Canva is one of the best graphic design software for both skilled and unskilled users. It is aiming to be a one-stop platform for everything graphic design. In this Canva review, you will learn everything you need to know about Canva. It is probably the most popular online graphic design tool, with more than 30 million users and a valuation of $6 billion.
The app comes with impressive number of features and you can use it for many graphic purposes. Whether you are looking to add text and stickers to your photo or completely revamp the theme of a brochure, Canva is a great tool to do so. Read our full Canva review including Canva pricing and verdict.
Canva Review – What is Canva?
Canva is completely a design software for anyone who is not an experience designer. Some people see it as just an image design software, but it is much more than that. from PDFs to printables to flyers to invoices to websites to infographics, you can design everything with Canva.
Depending on your experience, you can start with templates or from scratch. It has a web version and apps for mobile phones and desktops.
Canva Review – Canva Features
Here are some of the numerous Canva features:
1. Photo Effects That Improve Photos
If you are looking to enhance your photos, Canva provides you with cool effects. You can add effects to both the photos you upload and the ones Canva provides. When you select a photo, effects will show at the top of the editor.
These effects will allow you to crop photos, flip them, add filters, and adjust blur, brightness, saturation, contrast, etc. you can also add effects such as Liquify, Background Remover and Duotone. You can access most effects with free plan, but you need to subscribe to be able to use effects such as Background Remover.
2. Access to Templates, Images and Videos
Canva is providing you an access to over 75 million photos and videos and over 420,000 templates if you subscribe to its Pro Plan, but you can still get a fraction of those with the free plan.
To use these templates, click the Template tab when you are on the Editor and Canva will find templates based on the design type you have chosen. You can search the templates by language or color or scroll through.
To find photos, click on the Photo tab and choose images on a similar way to the filters. You can also upload photos from your computer by using Upload tab. You can also photos in the More tab. You can also access photos and videos directly from Flickr, Facebook, Pexels, Pixabay, Instagram, Google Drive, Dropbox, YouTube and more websites.
You can add videos via Video tab.
3. Font Library
Canva offer a font library under Text and you can choose from dozens of fonts ranging from simple fonts to sophisticated ones, with individual fonts and font pairs. By searching a font, Canva will find individual font and fonts that pair perfectly with it. You can select a pair and add your text.
If you subscribe to a Pro plan, you can upload your choice fonts, provided you have a license to use the font.
4. Access to Shapes, Icons and Stickers
With Canva, you have access to icons, charts, stickers, shapes, gradients, grids and more via Element tab. You can add them to your photos and adjust size, transparency and color.
5. Drag-and-Drop Editor
The drag-and-drop editor feature makes it easy to work with videos, photos, elements, fonts and templates. When you choose what you want to create, you will be presented with all the relevant items. You can add them by simply dragging and dropping. Within a few minutes, you should be able to create engaging visuals.
6. Animate Images
Canva allows you to apply animation effects by just clicking on Animate. When you click on animate, it shows all the effects you can use. Those that are free include Rise, Pan, Fade, Breathe and Block. Paid animations are also available. You can play around with these animation effects to create beautiful graphic for your business.
7. Create More Than Images
Some people think Canva is only about image creation, but you can create a lot of things including planners, invitations, blog banners, menus, newsletters, business cards, websites, workbooks, flyers, certificates and more.
8. Publish Directly to Social Media or Schedule
Just like many online photo editors, Canva allows you to share your image to some top social networks. A convenient feature recently added to Canva is scheduling your posts to social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Facebook groups, LinkedIn pages, Tumblr, Pinterest and Slack.
9. Brand Kit
The Brand Kit is s storage for your brand asset, including logos, brand colors and fonts. The importance o this is that you can access your assets easily while designing. It saves you a lot of time and helps you to maintain consistency across all your designs.
You can only get the Brand Kit if you subscribe to the Pro plan or Enterprise plan. You can create one Brand Kit with a Pro account but you need to upgrade to the Enterprise account to create more brands. This feature is better suited for agencies that design for corporations that house several brands or multiple clients.
10. Content Planner
Another recently introduced feature is the content planner. With content planner, you can view all the images you’ve scheduled. If you find gaps in the calendar, click the “+” sign to add a design you created earlier or create a new one immediately
Canva Review – Interface
Canva is most appealing feature is its ease of use and the fact that everything is perfectly laid out and organized. You just need to tell the software what you want to design and you will be met with thousands of layout options and templates. One of the strengths of this tool is the number of templates you can work with, which run into thousands even for free users.
Once you have a blank page or a template in front of you, you can get elements together without any hassle. You can choose to change the entire theme of a design – background images, fonts, colors – with a few clicks. So it won’t take you long to begin personalizing the basic template so that it fits with your brand image or anything you are designing.
Canva layouts are a little more restrictive than top-tier professional tools. Though you can take complete control of where everything is designed, there is not quite the same level of depth when it comes to pixel-by-pixel tweaking. However, Canva does an excellent job of keeping everything simple for beginners while also packing in lots of features needed by more ambitious designers.
You are greeted with helpful guides as you move elements around the page. These guides help you to keep everything aligned and remain consistent. Whatever you are looking to do, whether it is embedding a video, or dropping in a new background, Canva makes the process intuitive and stress-free.
