Graphic designing tools have gained huge popularity in recent times. Gone are the days when you had to rely on Adobe to create something out of the box. If you are looking for a great online design tool then you must check Canva. Canva is one of the leading design tools that help create innovative designs, images, videos, etc. In this detailed review post, we will explain what is Canva graphic tool, how it works, and highlight the different features of using this platform.
We will also discuss the different pricing plans available, and explain the benefits of using Canva over other design tools. However, before diving into all that, let’s start with an overview of Canva.
What is Canva graphic tool?
Canva is a user-friendly graphic design tool that is perfect for creating professional designs for your business. With Canva, you can easily create stunning visuals for your website, social media posts, and marketing materials without any prior design experience.
Canva is a perfect platform for online users, graphic designers, web designers, online marketers, bloggers, and anyone who wants to learn the art of designing visuals with ease. It is an ideal solution primarily for small and medium-sized enterprises involved in the online designing segment.
Canva was started in 2013 by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht, and Cameron Adams. The company is headquartered in Sydney, Australia. As of September 2021, Canva’s net value stood at $40 billion. It offers its services worldwide in more than 190 countries with 70 million+ users.
How does Canva work?
Canva is an online platform that provides users with a library of pre-designed templates and tools for creating custom designs. Canva works as a web-based application that can be accessed from any device, or location. It can be also downloaded as a separate app on different devices.
With Canva, you can create professional-looking designs for a variety of purposes, such as marketing materials, social media posts, and even business cards. The platform offers multiple templates, and elements that can be customized, or edited. It also gives options to download your design in various formats and you can even print them.
To get started with Canva, simply create your account, select a template, add your text and images, and then download your finished design in either JPG or PNG format.
To create a design with Canva, simply choose a template that best suits your needs. Templates are organized into categories such as business, education, social media, and more. You can also start from scratch and create a custom design.
Once you’ve selected a template, you can customize it to fit your specific needs. Canva offers a wide range of features and tools that allow you to change the colors, fonts, images, and other elements of your design.
Once you’re happy with your design, you can download it or share it online.
Different features of using Canva
Canva offers its users a wide range of features that can be used to create exceptional visuals. Some of the most popular features include:
Pre-designed templates: Canva offers a library of pre-designed templates for a wide range of designing purposes. The number of templates exceeds 400k to be precise which is huge. If you think the template numbers are overwhelming or confusing then you can create custom designs from scratch.
The templates offered by Canva can be classified into five main categories:
– Social Media Templates: These templates are perfect for creating engaging visuals for social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
If this is not enough, Canva also supports the creation of Pinterest pins, YouTube banners, and LinkedIn banners. You can share your story by publishing videos using Canva’s TikTok video, and YouTube video templates.
– Presentation Templates: You can create presentations, infographics, or pitch decks with these templates. Presentation templates are further divided into simple presentation clips or a video, talking presentations, brainstorming presentations, and gaming presentations.
The templates are available in predefined sizes which also make them mobile compatible.
– Business Templates: These templates can be used to create business cards, resumes, or logos. Some of the templates in this category include A4 document creation, preparing reports, letters, letterheads, invoices, checklists, memos, etc.
There is also a logo creation section where you can choose a pre-designed logo and customize it or create a new one for your business.
– Marketing Templates: Marketing templates can be utilized to create promotive marketing materials such as email headers, banner ads, or social media posts. Some of the other options include posters, flyers, labels, stickers, coupons, etc.
These templates can help you market your products, or promote different aspects of your business.
– Wedding Templates: These templates can be used to create wedding invitations, save the dates, or thank you cards. If you are struggling to find a perfect design for your wedding card then this is the right platform to create one.
Not only invitation cards, but you can also create wedding menus, and labels. There are thousands of designs and patterns to choose from.
Canva also offers templates that are specific to certain industries such as education, health and fitness, food and drink, or fashion.
Elements: This section of Canva provides a library of over one million stock photos, illustrations, and vectors. It gives you access to different types of icons, shapes, lines, stickers, graphics, videos, charts, etc.
