Creative Industries

Canva introduces The Visual Economy Report

CANVA has created The Visual Economy Report to show business leaders how important visual communication is, in today’s highly competitive world, as a tool for more effective business development.

The Visual Economy Report presents actionable data from 1,600 global business leaders as examples of how business leaders can innovate visually to improve performance on many levels.

Canva – the Australian company that lays claim to being the world’s only all-in-one visual communication platform – has created the report to provide the most comprehensive view so far “into how global business leaders are approaching visual communication principles internally and externally to run more efficient teams, build stronger audience engagement, and fuel greater economic returns on their business”.

Among the top findings of The Visual Economy Report are:  


Visual communication enhances workplace efficiency and collaboration

Nearly all business leaders agree that visual communication methods increase efficiency (90%), enhance collaboration (89%) and carry more authority (85%) than other methods of communication. The majority (89%) also agree visual communication tools result in stronger business returns.

Visual communication accelerates sales cycles

With teams more global than ever, visual communication is making it possible for teams to be more collaborative; therefore, more productive in a world that’s now digital-first.
The majority of global business leaders (89%) believe visual communication has had a positive impact on remote and hybrid team members connecting with each other. About 88 percent also say visual communication tools have accelerated their sales cycles. That’s because most business leaders (85%) agree that visual content is generally more digestible, leading to more responsive prospects that stay engaged throughout the sales process.

Design literacy is now table stakes for most jobs

Design literacy has become critical for most professionalsbeyond trained designers. For this reason, more than half of business leaders (61%) say that employees in non-design roles are expected to have extensive design knowledge, such as the ability to create persuasive visual assets and engaging presentations, as well as being able to edit others’ designs with ease. As a result, nearly two-thirds (63%) provide training to those not in graphic-design roles.

Businesses need better visual content

Businesses are plagued by consistency, workflow, and quality issues with their design platforms. Nearly two-thirds of business leaders (64%) say that their company lacks a streamlined visual design software platform, and more than half agree their content is neither aesthetically pleasing (53%) nor consistent (56%).

Gen Z is driving design in the workplace

Generation Z is more agile and creative and is embracing visual communication tools more frequently in the workplace. More than other generations, Gen Z (93%) feel visual communication helps them articulate ideas better.

Canva’s research shows today’s businesses are operating in a newfound visual economy, where shrinking attention spans and an explosion of digital content have led to a demand for compelling, shareable visuals. Employees and customers now expect a brand's content to be as visual and digestible as what they see across social media platforms.

As a result, there are significant business opportunities for those that embrace a design-first approach by empowering everyone in their organization to design, leading to the ability to produce tremendous levels of quality content at scale.

“As business leaders navigate a changing economic environment, visual communication can help brands get ahead,” Canva CMO Zach Kitschke said.

“From helping win new customers, to attracting and retaining talent, to marketing in a way that breaks through, visual communication has never been more critical to unlocking better communication, collaboration and creativity,” Mr Kitschke said. “Today, capturing anyone’s attention can be fleeting so great design can be make or break for organisations who strive to stand out in this new visual era.”

Canva’s methodology

Canva commissioned the Morning Consult company to survey 1,600 business leaders in marketing, sales, human resources and commerce who have knowledge of company revenue goals. This group also influences their organisations’ audience engagement strategy, as well as how internal teams communicate with each other, other teams, and the company at large. Specifically, Canva surveyed 850 business leaders in the US, 375 in Australia, and 375 in the UK.




About Canva

Launched in 2013, Canva is a free online visual communications and collaboration platform with a mission to empower everyone in the world to design. Featuring a simple drag-and-drop user interface and a vast range of templates ranging from presentations, documents, websites, social media graphics, posters, apparel to videos, plus a huge library of fonts, stock photography, illustrations, video footage, and audio clips, it is a platform that aims to allow anyone to ‘take an idea and create something beautiful’.



Writers workshop finds AI 'dangerous' for budding authors

A BOOK writing workshop in Brisbane this weekend is tackling the very real challenge of artificial intelligence (AI) being deployed to create non-fiction books.

The use of AI in creative and promotional writing is moving fast, with claims of a boom in AI-written e-books on Amazon already, prompting warnings of the pitfalls in using AI for non-fiction books.

Global Publishing Group CEO Andrew Carter -- who is staging the weekend workshop in Brisbane, said while people have been getting excited about the ChatGPT artificial intelligence software, which can generate blocks of text from simple prompts, it "will never be able to tell a person’s story".

“We are losing our humanity and losing trust in people,” Mr Carter said. 

“AI can’t share your personal story which then disconnects the reader from you. People will do more worthless e-books. This will devalue e-books more, which will make a real book stand out further.”

