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How we’re building the world’s most diverse content library

We aspire for Canva to be a celebration of diversity. Part of this is through our focus on continuously building the world’s most diverse content library. It’s important to ensure our entire global community feels represented within Canva – and we’re proud of the world-first milestones we’ve achieved in this space.

Our goal at Canva is to be a true celebration of diversity(opens in a new tab or window). As our community of more than 135 million people across 190 countries continues to grow, ensuring everyone feels understood, included, and represented within our platform becomes more important than ever. We’ve spoken before(opens in a new tab or window) about our goal of building the world’s most diverse content library, and although this is a continuous journey, we’re proud to have achieved some significant milestones in this space over the past year.

Quote card about Canva's mission regarding our diverse content library. The text says "To be world leaders in creating, curating and commissioning the worlds' most inclusive and representative content for Canva's diverse, and multifacted user-base.

Celebrating milestones

We’ve had a significant lift in diverse content in our library in the past 12 months. Our ever-expanding library has seen an increase in content representing different takes in gender and sexuality, ethnically diverse content, and content representing people with a disability. It’s now home to 147,000 Pride-focused templates and 3.4 million elements which have supercharged creativity for our community. Collectively over time, our community has created more than 880 million LGBTQIA+ related designs in Canva.

Visual showing some stats from Canva's diverse content library in the past 12 months.

We’re committed to advocating for inclusivity awareness and have doubled down on our efforts to increase our content representing people with different abilities. We’re proud to have seen an 185% growth in different ability content since 2021, and have added 2,300+ new photographs showing different abilities to our library, including representations of physical, intellectual, neurological, and non-verbal disabilities.

We actively working with different Indigenous communities all over the world as part of our ongoing efforts to create a diverse content library which represents people from all corners of the globe. As an Australian-based company, including authentic elements, photography, and artwork from Indigenous creators is also incredibly important to us. We’ve achieved a 100% increase in the past few months for new Australian First Nations artists contributing Indigenous art directly to Canva, and recently launched a range of new templates across three different design styles for Australia’s Reconciliation Week, Sorry Day, and NAIDOC Week.

Joining forces with key partners

Collaborating with incredible organizations that are powerful allies and voices for many minority groups has been instrumental in helping us diversify our content library. We recently joined forces with Noun Project(opens in a new tab or window), the world’s most extensive and diverse collection of icons and mission-driven photos on the web(opens in a new tab or window), to ingest icons created at its 2023 Pride Iconathon event into the Canva library. With the aim of providing better representation of the LGBTQIA+ community, Iconathon participants crafted 70+ sketches for new icons that will fill critical content gaps and replace outdated stereotypes. The final collection is now available in Canva, joining 239,000+ existing Noun Project icons(opens in a new tab or window), free for our entire community to use in their creations. To view the icon set and add to your designs, search ‘prideiconathon’ in the object panel.

Image of some icons developed at the recent The Noun Project Iconathon

We also recently partnered with Aboriginal-owned design and strategy studio, Balarinji(opens in a new tab or window), and three Aboriginal artists to bring more than 120 new elements and 40 new templates to the Canva library that celebrated NAIDOC Week 2023.

One of the biggest events over the last three years has been working in partnership with Sydney WorldPride and Sydney Mardi Gras(opens in a new tab or window) to bring celebrations to life through the power of visual communication. We created more than 1,000 free templates(opens in a new tab or window) and elements for millions of people to design and celebrate Pride in their own way, and a roaming photography activation has captured photos of attendees to add to our Canva photo library as part of our efforts to champion diversity in our content.

Amplifying Canva Represents

Supporting talented global creators who capture content encompassing the diverse world around us plays a vital role in Canva’s diversity story. Since launching in 2020(opens in a new tab or window), the Canva Represents Fund(opens in a new tab or window) has supercharged our content library with photography and illustrations highlighting underrepresented communities around the world, with a whopping 2.5 billion new diverse content publishes in our community.

It’s extremely important our users can see themselves in their content and that everyone has the ability to tell their story. Since launch, we’re proud to have seen an uplift of 500% in content representing sexuality, a 428% uplift in content representing gender, a 354% uplift in content representing a variety of ages, and a 275% uplift in content representing different ethnicities to our content library – some incredible outcomes for our community. Collaborating with 239 truly local artists as part of this program has meant we’ve added 123,000+ new free elements to our library – and our community has used them enthusiastically, with a 64% higher average performance than content from other marketplace contributors.

Image of Canva Represents

Our approach

We aspire to make Canva a celebration of diversity, and we strive to embody this in everything we do – with our content production processes being no different. We believe that everyone in our community should be able to create designs that represent their identity and place in the world, so we ensure that representation and inclusion is part of our business-as-usual approach to all content production and partnerships. When it comes to diversity and inclusion, knowing where to start can be challenging – and although we don’t have it all figured out, and we encourage our community to let us know if we’ve missed the mark, here are a few things we’re doing to ensure we’re creating content that celebrates and champions our diverse world.

Creating a future where differences are celebrated

We have a company-wide approach to diversity: we believe we’re all responsible for creating a diverse environment and embed this thinking into the day-to-day processes behind everything we produce. We’ve identified eight diversity facets we continuously look to develop in our content: age, religion, disability, ethnicity, language, appearance, gender, and sexual orientation. We strive to achieve an outcome that means no matter who you are, or where you are in the world, you’ll be able to find content that represents you.

Thumbnail image Banner featuring a range of images from Canva's diverse content library such as people from different races, religions, sexualities and abilities.

Being guided by our community

Tapping into our community is an incredible way to gather rich insights on trends and content gaps in our library. We analyze what our community is searching for, what they’re using, and what they can’t find, to better understand their needs and our opportunities. We’ve also invested heavily in safety measures to minimize the risk of our platform being used to produce unsafe content. As with everything at Canva, we’re constantly learning and looking to our community for feedback(opens in a new tab or window). We know there will always be ways we can improve the diversity of our content, and welcome ideas on how to further expand our library, as well as a feedback loop for our community to report any issues with our content and products – including if they feel they’re enforcing biases or stereotypes.

What’s next?

At Canva, we often say we’re only 1% of the way there, and that couldn't be more true when it comes to our content library. Inclusive Design, Advocacy, and Education are key focuses for our entire business, and we have some incredibly exciting projects ahead of us for the remainder of 2023.

We’re launching five content campaigns to support diverse calendar events; welcoming ten new Canva Represents artists to our family from Pacific Island, Native American, and First Nation Australian backgrounds; and engaging in four new content partnerships to support our video, animation, and audio content across Indigenous communities, disability, and religious groups. We’re also incredibly excited to be hosting a First Nations design school alongside Awesome Black(opens in a new tab or window). Knowledge-sharing is powerful for educating allies, so we’ll also be releasing an external-facing version of our Inclusive Language Guide to our community to share our learnings and encourage others to communicate with care.

Thank you to our community

At Canva, we’re fully committed to achieving our goal of building the world’s most diverse content library that authentically reflects the world we live in – and we’re confident in the work we’re doing to get us there. Thank you to our community for joining us on the journey and guiding us along the way – we can’t wait to see how you continue to champion diversity in your designs.

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