Canva: Create Social Profiles, Brochures. No Design Experience Needed


No technology will ever replace the human creativity of a designer. But a company called Canva wants to make it easier to do more mechanical tasks like layout and really make the process accessible for all.

Whether it is for a brochure, a Twitter or Facebook banner, or really anything you can think of, Canva provides the tools to do the layout simply. The app gives you access to over a million photographs, graphics and fonts to use in your designs.

Downloading and signing up for the app is free. But there is a cost of $1 per image for any stock photos you use. Still, you can also upload your own images, obviously for free.

Canva wants to be considered the one-stop app for layout design whether you’re a beginner or just getting started. To that end, they are trying to make the whole layout process as simple as possible. If you are a designer, you can collaborate with your clients by sending them designs and getting input back from them.

The whole Canva process is pretty much dragging and dropping with your mouse. That’s what makes it so simple. Here Melanie Perkins, CEO and Co-Founder of Canva shows tech blogger Robert Scoble how it works:

You have options on the left hand side, and a search engine to find something specific. Drag everything you need over to the right, rearrange it according to your needs, and bang, you’ve just designed something. Well done.

As Perkins explains however, Canva won’t be putting professional designers out of a job. Much graphic design will still be done on tools like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. However, Canva also hands small design firms an added tool to improve collaboration and efficiency. It also gives  small business owners with an interest in DIY layout another option.

The company got a major boost recently when it was announced that former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki would also be joining the company. Kawasaki said:

“Macintosh democratized computers; Google democratized information; and eBay democratized commerce. In the same way, Canva democratizes design.”


Mark O'Neill Mark O'Neill is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering software and social media. He is a freelance journalist who has been writing for over 25 years, and has successfully made the leap from newspapers and radio onto the Internet. From 2007-2013, he was the Managing Editor of

4 Reactions
  1. Looks interesting. I might give it a go. Curious to experience how it works for myself.