Canva opens era of design ‘magic' with new AI-powered tools

April Benjamin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 27 2023 06:14 PM | Updated as of Mar 27 2023 06:50 PM

Web-based design platform Canva unveils a slew of new AI-powered tools during the second Canva Create in Sydney, Australia on March 23, 2023.
Web-based design platform Canva unveils a slew of new AI-powered tools during the second Canva Create in Sydney, Australia on March 23, 2023.

SYDNEY, Australia – Web-based design platform Canva recently welcomed a brand-new era with an array of new artificial intelligence-powered features and brand management tools.

The Australia-based start up unwrapped last March 23 the new products in style, holding a colorful second edition of its signature event called Canva Create. 

Before hundreds of employees who call themselves Canvanauts and around 1.5 million users streaming the event, co-founder and CEO Melanie Perkins noted that the future they were looking at during the first Canva Create in September 2022 “has arrived.” 

She recalled that six months ago, when Canva introduced a suite of visual-centric work apps including Canva Docs and Website, the firm proclaimed that “The future is visual.” Now, Perkins said, “we are standing at a dawn of a new era.”

“It’s a brand new era because as the web and the world become increasingly visual places, the need for companies to be world-class visual communicators are more important ever,” she said.

Perkins and her co-founders have emphasized a monumental shift in technology with the emergence of artificial intelligence, which is “rapidly and fundamentally changing the way we work.”

“We are at a pivotal time in history where the combination of mind-blowing technology and the power of digital communication are converging to unlock new design superpowers that are once way out of reach for most people,” co-founder and CPO Cameron Adams.

At a media briefing ahead of the products release, Adams said infusing more “AI magic” across the whole visual suite allowed them to help their users “bridge the gap between idea and expressing that in design.”

Most of Canva’s new features have “Magic” in their names because “not everyone wakes up in the morning to buzzwords like AI. They wake up having a problem to solve or a job to be done,” said co-founder and COO Cliff Obrecht. 

Therefore, the new tools were presented in the event as solutions to the real-life challenges face by content creators.

Users can get pass the “dreaded blank page” with writing assistant Magic Write, which is now available across all Canva products after the initial roll out in Canva Docs. Magic Design makes it possible for users to instantly generate presentations with outline and content on each slide from a single prompt.

Canva also introduced the Brand Hub to empower teams and organizations to create visual content with efficiency while staying on brand. This feature allows teams to create brand kits with logos, colors, fonts, templates, and brand guidelines. 

Among other new features are Magic Edit, Magic Erase, Translate, and Beat Sync.

Canva also unveiled some of its community’s most requested features, like gradients, layers, and rulers. 

Launched in 2013, Canva now has 125 million active monthly users who have created over 15 billion designs with the platform, according to Perkins. She said Canva remains profitable for the sixth year in a row and now generates more than $1.4 billion in annualized revenue.