An Open Letter to Canva

Design Overload is real.

But, we have an answer to it.

In July 2017, Jason Whaling, a YouTube expert, launched a video explaining how Canva’s designs were not unique anymore. At 01:31 of the video, Jason talks about “Design Overload,” where he explains that your attractive design templates have been used several times.

It means that despite all the fussing over the best design, your users are not able to create a distinct voice for themselves.

So, here we are - 4 years later with a solution to it.

But Before That, Here’s Our Story

In 2018, Animaker, our DIY video animation platform, had 2 million users globally. We found that Animaker users needed a smart graphic design tool for their YouTube videos.

So, we launched Picmaker, and created YouTube thumbnail templates to let our users make their own thumbnails.

But, our users began creating designs of all sizes, not just YouTube thumbnails. Some of those sizes could fill an entire billboard! It blew our minds.

So, we created more design categories that they could customize themselves. We created templates for posters, flyers, social media ad creatives, and a lot more. Today, our users can pick and play with any template.

But, that leads us to a very unique problem that you’re facing today - Design Overload.

Death by Design Overload

By now, we’re sure you know that at some point, any design template will lose its uniqueness. In fact, a new template will be used by several users in less than an hour of its launch.

Like Jason says in his video, “…a lot of people are just using their [Canva’s] templates over and over again. And, all of a sudden, my image isn’t cool anymore…because there’s 12 other people using the exact same image or layout.

Here’s How We’re Solving It Differently

We’ve used artificial intelligence (AI) to solve this problem. We call it the MAD Button.

So, what does the MAD Button do?

It lets users play with design templates. So, two users sitting in different corners of the world might be using the same design template - but, it’d have varying fonts, colors, icons, and pictures to make them different from one another.

Think about it like a jukebox - you insert a coin and it plays music according to your mood, time of the day, setting, and more.

TL;DR: A design template will not be the same anymore in the hands of users.

This patent-pending algorithm has been in the works for several months, and we’ll admit - we have not done anything extraordinary yet. Instead, we built a Lagaan Team (Google it!) of passionate believers, who’ve come up with a novel solution to it. Besides, we will strive to come up with more unique ways to solve this challenge.

While we admire your efforts, we wish to invite you to acknowledge this challenge and try to solve this.

Not for yourselves. Not for us.

But for those millions of users. We think they deserve better.

No matter who solves this, Picmaker or Canva, we strongly believe this would solve the design overload problem and help the user community better.

- Raghav, CEO