What Is Canva? And What Is It Used For?

photo of a woman working on her laptop outside

If you’re creating online content in any capacity, you’ve probably heard of Canva. The tool has been around since 2012, and it’s one of the most popular solutions for creatives looking to repurpose and produce content without needing considerable design skills.

Understanding what Canva is and what you can do with it can be a little difficult if you’re new to the space. So, what is Canva exactly? And what can you use the platform for?

What Is Canva?

Canva is an online graphic design tool that caters to creators of all sizes but is largely used by smaller businesses and freelancers. The company is headquartered in Australia and had over 70 million active users in 2021.

Canva’s company valuation is worth billions of dollars, and besides Australia, it has offices in seven countries:

  • The UK
  • The Philippines
  • Austria
  • The US
  • The Czech Republic
  • New Zealand
  • China

When using Canva, you can use the platform’s basic tools for free. But if you want a wider selection of elements, templates, and more, you’ll need to upgrade to Canva Pro.

What Is Canva Used For?

Now that you know what Canva is, let’s look at what Canva is used for. Below, you’ll find a selection of things you can do with the platform.

1. Graphic Design

Graphic designer working on a white desk

Graphic design is one of the main reasons that people use Canva. You can create multiple designs with the service, including advertising campaigns. If you’re putting together a website as a freelancer or working with a client to do likewise, you can create characters and graphics for the site.

If you work for yourself, you can also create a logo that portrays your values and makes you recognizable. And yes, you can use more powerful tools like Adobe InDesign. However, Canva has plenty of customization options that let you create something professional-looking quickly.

2. Social Media Content

instagram facebook twitter applications iphone

Social media is an important part of many creators’ marketing strategies. If you’ve got a social media presence or have ever managed a company’s social accounts, you’ll know that a lot of time can go into creating content for different platforms. However, Canva makes it easier.

When using Canva, you can create engaging content for multiple social media platforms. You can choose ready-sized templates for Instagram posts on your main feed as well as Stories.

Canva also makes it easy to make banners for your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook profiles.

3. Photo Editing

Photo of a laptop with Lightroom open on it

If you take pictures regularly, you’ll probably use photo-editing software like Adobe Lightroom to edit your photos. However, tools like that take a lot of time to learn. If you want to make simple edits, you can do this via Canva.

Canva has several tools for editing photos, such as sliders that let you increase the saturation and other aspects. You can also add filters to your shots, crop your images, and much more.

When editing photos on Canva, you can also remove backgrounds and make auto-adjustments.

4. YouTube Thumbnails

Regardless of your main creative field, you probably have your favorite YouTubers that talk about your topic. Besides learning a lot from them, they might also have inspired you to start your own YouTube channel. But while many creators rightly spend a lot of time on the videos, not all of them focus enough on thumbnails.

Having an enticing thumbnail is crucial if you want people to click on your content. Canva is an excellent tool for creating these, and it doesn’t take a lot of time.

Canva has several thumbnail templates, and you can also make your own from scratch.

5. Resumes

While Canva is largely associated with graphic design and creating content, that’s not the only thing it’s used for. If you’re looking for a new job, Canva is an excellent tool for putting together a resume that helps you stand out.

Canva has several resume templates; you can sift through them all to see which ones work best for you. You can present the information you need to include attractively and include a photo of yourself if you wish to.

When creating a resume with Canva, you can also use different elements to add other important bits of information—such as your email address.

6. Presentations

Woman Working on a Computer Outside

Tools like Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Slides are popular for people creating presentations, but they aren’t your only options. Regardless of whether you need to put together a presentation for work or your university course, you’ll find plenty of options with Canva.

Canva has several templates to create presentations with. You can adjust colors, fonts, and elements to fit your personal needs. Canva’s presentations are handy for creating financial reports, defending a dissertation, composing plans for an upcoming project, and more.

7. Infographics

Infographics are an excellent way to engage users in your blog posts, and they also work in emails and on social media. If you want an easy tool to create these, look no further than Canva.

Canva has numerous templates for creating infographics, and these cover multiple themes. You can choose templates that have numbered points for you to fill out, along with others that follow a different kind of logical sequence. And, of course, you can also make your own from scratch.

8. Blog Post Cover Images

Several companies and freelancers blog, and some people make an entire career out of writing online. While you can use free stock image websites, you can also make your blog post covers look more unique.

When creating a blog post cover image with Canva, you’ve got plenty of options. You can choose from stock images as a starting point and import pictures from elsewhere. You can also use numerous fonts if you need to add a title.

If you want to go for an illustrative approach instead, you’ll find plenty of tools allowing you to do precisely that.

Having read to the end of this guide, you should now have a better understanding of what Canva is. The tool has several uses, many of which are handy for those in a creative discipline. However, you will also find a use for it if you’re not in the creative sector—for example, if you want to make a resume.

While Canva Pro has several benefits, many users will find significant value in the free version. Why not sign up and see what you create?

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