Canva puts layout online

A new Australian-based cloud service called Canva makes it easy to produce designed documents without installing any software.

Aimed at small businesses, marketers and bloggers, Canva provides "hundreds" of professionally designed templates for business cards, posters, presentations and other projects, Canva CEO Melanie Perkins told iTWire.

The tablet-friendly service is free to use. Canva's business model is to take a cut of users' spending on the photos, vector art and fonts that are available for incorporation in projects.

According to Ms Perkins, the library contains over one million images and hundreds of fonts, and charges for these items are much lower than the usual arrangement where content is licensed for ongoing use.

The content has been sourced directly from photographers and artists, she said, not from stock libraries.

Each item used in a project costs $US1. This should not discourage experimentation with different items as the charges are not levied until the project is published.

The company raised $3 million in a seed round earlier this year, attracting investors including Facebook director of engineering Lars Rasmussen and Yahoo! CFO Ken Goldman.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.