Design Literacy is Now a Priority for Global Business Leaders

Data from Canva's Visual Economy Report 2023 show that global business leaders now give high importance to design literacy among employees.

Business leaders today expect even those in non-design positions within the company to have ample design knowledge and creative capabilities.

Research has shown that people remember 80% of what they see and do. In contrast, people actually remember only 20% of what they read. This helps explain the rise of visual communication these years, and global business leaders are paying close attention to design literacy.

In fact, Canva’s Visual Economy Report 2023 notes that today’s global business leaders recognize the demand for visually appealing content. This applies not just to the external audience, but internally as well. 

For business leaders, communicating visually can reap multiple benefits. A vast majority, 90%, of the global business leaders surveyed for the report believe that communicating visually increases efficiency at work, while 88% also believe that visual communication tools accelerate sales cycles. 

The figures emphasize the need for design literacy in the workforce. Gone are the days when design skills are expected only from those in design-related positions. Today, these skills are also expected from non-design positions. 

It is no surprise then that 63% of the global business leaders surveyed for Canva’s report actually provide visual design training to non-design employees. In addition to that, there has been a notable increase in people adding design-related skills on their LinkedIn profiles. Those who listed Canva as a skill on their LinkedIn profiles, for example, have increased by 105% in the last year. 

Design Literacy Online Courses 

While certain companies do provide design literacy training for both design and non-design positions, this is something that, unfortunately, does not apply to all. For companies and individual employees alike who are looking to explore options for learning design literacy, there are online courses available. 

The following online education platforms have a selection of design-related courses:

  • Coursera
  • edX
  • Udemy

It should be noted that while some courses offered by these online education platforms are free, there are those that require a fee. Those who are interested to receive certificates as proof of participation and completion are typically required to pay a fee as well. 

Visual Communication Tools 

Aside from design-related online courses, companies and individual employees alike can opt to explore different visual communication tools to learn design skills. Design is a skill best learned through practice, and investing in visual communication tools can help bolster learning. 

Companies and individual employees have a variety of visual communication tools to explore, both free-to-use and paid. Here are some examples:

  • Adobe
    • Acrobat Pro
    • After Effects
    • Animate
    • Dreamweaver
    • Express
    • Illustrator
    • InDesign 
    • Lightroom
    • Photoshop
    • Premiere Pro
  • Canva
    • Canva Enterprise
    • Canva Teams
  • Microsoft
    • Designer
    • PowerPoint  
  • Piktochart
  • Prezi

Key Takeaways: Acquiring Design Literacy

Today, the rise in popularity of visual communication and the demand for visually appealing content has become more and more evident. Companies should invest both in the use of visual communication tools as well as the training of employees in design literacy. Investing such has benefits not just for the company, but also for the growth of employees. 

However, the responsibility of upskilling does not fall solely on companies. Employees have a responsibility as well. Available training and tools remain useless if employees do not take the opportunity to learn seriously and apply what they learned. With design literacy becoming a must-have skill for global leaders, employees should put in the effort to improve themselves in order to remain competitive in the job market. 

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