Mr Carter said AI would lead to the ‘dumbing down of society’ -- just like what mobile phones did to people remembering phone numbers or how GPS led to people now having trouble reading maps.

“People want to hear your voice,” he said.

“84 percent of the western world have a book in them. Unfortunately, most die with that book in them or unrealised. There is a simple way to do a book. We can show you how to create the entire content for a book in under three hours, rather than six months as people may expect.”

Global Publishing Group claims to be Australia’s leading entrepreneurial publisher and was founded in Melbourne in 2007.

“As a percentage of authors published, we have created the highest number of best selling authors,” Mr Carter said. 

“We have the insider knowledge, systems, resources and distribution network to make that happen time after time. We teach would-be authors about the ‘game behind the game’ so they can generate tens of thousands of dollars before their book is even published and a lot more after it is.

“If you want to be seen as an authority in your field, it won’t be with an e-book. To establish real credibility, you need a physical book.”

He said when people wrote books, they gained confidence, worked on their inner issues and helped boost their finances.

“It changes people’s lives,” Mr Carter said. 

“One man we worked with went from doing a mundane job to pay the bills to earning $1 million a year in his own business after he did his book. This is the game behind the game. It revolutionalises people’s lives.

“We provide the number one strategy for taking any business to the next level. We make the business and the business owner stand out among all competition, position them as the go-to authority and gain them far more clients or customers than they ever could without this tool.”

Global Publishing Group is hosting a three-day Publish for Profit Workshop for Business Owners at Voco Brisbane from March 24 to 26. Mr Carter will host the workshop and will be joined by special guest speaker Sharon Jurd. 



K5 Creative helps businesses to educate by video

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business

E-LEARNING is a growth market for videographers.

Adam Grusauskas, who runs the commercial video production company K5 Creative in Victoria, said e-learning really took off during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns,

When it’s not doing e-learning, K5Creative helps small to medium sized businesses expand their brands through videos and photography for their websites and corporate material. These can also include instructional or tutorial videos which businesses use to teach their customers.

K5 Creative’s main clientele is medium sized businesses, which have recently included Renault dealerships.

But e-learning is now a big focus for the company and the creative sector as a whole

“If the recent pandemic has taught us anything is that people still want to learn and they’ll be doing it online,” Mr Grusauskas told Talking Business.

“We’ve got businesses making transitions from solo enterprises into franchising and they want to teach franchisees how to do business their way,” Mr Grusauskas said.

“We’ve also got some childhood learning so I suppose educational content around literacy and numeracy.”



Mr Grusauskas said e-learning was now a big growth sector for K5 Creative.

“People have been in lockdown for so long, especially with the childhood learning. Parents are pulling their hair out and staying at home and doing home schooling, and some parents are good teachers and others nay have forgotten a little bit since they were at school so there is definitely a market there for people wanting their kids to get up to scratch and not fall behind since they’ve been home schooled.”

He said a lot of the work is done with teachers at learning centres, where people come in for education. The learning centre teachers use video as they realise that not everyone can visit the centres.

“It’s about breaking down the lessons into what skills we can teach the children,” Mr Grusauskas said.

“It could be handwriting, for example, so recognising the letter is one thing, writing it is another thing, staying between the lines is another thing,” he said.

“So each building block of the learning process builds on the previous one and if you know what that process is, it provides a fun and instructional way for kids to do that.”

Mr Grusauskas’s business, which is based in the Melbourne suburb of Dromana, is expanding fast. It is now bringing more people on board to edit videos, allowing Mr Grusauskas to go out and build his customer base. 

It is also expanding geographically, covering south-east Melbourne and the CBD down to the Peninsula.



K5 Creative is also expanding into commercial real estate.

“If you can imagine people who want to invest but don’t have the time to get to investment properties to have a look at them and see what’s what – and what they’re getting for their money,” he said.

“We can provide a walk-through of the property with an agent and show people around without them having to leave their home. It’s a good way to see what investors would like to purchase, and perhaps by the time they talk to the real estate agent, I would say they are a warm prospect.”

He said this was another growth market for K5 Creative.

He is working with agents and is also planning to expand that side of the business to the US next year.


Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at



The Qld Choir back in business with modern masterpiece 'Carmina Burana'

Á MODERN choral classic that has become a number-one hit – as the go-to music in ads, films and concert halls worldwide – is set to inspire and uplift Brisbane audiences when the Queensland Choir presents Orff’s Carmina Burana on August 21. 

The Queensland Choir’s musical director Kevin Power said Brisbane audiences are hungry to experience live music after more than a year of COVID restrictions. He said this concert, staged in the Old Museum building at Bowen Hills, would not disappoint, "with its thrilling sound, three world-class soloists, two pianists, percussion and the choir combining to present the power and passion of Carmina Burana live"+-.

