- Design Tools
Canva is a free-to-use online graphic design tool. Use it to create social media posts, presentations, posters, videos, logos and more.
So, you’ve decided to start your own business or blog.
You have a winning idea, a great name, and a solid business plan.
Now, you’re ready to start building.
If you need digital design help but don’t have the time to teach yourself Photoshop, Canva may be a viable option.
Canva is an online tool that takes the guesswork out of content design for business owners.
It’s an especially invaluable tool for bloggers who need clear, eye-catching graphics or templates.
In this article, we’ll dive into the pros, cons, noteworthy features, and potential frustrations that users note about Canva.
Canva at a Glance
Here’s a quick overview of Canva’s offerings.
Graphic design software
Beginner designers looking to establish their branding
Plans & Pricing:
Canva offers three types of plans:
- Canva Free: Free basic accounts for everyone
- Canva Pro: $12.99 per month or $120 a year
- Canva for Teams: $14.99 per month or $150 per year
What Is Canva?
Canva is a platform that offers easy-to-use templates for everything from social media posts to logos and letterhead.
Canva’s creator Melanie Perkins came up with the idea when she was just 19 years old.
It started as a way for high school classmates to collaborate on their yearbook pages.
By the time Melanie was 30, she was officially one of the tech industry’s youngest female CEOs.
Canva boasts 65 million users in more than 170 countries.
According to CNBC, 85% of Fortune 500 companies now use Canva for content creation.
What Is Canva Used For?
What makes Canva so useful is that it’s built to help people at any stage of their business.
Whether you have established your style or need to play around with ideas before deciding, Canva is a great option to test your marketing vision.
Some people just use Canva for its social media post templates, optimized in perfect orientation for each social media outlet.
Others build their entire blogs on Canva by reusing the same graphics each time they need a new post.
Need a Zoom background?
Working on a presentation?
Canva can design it all and keep your branding consistent along the way.
How Does Canva Work?
The Canva platform operates as a hub for design templates.
Once you create a login, you can save colors, fonts, graphics, and unfinished projects in your business’s cloud.
You can edit projects, download content you create, invite collaborators, and even order physical prints within Canva.
With a few drag-and-drops and some creativity, what was once a template becomes a downloadable graphic specific to your tastes that you can use repeatedly.
Canva’s Best Features
Canva has five features that make it stand out from other graphic design software options.
1. The Free Version
Unlike many other design tools that offer free and paid-for features, Canva’s free version is an all-encompassing, one-stop shop for most design needs.
When Canva introduced its Pro accounts with new features for premium subscribers, there were more than four million users working solely with free account features.
With a free account, users can access professional templates, stock photos, fonts, editing tools, and more.
The free version of Canva is available to anyone with an email address.
If you do not want to buy an upgraded account, you can purchase individual special features as needed.
2. The Easy-to-Use Platform
Canva is great for anyone with any level of design skill.
People rave about the user-friendly interface that’s easy to make your own.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll enter your hub.
Here, you can search for new templates or re-open your previous projects.
When you are working on a project, the left side of the page holds a multitude of items you can use to edit the template however you like.
When you finish a graphic, simply click the top right of the page to download it in different formats.
3. Professional Designs and Guides
Canva offers clean, professional designs that users edit in minutes.
Their team of creators is constantly uploading new ideas, and there is always fresh inspiration to choose from.
As you edit on a graphic, Canva offers alignment guides and gives recommendations to ensure your final product is optimized correctly.
4. Canva Assistant and How-to Hub
The Canva Assistant is an in-project tool to help you if you get stuck.
Are you confused about how to make a particular edit?
You can search the Canva assistant for step-by-step instructions without leaving your current project.
You can also use the Canva assistant search bar to find helpful articles written by Canva that are unrelated to your current design.
Use the search to ask account-specific questions or learn more about general branding all in one place.
5. Brand Kits
Are you working on multiple websites that require different colors, fonts, and styles?
In Canva, you don’t need to create multiple accounts for this.
You can save those style choices into separate brand kits all under the same login.
Brand kits are a favorite feature among paid subscribers.
The brand kit option does not exist yet in Canva Free.
Are There Any Minimum Requirements Necessary To Use Canva?
Canva does not require anything of its users to create an account.
All you need is an active email address and internet access.
Canva is an online tool, so you cannot access your designs offline without downloading them first.
The platform operates on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android.
For the best user experience, make sure your browser software is up-to-date.
How Much Does Canva Cost?
Canva offers three types of accounts.
Each account type has features that cater to different needs.
Canva’s free version has access to more than 250,000 templates and one million free stock photos.
You can invite collaborators into your free account to work on projects together.
With a free account, you’ll receive 5GB of storage for your designs.
There are more than 100 design types to choose from including social media posts, invitations, presentations, posters, and more.
Canva Pro offers everything that comes with the free version but with a larger library of content to choose from.
This option is best for individuals who want an unlimited supply of inspiration, or for people working on projects for multiple businesses.
Canva Pro is 12.99 a month for one person.
If you would like to access the complete Canva library but need to invite a team to work with you in Canva, you may need to upgrade to Canva for Teams.
Canva for Teams
The Canva for Teams plan has all the best features Canva offers.
With Canva for Teams, you can assign tasks, track team member activity, and create team reports.
Canva for teams is $14.99 a month for up to 5 collaborators.
Teams with more than 5 collaborators will incur a higher monthly fee.
