Canva Aims To Be the AI Workhorse That Frees You Up From Boring Tasks
by Chloe Gordon on 10/04/2023 | 4 Minute Read
In the latest breaking AI news, Canva has announced Magic Studio, and the all-encompassing tool might be the most impactful AI release on the market—even beyond Adobe's AI integrations.
A year after releasing its generative AI tools, Canva has melded AI into its cloud-based platform in a massive way through Magic Studio. Not only can creatives design cross-functionally—like instantly transforming a plain-text bullet point list to a beautifully designed presentation—but it also lets non-designers come aboard.
The new core experience of Canva is more than just constructing simple layouts or presentations with premade templates. Now, users can develop via a quick prompt, contextually modify designs, and fully render images or motion videos from a simple prompt, amongst many other things.
Magic Design is the primary tool within the new Magic Studio. A prompt generator allows users to enter requests like "create an Instagram reel for a granola brand" or "design a presentation for a new olive oil brand in a squeeze bottle." Canva then taps into its stock image and video library and instantly uses AI to generate new options. Everything can then be customized, streamlining your entire workflow. Further, designers can specify brand guidelines and create guardrails for AI.
Essentially, Canva's new Magic Studio supercharges designers' work and speeds the process up, so much so that it's almost difficult to fathom just how much tools like these will upend the ways in which we work.
The Magic Studio suite also features plenty of time-saving utilities. For example, the Magic Switch tool allows users to convert assets into another format, whether it's a blog post, email drafts, or a presentation, allowing users to repurpose content entirely. For example, let's say you're working with a text-driven document but want to turn it into a presentation. With just one click, you've now got template options to play around with; from there, everything is customizable.
Further, video and image editing is virtually seamless. Magic Animate enables users to add motion to their elements, and a tool called Magic Grab turns images into layers so users can drag any element out of the frame. If you were to upload a mockup of your packaging design, for example, you could entirely edit and art direct the background for your vessel. Meanwhile, Magic Media takes written prompts and turns your words into videos or images.
Another tool, Magic Morph, allows the modification of text and shapes through a written prompt. So, if you'd like your text to be visualized as foil party balloons, highlight the text, write the prompt, click enter, and wait a few seconds, and almost immediately, your typography gains texture, a 3D aesthetic, and maybe even a boost in the quality of the work.
But here's the mbillion-dollar question—is Canva's Magic Studio the end of design? Or, at the very least, a job killer?
Well, the transition to generative AI design is comparable to the shift of of when type and graphic design became digitized. We didn't lose creativity or innovation, creatives just adapted to the new tools they had at their fingertips and, incidentally, made design much more accessible. Those who understood that the transformation was inevitable continued their creative pursuits.
Beyond designers refreshing their techniques, Canva's tools are also for non-creatives, democratizing design and allowing it to become something more obtainable. Instead of a start-up employee relying on someone else to craft mundane ads or emails, they can now do the work themselves. Or at least give Magic Studio a pretty clever prompt.
There are only so many designers who enjoy designing decks. There are even fewer designers who enjoy creating Facebook or banner ads. Canva's Magic Studio is a potentially welcomed tool for monotonous, tedious work.
In the end, Canva's new AI-driven tools will likely make design easier. But, if AI offers the design industry more convenience—and maybe even a little mindlessness—what, in the end, makes for a good design, and can AI truly generate good design? Because if you want AI to take care of the busy work many of us have to perform on a daily basis, that tedium starts to add up, and things start to look the same.
So maybe a better question is, who's in charge, and are they a good designer?