Canva Report: Visual Communication and AI Adoption on the Rise


Canva’s recent Visual Economy Report 2024, conducted in collaboration with Morning Consult, surveyed over 3,700 global business leaders from 12 countries, including the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and India. The report reveals that visual communication is increasingly essential for driving business growth and engagement. With attention spans dwindling and information overload common, visuals have become a key tool for simplifying complex ideas and connecting with audiences.

The survey found that 82% of business leaders have used AI-powered tools to create visual content in the past year, and 77% believe that visual communication has improved business performance. This improvement is evident in accelerated content creation, increased engagement, and enhanced collaboration. The rapid rise of AI is revolutionizing content creation, allowing organizations to produce high-quality content quickly and efficiently.

Business leaders are under pressure to be more efficient and innovative, leading to a significant increase in investments in visual communication platforms. According to the survey, 73% of leaders are investing more in these platforms compared to the previous year. The benefits are clear: 90% of sales leaders reported that using visuals in collateral accelerated sales cycles, and 89% of HR leaders found that visuals in recruitment processes shortened hiring cycles.

Organizations are deepening their commitment to Canva, with more than 130,000 teams in companies with over 1,000 employees, including FedEx, Salesforce, and Expedia, using Canva to enhance their work. The use of generative AI has been particularly impactful, with 90% of respondents agreeing that it has improved the quality of visual communication. AI-powered tools are also boosting productivity, with 73% of leaders believing that these tools enhance their team’s efficiency. Marketers, HR professionals, and sales reps are leveraging AI to create visual assets, draft onboarding guides, and craft sales scripts, respectively, saving valuable time and focusing on more meaningful tasks.

Despite the widespread adoption of AI tools, some concerns remain. Business leaders are wary of copyright infringements, the accidental sharing of sensitive information, and bias in AI-generated content. To address these concerns, Canva has developed Canva Shield, offering AI indemnification to eligible Canva Enterprise customers and providing robust trust, safety, and privacy controls through Magic Studio, Canva’s end-to-end AI-powered design platform.

The report also highlights the democratization of design in the workplace. Visual communication tools are now used universally across all surveyed markets, facilitating communication, collaboration, and efficiency. A significant 92% of respondents expect employees in non-design roles to possess some design skills to be effective communicators. As a result, 68% of organizations are training employees outside of design roles to meet a certain level of design competency. This shift reflects the growing importance of design literacy, with more than 1.7 million people listing Canva as a core skill on their LinkedIn profiles, an 80% increase in the past year.

Canva believes that design can transform workplaces worldwide. Part of Canva’s onboarding program includes a Canva Design School session to educate new employees on design literacy and visual communication, aiming to instill creative confidence from the start. Today, visual communication is critical across all teams, professions, and industries, making Canva an indispensable tool for more than 185 million people and 90% of the Fortune 500 who create, communicate, and collaborate with Canva each month.

Image: Envato

Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 9 years. He currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.