Canva adds AI-powered design tools to its Visual Worksuite

Visual communication platform Canva has announced a host of new AI-powered design tools and brand management features to help creatives to work more efficiently and produce content at scale.

The AI-powered tools will be available to users of Canva's Visual Worksuite, a suite of workplace products that was launched by the company in September 2022 and consists of Docs, Websites, Whiteboards, Video, and Data Visualization. Since the launch of Visual Worksuite, Canva says it has seen its monthly user numbers grow to 120 million, an increase of 35 million during the last six months.

The new tools on offer in this latest release include Magic Design, a customizable and curated selection of personalized templates; the ability to add or replace anything in an image with Magic Edit; and a Magic Eraser that will clean up unwanted details in images.

Users will also be able to "magically" create new presentations by providing a prompt to Magic Design, from which it will be able to generate a range of presentations with an outline and content on each slide, the company said.

A new Translate tool will automatically translate the text in designs to over 100 different languages, while Beat Synch will automatically match video footage to a soundtrack. Magic Write, which will be accessible across Canva's entire Visual Worksuite, will create content such as website copy and presentation summaries, from a simple text prompt.

The new Canva Assistant will search for eye-catching elements and provide recommendations for images and layouts, and generate custom AI content, the company said.

Every improvement made to Canva supports the company's vision of building the most intuitive, all-in-one visual communications platform, said Cameron Adams, Canva's co-founder and chief product officer.

"AI is an incredible tool that is unlocking new ways for us to do this, but we're not adding AI just for the sake of it," he said, noting that Canva has been exploring the possibilities of AI and machine learning for over five years.

"When foundational models like GPT and Stable Diffusion are suitable, we customize and build on top of them," Adams said. "When they don't exist, we build our own systems."

He explained that Magic Write is powered by leading generative AI technology, built in collaboration with Canva's partners, while an older Canva feature called Text to Image is built on Stable Diffusion.

"We've implemented our own robust approach to moderation and safety on top of these models and custom wrappers around them in order to keep our community safe and deliver the most relevant results," Adams said.

Providing a centralized hub for branding

Elsewhere, Canva has also expanded the capabilities of the Visual Worksuite through the introduction of Brand Hub, a centralized hub which consists of new tools and features including templates, folders, controls, and guidelines to help designers stay on brand when working on projects.

Brand Folders help to keep branding for specific events, campaigns, and teams organized and accessible, while Brand Templates help reduce the need for repetitive design tasks. The new Brand Guidelines tool can be automatically surfaced within the Canva editor and Brand Controls allow admins to limit fonts and colors to ensure any design work is in keeping with brand guidelines.

Users will also be able to create a Brand Kit which will include logos, colors, fonts, icons, imagery, graphics, and brand guidelines, while a new Magic Replace tool will allow creatives to update brand assets across an entire company with a single click, from changing the logo in all of your company presentations to swapping out photography.

While some creatives have recently raised the issue of AI could pose a risk to human creativity, Adams said that Canva views AI as an assistive tool, not something that will complete a job end-to-end.

"For creators, our Magic tools can alleviate tedious tasks and create more time to focus on the work they enjoy most," Adams said, adding that it also empowers people to spend more time refining their vision, and less time wondering how to get started.

The tools announced by Canva today will be available to customers from March 23.