Canva for Educators and Nonprofits
Canva offers 100% free full accounts for teachers, school districts, and nonprofits.
Canva’s commitment to education and the community is one of its founding principles.
Does Canva Have an Enterprise Version Available?
Canva for Teams Is Canva’s Enterprise version.
Canva for Teams is used by small businesses and Fortune 500 companies.
The price of the Canva for Teams plan varies by the number of team members.
Canva Promotions & Savings
Canva offers many promotions and savings for both paid plan types.
Does Canva Have a Free Trial?
Canva offers a 30-day free trial for Canva Pro and Canva for Teams.
If you cancel at any time within the 30 days, your card on file will not be charged.
Does Canva Offer Coupon Codes?
Currently, Canva does not offer direct coupon codes for their paid subscription plans.
However, Canva offers coupons and savings for different features within the platform including savings on printing your designs.
Does Canva Have a Lifetime Deal?
Canva does not currently have a lifetime subscription option.
There are only two ways to access Canva’s features.
You can create a free account, or pay monthly or yearly for a Pro account.
If you are a teacher or educator, you can get access to a free Canva Pro account.
Canva promises to never charge educators for their teaching tools.
All you need is your education email address to sign up.
Reach out to Canva today to claim your free account.
Does Canva Usually Offer Black Friday or Cyber Monday Discounts?
Canva does not typically offer subscription discounts on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
For the latest updates on pricing deals, follow Canva’s Facebook page.
Who Are Canva’s Main Alternatives?
There are many alternatives to Canva.
The top three alternatives below differ from Canva in price, features, and ease of use.
1. Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe has a world-renowned reputation for delivering quality content to its users.
Alternatives to Canva within Adobe include Adobe Spark, Express, In Design, and Lightroom.
Beginner Adobe users note that learning Adobe’s interface well enough to become proficient can take time.
For experienced graphic designers, both Adobe and Canva could be great options.
Vistacreate is another option for beginners.
This platform also offers a free version to users looking for easy-to-use templates for graphic design.
Vistacreate differs from Canva by providing fewer options for large companies that need multiple collaborators in the same account.
It has a plethora of stock images to choose from, but it offers fewer templates to choose from than Canva.
Stencil is one of the most highly rated graphic creation platforms on the web.
They offer 5,000,000 stock images to choose from and more than 3,000,000 royalty-free icons.
Stencil and Canva differ in significant ways.
If you are wondering which platform is best for you, try both to see which you like best.
Keep in mind that Stencil offers a seven-day money-back guarantee compared to Canva’s 30-day completely free trial.
Stencil also has a cap on the number of images you can download if you choose to use a free account.
How Does Canva Differentiate Itself From Competitors?
Canva differentiates itself from the competition by the amount of content it has available for use.
There is no competitor in the graphic design software space with as many templates on a platform as easy to use as Canva’s platform.
Who Is Canva Best For?
Canva’s target user is a marketer or business owner.
No matter the size of the business or niche the business operates in, Canva is equipped with teaching and collaboration tools to help any company or blog take its branding to the next level.
Canva’s platform retains millions of users around the world by positioning itself as the design tool for non-designers who need to create professional graphics.
The easy-to-use interface and amount of free features make it a great option for beginners who need coaching or advanced creators that need fresh inspiration.
Is Canva Easy To Use?
Canva’s platform is easy to use for single-user beginners and collaborator teams.
Navigation through the site flows well and is easy to understand.
If you need help with your design, the Canva Assistant tool makes finding answers to your question a seamless process, as well.
What Features Do Canva Users Love?
Canva users rave about many features on the platform.
They love the number of icons, fonts, and shapes that Canva offers.
This gives the users more of an ability to make the pre-made templates their own.
Canva users also love that they can create more than just images.
Within Canva, users can create videos, collages, thank you cards, coupons, infographics, ads, and much more.
What Features Do Canva Users Find Frustrating?
Though Canva has a lot of great features, there are also some downsides.
Canva designs are easy to build, but after downloading them from Canva, you cannot make edits to the design in other programs on your device.
To make changes, you will need to re-enter your Canva account.
This is a frustrating problem with Canva designs.
Another pain point for users is that the newest designs on Canva are very popular.
This means you may see the template you used elsewhere on the internet.
To solve this, you’ll have to get more creative with your manipulation of the original template.
Frequently Asked Questions
Check below for some frequently asked questions about this program.
Is Canva a Chinese App?
Canva is not a Chinese app.
The creator and co-founder of Canva is Australian tech CEO Melanie Perkins.
The company is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.
Why Do Graphic Designers Hate Canva?
There are a few downsides to Canva that graphic designers may not appreciate.
Many graphic designers who spent years learning their craft believe that Canva’s templates are overused and therefore less original.
Other graphic designers choose to use other programs for large projects for fear of copyright issues.
Do Professionals Use Canva?
Yes, professional business owners, marketers, and graphic designers use Canva.
Canva has subscribers all over the world who use the site for small items or big projects.
Canva is a valuable tool for bloggers and business owners.
Whether you are just starting your business or need some inspiration before making a branding change, you can benefit from Canva’s platform.
Canva offers paid plans for advanced features, but the free version is useful for most everyday needs.
CEO Melanie Perkins’ vision in 2012 to create a design collaboration tool has helped businesses around the world make professional marketing less of a hassle and more of a delight.
It is widely considered one of the best design tools available on the web.
Do you have experiences to share or thoughts about the Canva platform?
Leave a comment below.