Customer Story

Canva: Democratizing design and collaborating closely with Google Workspace

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With Google Workspace, Canva is delivering a collaborative environment to support a rapidly growing international workforce, keeping them connected and continuing to support a continued period of growth.

Google Workspace Results

Fosters a feedback-focused culture with a “fixit” form that enables team members to submit ideas or request changes

• Achieves near-100% availability across a globally distributed workforce

• Enables initiatives such as a meeting-free day each week

• Helps enhance digital security as business grows in size and profile

Launched in 2013, Canva is a free online design platform with a mission to empower everyone in the world to design. Featuring a simple drag-and-drop user interface and a vast range of templates ranging from presentations, social media graphics, posters, apparel to videos, plus a huge library of fonts, stock photography, illustrations, video footage and audio clips, anyone can take an idea and create something beautiful. The Canva team is located across the globe with offices in the United States, China, the Philippines and Australia.

A long-term user

“To empower our team to undertake deep work, we have a recurring weekly Calendar invitation that keeps an entire day free of meetings across the business.” - Jeff Lai, Internal Infrastructure Specialist, Canva

A business that enables collaboration, innovation and creativity is a natural fit for Google Workspace, an integrated suite of secure, cloud-native collaboration and productivity applications. Canva is a long-term user of the application suite and Jeff Lai, Internal Infrastructure Specialist, says "being a global business from day one, the company wanted to ensure any technology we used would be able to grow and scale with us.

“Google Workspace certainly met the brief. For example, creating new Google Workspace instances is very easy, you simply connect them to your domain and away you go.”

Canva has 1,850 Google Workspace licenses to cover its approximately 1,200-strong workforce, plus service accounts and shared accounts. The application suite covers the organization’s communication, connectivity and productivity needs, with enough storage to enable the business not to have to pay for supplementary storage services or deploy storage in-house. Canva’s team of designers, developers, marketers, investors and advisers uses Google Workspace for tasks such as scheduling meetings, emailing and chatting to internal and external parties, storing files and tracking activity on spreadsheets.

“Google Workspace is like air and water to us,” says Jeff. “it is part of the natural environment of our workplace.”

Reviewing licensing

With Google Workspace enabling Canva's global workforce model, the business is exploring ways of further leveraging the features available through the application suite; Jeff reveals Canva is exploring the use of enterprise-class licenses that provide additional reporting and auditing capabilities.

Near-100% availability

“We expect Google Workspace to continue to play a key role in our operations and in supporting an increasingly international workforce.” - Jeff Lai, Internal Infrastructure Specialist, Canva

Supporting a distributed model with an increasing number of employees based outside Australia also requires Canva to use collaboration and productivity tools available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Google Workspace applications help the business drive continuous improvement from the bottom up, as well as the top down. Canva uses Forms to capture — in what Jeff describes as ‘no-judgement’ fashion — new ideas, callouts of broken processes, or areas of improvement. These comments and suggestions go directly to founders and senior management for action.

Furthermore, Google Workspace enables Canva to run a continuously productive working environment. “To empower our team to undertake deep work, we have a recurring weekly Calendar invitation that keeps an entire day free of meetings across the business,” says Jeff.

Growth example of 'new normal'

Canva's team believes the organization’s accelerated growth is indicative of the 'new normal', as more teams realize the need for a more scalable, more collaborative, more affordable and more user-friendly design platform.

Organizations of all sizes are doubling down on building a reliable remote workplace, and are turning to modern productivity and collaboration platforms like Canva to ensure they remain flexible and scalable.

Google Workspace and other Google Cloud products and services also enable Canva to increase the value of its own platform. The business uses Translation API to translate non-English searches into English, allowing it to display appropriate images and other elements.

Furthermore, the Canva editing tool enables users to pull files from Drive to be refined, while the platform also integrates with Google Maps and YouTube to give end users the ability to easily create items such as online brochures with these products integrated into them. Finally, Canva for Education — a tailored product to support student learning — integrates with Google Classroom, helping educators efficiently manage progress and connect with students at school, from home or on the go.

With Google Workspace, Canva is ideally positioned to continue growing its user base and build on the success of a platform that has thousands of templates and fonts, and millions of stock photos, icons and illustrations. Jeff says the business remains focused on the same goal as its founders had right at the start — making design accessible to everyone. “We expect Google Workspace to continue to play a key role in our operations and in supporting an increasingly international workforce,” he says.