Canva, founded in 2013 in Perth, Australia, by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht, and Cameron Adams, is a free, user-friendly graphic design platform. The idea stemmed from Perkins' experience as a design tutor where she saw students struggling to learn traditional design programs and her desire to democratize design. Nowadays, the program remains free to use and the company is valued at $40 billion with over 100 million users globally.
The advent of Canva opened the field of graphic design to a lot more people since it is so easy to learn and completely free to use. The professional standard programs in the Adobe creative suite are infamously expensive and hard to use, which creates a major barrier to entry for the field. Having a free and accessible design program is so important because enables small businesses to produce quality graphics and serves as a potential point of entry for the field. In this digital era, social media is critical to the success of businesses at all levels. Consumers have grown to expect a certain standard when it comes to attractive branding and graphics and its come to have a mojor impact on consumer purchase choices. However, it is not financially feasible for most small business to be able to hire a full-time graphic designer. In this way, Canva allows these small business owners to keep up with larger companies. Furthermore, those using Canva may discover a passion for graphics design. Previously, if your didn't offer a digital design or yearbook class, there were very few opportunities for people to try their hand at graphic design. Having an accessible design program can help act as a gateway for many new designers into the field.