This update changed the game for designers

You’ve heard of Canva, right?

For those who haven’t, Canva is the graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents, and other visual content from scratch or professional templates.

A few weeks ago they added a new effect that removes the background from any image.

This sent a shockwave through the design community.

If you’re not familiar with why this is such a gamechanger, consider that prior to this update, in order to remove a background one either needed to hire a designer, know how to etch around an image in photoshop, or take their chances with free online tools that usually return poor images.

As Canva put it, “By removing the busy background of a photo, your image will likely have more impact.”

With this update, amateur and professional designers on Canva can now remove backgrounds in just a few clicks.

Three to be exact.

Canva’s lesson on how to use this tool is simple:

  1. Upload your own image or choose one from our image library.
  2. Click on the Effects button on the top corner of your toolbar.
  3. Next, select “Background Remover.”
  4. And like magic, the background will disappear.

Number 4 isn’t even a click, it’s a moment of awe.

Canva introduced this tool for all Canva Pro users, a subscription solution priced at $12.95 per month, or $119.05 for a year, with the expectation it will reduce churn, and even migrate designers away from their Adobe suites priced at $20.99 per month or higher.

But, enough of all that chatter, let’s see this effect in action.

Canva Background Remover Use Cases

“Design is the intermediary between information and understanding.”

— Hans Hoffman


Turn powerful quotes into visually appealing graphics worthy of the words. Find an image of the quoted person online, copy it into Canva, remove the background, and position it over the background of your choosing.

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Logos validate the product you’re presenting. Whether that be an idea, a pitch, or an event. Often, designers don’t have access to brands .zip files full of images and graphics, so we turn to Google, which, most of the time, fails to return a transparent version of a logo. We then grab existing logos on white, or other colored, backgrounds.

This limits the color options of our presentation background. That’s not a problem anymore. Grab any logo you want, and with one click remove the background so it is isolated and fits anywhere you want it.

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Whether it’s your product, or you’re pitching another’s, any image of a product online, screenshots included, can have their backgrounds removed with the Canva background remover. Now, you can place products in the most iconic places. Like, El Cap.

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If you’re hosting an event, save the money on a graphic designer and spend some time in Canva whipping up graphics with your style.

Whether it’s a show, concert, panel, or more, you can add your favorite images of the performers on a background of your choosing.

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YouTube thumbnails act as lead generation for your videos. They’re digital billboards with the goal of converting platform explorers to viewers.

I host my own YouTube show Off The Rocks, and rather than wade through emails to brands for their “official” images, I scrape the web and grab them from their websites. Easy peezy.

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Political memes

Image generators can become overnight success stories in 2020. You don’t need to have vain aspirations to use the Canva background remover though.

Maybe you’re interested in preserving democracy this election and want to make a LinkedIn graphic using Struttin’ Joe. With Canva, you can.

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Bonus Pro Tip

When downloading an image you’ve just removed the background from, select the “Transparent Background” option before download. This will preserve the work you’ve just done. See below, by selecting “Transparent Background” my pink background was left behind.

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Canva’s background remover effect has been the ultimate design hack of 2020.

Now it’s your turn to test drive it.

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