The same approach is evident in mobile apps too, but it is not quite as easy to manage and adapt designs on a smartphone. However, the Android and iOS apps are user-friendly as the main web portal. The quality of the work you get on your mobile will amaze you.
Canva Review (Canva Pricing)
When it comes to Canva pricing, everything is simple. You can use Canva completely free of charge, which is a great way to test things out to know if the software is right or not for you. With a free account, you get access to about 8,000 templates, editing tools, photos, most of the key layout and over 100 different types of design projects.
If you are comfortable with the software, you might need to check Canva pricing to see how you can upgrade. If you have the budget for a subscription for the Pro plan, $12.95/month (or $9.95 a month if you pay a year at a time) will give you about 50x as many templates, alongside access to millions of stock images, and tools such as automatic background remover.
Upgrading to Enterprise plan will cost $30/month, billed annually will get you features useful for teams, so your entire team can get access to the platform and create designs.
Who is Canva Best Suited For?
Canva is perfect for small business owners, marketers and online entrepreneurs who want to quickly design things without any hassle.
Designing with software such as Photoshop is good but you need time to learn the software. With Canva, you can start designing immediately without having to go through any learning curve.
In fact, if you a tool like Photoshop, you might have to invest in a better and more expensive computer because Photoshop is a heavy-duty software.
Also, Photoshop is not the best software for designing multi-page documents for print and digital as you will need a tool such as InDesign which will cost extra time and money.
However, Canva can do all that with just drag-and-drop. It is also free and easier to use. In fact, if you are choosing a paid version, you can go for a plan with $12.95/month.
Canva Review – How to Use Canva?
Now that you are familiar with Canva pricing and features, lets’ get started with creating things in Canva.
Choose a Visual Type
Select an option on the dashboard to choose a visual type, or use the menu, arrow, or search bar to find templates. You can set your desired custom dimensions for a unique layout.
I clicked on Instagram Story, as we are creating an Instagram image.
Choose a Template and Modify it Accordingly
Canva opens the editor in another tab with templates to your left.
Click on the template you like and then drag and drop on the editor at the right side of the templates.
Edit as you like. After selecting a template, you can modify it by adding brand color and whatever you want to add.
check below for mine.
That is how to create an image in Canva. You can also create an image from scratch by starting with a blank page.
Huge number of graphics and templates
Intuitive interface that is easy to navigate
Integrated with stock photo image bank
Freemium subscription model
Can create any kind of visual project
Very easy to use for both beginners and professionals
The best features require a subscription
Doesn’t work offline
Advanced users will want more options
If you are looking for Canva alternativesfor your designs, here are 7 Canva alternatives:
1. Easil – Easil is a drag-and-drop design software that allows you to create visual content so good it look like a pro designed it. Here are a few features that make it one of the best Canva alternatives:
- Great and high-quality , professional, editable templates
- Brand Kit
- Brand locking that lets you create templates for your team and lock it so that they won’t mess with it
- Ability to control team member access to assets
- Unique editing tools features text effects tools, color palette generator, tables, transparent PNG, etc
- Templates are all-inclusive
- Advanced design tools
- folders and favorites
- GIF maker
- Great customer support
2. Stencil – Stencil is ridiculously easy to use image creation for small businesses, bloggers and social media marketers. It is one of the best Canva alternatives. Here are some of the features that make Stencil thisk:
- Over 650 template designs
- Stock photos
- Large range of custom social media sizes
- Huge library of graphics and icons
- Massive quote library
- 2,300 Google web fonts
- share image to social platforms
3. Crello – Crello is also one of the best Canva alternatives as it looks similar to Canva. Here are the greate features of Crello:
- Over 20,000 templates and 240 fonts
- Plenty of choice design size and format
- Massive image library
- Top design tools
- Photo editor
- animation maker
4. Picmonkey – Picmonkey is much more than just a photo editing tool, which is why it is one of the best Canva alternatives. Here are a few features that make it one of the best:
- Basic and advanced photo editing tools
- Photo effects and filters
- Add text to photos
- Touch up effects
- Collage maker
5. Adobe Spark – Adobe Spark lets you create stunning graphics for all occasions. Here are a few features that makes it one of the best Canva alternatives:
- Apply themes
- Template designs
- Easy text resize
- Animation effects
- Brand features
6. Snappa – This software claims to make design snappy, not clunky. Here are some of its features:
- Graphic editor
- Visual asset library
- Hundreds of pre-made templates
- Resize tool
- Own photo upload
- Import custom fonts
- Save and organize into folders
- Team collaboration
- Share images to social media
7. Pablo – This is probably the simplest of these Canva alternatives, but it creates content easily and quickly. Here are a few features:
- Built-in analytics
- Multiple image sizes
- Buffer extension
- Sharing straight to social media
- Inspirational quotes
Canva Review – Verdict
Canva is a very impressive graphic design software available on the web and iOS and Android. You can use it to create a whole lot of different types of design and post directly to social media.
This Canva review showed you can start using Canva today. The Canva pricing is also good and you can choose any premium plan you want if you like the software.
Better still, you can look into Canva alternatives if you don’t like Canva. Check Canva out here.