In case you’ve been living under a rock, Canva is a design tool which is taking the world by storm and dominating the graphic design arena. 

Should Adobe be worried? Perhaps not right now. Adobe is far superior in creating vector, photo/video editing and document layouts. What Canva does well is simple, quick, basic design.

If you are an agency or a freelance designer you may have noticed some clients asking for your work to be created in Canva so they can update documents themselves. Hmmm… access to working files? If you’re like me, this scenario may seem a little scary. Are they doing me out of a job?

Fortunately you can relax — a little bit anyway. Tools will never replace talent. You still need a design eye to create beautiful design, and not even Adobe can help with bad taste!

Here are 5 ways Canva can help your design agency.

1. Canva is great for Brand management

As a client’s designer we can set up Canva to include all the brand elements, fonts, colours and templates for them to use. And yes, you can absolutely charge a set up fee. We can also lock certain aspects of the design such as fonts and brand colours so your client can’t take creative license with your templates and designs. We can also set a request approval for all the designs before they get published. This makes constant brand management a service you can charge for.

A screenshot of Cavna's Brand Management user interface

A screenshot of Cavna’s Brand Management user interface

2. Canva makes digital design a breeze

Sometimes, even as designers we get creative blocks. If you’re designing digital adverts, social material or even printed material, Canva offers lots of inspiration in the form of templates, fonts, videos, images, animated gifs etc.

If you’re looking to mock up your digital collateral (desktop, TV, mobile, laptop, tablets or even e-readers) Canva has just introduced ‘smartmockups’. I’m certain we will end up seeing these mock ups everywhere! As a designer I prefer more unique mock ups, but this is a super handy way to showcase a brand elegantly and efficiently.

A screenshot of Canva's design interface

Canva being used to design an email newsletter

3. Animations can be created at the click of a button

Turn your static designs into an animated masterpiece (well let’s not get ahead of ourselves) at a click of a button. There are a bunch of simple animation tools to help you create something a little more eye catching and fancy. Yes, there are limited options and yes, there is little control, but wow — it is so easy. What would normally take hours of development literally takes the click of a button freeing you up to explore even more creative options.

Animated design elements created in Canva

Example design element animation in Canva

4. Advanced Social media planning and integration

Plan when to share your designs as you create them. Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or even Mailchimp! You can send your artwork straight to your desired application and choose the publish date to add the artwork straight to a calendar which you can manage easily. Just in itself this lends an agency the ability to completely manage and plan social media marketing. Let’s face it, many business don’t have the time to manage social themselves and this has the possibility to create a great revenue source.

Screenshot of Canva's social media scheduler

5. As an online video editor

Creating simple videos has never been easier. You can upload your own video or choose from Canva’s stock library, cut, edit, add text and a soundtrack without any formal training in video editing.

Screenshot of Canva's video editing interface

“If only I had less time.” Said no one ever! The simple fact is, we are all time poor and at the end of the day I see Canva being a big help to all creative agencies — including for their own efficiency and inspiration. Yes, this software does enable companies to do their own in-house design, but if the business is serious about their brand they will still utilise a qualified creative with a good eye.

Canva isn’t going anywhere and they are only going to keep developing and improving their services. I, for one, cannot wait to see what they come up with.

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