Canva Review - Accessible Graphic Design
Written byDenny Pencheva
Updated · Apr 08, 2022
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- Super easy to use
- Comprehensive free plan
- Available in multiple languages
- Thousands of customizable templates
- A lot of premium-only features
- Limited photo editing
Everybody loves Canva!
It creates beautiful posters, social media posts, brochures (and so much more) right in your browser. And, it’s so user-friendly that a toddler could make it work.
But is Canva really the best online graphic tool?
Is Canva better than Photoshop?
Should you check out other options, or even hire an actual designer?
You'll get your answers in this Canva review. Join us at HostingTribunal as we take an in-depth look into the internet’s favorite online design program to give you all the details (even the fine print.)
Canva Review: Everything You Need to Know
Canva is a web-based design platform that helps you create anything from your kid’s birthday party invitations to quarterly reports and presentations. With an intuitive interface, plenty of Canva stickers, elements, and photos for free, and beautiful, fully customizable templates, it’s a newbie’s best friend.
Here’s everything you need to know about Canva in 2022:
The main perks of choosing Canva image editor over other options include:
- Super easy to use
- Ready-made templates for virtually any occasion
- Hundreds of Canva stock photos, graphics, and stickers free for commercial use
- Comprehensive free functions
- Affordable Canva Pro and Enterprise pricing
- Canva app and desktop program to take designing anywhere
- Available in multiple languages
- Advanced Canva tools for collaboration (with the business solution)
- Store all your designs, uploads, and projects for future use
- A popular choice for small businesses, content creators, and even professional marketers
- Canva Design School has hundreds of lessons to help with branding, visual identity, and Canva for different organizations (businesses, non-profits, educators, etc.)
But there are some downsides to Canva:
- A lot of premium-only features (e.g., image resize)
- Limited photo editing functionality (Canva seems more design-focused)
- Popular design templates get repetitive (since a lot of businesses use them)
Overall, Canva is still one of the most robust, easy-to-use, and affordable graphic design tools on the internet. Are you still wondering if it’s the right choice? Let’s look at the specific tools and other details to help you decide:
What file types can Canva handle?
The accepted image formats are jpg, jpeg, gif, png, pdf, and SVG. You can also upload videos in mov, gif, or MP4 file format.
For both videos and images, there are size restrictions for individual files and total uploads. Free Canva accounts get up to 5GB of total upload space, while premium accounts (regardless of the plan) can upload up to 100GB. Enterprise members have unlimited storage.
You can also upload your own fonts in otf, ttf, or woff format. This is limited to Pro and Enterprise members, and they can have up to 100 fonts on a single account.
What Is Canva Best For?
Here are some of the people and teams that will love Canva:
- Marketing teams with little graphic design experience (and limited outsourcing budgets) can use Canva’s straightforward beginner-friendly layout to create ads and social media graphics.
- Non-profit organizations will benefit from thousands of Canva pamphlet, brochure, and educational material templates.
- Educational institutions like schools, colleges, and academies will love Canva’s templates for worksheets, reports, and other study materials.
- Startup and small business owners can do their own graphic design without prior training or experience (for a low price).
- Social media marketers can use Canva to make graphics for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and so much more.
- Content creators of all sorts - from bloggers who want to make their banners to ebook writers who prefer to make their book covers from scratch - will benefit from Canva’s commercial use of licensed imagery.
- Website owners - Canva's website templates can let you quickly design stunning web pages. It's a fantastic way to get unique designs without going for a landing page builder or similar solution.
- Non-graphic-designer people can still create beautiful graphics for personal and professional use (e.g., designing their CV).
A word of warning:
Canva templates are beautifully designed, but they’re far from unique and original. Pro and Enterprise members get more options but keep in mind that Canva is one of the most popular digital art tools. There are hundreds of thousands of businesses, organizations, and individuals who use it.
Graphic design is about more than just visually pleasing designs. For businesses, it also helps you stand out by establishing a visual identity.
Canva is one of the most popular logo-making tools, for example, and the sheer number of online stores that have very similar logos is astounding. If you make your logo on Canva, make sure you mix and match elements to get a unique and memorable design.
Bottom line: Canva helps you make graphics easily, but you still need a hint of creative design to stand out.
Ease of Use
One of the big perks of Canva is how incredibly easy and intuitive it is. You can learn to work in the Canva program in no time. And no, you don’t need any prior graphic design experience, training, or an “eye for design.” This is what the templates are for, and they’re all drag-and-drop.
To make Canva work, just go to the site, register for a profile, and pick a template. Virtually all elements of a template are customizable, so the end product doesn’t have to look anything like the template. If you run into any problems, you can use the help button in the corner right or go to their extensive knowledge base.
