Canva is a good editing tool

Canva Review 2021 - Everything about design, pricing and Canva Pro costs

Table of Contents

What is Canva

Canva is a comprehensive, cloud-based graphic design software. She has set herself the goal of being your sole contact for everything that has to do with graphic design.

With a simple and above all intuitive user interface, Canva aims to help you get the best results for the time and effort you can invest and is therefore suitable for those who find the premium alternatives such as Photoshop too daunting and before all are too expensive. Canva is also free in its basic version.

Canva covers an impressive number of use cases and comes with an even more impressive number of features. Whether you want to add text and stickers to a photo or completely redesign the theme of a brochure.

In this article I want to show you my Canva experiences, especially with the Canva Pro version, so that you can decide for yourself whether Canva or Canva Pro is the right tool for you.

Canva features

Canva is a versatile graphic design tool that runs in your browser and as an app on Android and iOS: It lets you create brochures, flyers, posters, logos, social media graphics such as Instagram posts, Facbook Pages Cover, Instagram story highlights cover, Carousel posts,Instagram profile of, etc., but also invitations, calendars, videos, YouTube thumbnails, presentations, cards, logos, infographics, labels, letterheads, resumes, menus and much more. You can start with one of the numerous design templates or a completely blank draft and build your design however you want.

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The platform also includes an impressive number of editing and layout tools - everything from cropping to blurring effects to removing backgrounds is included. Objects can be easily arranged and overlaid in a project, and it's easy to add extras like text captions or fun stickers and gifs.

Canva prides itself on being easy to use for anyone, with or without graphic design experience, and it is certainly true that the templates and intuitive tools mean you can create something very professional looking very quickly. But it's not just a beginner's app - experienced design professionals can use Canva as long as they don't want too much control over the details on the page.

I'll go into more detail about Canva pricing a little later, but Canva Pro gives both free and paid users access to thousands of different templates in more than 100 categories to start designing, while those using Canva Pro additionally have access to millions of stock photos, videos and design elements to play around with.

From optimizing your pet photos to creating a complete social media campaign.

Canva can do almost anything in the world of photo editing and graphic design. You don't have to install any software on Windows, macOS or Linux, you can start using it right away.

So much in advance, I use the Canva Pro version every day and although I'm not a born designer, I get along very well with the design tool and can create everything my designs with it in no time at all.

From the Instagram post, the YouTube thumbnail to the blog banners but also the infographics for my posts, such as this one in the post "Get more followers“:

Canva user interface

Canva's ease of use is one of its most appealing features, and everything is really very neat and organized. Just tell Canva what you want to design and you'll be presented with a plethora of different templates and layout options - one of Canva's strengths is the number of templates you can work with, which runs into the thousands, even before you can start paying for a monthly Canva Pro subscription.

When it comes to layouts, Canva is a little more restrictive than the top-of-the-line professional applications - you can have full control over where everything goes in a design, but there isn't quite the same depth of pixel-perfect customization. Still, Canva is very good at keeping everything simple for beginners while also providing plenty of features for the more ambitious designer.

As you move elements around the page, helpful guides appear to help you line up and keep everything looking consistent, while swapping parts of a design (e.g. a photo) can be done with a few clicks of the mouse. Whatever you want to do, whether you want to add a new background or embed a video, Canva makes the process hassle free and intuitive.

The same approach can be seen in the mobile apps: Of course, it's not that easy to manage and customize designs on a smartphone screen, but the Android and iOS apps are just as easy to use as the main web portal. The quality of the work you can do on your phone may surprise you, which in turn proves how well-designed and powerful Canva actually is.

Canva Pricing and Canva Pro Cost

Canva is completely free to use, which is a great way to find out if Canva is for you or not: you get access to 250,000+ free templates, 100+ different types of design projects, hundreds of thousands of free photos and graphics, 5GB Cloud storage and most of the most important layout and editing tools you will likely need on the web and mobile.

This is really a very generous free offer that some people will be fine with.

If you have the budget for a Canva Pro account, you can get around 420,000 free templates with new designs every day for € 11.99 per month (or € 9.16 per month if you pay for one year at a time), plus access to over 75 million free premium photos, videos, audio files and graphics for free use, 100 GB cloud storage, a social media post planner for 7 platforms plus cool tools like automatic background removal.

