Xara is on a mission to help businesses create better looking content, and in turn save us all from having to consume visually unappealing marketing and comms material. The German startup has developed Xara Cloud, a design tool that resides in the cloud and attempts to bridge the gap between professional design and business content created by non-design professionals.
Specifically, Xara Cloud consists of a drag and drop browser-based editor that lets you create designs using text, shapes, icons, charts and imported images, but with a few extra tricks up its sleeve. These include the ability to use off-the-shelf professionally created colour schemes or have the software create a new colour scheme based on an image, such as your company logo, that you’ve uploaded.
As you’d expect, you can also choose from a library of pre-made templates ranging from social media graphics to flyer and brochures to presentations. These can be designed on top of or tweaked ad nauseam, and in addition you can create your own templates to function as reusable assets.
The editor adheres to a smart grid system, too, which helps non-designers create more disciplined and visually appealing layouts. There are also collaboration features so you can easily create content as part of a team.
“The problem being solved is that there is a massive software gap between basic document editors like Word, PowerPoint, etc. and professional design software like Adobe,” Xara co-founder and CEO Matt Bolton tells me. “Xara Cloud is a robust suite of rich design and editing tools packaged in a drag and drop editing platform that allows anyone to create designer-quality documents… It is 100 percent browser-based with a consistent UI across all desktop and touch devices”.
Bolton says the business case for using Xara Cloud is that brand inconsistency impacts business revenue. “The estimated average revenue attributed to always presenting the brand consistently is 23 percent,” he says, citing a report by Zimmer Communication.
“Repetition and consistency are critical pillars of any branding effort. By a business presenting a brand consistently, over time, consumers will internalize the brand values and be more likely to purchase”.
To mitigate brand inconsistency, Xara Cloud lets you add your logo, fonts, and brand colours, which are then automatically applied to any of Xara Cloud’s templates. “This ensures that any document, no matter the type, will have the current and consistent brand when it reaches the customer,” adds the Xara co-founder.
Meanwhile, the Berlin-based startup is disclosing that it has raised €3 million in funding. Backing the young company is investment group Bellevue Investments & Co.