Canva was built to make graphic design easy and fun, even for complete beginners, and this is what it does best. 10/10 on the ease-of-use front.
Templates & Designs
Canva has over 8,000 free templates for 100+ design types (from social media posts to business cards.) Unsure which templates are free and which aren’t? Anything that has a crown or dollar sign next to it is a premium feature.
Fortunately, you have plenty of free templates to never run out of options, and drag-and-drop customization helps you make them unique.
Premium Templates and Designs
Canva Pro and Enterprise members get even more options, with a total of over 100,000 templates and multiple stock images, graphics, and videos.
Both the Pro and Enterprise subscriptions also include a Brand Kit option, which helps you create a visual identity and stick to it.
The Brand Kit is essentially a branding guide template, but it’s much quicker to make and easier to use by the entire team in Canva.
It’s a handy tool if you’re working with multiple people on the same project and want to stick to the same vision (which is essential for creating a consistent brand image.)
One-Click Image Resize
Canva gives you different templates by design type. For example, if you’re making an Instagram Story, you’ll only see templates specifically for these dimensions. But what if you like a particular design and want to use it in another format? You can do that with the Magic Resize tool. This premium-only feature allows you to resize any design, so you can fit the width and height you need.
You can use Canva on desktop and mobile, but you do need an internet connection for both.
Here’s how to get started:
Canva is a web-based platform with the online editor as its main hub.
On the Canva landing page, you can see popular templates and design types, edit your previous projects or start a new design from scratch. If you need a specific format, look it up using the search bar - they have everything from resumés to Etsy shop banners.
Canva for Windows and Mac
The Canva desktop version is available for Windows and Mac computers and looks much like the online editor.
To get the Canva download, go to their website and get the installation wizard.
Like the web tool, the desktop version is free, but it has locked premium-only features.
Canva for Android and iPhone
Take graphic design on the go with Canva’s free mobile app. Impressively, the application repeats much of the desktop and online editor functionality.
Still, it’s best for making social media posts, since multi-page documents take longer to edit on mobile.
Canva Cost & Plans
Is Canva free? It can be. I’ve used the free version for as long as I can remember and rarely ran into any problems.
But here’s the catch:
When I can’t get Canva to do something for me, I fire up Photoshop and get it done. But since Photoshop takes longer, I still prefer Canva for most designs.
Canva’s plans are way cheaper than an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription (which starts at $50), and the program is much faster and easier to use, even if you have Photoshop and Illustrator skills. And you get the same amount of online cloud storage with both solutions.
You have all the stock images and graphic elements already built into the editor, ready-made templates to choose from, and a light, intuitive program at your fingertips.
With Canva’s free profile, you can use 8,000+ templates for 100+ design types and customize them to your heart’s desire. Use Canva to design a brochure for your business, a photo collage for a friend, or even a family tree to surprise your grandma. There is a limited number of stock photos, stickers, and fonts available to free users. However, you can source your own images from places like Unsplash and Pexels and upload them to Canva. In my experience, this was more than enough to create unique, visually appealing designs.
The main perks of getting Canva Pro are customization options and convenience. With it, you can quickly resize any design and create custom templates. Plus, you get a brand identity kit and numerous stock photos, images, graphics, fonts, and other design elements. They’re all within the app, and you can just drag and drop them into designs. Lastly, it comes with the one-click resize and one-click background removal to speed up your work. Canva Pro will set you back $12.95/month if you’re billed monthly, or $9.95/month billed yearly. If you think the Pro subscription might make your design workflow quicker and easier, check out the 30-day free trial.
To get the Enterprise pricing, you have to contact their sales team and figure out a plan that works. With this membership, you get all the perks of Canva Pro, as well as multiple Brand Kits to help you establish your visual identity and brand controls to manage team member access, uploads, and edit permissions. It also includes single-sign on the authentication scheme, advanced template locking to avoid accidental mistakes and unauthorized project changes, and built-in workflows for efficiency and easy validation. Lastly, you get unlimited storage for uploaded photos, graphics, and fonts and 24/7 customer support with priority service.
If you run into any issues using Canva, check out their detailed knowledge base, or contact the customer service team. To submit a ticket:
- Go to Need Help? and select your category.
- Scroll through the possible problems to see if there’s a knowledge base article.
- If you don’t see it, click Report an Issue at the bottom of the page.
- Describe your problem and submit the form.
The client support has been very quick, efficient, and friendly whenever I’ve contacted them. They don’t mention a timeframe for responding, but it has never been more than 48 hours for me.