You can also add useful functions for teams so that you can manage access for multiple users. The Canva prices would then be 11.99 euros for the first person, and + 6.99 euros / month for additional team members.

In my personal opinion, the Canva pro costs are indeed manageable, especially when you compare that with Photoshop, for example.

To get an idea of ​​the Canva Pro version, you can now Try it free for 30 days*.

Who is Canva for?

Canva is best suited for small business owners, online entrepreneurs and marketers, and for everyone who wants to design, for example, quickly and, above all, easy and appealing social media graphics, e.g. for Instagram.

To create sophisticated designs, a tool like Photoshop is certainly ideal. But to master it well, it takes a lot of time to learn the hundreds of functions and to become familiar with the software. It is also necessary to have a sound design background.

Photoshop is also very sophisticated software. You may need to invest in a better, more expensive computer.

And Photoshop isn't the best software for creating multi-page documents for print and digital; you'll need to get hold of another tool like InDesign. That costs you additional money and time, because this is also a demanding tool.

But with Canva, you can do it all with a single drag-and-drop tool. It's also easier to use and free. With Canva Pro there is even a comprehensive but also an affordable paid version that costs 11.99 euros per month.

The top features of Canva and especially the Canva Pro version

# 1 photo effects to enhance photos

Canva has several effects to enhance photos. You can add effects to photos that Canva provides and to photos that you upload.

You can see them at the top of the editor when you select a photo.

With them, you can flip, crop, add filters, and adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, hue, blur, etc. photos.

There's also an Effects tab that lets you add effects like Duotone, Background Remover, Liquify, and more.

Most effects are available with the free plan, but some features, like the background remover, require a paid Canva Pro subscription.

# 2 Access to photos, videos, and templates

With the Canva Pro subscription you have access to more than 75 million photos and videos and 420,000+ templates; a fraction of it is available with the free offer.

To use the templates, click on the Templates tab in the editor. Canva will automatically find templates based on the design type you choose.

You can scroll through the templates or search them by color or language.

To find photos, click the Photos tab and select photos in a similar way to the filters. You can also upload photos from the Upload tab.

Another place to find photos is on the More tab.

You can access photos and videos directly from Pexels, Pixabay, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Instagram, Dropbox, Google Drive and other sites.

There is also a video tab where you can find videos.

# 3 Access to icons, shapes and stickers.

Canva has an Items tab where you can find icons, shapes, stickers, diagrams, grids, gradients, and more.

You can add them to your pictures and adjust the color, transparency and size.

# 4 font library

Canva has a font library under Text where you can find dozens of fonts, from simple to sophisticated fonts, with individual fonts and font pairs.

When you search for a font, Canva will find the unique font and fonts that are paired with it. You can choose a pair and add your text.

If you have a Canva Pro account, you can upload fonts as long as you have a license for that font; you cannot upload any font you like.

# 5 drag-and-drop editor

The drag-and-drop editor makes it easy for you to work with the photos, videos, templates, elements and fonts. Choose what you'd like to create and Canva will show you all the relevant items. You can add them and make changes using the drag-and-drop method. You should be able to create your graphics in minutes. If you've already used the templates, you can probably create them in seconds.

# 6 Create more than just pictures.

Most people think of Canva just about creating pictures. But you can also create invitations, planners, business cards, blog banners, newsletters, menus, certificates, workbooks, websites, flyers, and much more. There are also plenty of resources available for online education.

You can use the drag-and-drop editor again. Choose the type of creation and Canva will suggest templates for you. You can either work with the available templates or start from scratch.

# 7 Animate images

Canva lets you apply animation effects. Just click on Animate. All the effects that you can use are displayed here. Free ones include Block, Breathe, Fade, Pan, and Rise; Animations for a fee are also available.

I recommend playing around with these effects. They will help you create beautiful pictures, especially for social media.

# 8 Post or schedule on social media

Like most online photo editors, Canva lets you publish your pictures directly to some of the major social networks. A handy feature they recently added is scheduling your posts on social media, including Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn Profiles, LinkedIn Pages, Slack, and Tumblr.

# 9 content planner

Another new feature is the content planner. Here you can see all the pictures that you have planned. If you find any gaps in the calendar, click the “+” sign to add a design you created earlier or create one right away.

