The Value of Branding and Design: Canva Now Worth $40bn

Australian design start-up Canva has become one of the world’s richest privately-owned companies, after being valued at $40bn - translating to £29mn on this side of the pond.

The Value of Branding and Design
Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog
Giles Taylor, December 03, 2021

Canva, in case you’re yet to discover it, is an online design and publishing tool. Easy to use, with a wide range of free tools, Canva allows anyone to test out and grow their graphic design skills. It can be used to create graphics for social media platforms, marketing materials, as well as posters, logos, presentations - even custom products, like t-shirts, canvas prints and custom mugs.

Canva has thousands of free design templates and tools, making it one of the most accessible graphic design platforms out there. But it also has paid plans available, most commonly used by agencies, which unlock all of Canva’s tools, features and templates. It’s a valuable asset in the world of digital marketing.

Canva is used by both start-ups and large-scale corporations 

Canva, founded in 2013 by Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, is now one of Australia’s most valuable start-ups. It’s a big accomplishment, one the company says is owed, in part, to the pandemic. 

With more companies around the world required to work from home, Canva became the perfect solution to ensure a continued output of high quality, branded design materials. And, as a result, profits plus investments have continued to skyrocket.

Canva has over 60 million active users in 190 countries. Within that is 500,000 paying customers, including corporate clients like Zoom and Paypal. Canva is placed in a unique position within the industry, wherein its services are beneficial both to the newest, smallest start-ups, as well as booming white-collar corporations.

What are the benefits of Canva?

So, what makes this such a valuable resource? And why are so many companies opting to use Canva instead of the myriad of other graphic design tools out there? 

Canva is free

Of course, one of its most compelling features is that it is free to use. And this in particular is one of the reasons why it is so popular with start-ups.

When your business is first starting out, budgets are always that little bit tighter. But design and branding never get any less important. Canva allows businesses to develop their sense of brand identity, and release high-quality imagery without spending a large amount of money. Those funds can then be channelled into other areas of the business, meanwhile, the brand can continue to reap the benefits of utilising consistent, quality branding, and eye-catching designs.

Canva doesn’t require previous design experience

Design software can be notoriously difficult to use - but Canva isn’t. This is another one of its biggest perks. With Canva, no previous graphic design skills or experience is needed. With so many tools and templates available, anyone can utilise Canva’s bank of fonts and images to create designs that look professional - and true to your brand’s image.

Canva is user-friendly and accessible 

Canvas has a user-friendly and simple to understand interface - intensive technical knowledge isn’t needed to navigate it. Impressive, engaging designs can be created in just a few short clicks, and, being simple to use and understand, it doesn’t require hours of tutorials or trial and error. 

Canva has a wide variety of resources and a library of backgrounds, images, fonts, stickers and templates; with no experience, you can even create videos or GIFs (but don’t worry, tutorials are available should you need them.)

With Canva, the only hurdle should be your own creativity. But as a business grows, it may be that you grow tired of the limitations placed on a free Canva account. Though there is a huge amount of variety - particularly given that it’s free to use - certain resources are only available through a paid plan. Perhaps you decide that you’d like a little more choice. If that’s the case, you might need to look into one of Canva’s paid plans.

What are Canva’s paid plans and are they worth investing in?

Canva has two types of paid plan: Pro and Enterprise. Pro is suitable for start-ups or businesses with small teams, whereas Enterprise is more commonly used for large-scale organisations, where you have lots of different team members, clients, and need to create a large number of materials very quickly.

The benefits of Canva Pro and Enterprise

Canva Pro can accommodate a small team of people, and is reasonably priced at £10.99 per month for up to 5 people, while others can be added to your plan afterwards for an additional cost.

Pro has everything that the Free plan does, but without the limitations. Pro can offer over 100 million premium stock photos, videos, audio clips and graphics, alongside more than 610,000 templates (Canva for free is limited to 250,000 templates). 

Pro has some other really useful features too, like the ability to schedule social media content to 8 platforms, saveable designs that your team can use as templates, as well as 100GB of cloud storage. Pro is particularly useful for branding; you can easily save and apply colours, logos and fonts for either your brand or specifically for a campaign with over 100 Brand Kits.

Canva Enterprise, meanwhile, is designed for much bigger brands to organise their brand and scale their content. It has all the same features of Pro, but has more brand kits available to express and define your brand’s visual identity.

It allows organisers to control their team’s access to apps, graphics, and fonts, with brand controls to keep things cohesive. It also has unlimited storage, built-in workflows, and template locking to ensure branding stays consistent across all design materials.

Why are branding and design so important?

The success of Canva proves just how important branding and design have become for businesses in the digital age.

Having consistent branding is absolutely vital for your business. It helps audiences recognise you, familiarising themselves with your brand, as well as its mission, products or services. It conveys personality and values, which can endear consumers to your brand and can encourage loyalty. 

Research suggests that 80% of people are likely to remember something that they see, while just 10% will remember things that they hear, and 20% will remember something they read. That means visual branding is pivotal in communicating with your audience, while design is fundamental in the success of your promotional tools.

Canva may be easy to use, but that doesn’t mean it can garner the same results as a branding or design agency - and that’s where we come in. If you don’t have the time, we can help you reach your full design potential. Get in touch to find out more.

Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog

Giles Taylor

Giles is the founder and creative director for W/Brand. A graphic designer from Reading in Berkshire, UK, he's a dad with two wonderful children who enjoys walking and playing the guitar.  

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