Canva, a newer design program, has caused tension in the design community. Some view Canva as a shortcut that will cause all deliverables to look the same, while others view it as an opportunity. After using both Canva and the traditional Adobe suite, I have developed my own opinions on the subject.
If used “improperly”, deliverables won’t be unique to the client
With Canva’s array of templates and pre-made elements, it’s easy to let them do all the work. If you rely on these given pieces 100% of the time, there’s nothing differentiating your design from the person sitting at the desk next to you. There’s also no way to fully personalize these elements to your client’s brand personality.
Canva is so easy, anyone can do it
Canva is a very intuitive and free program to use. Unlike the Adobe suite, you don’t need to be educated on how to use it. This has the opportunity to make the graphic design position seem less necessary to clients.
Canva can be used with the Adobe suite, not against it
You don’t have to rely on Canva’s elements, you can upload your own elements to make it unique to you. I often design personalized graphics on Illustrator and edit my photos with Photoshop. I can then upload these elements into Canva to use. Canva’s user-friendly interface makes it easier to make quick layouts for social media posts and other low-stress deliverables.
It is team friendly
Canva has a unique feature that hasn’t been perfected by other design programs; it’s ability to be worked on by multiple people at once. While this can be great for team work, it can also be helpful when working with clients. If they want you to create a social media template for them, they won’t need to be trained on Adobe to be able to use what you create for them. Canva’s ease doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.
With all that said…
I don’t think that Canva is bad or a tool that shouldn’t be used. In fact, we utilize Canva on the creative team here at Bluestone. We use it to create brand guides, social media graphics, and projects that require a fast turn-around. I even made the image at the top of this post on Canva. When it’s used “properly”, Canva can be a useful tool that makes your life easier and your clients happier.