These are helpful elements to boost your custom designs or add them to an existing template.
Working with your own designs: This is one of the biggest advantages of Canva. It has an Uploads option that allows its users to import their own designs, templates, pictures, videos, etc.
You simply have to click on the ‘Upload Media’ button and choose the file to import. You can then work on these files using Canva features. You can also record yourself to create a video in this feature.
Font kit: There is a font kit on offer by Canva to create designer texts. You can stick to a standard font of Canva or you can also create custom fonts for your designs using the Canva Fonts tool.
Just choose the desired text font and replace it with your existing text. You can also change colors and apply different effects to your text.
Changing backgrounds: Canva has another useful feature that allows you to change the background of an image. This feature has certain elements including landscapes, patterns, gradients, textures, and many more that provide vibrant colors, and beautiful visuals.
To use this option, you have to just select the profile, choose a background element and apply. There is also a ‘background remover’ on offer in case you want to completely remove a pre-defined background from an image.
There is more to Canva than just designing. You can animate the images, schedule and publish your designs to social media platforms, use a calendar to find the gaps in scheduled designs through a content planner, and access your work anytime from the Brand kit storage area.
The best part of using Canva is its drag-and-drop interface that makes design creation easy and fun even if you don’t have any prior design experience.
Using Canva for designing
It doesn’t take a professional degree or any other designing skills to use Canva. You just have to drag the resources and drop them at the appropriate section to create a design.
The first thing is choosing what you want to do. This can be done by using the search bar or by clicking on the ‘Create a design’ button.
The next step is to select the design option you want to create. Let’s say we want to create a blog banner. Type in blog and Canva will automatically display a dropdown with blog-relevant templates.
Click on the desired template option and Canva will open a design screen. Follow the options on the left side in sequential order. First choose a template you want to use, drag and drop it on the right-side blank canvas. You can then start customizing it according to your requirement.
If you don’t like the design of your template, you can select a different one or go to the ‘Elements’ option and select the design, or visual of your choice. Again, just drag and drop the element on the template. You can also use the ‘Upload’ option to import your own assets into Canva.
Similarly, visit the other features such as ‘Text’, ‘Background’, and ‘Logos’ and apply the same method as mentioned above to use them.
You can select and customize the text, and background. You can also add a logo to your image if you want to.
Next, you can change colors, resize the image, animate, re-position, and insert links/URLs.
Lastly, once you are satisfied with your creation, you can just click on the ‘Share’ button to download or publish your work.
Some of the formats supported by Canva are PNG, JPG, PDF, SVG, MP4, and GIF.
Canva offers different types of learning courses that can help users learn how to use the site more effectively. These courses are perfect for those who are new to Canva or want to learn more about using Canva’s features.
Some of the topics include getting started with Canva, creating videos, working with text, creating custom designs, and adding images to your projects. It also includes a section on mastering the use of templates.
A few of the courses also teach you how to use Canva while teaching the students, and vice versa.
The courses are divided between free and paid users. You can access the courses by logging into your account and clicking on the “Learn” tab. Alternatively, you can find the courses by searching for them on Canva’s website.
This is an added advantage and a big plus for people who have zero knowledge about graphics and design.
Pricing plans of Canva
Canva offers a free plan and two paid plans that provide additional features and benefits.
The Free plan includes access to 250,000+ templates, 100+ designs, 1000s of stock photos, and cloud storage of up to 5GB. Even though, the numbers are limited but it does serve the purpose of testing and learning the process of using Canva.
The paid subscription plan, Canva Pro, starts at $12.99 per month and includes additional features, such as 100GB of cloud storage, access to more than 600,000+ templates, millions of stock photos, and videos with some additional tools, and priority support. The Pro plan can be used by 5 people and offers a free trial of 30-days.
Another paid plan, Enterprise, starts at $30 per month. This plan can be used by a larger team of 25 people. It has all the benefits of the Pro plan plus it offers elements for brand creation, team management, built-in workflows, unlimited storage, and 24/7 support.
