What is Canva? A guide to the graphic design platform’s features and capabilities

  • Canva is a free graphic design platform that’s great for making invitations, business cards, Instagram posts, and more.
  • A drag and drop interface makes customizing thousands of templates simple and easy.
  • Canva’s wide array of features allow you to edit photos without extensive photo editing knowledge or experience.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Canva is a free graphic design platform that allows you to easily create invitations, business cards, flyers, lesson plans, Zoom backgrounds, and more using professionally designed templates. 

You can even upload your own photos and add them to Canva’s templates using a drag and drop interface. It’s like having a basic version of Photoshop that’s free and doesn’t require extensive photo editing knowledge to use. Here’s everything you need to know about using Canva.

Canva has more than 50,000 templates to choose from

Canva is home to thousands of free, professionally designed templates that, thanks to their drag and drop interface, can be customized with just a few clicks. Simply upload your photos to Canva, drop them into the template of your choice, and save the file to your computer. 

Canva templates

Canva has thousands of templates to choose from.

Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider

Their template categories include Zoom backgrounds, posters, presentations, flyers, cards, infographics, business cards, Instagram posts, resumes, invitations, book covers, menus, letterheads, newsletters, photo collages, tickets, bookmarks, invoices, recipe cards, and more.

Canva’s extensive suite of features helps your photos pop

From basic cropping and straightening to adding textures and color correcting, Canva’s beginner-friendly features make editing photos simple. You can add a textured background to give your photo more dimension, insert text to create your own meme, create a photo grid, blur your photo, and more.

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You can upload your own photos to Canva, and created personalized graphics.

Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider

Canva offers free video tutorials

If you’re new to graphic design and want to learn about branding or how to incorporate Canva in the virtual classroom, there are free video tutorials on their website.

With all the templates and features available on Canva, it can feel overwhelming knowing where to begin. Their Design School, filled with free video courses on a wide range of topics, is a good place to start. There’s a “Getting Started with Canva” course that provides a quick overview of all the things you can do on the platform, a “Canva for Education” course for teachers to set up their virtual classroom, and a “Canva Pro” course highlighting Pro features and tips for using them. Canva Pro is a paid premium version of Canva with added features.

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Choose what kind of content you’ll be creating on Canva to get personalized recommendations.

Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Business Insider

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Abigail Abesamis Demarest is a contributing writer for Insider based in New York. She loves a good glazed donut and nerdy deep dives into the science of food and how it’s made. 

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