Canva introduces new AI-powered design tools in a major update

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    Web-based design platform Canva is introducing a colossal suite of new brand management products and AI-powered design tools aimed at helping entire workplaces streamline their content creation process. Announced today on Canva’s Create event, most of these new features are designed to make content creation, such as social media graphics, presentations, and promotional materials, more accessible to those without professional design experience. The idea is that this would give graphic designers the freedom to tackle more pressing tasks. The number of features announced is impressive and could challenge Adobe’s ubiquity in some offices.

    A new Brand Hub is added to Canva’s Visual Worksuite, providing tools designed to help users stay consistent with their organization’s visual identity. Instead of a shared drive and endless Slack messages to designers, users would now create a Brand Kit with company-specific assets such as logos, fonts, colors, and design guidelines. Brand directories would be set up to group assets together for specific events, campaigns and projects, and brand templates would allow designers to pre-create reusable branded templates for more repetitive tasks such as email campaigns.

    So far that’s a lot like Google Drive, but with the word “Brand” added to the mix. However, Canva has some extra tricks that set it apart from other cloud storage solutions. Administrators can set some permissions to ensure that all content created in Canva remains proprietary, restricting unapproved fonts and colors. Admins can also approve workflows directly in Canva before publishing to avoid saving multiple drafts and reviewing them elsewhere. There’s also a new “Magic Replace” tool that can replace an item in all your designs with one click if you just want to update an outdated logo or brand image.

    The Magic Replace tool is just one of many new AI-powered features coming to the Canva Visual Worksuite. They’re all titled “Magic,” which can be a bit confusing when some of the descriptions are so similar. “Magic Eraser” should be able to remove something that you don’t want in an image, whether it’s people in the background or an unnecessary object, while “Magic Edit” allows users to swap an object for something else entirely using generative AI.

    There’s also a “Magic Design” tool that generates a curated selection of personalized templates (such as posters or birthday cards) based on each image you upload, plus an AI-powered copywriting assistant that can generate written content based on a text prompt you could use in presentations and website texts. If you don’t have time to put together your own slides, there’s even a tool that generates entire brand presentations for you.

    A new translation function automatically translates any text in a design into more than 100 different languages, and video can be matched to the rhythm of a soundtrack without manual editing. Canva said that in addition to building its own systems, it uses a mix of different AI models as the foundation for these features. Finally, 953 new fonts and a host of non-workspace-specific tools are added to the authoring platform requested by the wider community. New layout, layer, style, and gradient editing features are available to enhance your designs, and alt text can now be generated directly in Canva for images.

    More details can be found on the Canva website if you need a breakdown of some of these features, which isn’t unreasonable given the sheer size of this update. There’s a lot to digest here. Canva already touts itself as an “all-in-one” creation tool, and it’s really hard to argue with that, especially when you consider how easy it is to use for everyday graphic design projects compared to more dedicated professional platforms.

    There are countless other web-based design services that offer a similar experience (including Adobe Express), but Canva is the titan of the industry. The company currently claims to have more than 110 million monthly users – an increase of 30 million since the launch of its Visual Worksuite last September. Adobe’s solution to Canva’s rising popularity looks set to beat it at its own accessibility game, after announcing new integrations and AI features for Adobe Express earlier this week. But maybe it should do more.