# 10 brand kit or branding documents

The brand kit or record is a storage area for your brand assets, including fonts, brand colors, and logos.

 

The main benefit is that you can easily access the assets during the design. This saves time and helps you maintain a consistent look across all of your designs.

The Brand Kit is only available in Canva Pro and Enterprise accounts. You can create a Brand Kit with a Canva Pro account. To create more, you'll need to upgrade to Enterprise. It is more suitable for agencies that design for multiple clients or for companies that have multiple brands.

Cons of Canva

As discussed, Canva has so many advantages. But there are a couple of downsides too. Here you are.

You cannot create unique elements

You cannot create elements with Canva. You will “only” find ready-made designs and design-enhancing elements such as lines, frames, icons, shapes and stickers that you can add to your creations.

Canva sets elements

You can only use the elements that Canva tells you to use. You can change colors and sizes, rotate and move them, but that's about it.

If you were to use Photoshop or Illustrator, you could create these elements from scratch, like in this comic I drew.

It's a combination of hand drawing and vectors.

Photos and templates appear generic

Canva has hundreds of thousands of templates and millions of photos. They look great and work better than a lot of the ubiquitous free stuff. But they can look a bit generic. Again, this is due to Canva's rigid nature.

Creating something distinctive is a challenge. You may find more unique templates and photos on design resource sites like Freepik and Adobe Stock.

But you still get loads of high quality free images and premium images for a small price of 11.99 euros per month (less if you pay annually), so the Canva Pro version is also more affordable.

Not the best photo editor out there

Canva has photo editing features, but it can't do the heavy lifting that tools like Photoshop can do. If you're working with more photos, you should either buy Photoshop or combine Canva with Lightroom.

Difficult to use on small screens

There is a mobile app, but it's harder to use. The experience on the computer is much better.

How to use Canva

Now that you know some of Canva's great features, let's use that knowledge to create an image.

We're going to create an Instagram quote image below. As is well known, quotations are often used in social media channels. And with Canva, it's also very easy ...

Let's start.

Choose a design type

Select an option on the dashboard to choose a theme type, or use the arrow, menu, or search bar to find templates. You can set your own dimensions for a unique layout.

I clicked on Instagram Post as we are creating an Instagram picture.

Select a template and change it

Canva opens the editor in a new tab with templates on the left. To select a template, drag and drop it onto the editor.

I added this quote image.

After you've chosen the template, you can customize it by adding your quote and branding colors.

Here's how to create images with Canva templates. It's very easy. You can also create images from scratch by selecting photos and overlaying elements.

I'll show you how to do this below when we look at other functions.

Choose a photo

Start by choosing an image. Next, visit the Photos or Uploads tab (to add your photos) or the More tab to import an image from another site (don't forget to check the copyrights!).

Since we are creating a quote image, I have chosen a photo that fits the planned quote.

Add overlays

Then click on the Elements tab and add overlays. I added a simple brown circle and placed a line. The line will separate the quote and the author's name.

You can change the size of the elements by dragging the corners. Clicking Option / Alt while dragging will keep the aspect ratio.

I used brown for the circle overlay. Usually white or black is always a good choice, since neutral colors like white and black look good in most pictures. For the line I chose a color that can be seen in the photo.

Canva has a pallet finder that analyzes photos and shows all the colors in them. Just select the photo and click the color option. You will see the colors in the picture in the menu on the left.

You can click the elements and add colors. It's the easiest way to find matching colors, especially if you're new to design. If you have advanced knowledge of color theory, feel free to experiment with other colors.

If you want people to see the background even after you've added overlays, you can adjust the opacity of the overlays by clicking Transparency and moving the slider.

Add text

Next you can add text. On the Text tab, you can either search for or select fonts.

There are a variety of fancy and simple fonts. I prefer a simple font like Lato.

Some people will tell you to use a fancy font. Fancy fonts look great and work for specific purposes, but when you're creating something for the web, use something simple. The same principles that you used in Copywriting apply here too.

You have to give people something that is easy to read because the internet is full of distractions. If the font is fancy and difficult to read, your engagement and yours will Conversions dwindle. You don't want people to think, "Is that a 6 or a B?" or “Is that an A or an E?”.

The principles that you use when blogging and copywriting to simplify the text are important here too.

When looking for a font, Canva will find both the font and font pairs.