“The first movement of Carmina (O Fortuna) is one of those pieces that just about everybody in the world knows because it has been used in so many commercials and films,” Mr Power said.  

“And concert-goers are in for a treat with world-class Brisbane-based soloists ­­– soprano Leanne Kenneally Warnock, baritone Leon Warnock and counter-tenor Ron Morris – singing the solo parts of Carmina Burana in this performance,” Mr Power said. 

 “Written by Bavarian music teacher and conductor Carl Orff, Carmina Burana became a worldwide hit after World War Two and is without a doubt the most successful and frequently performed work by any 20th century composer. 

“As well as featuring in more than 20 films including Excalibur (1981), The Hunt for Red October (1990), The Doors (1991), Natural Born Killers (1994) and G-Force (2009), O Fortuna has been used in TV shows such as Glee, The X Factor and The Simpsons and to advertise everything from coffee, beer and sports drinks to cars, aftershave and pizza,"he said.

 “Soprano Leanne Kenneally is a national ABC Young Performers Award winner and has performed with all of Australia’s leading opera companies and symphony orchestras, and with Germany’s Cologne Opera from 1999-2001. In this year’s Adelaide Festival she took the role of Helena in the Australian debut of Neil Armfield’s production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

 “Like Leanne, her husband Leon Warnock is an award-winning Queensland Conservatorium graduate who has sung with Opera Australia, Opera Queensland and with Germany’s Theater Freiburg.  

“Counter-tenor Dr Ron Morris is also a university lecturer, speech therapist and audiologist who has studied music at Trinity College, London, worked with choristers from King’s College, Cambridge and elsewhere in the UK, and is in demand nationally and internationally as a conference speaker. 

“This concert is part of an exciting lead up to the Queensland Choir’s 150th anniversary celebrations next year, and a return to the Old Museum Building – Brisbane’s main concert hall before the opening of City Hall in 1930 – where the Choir gave most of its concert performances from 1891 to 1930. We are looking forward to showcasing and enjoying Brisbane’s wealth of world-class talent.”





The Queensland choir presents Carl Orloff's Carmina Burana, conducted by Kevin Power, Saturday, August 21, 8pm, Old Museum Building, 480 Gregory Tce, Bowen Hills. Tickets: $45/ concession $40/ students and children $15. To book, phone 3257 4089 or go to 



Darryl Lovegrove entertains a tune of resilience

By Leon Gettler >>

ENTERTAINMENT entrepreneur and renowned public speaker Darryl Lovegrove says the big lesson for the pandemic for all businesses is resilience.

No one knows exactly what’s ahead, and how the recovery will pan out. All businesses can know is that things will pick up eventually, they just have to stay focused.

An award-winning performer and producer of some of the biggest corporate entertainment shows in Australasia, Mr Lovegrove is also a performer, starring in shows such as Les Miserables and Jesus Christ Superstar. Mr Lovegrove has also created and staged shows around the world.

At this point, however, he believes the industry for performers and artists has shut down.

He said in this climate, it is impossible to run an entertainment business. 

“All you can do is just cut your costs absolutely to just the barest bones and just use all those weeks and months to gently remind people of your existence,” Mr Lovegrove told Talking Business.

“That’s all you can do. Because when that market out there just doesn’t exist, there’s no point in putting marketing dollars into saying ‘Hey, remember us when it all comes back?’ because the world has just changed enormously.

“Even now, when there are green shoots in Australia and we’re coming back, it is so slow. It is breathtaking. You really need to massively lower your expectations and your costs.”


Mr Lovegrove said there had been no speaking gigs for the last year. He has only recently reluctantly accepted to do a virtual presentation in a few months’ time for a Hong Kong client at an Asian conference.

He said people in the industry needed to be adaptable in this climate.

He cannot make any firm predictions for how the industry will be post-COVID,

He compares the experience now with what his business went through post-9/11 and the global financial crisis. All one can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst, he said.

“I look at it as my third crisis that I’ve faced over the years. Making predictions is fun but you’re probably going to get them wrong,” Mr Lovegrove said.

“I think it’s going to continue to be very, very slow. I don’t see any momentum building up until July and August and hopefully some kind of Christmas season will come back,” he said.



Mr Lovegrove agreed that “stuff eventually gets back to normal and what businesses need to do is just have some patience and see it through.

“That’s all I can do. That’s what I’ve done in the past. It is to keep your state of mind as positive as possible, be prepared for very long recovery and persevere with it,” he said.

“Resilience is a massively important component of anyone who is running their business.

“The fact of the matter is that in this world, the new norm is constant change. It’s going to always change the goal posts. Your market’s going to change, the tastes are going to change, the infrastructure of which you do everything is continually changing and you have to adapt.

