Thursday, June 20, 2024

Canva adopts AI tools to make design quicker, easier for all

Online graphic design platform Canva opened its second Canva Create on Thursday, March 23, with a bang by announcing a host of upgrades to its suite of design tools.

Undoubtably, the stars of the show were the new features powered by artificial intelligence (AI).

Canva is not the first tech company to bring AI to bear on creative tasks. AI chatbot ChatGPT, as well as image generators like DALLE-E and Stable Diffusion, were widely adopted by end-users starting late last year.

The design company, though, is one of the earliest platforms to combine various AI-powered creative tools for writing, image editing, image generating, and even layout creation into one user-friendly, accessible platform.

“We are at a pivotal time in history where the combination of mind-blowing technology and the power of visual communication are converging to unlock new design super powers that were once way out reach for most people,” declared Cameron Adams, Canva co-founder and chief product officer during the global event.

“Artificial intelligence has rapidly changed the conversations that we’re having about the astounding power of technology. Fortunately for us, AI is something we have invested in for a long time,” revealed Adams.

Due to Canva’s advance preparations, users can already experiment with AI tools on the Canva platform. These tools include Magic Design, Magic Presentation, Layouts and Styles, Magic Edit, Magic Eraser, and Magic Write.

Other new, AI-driven features include Translate, Draw, Play with Animation, and Beat Sync.

With Magic design, designers will never have to start from scratch again. After opening the tool, artists just upload an image and select a style.

Magic Design will then offer a curated selection of personalized templates for everything from brochures and social media templates to PowerPoint slides ready for designers to add their own personal touch.

Magic Presentation takes magic design one step further. Once the tool has been selected, designers just enter a text description of the presentation then watch as Magic Design generates a selection of slides, complete with an outline and content.

For those designers with content already handy, they can click the Layout tab for AI recommended layout ideas or the Styles tab for fitting color palettes and fonts.

The next two tools aim to solve a common designer pain point: finding the perfect image for their graphic.

Magic Eraser helps designers obtain a flawless photo by cleaning up imperfections in existing pictures. Once the tool is selected, they just have to mouse over the area with the defect, then it will be magically removed.

Similarly, Magic Edit will let designers add or replace anything in an image. They simply have to choose where they want to add something, describe the addition to Magic Edit with a written input, then see it appear.

Lastly for the magic series, Magic Write is billed as Canva’s AI-powered copywriting assistant.

Accessible across the whole Canva suite, it aims to aid creatives in whipping up everything from website copy to presentation summaries. Designers just enter a text prompt and will see written content produced in seconds.

Plus, across the Canvas suite of tools, designers can cross language barriers with ease through Translate. Artists can now automatically translate their projects into hundreds of languages.

All of these features can be accessed through an innocuous button available across the whole visual suite called Canva Assistant. Clicking it allows users to see recommendations for images and layouts and find the tools to generate custom AI content.

The AI upgrades didn’t stop there though. Through Draw, Whiteboard users just sketch a simple shape and Shape Assist — Canva’s AI drawing assistant — will return a polished shape.

On Canva Video, Play with Animation enables creatives to select any element, lay out a custom path for it, then enjoy seeing it zig-zag, rotate, speed up, or slow down.

Beat Synch on the other hand, shortens the tedious tasks of manually editing music into Canva video  projects by automatically synching audio and video.

The impressive high-tech tools wowed the audience, but Canva was far from finished. A number of in-demand tools that had long been requested by the Canva community were also released during this Canva Create such as, layers, gradients, precision positioning tools, and hundreds of additional fonts.

On top of these, the Smart Design Imports feature was added. Now, users can upload any file straight into the Canva editor to transform it into an editable Canva design.

Last but not the least, Canva released a product targeted towards brands. Knowing that the world is living in an era when consumers are more visual than ever before, corporations’ various assets, templates, and even guidelines have ballooned to overwhelming amounts. Enter Canva’s Brand Hub.

This Canva feature allows businesses to create, manage, and organize brand assets in one central repository. It facilitates marketing and branding teams’ production of consistent content through shareable Brand Templates.

Brand Controls also let managers limit fonts and colors to ensure all teams are working towards the same vision.

Additionally, Brand Guidelines can be uploaded straight onto Canva so teams will always have the knowledge to be on-brand.

In their own speech during the Canva Create, Canva’s other two co-founders affirmed the arrival of a visual era that is changing how all sectors work.

“Canva was born at a major inflection point when breakthroughs in technology opened up entirely new ways of working. Today, we once again found ourselves at the precipice as new technology is enabling us to reimagine the design process and help everyone achieve their goals,” stressed Cliff Obrecht, Canva co-founder and chief operating officer.

Melanie Perkins, Canva co-founder and CEO, expounded: “As technology continues to advance, we are reimagining the design process by making it even easier to take what is in your head, get it onto a page, and out into the world, faster than ever before.”

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