Canva pricing plans are well-calculated and offer something for everyone.
Is Canva worth its pricing?
Yes, Canva definitely provides value for money. It has a free plan that works forever with limited resources but you can enjoy some really valuable features of Canva without paying a dime.
Secondly, the paid plans start with a meager amount of $12.99 per month. The price is way cheaper than what you pay to buy a single stock image from a licensed distributor such as iStock. It also gives access to 5 people. That means you can easily work as a team and create a handful of designs in a rush.
You can even outsource your work to other team members and focus on other aspects of growing your business.
In the end, visuals speak more than words. Canva is a perfect platform to create and display extraordinary designs, videos, logos, banners, etc. that can surely help you increase engagement and generate more revenue.
Can you make money with Canva?
This is one of the out-of-the-box question but the answer is in affirmative. One way to make direct money with Canva is by joining its affiliate program. This program offers up to $36 for each referral who subscribes to Canva Pro using your affiliate link.
The other way to make money with Canva is using its features. Canva has a wide range of tools for adding text, shapes, and effects to designs.
You can easily customize any of Canva’s pre-designed templates to fit your specific needs. Canva’s drag-and-drop interface and easy-to-use tools make it simple to create professional designs without too much effort.
All these benefits will help your business gain attraction that will result in increased profits.
- Canva is extremely user-friendly – The interface is easy to navigate and the tools are easy to use. This makes it a great choice for beginners or those who are not familiar with design software.
- Versatile features and services – Canva offers a wide range of features, including the ability to create custom designs, work with text, and add images to your projects. This makes it a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, such as creating marketing materials, designing flyers, and creating presentations. Canva also offers a big variety of templates, fonts, and photo-editing options with a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to create professional-looking designs without having to hire a designer.
- Highly affordable – Canva offers a free plan and a paid subscription plan that is very affordable. There is no need to pay for expensive design software when you can use Canva for all of your design needs owing to its free plan. Its paid plans go as much as $30 a month which is very much in everyone’s range. What’s more is, that users can save up to 25% on Canva pricing when they opt for its annual plans.
- Integration with Third-party apps – Canva’s Integrated collaboration features make it easy to work with others on design projects. It has its own set of apps (100+ to be precise) which you can easily connect. Some of the popular ones include Google maps and photos, YouTube, Facebook, MS PowerPoint, Mailchimp, and more. If you cannot find a platform of your choice, Canva also provides access to its API (for developers only) to let you develop extensions and links for integration.
- Availability of Mobile App – This is another great advantage of accessing Canva. It is also available in an app version that can be used on Mac and iOS mobile phones. The good thing about the Canva app is it’s very similar to its browser version and performs really well from the interface and usage perspectives. However, you still need good hands and skills to work with Canva on a mobile screen.
- Lacks uniqueness – Canva is not as comprehensive as some of the other design software options like Adobe Photoshop. This means that you are restricted to the resources and tools offered by Canva only. For example, Canva does not offer any custom branding options, such as the ability to create unique elements, photo editing features, and lack of improvisation to its current database of images and templates. If you are looking for hardcore designing software that you can play with some heavy-duty stuff then Canva may not be a good option.
- Limited contact support – If you want to contact the support team of Canva then email is the only option. There is no phone or live chat support. Although, there is a dedicated help center that covers almost every topic through blogs, tutorials, and learning material but multiple contact support could have completed the help resources.
Conclusion: Is Canva graphic tool recommended?
Overall, I believe that Canva is definitely worth using. It is a great tool for those who need to create professional-looking designs but don’t have the budget to hire a designer. It is also a great option for those who want to learn more about design and how to use different design software tools.
There are a few disadvantages of using Canva, but they are not significant enough to outweigh the many benefits.
If you are looking for a comprehensive design tool, then Canva may not be the right choice for you. However, if you are looking for an easy-to-use design tool that has a free version to use and offers a wide range of features, then Canva is definitely worth checking out.
Overall, I recommend using Canva for all your graphic design needs.