“Canva”—what an absolute joke!

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    • #113981

      Lately, I’ve had a lot of clients approaching me with artwork they’ve made themselves using a design website called Canva. Apparently, the site is hugely popular (at least here in the UK), and I keep encountering people who are making their own artwork with it.

      The problem is, you cannot produce print-ready artwork with Canva. All the artwork is set up as RGB, and all the files downloaded are RGB PDFs, rasterized at 300dpi (including text). Every piece of artwork I’ve been sent from Canva has been outlandishly unprintable!

      I was wondering what anyone else thought of Canva? Here’s their official guide to “printing at the highest quality”, which is surely enough to make any professional graphic designer cringe? https://support.canva.com/publish/printing/download-designs-print

      My little joke is that Canva stands for: “Canva Artwork = Non-Viable Artwork”

    • #113996
      Dustin H

      Canva has always had a digital design focus (although the founder came from the printed yearbook space), which has made their transition into print to be a flawed one for those of us that care about print quality. A majority of their users are oblivious to the issues with PDF quality as they just see an editor that’s free for them to use.

      I do think it’s important for Canva to be very clear with the flaws in taking their designs to print. One simple way to identify a flaw in their print is to look at their color picker. Anyone that knows anything about colors will see the flaws in using hex codes on designs meant for print.

    • #114345
      Robert Whitney

      We’re starting to see more Canva files submitted for print also, we’re in the US. 99.9% of the files are, no shockingly, utter garbage but we run them anyway. Add bleeds where we can, stretch or squeeze the files to fit the expected final size, I’ve done horrific things to Canva files because I know there’s no talking sense to the people submitting them. On the upside, they’re oblivious what “good” means so they never notice!

    • #114361
      Mike Rankin

      Yikes, talk about not using the right tool for the job.

    • #114734
      David Blatner

      Seems like this falls into the same category as people using Keynote or PowerPoint to lay out pages. Crazy, but it happens a lot.

    • #114353
      Dustin H

      We’re one of the rare online design companies that focused on print first (most started in social graphics). The biggest challenges for us were colors & bleed. Both for obvious reasons… Our solution to the color challenge was to create our own color picker vs doing what Canva and others did. What we wanted our color picker to do was display RGB colors that match up very well with a relevant CMYK color (we manually mapped them). This results in a less vibrant color selection than traditional online color pickers, but that’s because CMYK has less vibrant colors so you have to do that to get an accurate print representation.

      The bleed challenges were very hard in the early years (we’ve been around since 2009). The hardest part was communicating what bleed was to someone who has never heard of it. So what we chose to do after several years of failing at that, was to not talk about bleed and instead build some functionality that would result in objects that were close to that bleed being automatically pulled out and into the bleed. Similarly, if something was at the midway point we’d push it back into the main canvas area. It’s worked really well for us. Every now and then we need to slightly reposition shapes, but it’s definitely the best solution we’ve come up with in the online design space.

      Funny thing is that we’re a company of just 2 people (designer & developer), so when you look at what Canva has done with their company you can tell they’re mostly focused on creating content that generates traffic (They literally have over 3,000 pages talking about colors in case you don’t know what maroon is) and a little less on their editor.

      Feel free to check out our editor to see the color picker we built and the bleed experience. https://www.mycreativeshop.com/

      Good luck with those files ;)

    • #117176
      Brett Stone

      I recently ‘cleaned up’ a Canva image provided by a client for T-shirt design. I did this by using Illustrator’s Trace feature, and for this particular art it worked surprisingly well.
      Insult to injury, however, is the printing company (TeeSprings.com, a popular provider for YouTubers and content providers) only accepts raster images for their production process. After multiple conversations with their support, they have no current way to accept vector files for production.Yet in their limited posts regarding production, it appears that THEY then vectorize the image for correct production.

    • #117189
      Jeremy Howard

      I worked for several years at a printing press that ran some fairly old web presses and I haven’t seen anything produced by Canva that would cause problems for that older printing system. I have sent countless ads to press that contained rasterized text at 300 dpi without issue…

      My suggestion would be that if the printing company that you use can’t print these kinds of files cleanly then find yourself a new printer!

    • #14360071
      wang hou

      And it’s clear that Canva isn’t geared towards print work. That’s why apps like InDesign exist. Canva is pretty much for web based stuff. It’s ideal for quick turnaround jobs that don’t require much detail.

      As a professional designer and digital artist on the side, I have been using my xp-pen drawing pad with adobe photoshop, illustrator and InDesign for years, works great.

      Canva is useful only for social media graphics. Basically it’s a graphic design tool for non graphic designers.

    • #14396067

      Canva isn’t the best choice if you want to print things, unlike Adobe InDesign, which is great for that. Canva is more for online stuff and quick projects that don’t need lots of fancy details.

      I’m a professional designer and I also like doing digital art as a hobby. I’ve been using my XP-Pen drawing pad with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign for a long time, and they work really well for me.

      Canva is mainly useful for creating graphics for social media and things you see on the internet. It’s like a design tool for people who aren’t design experts.

    • #14396495

      Thanks for the info, I appreciate it.

    • #14396658

      You’re absolutely right; Canva is user-friendly but falls short for professional print work. Designing in RGB and rasterized PDFs can lead to subpar print quality. Professional design software is better for quality print projects.

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