Canva Review: Read this before you try

By | October 20, 2016
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Okay, let’s talk about Canva. If you haven’t heard of Canva before and you have an online presence then it’s a good thing you came across this review, because it will greatly benefit you!

I’ve been using Canva for a couple years now, so I know a thing or two about it. I also am still using it so I guess that’s already a positive, right? I’m not saying Canva is perfect, because it does have it’s flaws but this is an honest review of my pros and and cons about this software to help you decide if it’s exactly what you’ve been looking for.

What is Canva?

Canva is a free *fingering air quotes* online graphics design tool (think of a Photoshop without the frills) that helps you create designs for almost any purpose including social media posts, ebook covers, posters, flyers, infographics and more. When I say free I’m of course referring to the basic Canva offering (come on there’s always a paid version), which allows you most of the software’s features, but I’ll cover more about pricing later in this article.

canva-main-screen

Canva is used by small and large businesses alike and even for personal use. I rely on Canva all the time mainly for basic social media posts, but there’s so much more you can create with this tool if you spend some time experimenting with it.

Pros: what’s cool about Canva

Canva is basically a drag and drop based design tool which makes it SO easy to use. Unlike Photoshop you won’t need a degree to understand how to use it as it’s practically fool proof. However if you do need that extra help Canva provides plenty of how-to videos to help you out, YouTube is also packed with Canva demos so you definitely can’t go wrong.

Canva for Work

If you’re using Canva for business you might want to know about the Brand Kit; you can store your company’s branding, including logo, fonts and colour palette. I find this very helpful and makes it easy for me to drop my branding into any content I create with the software.

You can also create teams on Canva, this allows you to collaborate with colleagues much like many social media marketing tools like Hootsuite or SocialReport.

canva-for-business

Cons: what’s not so cool

Ok in my opinion there are a couple downers with Canva but not enough to put me off using it.

Image searching

It can sometimes be frustrating trying to search for images in the Canva stock, the search engine isn’t that advanced and I’ve found myself spending ungodly amounts of time trying to search for just the right image. I tend to give up searching and find an image elsewhere just to save time.

$1 images

Ok, this isn’t really a con as more a heads up; Canva does provide a large selection of free images but a lot of the best stock is $1 and can add up quite quickly. So if you’re on a very tight budget do keep that in mind. That being said, the odd one dollar purchase is not that detrimental and they do have some beautiful stock images so it is tempting.

Pricing

As I mentioned you can utilise most of the Canva features for free, but if you want to use Canva for your business needs I would recommend Canva For Work.  You can then stop worrying about your brand not being consistent across all your designs. You also get the option of downloading transparent background images and resizing all your designs to fit any type of publication you wish.

Canva For Work is $12.95 monthly or $119.40 annually and you get free introductory access for the first 30 days. Below is a snapshot of what you receive on the monthly paid option.

canva pricing

Conclusion

I’ve always loved Canva, especially when I first started my business I relied on it heavily. It is definitely no replacement for Photoshop, its editing features are limited to the basics so if you’re wanting to create more unique designs then canva will frustrate you very quickly. I can only say give it a try simply because there’s no risk, I haven’t come across another design tool online that gives you so many helpful features for free and Canva For Work is excellent for professional use I would definitely recommend it.

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4 thoughts on “Canva Review: Read this before you try

  1. Chris

    I’ve actually heard a lot about canva over the last two years but I always presumed it was a premium service, from what I read here, it’s pretty cool as a free tool right?
    Images are so important to bloggers and marketers these days – I’m going to try this out and see for myself (now I know I don’t have to pay!)

    Reply
    1. Lou Post author

      Thanks for your comment Chris

      Yes, I must admit I was using it for about a year before I went on to the paid service. I only started paying when I took on more clients.

      Best of luck, would love to know how you get on.

      Reply
  2. Neil

    I personally use Canva quite often for not only my blog posts for Facebook fan page posts too, It’s AWESOME!

    There are so many great design templates, images,fonts and also colors to use for creating awesome graphics. I’m still yet to use Canva for creating info graphics for Pinterest. It’s a fantastic resource, especially when people ask you how you create such amazing images. 😉

    The pricing is fairly reasonable, and even when buying some templates and the images you need are only $1 each.I created a few great designs just from $10. 🙂

    Although, I’m gonna look into the monthly paid option.

    Thanks
    Neil

    Reply

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