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Canva, The Startup Bringing Graphic Design To The Masses, Is Launching A New Paid Model

The Canva for Work subscription will join the platform’s suite of free services in June.

Canva, The Startup Bringing Graphic Design To The Masses, Is Launching A New Paid Model
[Photo: Flickr user Dept. Of Education]

Online design platform Canva announced today it will roll out a new subscription model in June with expanded features and tiered pricing. The new suite of services–Canva for Work–will target both individual entrepreneurs and the growing number of businesses that use its design tools, which are free. Users currently pay only for the stock photography and fonts they use.

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The announcement comes just as the Australian company closes a U.S. $6 million round of funding.

Canva CEO Melanie Perkins told Fast Company that Canva for Work is aimed at relieving typical design pain points facing businesses. Perkins wouldn’t disclose pricing or functionality specifics about the enterprise version pre-launch, but said new features will target workflow management and branding: improved channels of communication in the platform, and the ability to save consistent brand guidelines and templates, for instance.

And while Perkins says the platform offers useful tools for designers at the professional level, Canva’s calling card has always been tools aimed at non-designers who rely on the software to meet a growing demand for visual material.

“From marketers to sales people to people in social media—they’re having to create so much more visual content nowadays,” she says. “Since we’ve started, we’ve really believed that design and creativity should be accessible to everyone. So it’s our highest priority to make sure that it’s affordable to everyone who needs it.”

The decision to roll out a paid model—the free version will continue to be available as well—was in part a response to recent user feedback. A Canva survey of 500 small to medium U.S. businesses found that nearly 80% of companies reported that non-designer employees were tasked with creating some form of visual content (a similar percentage of business owners found designing these materials time-consuming). And a Facebook post last month garnered scores of comments from users about what Canva for Work should look like.

But while the new suite of services is timed to user demand, Perkins told Fast Company that a paid model has been part of the plan all along.

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Canva has seen exponential growth recently, gaining 65% of its now 2.4 million users from 200,000 organizations in the past six months alone. More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies use the software, according to figures from the company, and nearly 20 million designs have been created using the platform.

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