Canva AI
Adobe Stock / monticellllo

The all-in-one design platform, Canva, unveiled a plethora of new AI tools and branded workspace features today. The AI additions to the web-based design platform are aimed at helping businesses streamline their content creation processes. With a variety of features announced, Canva’s new AI tools could even challenge Adobe’s dominance in some workplaces. Here’s how.

Canva is a free graphic design platform that’s been around since January 2013. The platform offers thousands of professionally designed templates for creating invitations, business cards, flyers, lesson plans, Zoom backgrounds, and more.

With its drag-and-drop interface, users can easily customize these templates by uploading their own photos. Canva offers a basic version of Photoshop-like functionality that doesn’t require extensive photo editing knowledge.

The AI graphic design features will make content creation such as social media graphics, presentations, and advertising materials more accessible to those without professional design experience.

AI Wields Its Magic Wand on Canva

Canva’s new AI tools advance the firm’s existing foray into AI. In December 2022, following the rise of Generative AI applications, Canva had already integrated a GPT-3 based AI assistant, Magic Write, into its Visual Worksuite service.

Canva’s Visual Worksuite is now getting a new Brand Hub, providing tools that help users maintain consistency with their organizations’ visual identity. Users can create a Brand Kit with company-specific assets like logos, fonts, colors, and design guidelines.

Brand Folders group assets together for specific events, campaigns, and projects, while Brand Templates enable designers to create pre-branded reusable templates for repetitive tasks like email campaigns.

One of the new AI-powered features is the “Magic Replace” tool, which allows users to replace an asset across all designs with one click if an outdated logo or branded graphic needs updating. Other tools include the “Magic Eraser” tool that removes unwanted elements in an image, and “Magic Edit” which allows users to swap an object with something else entirely using generative AI.

Additionally, the “Magic Design” tool generates a curated selection of personalized templates from any uploaded image. An AI-powered copywriting assistant also produces written content from a text prompt for use in presentations and website copy while another tool generates entire branded presentations.

Other features include a tool that automatically translates text in a design to over 100 different languages and another one that can match video footage to the beat of a soundtrack without manual edits. Canva uses a mix of different AI models as the foundation for these features, along with building its own systems.

These “Magic” features are available to both free accounts and subscribers. While free accounts get a maximum of 25 queries for a lifetime, subscribers have a monthly cap of 250 queries.

The Creative Tug-of-War: Battle for AI Graphic Design Supremacy

One of Canva’s main competitors, Adobe, announced on March 21 that they will also be integrating a new family of generative AI models, Adobe Firefly, into the Adobe Express for Enterprise platform. Adobe Firefly is currently available in public beta as two tools: a text-to-image generator similar to OpenAI’s DALL-E and a text generator that creates word art effects.

Adobe claims its Firefly generation tools are safe for commercial use, having trained the AI model on Adobe stock images and openly licensed content.

The standard version of Adobe Express provides a limited selection of basic design tools and 2GB of storage for free. Non-Enterprise users can fully unlock more advanced design creation and editing tools, premium assets, templates, Adobe Fonts, and Adobe Stock images by subscribing to Adobe Express Premium, starting at $36 a month per license.

The introduction of AI graphic design tools to both Canva and Adobe has intensified the competition between the two platforms. While Canva’s wide range of new AI-powered features and tools brings a significant advantage in user experience and versatility, Adobe is countering with its own generative AI tools and enterprise-focused platform.

The battle between Canva and Adobe will likely continue as both companies push the boundaries of AI graphic design capabilities and attempt to secure their respective shares of the market.

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