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Canva’s ‘Makers And Shapers’ Report: The Designs That Defined 2020

2020 was a year like no other, with records on every front in how our Canva community rallied. More than 2 billion designs were created worldwide, ending the year at a rate of over 100 designs per second.

Those 2 billion designs included (but not limited to): 243 million Instagram posts, 46 million presentations, as well as 65 million new logos.

COVID-19, the global shift to remote work, virtual learning during the pandemic, and social activism among biggest contributors to Canva’s record year of growth

Global graphic design platform, Canva(opens in a new tab or window), has released its inaugural end-of-year ‘Makers and Shapers’ Trend Report, highlighting how users from around the world reacted to some of the biggest history-making events that took place in 2020.

From businesses navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, through to the Black Lives Matter movement, the US Presidential election, and the catastrophic natural disasters that ravaged parts of the world, Canva’s global community of 40 million active users have designed and shared everything from social media posts, and online presentations — to amplify, educate, and inspire people with spreading their message through the various challenging situations brought on by 2020.

COVID-19: The World Pivots As Misinformation Spreads

The impact of COVID-19 has been felt across the globe. Since March, Canva saw over 2.9 million search queries for COVID-related templates as the world came to grips with responding to the pandemic. Canva’s community turned to the design platform to create awareness posters, social media material, and WHO-approved health information in a bid to help #StopTheSpread of misinformation and keep communities COVID safe.

Canva’s in-house design team created more than 2,100 coronavirus templates(opens in a new tab or window), backed by accurate information from the World Health Organization, that were made freely available amid the uncertainty, shared by news organizations, government bodies, and consumers across the globe.

The number of COVID templates downloaded worldwide was over 14 million, with the top five most active countries using these templates among some of the hardest hit in terms of COVID casualties, including USA, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and Colombia.

Society Moves To A Virtual World

2020 was the year of the Zoom background(opens in a new tab or window)as more people were forced to shift to remote working, learning, and entertainment. This year alone over 4 million Zoom backgrounds were created and downloaded globally on Canva, with the majority of the platform’s 2,131 Zoom templates used by people in the US, Australia, Mexico, UK and Canada.

Leading the charge, users in the United States downloaded 1.3 million Zoom backgrounds alone — that equates to 1 in every 253 people across the country using a Canva Zoom background design this year.

With getaways to some of the world’s most adored holidays destinations off the cards this year, it seems most Canva users have expressed their dreams of a “tranquil” getaway through their Zoom backgrounds, with the top three most downloaded templates globally including a tropical beach(opens in a new tab or window), a peaceful waterfall(opens in a new tab or window), and a serene underwater seascape(opens in a new tab or window).

Most popular Canva Zoom backgrounds per country:

Keeping Connected In Lockdown

Visual templates such as presentations were crucial in helping people communicate and collaborate remotely, with many businesses, teams, educators, and students, all shifting to remote work.

This year, Canva’s design community presented more than 46 million presentation templates globally. Which is more than double the number of internet users across Australia — as a country and a continent!

Teachers, students, small businesses, and even sporting teams contributed to the rise in “virtual events” during the pandemic, with Canva’s presentations providing a tool for people to safely connect with others online for everything from trivia nights to sporting awards, classroom quizzes, conferences, and even virtual crafting camps.

The top three most-used presentation templates in 2020:

1. Social Science Class Education(opens in a new tab or window)

2. Virtual Trivia Quiz(opens in a new tab or window)

3. Illustration Social Science Education(opens in a new tab or window)

2020: The Year Of The Side Hustle

With many businesses impacted by COVID-19, the pandemic also sparked a new wave of innovators and creative entrepreneurs. 2020 was the year a large number of people, of varying ages, pivoted to launch their mini side hustle, passion project, or new business, using Canva.

This year’s record-breaking results:

• more than 65 million new logos(opens in a new tab or window) were designed on Canva — that’s more than 7,400 new logos created every single hour (or over 123 every single minute) around the world; and

• over 12 million business cards(opens in a new tab or window) were printed globally through Canva Print — which is more than the entire population of Belgium!

Remote Learning In A COVID World

COVID-19 lockdowns impacted teachers and students worldwide, forcing classes to shift to virtual and hybrid learning environments.

Canva for Education(opens in a new tab or window), launched earlier this year — a tailored solution for classrooms featuring Canva’s premium design tools and an extended library of free assets including fonts, photos, illustrations, and stickers — saw rapid uptake as online learning and virtual classrooms became the new norm.

Over 8 million teachers and students use Canva every month across 90,000 educational institutions. And monthly student usage has more than doubled since August 2020.

The top three countries in terms of sign-ups to Canva for Education were among those most impacted by COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, including USA, Mexico and Brazil.

With over 700 new templates published to the education platform this year, the top five downloaded education themed templates for the year were:

Campaigning For A Cause: The US Presidential Election

Impactful visual design played an important role throughout the history-making US election in 2020, with creators, non-profit organisations, campaigners, and passionate activists sharing powerful visual messages and graphics via social media platforms such as Instagram, with many designed in Canva. Instagram posts were the most popular template on Canva in 2020, with more than 243 million posts designed across the year — taking social-led campaigning to unprecedented levels.

To put that in context, that’s more than the entire population of Brazil.

Between November 1 and November 6 (while votes were still being counted in several states), over 118,000 search queries were made on Canva for political-led templates — Joe Biden, Donald Trump, #counteveryvote, #everyvotecounts, #vote2020 — allowing campaigners from all walks of life to effectively and swiftly share powerful campaign messages with the world.

