Web-based design platform Canva is introducing a colossal suite of new brand management products and AI-powered design tools focused on helping entire workplaces streamline their content creation process. Most of these new features, announced today at the Canvas Create event, are designed to make creating content such as social media graphics, presentations and promotional materials more accessible to those without professional design experience. The idea is that this will free up graphic designers to tackle more pressing tasks. The number of features announced is impressive and may challenge Adobe̵[ads1]7;s ubiquity in some offices.
A new branding hub is added to the Canvas Visual Worksuite, providing tools intended to help users stay consistent with their organization’s visual identity. Instead of a shared drive and endless Slack messages to designers, users will now create a brand set of company-specific assets such as logos, fonts, colors and design guidelines. Brand folders will be set up to group assets for specific events, campaigns and projects, and brand templates will allow designers to create pre-branded reusable templates for more repetitive tasks such as email campaigns.
So far, it sounds a lot like Google Drive, but with the word “Brand” added to the mix. However, Canva has a few extra tricks that set it apart from other cloud storage solutions. Admins can set some permissions to ensure that all content created in Canva stays on-brand, restricting unapproved fonts and colors. Admins can also approve workflows directly in Canva before publishing to prevent multiple drafts from being saved and reviewed elsewhere. There’s also a new “Magic Replace” tool that can replace an asset across all your designs with one click if you just need to update an outdated logo or branding graphic.
The Magic Replace tool is just one of several new AI-powered features coming to the Canva Visual Worksuite. All of them are titled “Magic”, which can get a little confusing when some of the descriptions are so similar. The “Magic Eraser” must be removable anything that you don’t want in a photo, whether it’s people in the background or an unnecessary object, while “Magic Edit” enables users to swap an object for something completely different using generative AI.
There’s also a “Magic Design” tool that generates a curated selection of personalized templates (like posters or birthday cards) from any photo you upload, plus an AI-powered copywriting assistant that can generate written content from a text message that you can use in presentations and website copy. If you don’t have time to put together your own slides, there’s even a tool that generates entire branded presentations for you.
A new translation function automatically translates all text in a design into over 100 different languages, and video footage can be matched to the beat of a soundtrack without manual edits. Canva said it uses a mix of different AI models as the basis for these features in addition to building its own systems. Finally, 953 new fonts and a number of non-workspace-specific tools are added to the design platform that has been requested by the wider community. New editing features for layouts, layers, styles and gradients are available to enhance your designs, and alt text can now be generated for images directly in Canva.
You can find more details on the Canva website if you need an overview of any of these features, which isn’t unreasonable given the size of this update. There is a lot to digest here. Canva already touts itself as an all-in-one creation tool, and it’s honestly hard to argue with that, especially considering how easy it is to use for everyday graphic design projects compared to more dedicated professional platforms.
There are many other online design services that provide a similar experience (including Adobe Express), but Canva is the titan of the industry. The company currently claims to have over 110 million monthly users – an increase of 30 million since the launch of Visual Worksuite last September. Adobe’s solution to Canvas’ growing popularity looks set to beat it at its own accessibility game, having announced new integrations and AI features for Adobe Express earlier this week. But perhaps more needs to be done.