Finally, check out Canva’s Design School courses for detailed tutorials on creating beautiful visuals. They have classes on everything from personal branding to presentation mastery, and they’re all free. You’ll learn a lot of helpful Canva tips, as well as generally useful social media, design, and marketing tips along the way.
Canva Reviews Around the Internet
Virtually all Canva reviews on Reddit, review sites, and the rest of the internet agree that:
- Canva is super easy to use and yields impressive designs.
- While it’s a handy tool, it’s not a professional photo editor, a graphic design program, or a replacement for hiring a designer.
Essentially, Canva is great for non-professionals to create beautiful visuals without any design experience or Photoshop/Illustrator proficiency. Since the program is cheaper than hiring a professional or even subscribing to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, it’s a popular choice among small businesses, educational institutions, and NGOs.
Canva makes pretty designs accessible to people with smaller budgets and the time to DIY their graphics. It’s not a tool for graphic design agencies, freelancers, or professionals who want to edit their photos. That disclaimer aside, everybody does love Canva since it’s cost-effective, easy-to-use, and does the job impressively well.
When to Use Canva
Canva is an affordable and user-friendly platform that helps you create sleek, visually pleasing designs for personal and business use. It’s no wonder they’re so popular.
Everything is drag-and-drop; you don’t need prior experience or even an eye for design. Canva’s templates are modern, well-balanced, and thousands of them even with the free account. All you need to do is sign up and start designing.
Canva reviews around the web are glowing, and we’re happy to join in the hype.
Right now, Canva is one of the best graphic design tools in 2022, making our life (as non-designers) easier, and the internet (as well as business cards, brochures, and posters around the world) prettier.
Even though it’s the most popular easy design software, there are other sites like Canva to help you create beautiful imagery.
Here’s how they stack up:
Canva Vs. PicMonkey
PicMonkey is another popular photo editor and graphic design program with membership starting at $7.99/month. The platform has more robust photo editing functionality with effects, overlays, touch-up features (wrinkle removal, teeth whitening, hair, and eye color adjustment), etc. They also have templates for creating logos, business cards, posters, and other graphics, much like Canva.
The significant difference is PicMonkey doesn’t have a free option, and they have fewer templates than Canva.
User-experience-wise, both platforms are easy to pick up and beginner-friendly. But, while PicMonkey is better for photo editing, Canva offers more comprehensive tools for creating graphics for social media, ads, business use, etc.
Canva Vs. FotoJet
FotoJet is an obvious Canva competitor, and even its platform layout looks similar. FotoJet’s monthly membership fees are lower, starting at $3.33/month, and they have a sleek, intuitive UI, which works fast, and it’s easy to use. You can use FotoJet for free without signing up, which is a major time-saver. Overall, however, Canva has more comprehensive functions and has the best price to quality ratio.
Canva Review: Final Verdict
Canva is an affordable and easy-to-use online graphic design tool.
It is great for small businesses, NGOs, educators, and budding designers. It is perfect for quirky Instagram stories, but it also packs a plethora of tools for sleek, professional reports and slides.
Sign up today for a free account, or try out the pro version for 30 days before purchasing!
Canva is a web-based graphic design tool that helps you create visuals for personal and private use. You can use it to design logos, social media posts, brochures, presentation slides, and much more. Canva is one of the most user-friendly digital design tools, and it’s perfect for people with no prior experience who still want polished and beautiful designs.
To get started with Canva, sign up for a profile with your email, Facebook, or Google credentials. Creating a profile allows you to save your uploads and designs and work on them at any time.
Free members get over 8,000 different templates in 100+ design types, and they can use Canva’s free stock images, fonts, and stickers. Pro and Enterprise users get additional templates, design elements, and collaboration functionality. Everything on Canva is drag-and-drop, so it’s very beginner-friendly.
Yes, Canva has a forever free plan. With free membership, you can use thousands of templates, stock photos, fonts, and graphics. You can also upload your own photos and images (e.g., from Unsplash or Pexels) to customize the designs. However, your resize and collaboration functions are limited, and you can’t use any premium design elements (images, icons, fonts, etc).
Canva’s Pro plan costs $12.95 if you pay monthly, or $9.95 per month if you pay yearly. Canva Enterprise is better for companies and teams. To get a quote, you need to contact support.
Yes, it is. If you’ll be using Canva for work, the pricing is way more affordable than a Creative Cloud subscription (let alone hiring a designer.) While Canva’s templates are very popular, as long as you customize them, you can get unique, professional-looking designs on the cheap. You can check out more details in our Canva review above.
Denny is a content marketing enthusiast, writer, and occasional tech geek. She also studies Medicine, sometimes.