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How to develop an idea with Canva

Tips for New Blood entrants on turning that spark of inspiration into a winning concept

So, inspiration has struck and you think you’re onto a winning concept. How do you grow that seed of an idea, and how can your creative team help you to develop and test it? It’s about process as much as it is about the tools. 

D&AD has teamed up with Canva, a platform that allows you to develop creative visuals online, to ensure that all New Blood entrants have access to design tools they need to craft a winning pitch. For the duration of the 2022 competition, Canva is offering Canva Pro free for 6 months which unlocks premium templates, videos, and features. Pro trials can be redeemed here with code NEWBLOOD.

Here, creative pros from the platform share their tips on how to work collaboratively on developing your initial idea along with your creative team.


Put it all on paper

The goal of ideating is to be open-minded and collaborative. To start, put all your ideas on paper, no matter how big, small, or seemingly unattainable. You can afford to be experimental at this stage. 

Reby Silverman, Senior Account Manager at Canva, kicks off creative campaign development by moodboarding to take the vision in her head and put it on paper. “I used to feel overwhelmed when brainstorming, not knowing where to start and feeling pressure to think of a winning idea right off the bat,” she explains. But moodboarding is a practice that allows you to begin to build a world your idea feels at home in. 

Canva offers moodboard templates, image libraries, graphics, fonts and videos to simplify the process. “It gets me inspired while giving structure to grow my ideas beyond the initial thoughts in my head,” says Silverman

Explore Canva’s library of mood board templates and play around with designing your own. Never used Canva before? These short lessons offer guidance to Canva beginners. 

Workshop with others

Next, share your ideas with friends or colleagues and be open to their insights and perspectives. Talk to people with backgrounds that are different from yours; they may guide you in a direction you haven’t considered.

If you are working as a team, collaboration and honesty, especially in the ideation phase, is crucial. Try not to take it personally if your teammates challenge your vision or point out gaps. Workshopping the idea together lays the groundwork for a thorough and strategic pitch and fosters an environment of open communication and trust amongst your team.

Andrew Johnstone, Creative Industry Lead at Canva, likes to get other perspectives in to help develop and test his ideas early in the process. He says,“Explore your idea at multiple angles, sit with the variations, and collaborate with trusted minds. This will give legs to your idea and set a solid foundation for your pitch.”

Use Canva’s brainstorm templates to generate ideas with your colleagues. Check out this tutorial on brainstorming with your remote team.

Simplify and Refine

After you’ve explored your idea from multiple angles and collaborated with your team, now’s the time to sift through all of the thoughts, identifying which feel strong and scalable and weeding out the ones that are not resonant or realistic. The goal is to bring structure and clarity to your pitch’s vision. It doesn’t mean you need to throw away the bank of ideas you’ve generated; in fact, keep your brainstorm materials in their original format for reminders or future projects. 

Shelley Wang, Partnerships Marketing Manager at Canva, likes to start with a clean new deck. “Start with a fresh presentation and hand pick which ideas will make the cut,” she says “A good rule of thumb for simplifying is ‘one page, one point’ – which means that each idea that moves forward gets its own slide. Doing this limits an overload of insights and duplicated themes, leaving you with a refined direction to develop your pitch.” 

Ready to refine? Use Canva creative presentation templates and more. For additional tips and tricks, take a look at this  easy guide to creating a presentation in Canva.

Explore the New Blood briefs and start your entry into the 2022 New Blood Awards here.

Created in partnership with Canva.

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