Exclusive: Canva’s CEO Melanie Perkins is Redefining Design on Web

Design is crucial to content but scares a lot of people. A web startup aims to make the process easier and friendlier

Tech News
2 min read
Exclusive: Canva’s CEO Melanie Perkins is Redefining Design on Web

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If you’ve fiddled with designing and experimented with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, you may understand the struggle of learning these complex tools. But, now there’s a clean and simple online tool to help you design – Canva.

I sat down to chat with Melanie Perkins, Founder and CEO and Zach Kitschke, Communications Head to understand Canva, their inspiration, and what’s in store for India.

Aaqib Raza Khan (ARK): It’s been 738 days since you launched, what’s the entrepreneurial journey been like?
Melanie Perkins (MP): We’ve just begun to scratch the surface. We’re pretty excited about taking Canva to more and more people.

ARK: The interface is quite minimal, with very basic tools.
MP: We wanted to enable everyone to design their own stuff. Canva wants to be a one-stop portal for your multiple design needs. People spend years learning tools like Photoshop and Illustrator, but you can get going with Canva in the first 5 minutes.

ARK: How did you convince Guy Kawasaki to join you?
MP: It wasn’t very difficult. Guy was already using Canva. One day he happened to share a design on social media, and Cliff (Canva’s co-founder) dropped him a message asking him if he’s available to chat. Guy replied, “Yeah”, and then we met and got him on-board, where he resurrected the title of Chief Evangelist after his stint at Apple.

ARK: Guy said somewhere that Canva wishes to “democratise design”. What does that mean?
MP: We want to make design less tedious so people can create and also collaborate. We’ve just released Canva for Work, which is a nifty tool for workplaces with a greater scope for collaboration and more flexible tools.

ARK: What role has social media played in pushing the value of design?
MP: Immense! The content is much more visual now. A lot of the people are designing their Facebook and Twitter cover images on Canva. A good design attracts a lot more attention, and in the growing media space, it’s crucial to stand out.

ARK: Canva is a good entrepreneurial case study. What’s your advice for Indian entrepreneurs?
MP: India has an excellent entrepreneurial vibe. The people are friendly and warm, and always eager to experiment. We have many Indians working with us and I believe there’s immense potential.

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Topics:  interview   Design   Canva 

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