“You have to work out where are your customer’s eyes, where are they looking now this month, what kind of interface are they looking at for the moment,” Mr Lovegrove said.

“It is always changing and in this period of history, be patient, see where it’s going but stay in there. Try not to overspend too much and be prepared for the slings and arrows that are going to come your way.

“If you can do that, you’re giving yourself half a chance to hopefully succeed in the next era of buoyancy.” 

Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at



Edwina is all heart for wall art

FOR EDWINA CAMERON, a 20-year career in communications provided perfect training for a mid-career pivot into the online retail world.

Edwina launched her business I Heart Wall Art in 2018, after realising there was a gap in the market for affordably priced art prints that had the look and feel of fine art. 

“I’m the daughter of an art curator and grew up in a house full of colourful, fine art,” she said. 

“I’ve always felt that mass-produced prints lacked a bit of personality, but filling my own house with fine art has never been an option financially either.

“I wanted walls filled with big, colourful artworks – I just didn’t want to pay thousands of dollars for the privilege. 

“I decided to get some of my own digital artworks printed onto canvases and finished with timber floating frames and discovered, much to my relief, they looked great. The colours were vivid and the prints looked like big, original artworks I might have paid thousands for.

“Then, it occurred to me that other people might want that too – and I Heart Wall Art was born.”


The wall art business has grown substantially since that beginning, with Edwina finding her communications background useful in just about every area of the business.

“I’ve actually never worked in a shop in my life, so I really knew nothing about retail or e-commerce” she said. 

“But I’ve always loved writing and photography and have been dabbling in web development and social media management for years too.

“Those are all skills I’ve used consistently since starting I Heart Wall Art. It’s allowed me to do everything from designing many of the artworks, designing and building the website, designing the logo, while also sourcing suppliers and the rest.”

Edwina cites one of the best pieces of advice she’s heard as learning to value her time and to outsource the things she’s not good at.

“I’ve never had a brain for numbers, so sitting and digging into Google Analytics every day and trying to make sense of my marketing budget didn’t come easy at all,” she said.

“As soon as I could afford to, I ‘hired’ my friend Ben Henzell’s marketing company BFJ Media. They’ve done an incredible job growing my business for me, even with my measly marketing budgets at the beginning.”


With the business experiencing “incredible growth” in 2020, Edwina said, the plans for I Heart Wall Art ‘s future include bringing much more of the production of the pieces in-house this year.

“Our plans are that my husband Gerry will be our first full-time employee, cutting back his nursing shifts and taking over a lot of the production and day-to-day management of the business as it grows,” she said.

“That will free me up to concentrate on the things I love – creating more things that people want to hang on their walls, styling the products for photographs and finding new partnerships and markets to expand into to keep growing the business.

“Our hope is to expand into a new workspace in Maleny at some point next year and hopefully continue to expand into new product lines like wall decals.

“It’s a pretty exciting time for us and I feel very lucky that a creative outlet is starting to generate a real income for myself and my family.

“For anyone else considering starting an online-only store, I’d say -- it’s much more work than you think! You really either need to have a lot of the core skills yourself or a healthy budget to build something to compete with all the other online stores out there.”



Quota suspension could spell curtains for film and TV small businesses

THE Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell said thousands of small businesses in the screen production industry could be left on the cutting room floor, if Australian content quotas are not reinstated.

Ms Carnell said the emergency quota suspension introduced in response to the COVID-19 crisis has taken a heavy toll on the screen production industry, 86 percent of which are small businesses. She called on the Federal Government and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to provide certainty to the struggling industry.

“As it stands, Australian broadcasters are under no obligation to produce new, locally made content until the end of this year at the earliest,” Ms Carnell said.

“This is hurting thousands of small production companies that would ordinarily be creating Australia’s best drama, documentaries and children’s content. We know that many of these small production companies are ready to return to work, but there are limited projects in the pipeline due to the uncertainty over how long this quota suspension will remain in place.

“It’s very difficult to attract investment under these circumstances, which could ultimately drive many of these small businesses to the brink. That’s devastating for the small businesses involved and the entire production industry," Ms Carnell said. 

“It also has significant ramifications for our culture and the telling of Australian stories. What would we do without Bluey or iconic Australian films such as Crocodile Dundee or Top End Wedding?

“Equally, this could have serious economic consequences. Deloitte Access Economics estimates the Australian film and television industries directly contribute $5.8 billion to the economy and about 46,000 full times jobs.

“The industry needs a clear commitment that the quota suspension period will not be extended beyond 2020. The government should also ensure mandatory Australian-made quotas apply to all other streaming services.

“While the government has invested in attracting foreign productions to our shores, much more could be done to directly foster the Australian screen production industry.”


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