Is Canva a DAM?

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by Lumavate | Last Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Canva has gotten a lot of hype, and for good reason. It's an intuitive and easy-to-use cloud-based graphics program that allows you to make everything from simple flyers to multi-slide presentations with a few clicks. But, no one product can do everything; should you be using Canva as a DAM? We'll explore what a DAM is and which applications fill this role best.

What Does DAM System Stand For?

DAM stands for Digital Asset Management. It's a system that organizes an organization's digital content in a way that makes it easy to add new assets and find just the ones you need when you need them.

An effective DAM system allows a company to share assets across departments and with external partners like agencies and channel partners.

Think of it as a library with a card catalog system. All the books are within the building. The card catalog tells a user where to quickly and easily find exactly the volume they are looking for.

A DAM system will use tags, filters, and search functions, so you can go into your company's asset library and locate what you need.

What Are Design Assets?

Design assets — which you'll sometimes hear referred to as digital assets — are any assets used for your company's communication.

These can include images, audio files, videos, and more. If you create a flyer, for instance, you will often use stock photos, logos, and explainer text, all of which are design assets. Then, the flyer itself becomes a digital asset you can share and modify in the future.

Over time, an organization's library of assets will continually grow. Having an asset management system means you can always find what you created before and use it to build the assets that will drive your organization into the future.

What Is a DAM for Images?

Images are among the most commonly used digital assets and a good example for determining the best DAM systems. Image-based assets will include licensed photos, photos created specifically for your business, logos, charts, and graphics.

When choosing a system that will work for your brand, consider several digital asset management examples. Each has different benefits and drawbacks, and not all DAMs will fit every organization's unique needs.

Popular DAMs for images include Adobe, Bynder, Brandfolder, and Canto. In addition to Adobe DAM, Adobe has suites of products for creating digital experiences. The other three are standalone DAMs that require either external software or the assistance of an agency or developer to create new assets.

While Adobe is richly featured, it also comes with a hefty price tag and an extended learning curve. More than one person has compared it to pulling out an impact drill when all you need is a Dremel. Sometimes it's more robust than the job requires.

Lumavate is an option that many organizations would find easier and less expensive to implement. It has not just a DAM, but full PIM and DXP included in the platform. This means seamless integration with the DAM for users creating digital experiences.

Plus, Lumavate's DAM can be associated with product records with just a few clicks, keeping product data organized. You can use your assets in digital experiences without the need for any technical resources.

Is Canva a DAM?

Canva is not a DAM. Rather, it is a digital asset creation tool. Canva's value is that it allows users to create a wide variety of images, documents, videos, and more, even if you don't have a strong background in design. This is accomplished through a large library of templates, stock graphics, and a simple, intuitive interface.

However, this simplicity also means limitations. The program does store digital assets that are created within its system. You can also upload your assets for use in Canva designs. But, without specifically uploading an asset, you won't have access to it in Canva for your designs.

The digital assets you make or find in Canva can't be instantly integrated into other digital experiences, though. You would need to download and reupload, which can be onerous when you just want to finish what you're working on.

Both of these mean a more unwieldy process, making Canva less than effective as a DAM system.

Systems like Lumavate's DAM both organize your files and allow you to create simple experiences, no matter what your graphics or technological knowledge.

Choosing a DAM

Canva has its place in many organizations' arsenals, but use as a DAM is not one of them. When looking for a DAM system, consider these qualifications:

A good DAM will save you time and ensure that everyone can get the assets they need. This includes being able to create simple assets as needed, so your team members can find or create what they need when they need it.

Get Started Today

Ready for a better way to manage your organization's digital assets? Schedule a demo with one of our product experts to learn how Lumavate can create a system that allows your team members to use every digital asset to its best advantage.

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