Recently there was a huge announcement sharing what’s new with Canva, and let me tell you… it’s exciting!

But first, for those not in the know, what is Canva?

Back in 2007, Melanie Perkins (19 at the time) was teaching her fellow students how to use various design apps. She realised that part of the struggle was that with every app you needed to learn a whole new set of tools and how to use them.

She has an idea… to create a multi-function, cloud-based app, that would be accessible to all and easy to use. One set of tools to use across the board.

Accessibility for all

Luckily for us, Perkins is not a quitter, it took her several years and hundreds of rejections but finally, she secured some investors and Canva was launched in 2013. Thanks to a friend in the know, I got signed up not long after the launch.

I had studied Electronic Imaging at university, so Photoshop and Illustrator were my go-to apps when it came to designing, and yes, I admit it, I was a bit of a snob when it came to graphics apps.

Baby Canva was OK, but it was pretty glitchy back then and although I loved the idea behind it, I wasn’t sold… Fast forward a few years. Canva gets a big boost in funding and now it is this all-singing all-dancing amazing app that I can’t throw my money at quickly!

What can it do?

It handles all the basics such as social media content, PDFs, flyers, and any other kind of basic graphic design concepts that you can think of.

But now you can create videos, print products, build websites, create presentations, have interactive whiteboards and so much more. It’s like all your favourite visual apps rolled into one.

And the best thing is that they all use the same simple controls so that it’s easy for the user to create the idea in their head and bring it into reality.

To be clear here, most of these options are for Canva pro users, yes, you can still use Canva for free but it has its limitations.

Do I recommend using Canva Pro?

ABSOLUTELY! It saves me so much time, I can switch from device to device seamlessly and it is totally affordable. Just having the Brand Kit available saves me a huge amount of time, the rest is like an endless supply of cherries on top!

Use my link and you can try it for 45 days for free HERE. (Usually, it’s a 30 day trial)

What are the new Canva features?

Canva Whiteboards

I am loving this new feature and there are so many ways to use it. The infinite board means there is no more trying to squeeze everything onto one page and the extra features like the timer are just genius!

I haven’t had much of a chance to use it in big groups but I can tell you that for brainstorming and project planning it’s great! And it is saving me a small fortune in post-it notes (my usual planning tool).

I was going to record a tutorial but Canva already has a great one here…

Video On Canva

I have been using this for quite a while. It is super easy to get the hang of and of course, if you are a Canva Pro user then all the stock videos, templates, photos and elements are at your disposal. Plus you get all the features no mater the device you are working on.

I prefer to work on my desktop (old eyes!) so I will often set up a video file, create it as I want it, then open my phone, download it and post it to Instagram or wherever from there. I have found that to be the most efficient way.

There is music available too but I’ll be honest, for social media, I stick with the platform’s music library so that I don’t get dinged with a copyright notice. That said, if you link your social media account with Canva, you should be OK.

And Canva Pro does have an inbuilt scheduler too!

This simple reel was made using Canva…

You can easily turn presentations into videos too. There are enough editing tools to allow you to create something polished without getting bogged down with the tech.

And there’s more…

One-click background removal on photos has been a Canva Pro feature for quite a while but now… drum roll please…

One Click Video Background Removal On Canva

I have to admit, I squealed in delight when I discovered this. It takes a couple of minutes to do the work, depending on the length of the video so keep that in mind. If it is a short clip, it is done in a flash.

For this super quick video:

  • I removed the background from the little boy.
  • Added the Baseline photo animation, to make it look like he pops up.
  • Added the world spinning video as the new background.
  • Added the text and the typewriter effect.
  • Shortened both videos to 7 seconds.
  • Added the 193 logo (which I have set up in the Logo Branding section)
  • I also resized it using Canva’s quick resize tool so I had a square version for facebook.

Done. This literally took me a few minutes to make. You can easily put yourself into the video, just record a short clip. For the best results make sure your background is plain and in high contrast to what you are wearing.

Create Docs with Canva

I haven’t had a chance to play with this feature yet but it is looking like Google Docs and Word on illegal substances at a rave! I can’t wait to try this out! And will report back when I have!

AI Text To Image In Canva

As of writing, this is still in Beta, and it’s fun but a bit clunky! So what is it?

You type in a simple phrase, decide what style of image you want and hit generate. Here are a few random examples and the text I used to generate them. I’m not really sure how I can use them in my business but they are amusing! Maybe for creating memes!

One thing to note, as this is still in Beta sometimes it throws up weird results or gives you an error message. I first tried “romantic pig at the Eiffel tower” and it told me the language was offensive! So I think the AI still has some learning to do.

Canva Ai made images

As you can see, I haven’t had much time to play on this. If you want a guide on how to make better use on this, this is a great video. He explains how to use the keywords to the best effect and which keywords work well.

Print your designs onto merch all inside of Canva

Now you have your super cute hippo eating sushi, what to do with it? How about turning it into a birthday card or tote bag?
Printing with Canva is a slow rollout and the reason why is because Canva is very picky when it comes to the printers they choose to work with. Your location will also mean you don’t have all the products available to print. Canva is working to be as sustainable as possible not only through the printers that they use but also plant a tree for every order. You can read more about that here.

Keep checking back, as they add new printers the options are growing too. To find the printing option, go to SHARE and Print Your Design in the drop-down menu. From there you can see the products available for your location.

Canva tutorial pic on how to print a design

Need a website? Build it in Canva!

Yes, you can also build a website on Canva. They are sleek, resize to the device they are being used on and you have access to templates and all the elements to build the website. I feel like these are a great solution if you just need a one-page sales page or a landing page to collect emails.

Or just something polished-looking yet affordable to get you started on your new enterprise!

If you want to get all fancy and add pixels for ads and retargeting or run a membership area for a course or program, then setting up your own website is a better choice. If that is the route you are thinking of and need help deciding on a platform, read this post first.

Is there more to come?

I’m sure there will be. I have a drawing tool that is in Beta and, to be honest, it is very basic. I have used it a few times but it isn’t anything to shout about… yet! I am certain that it will be improved and the kinks worked out. A tool that works something like Illustrator would be fabulous. I have been using illustrator recently and it annoys the pants off me! So I’m really hoping that the drawing tool with bells and whistles is next on Canva’s list of awesomeness.

Is it worth getting Canva pro even if my VA does my design work?

Unpopular opinion, but yes!

The reason is that from a productivity and systems point of view, it makes sense. Add your VA to your team. You can get them to set up your Brand Kit and Branded templates all inside your Canva portal. You can easily log in and check things before they are published or scheduled out. You can work on projects together in real-time.

And then in the future, if you part ways with your VA, you have all your content and full control of it.

Your new VA can be added to the team and there is no messing.

And I know some people just don’t get a design, but honestly, if you have some branded templates set up, all you need to do is change an image and update the text. It really is that simple.

WARNING! There are people out there selling “lifetime deals” and “free pro accounts” claiming that they have permission from Canva to do so. They DO NOT. Canva is working on shutting these illegal accounts down. If you sign up with them, you will lose your money and possibly your Canva account. Always go through the Canva site if you want to purchase either a subscription or assets.


You might also be interested in…

Why hiring a VA will save you time and money

Everything you need to know about Canva pro