay attention to it. Indeed, due to the rich functionality and intuitiveness, it allows entrepreneurs to significantly reduce the time and cost of developing a visual.

Canva – Key Features

Working with Canva is based on an extensive library of templates of different sizes. In just a couple of clicks, you can create a story layout for Instagram, a YouTube channel header, a presentation slide with an annual report, a flyer or a banner for an online store. Hundreds of trendy design options are available for each format to choose from: all you have to do is insert text, choose a font and add a suitable picture. This is what makes Canva captivating: unlike Adobe Photoshop, it does not frighten the user with a huge set of incomprehensible functions, coupled with a pristine white canvas, but immediately gives the opportunity to dive right off the bat into a graphic design career.

Library of Templates and Designs

Using a ready-made template, you do not need to think over the location of the elements, select the font and move the elements back and forth to the grinding of teeth. Everything has already been thought of for you! From clean and simple minimalism to vaporwave, from Polaroid collages to cute mockups with naive stickers, there’s plenty to choose from! The creators claim to have added over 610,000 templates to their library – and new ones are constantly being added.

As for the design library – in Canva (Link here), this is what canvas presets of different widths and heights are called – it seems that the creators have provided everything and even a little more. Besides the standard canvases for social media and marketing, there are also more exotic options like a mind map, t-shirt, CD cover, checklist… Large collection of templates for vertical infographics (in Russian!) And, of course, Canva gives the user the ability to create projects in any size. However, by default, this can be done only at the very beginning of work. Resizing in progress is only possible with a paid account. But it pays off: the AI ​​itself will place the design elements according to the new sizes.

Libraries of elements and photos

The program has its own library of graphic elements. These are various stickers, frames, dividers, icons and photos. All these treasures are exhibited on the basis of Canva’s own photo stock and are offered to users for use in their projects for free or on the basis of a paid one-time license. This also includes customizable graphs and charts of various types that can be connected to Google Sheets.

Font Library

An important advantage of Canva against the background of lesser-known competitors is an impressive library of Cyrillic fonts. While other applications do not even have a dozen Russian fonts, the guys got confused, and not only selected interesting options, but also offer ready-made presets of font pairs. And in total, the library of fonts (in different languages) has more than 3,000 titles.

Photo editor

There is also a simple photo editor. There are basic functions like adjusting the Light balance, Saturation and Contrast, creating Vignette, Blur, Crop and Filters. There are also customizable (interactive) effects with ready-made presets: various glitches, pixelation, halftone, etc. The paid version supports the smart Remove background from a photo. Finally, any element (not just photos) can be made transparent.

Animation

In Canva, you can animate the entire layout as a whole, as well as each element individually. True, the base of effects is quite modest: even Power Point has a more impressive range in this regard. Animated layouts can be exported as GIFs or MP4 videos.

Color tools

While Canva offers color styles based on pre-created palettes, it retains the ability to dial any hue from the full RGB color palette. There is also a function for extracting a palette from an image and the ability to “sip” color from any element of the layout.

Cloud storage

Canva works on the principle of cloud storage. The Cloud stores all your projects in real time, as well as images, video and audio that you add to the layout from your computer.

Canva – all the advantages

Intuitiveness

Canva(Link here) is the perfect photo editor for businesses to get started. The program is based on the simple mechanics of drag-and-drop (Russian “pull and release”), which does not require memorization of hot keys. This is a good compromise if you do not yet have the opportunity to hire a designer or the scope of his tasks is so small that hiring an individual employee becomes unprofitable. In addition, Kanva is very much loved by the self-employed,freelancers and bloggers. So, the author of this article appreciated how easy and fast it is to use it to create games in Instagram stories compared to the “heavyweights” Photoshop and Illustrator.

Profitability

The program saves a huge amount of money, time and labor resources. Even its paid version costs significantly less than most other editors of similar functionality. If you don’t need to make dozens of layouts every day, then it’s much cheaper than hiring a designer with his own software or a social media profiler.

Cross-platform

Canva is available on all platforms: on the web, as a desktop app (Mac, Windows), and as an app on Android and iOS. Some features are truncated depending on the platform. However, the basic functionality is enough to work at home on a PC, and then take a taxi and continue where you started from, already on your smartphone.

Multitasking

We have already listed many ways to use Canva for different purposes. It’s kind of an achievement on the part of developers to make software that is equally useful for marketing campaigns, branding, education, and personal use. But this feature is especially valuable for niche projects that are just entering the stage of intensive development. For example, you decide to expand the list of your design tools in SMM advertising: make not only static layouts, but also videos. Usually at this point, in small companies, “going through the throes” begins: you are looking for a suitable editing program in addition to an existing graphic editor. Preferably free, understandable and without watermarks. And without trial. And no viruses. With Canva, that’s all in the past: it’s great for both image and video!

Canva is an interesting and promising product in the next generation graphics editor market. The basic functionality allows you to work on a variety of projects within a single platform. Smart tools, lots of templates and rich built-in libraries save time and streamline workflows. Thus, Canva is almost ideal software for small brands, bloggers, SMM agencies, etc. in its niche.

You can check all the possibilities of Canva here

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