Women For The Win: The US Presidential Election

The 2020 US Presidential election smashed the record books on a number of levels, with women being the biggest history-makers. A record number of women were elected to serve in the next US Congress, including at least six new women of color,(opens in a new tab or window) bringing the number to at least 51(opens in a new tab or window)— the highest figure on record. Leading the headlines and flooding social media feeds was the news of Vice-President elect Kamala Harris’s history-making win, who will be the first woman, the first Black American, and first Asian American to serve the second highest seat in the US office.

Passionate advocates and everyday people from around the globe took to the design platform Canva to create templates campaigning and celebrating Harris’ history-making win. Kamala Harris’ victory was celebrated via social media platforms and communities worldwide, including her ancestral village, Thulasenthirapuram in Tamil Nadu, India.

Black Lives Matter Movement

Protests against racial injustice were sparked across the US and the globe following the death of George Floyd on May 26, starting a new wave of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020. People across the world turned to Canva to spread their messages through design, creating compelling social media posts and powerful infographics, advocating for change.

Committed to championing diversity everywhere, Canva collaborated with a number of diverse photographers and designers to create a fresh library of free Black Lives Matter and Juneteenth content(opens in a new tab or window) for the community, empowering people to share information and promote engaging messages through design. Over 330,000 Black Lives Matter and Juneteenth templates were downloaded via Canva in 2020.

The top three most downloaded designs in 2020:

1. A day of Recognition. Restoration. Celebration. Juneteenth.(opens in a new tab or window)

2. Juneteenth: influential black artists(opens in a new tab or window)

3. Juneteenth: Black History is American History(opens in a new tab or window)

Natural Disasters That Struck The World

Many parts of the globe faced catastrophic weather conditions in 2020, from blazing bushfires, to extreme typhoons, and volcanic eruptions, impacting homes and communities worldwide.

From the catastrophic Australian bushfires(opens in a new tab or window), to the California and Colorado wildfires in the US, communities, charities, and media outlets, turned to design platform Canva to create and share important information to spread awareness and support those affected by the devastation.

Over 2 million searches were made on the platform for fire-related templates this year.

Committed to the country it calls home, Canva created 30 new templates to help local, and global, communities spread important information and raise funds for those affected by the Australian bushfire crisis. In addition, Canva even enabled their users to pitch in and help with fundraising events. Money from paid images in the Canva media library was committed to relief efforts for a limited period of time, raising a total of $500,000 for bushfire relief efforts.

Towards the end of this year, the Philippines was devastated by a triple hit of typhoons named Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses resulting in record-breaking floods.

The strong winds and heavy downpour caused power outages, lost roofs, villages being submerged, families losing loved ones, not to mention their homes. The flooding has affected eight regions and three million people, according to the United Nations’ humanitarian office.

With offices in Manila, Canva(opens in a new tab or window) announced its commitment to donate proceeds of up to $50,000 from paid images used in designs in the APAC region towards the Philippine relief and recovery efforts being carried out by organizations such as Kids for Kids Philippines, Yakal.Ph, and For Our Farmers Philippines. This relief funding will be used to provide relief packs including hygiene kits, hot meals, pet food and supplies to those affected by the typhoon in and around the local provinces of Marikina, Rizal, Bicol, Cagayan, and Isabela.

Saving The World: Climate Change In 2020(opens in a new tab or window)

Climate change continues to be a pressing issue concerning people of all ages across the globe. Thousands of youth activists and students took part in worldwide climate change protests in 2020 despite the COVID restrictions, demanding governments and world leaders take action.

Canva’s climate change collection(opens in a new tab or window) templates were downloaded more than 2.6 million times as climate strikers shared their passionate campaign messages via posters, social media material, and event flyers.

Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough were also among some of the most searched-for climate-related queries on the Canva platform.

Canvapartnered with youth-led group, Future Coalition(opens in a new tab or window), to create assets(opens in a new tab or window) for the 2020 Earth Day Digital Strikes. The colorful templates created by Canva’s in-house designers were used by thousands of digital strikers around the world, including a few celebrities such as Willa Fitzgerald(opens in a new tab or window)!

Touching Tributes For Those We Farewelled

And for those we lost in 2020, mourning fans paid their respects to passed icons through compelling and nostalgic design tributes. Kobe Bryant (January 26), Chadwick Boseman (August 28), and Ruth Bader Ginsberg (September 18), were among the most searched-for figures on the Canva platform this year as fans, supporters, and the media reacted to their passing with touching visual tributes on social media and beyond.

… And Finally, Some Fun Facts:

Canva saw record growth in 2020, reaching over 40 million monthly active users.

For those who love their fonts, the top three most used font types in 2020 were:

• On the bright side: Canva users were sharing the love in 2020, with the Heart textbox(opens in a new tab or window) and Love(opens in a new tab or window) symbol among the most used stickers this year.

Primary colors were on point this year, being the most used colors:

1. #FF1616 – 172 million times

2. #FFDE59 – 145 million times

3. #004AAD – 135 million times

• Want to know the most used color and font per state across the USA this year? Check out the below infographic:

• Getting bee-sy: the busy bees living on the rooftop of Canva’s Sydney HQ made over 30 kilos of honey. Fun fact, that’s the collective weight of over 384,615 bees or 53 basketballs.

• Over 540 ‘Canvanauts’ joined the Canva team in 2020.