In this Canva review, I will explain why Canva is the best online platform to create social media posts, infographics, and how to use its built-in stock photo library.
I’ve been using it for quite a long time to create pins for my Pinterest account, design engaging Instagram stories, and produce graphics for Photutorial.
Now, I am sharing with you what I love about this easy-to-use online platform for designs, and what I dislike.
Canva Review: Summary
Canva is my favourite online platform to create designs for social media posts. It is very easy-to-use, costs $9.95/month, and prompts teamwork.
If you’re looking to create beautiful infographics, Pinterest pins, or even birthday cards, Canva is the tool for you.
I love that it’s simple to use and can create professional-looking results.
- Free trial
- Inexpensive subscription
- Intuitive and super easy-to-use
- Huge built-in stock photo library
- Prompts team-work
- Bad at photo editing
- No one-time purchase options
- The free version is limited
- Can’t use it when you’re offline
30-day Free Trial
What is Canva?
Canva is a freemium online graphics platform designed specifically to enable users to easily create slick-looking social media graphics, graphs, posters, presentations, logos, and a lot more with its drag-and-drop editor.
Canva was built with simplicity in mind.
It runs in your browser and as an app for Android and iOS, so you can work on any project across all your devices.
Canva also has an integrated stock photo library with more than 60 million images, videos, illustrations, fonts, music, and videos.
Additionally, you don’t have to start your projects from scratch – you can choose from hundreds of thousands of templates that are completely free to use.
Canva houses countless layout and editing tools, including background removal, image cropping, blur effects, and vignette.
You can easily add objects such as squares, circles, and lines or more advanced objects such as stickers, graphs, and gradients.
Layering in other tools is confusing and gets quickly out-of-hand, but in Canva, you will see that it’s nothing to be afraid of. Moreover, adding extras such as text captions and animated videos is a child’s play.
Canva’s drag-and-drop editor and countless templates certainly live up to their promises as they make this graphics design platform simple to use for everyone, with or without any design experience.
But don’t let the simplicity misguide you; veteran designers can also greatly benefit from Canva to create professional designs. With some experience, you can make up for the missing features with some creativity.
If you’re like me, you’ll love Canva’s interface; it’s clean, and therefore easy to navigate.
In the top right corner, you can easily tell Canva what you want to design, and it will instantly offer thousands of different layouts and templates.
With templates being at heart of Canva, you will get access to hundreds of thousands of templates in free plan.
Once you have chosen a template (you can also start with a blank page), putting the elements together is a piece of cake.
You can go simple and just change the text or you can change the entire template – background image, colours, fonts, elements – with a couple of clicks.
It won’t take you more than a couple of minutes to create a personalized template that will proudly represent your brand or your social media account.
Is it really that simple, though?
In the name of simplicity, Canva built a more restricted layout in comparison to some other professional apps.
While you can take full control over everything in a design, there are less options to tweak and stylize. However, if you’re creative, you can combine two or more objects to achieve just about anything.
Moving elements around the page is hassle-free with helpful guides that keep everything aligned and in order. Also, with the drag-and-drop editor you can swap out parts of your design in a matter of couple clicks.
Mobile apps work the same way. However, editing your designs is more difficult on a smaller screen, although you will be able to achieve the same results.
Following the success of the online Canva platform, the Android and iOS versions are also well widely used. What is more, your designs are synced across all your devices.
Canva has a free and paid version. The free version offers everything a beginner needs, it lacks certain features. The paid version, Canva Pro, grants access to 420,000+ free templates and 75+ million stock images, videos, and graphics for $9.95/month. Canva Enterprise costs $30.00/month, includes unlimited storage, and give workflow overview features to admins.
To begin with, Canva has a Free plan that you can use for as long as you want to, but it mainly serves as a starting point.
Although it is free, you already get more than 250,000+ free templates, more than 100 preset layouts, and access to hundreds of thousands of free stock photos and graphics.
All this makes the free plan more than enough for some users.
Canva Free Trial
Canva generously offers a 30-day trial with no commitments. You can cancel at any time, no questions asked.
What is more, with the 30-day trial you get access to all Canva Pro features; even to its huge stock photo library. You can create several designs for free, which would otherwise cost you tens or even hundreds of dollars.
I encourage you to give it a try and see if it’s a good fit. I am sure you will love it.
If you find yourself wanting more, Canva has two subscription plans, Pro and Enterprise. To make sure you’re not opting into something that won’t suit you, you can try both free for 1 month.
With Canva Pro you get access to everything – over 420,000+ templates, 75+ million stock photos (yes, with Canva Pro you don’t need a subscription to a stock photo site), and you can upload your own fonts and logos, and more.
Canva Pro plan is perfect for individuals, small businesses, bloggers. For only $9.95/month, I don’t think you will find a better tool.
Canva Enterprise plan is designed for larger teams that need the additional tools in comparison to the Canva Pro.
Your team will love the features Canva Enterprise bring to the table. Brand control makes sure that your team only has access to brand colours, images, fonts, and other assets. This feature will help you keep true to your identity.
You can also lock elements into certain positions and save templates for your teams to customize, while the look and feel of your brand remain unspoilt. Approval workflow feature allows you to reviews and approve designs before they are published.
Canva supports education and to prove that it offers a super-charged version to classrooms for free. Not only do you get millions of free images, every student also gets $100 of value for free.
With Canva Education, you get special templates, such as Presentations, Infographics, Posters, and even Class Schedule.
How to register for Canva Education?
Click here, fill out a form, and once Canva’s team verifies your application, you will get an email confirmation.
Nonprofit organizations are difficult enough to run and manage, and to help you focus on your cause, Canva is here to help.
With Canva Nonprofits you don’t have to pay for images. That’s right, you get unlimited access to a library of more than 75 million images and videos, not to mention thousands of fonts.
How to apply for Canva Nonprofits?
Click here, fill out a form, and once Canva’s team verifies your application, you will get an email confirmation.
Canva Free vs Canva Pro
At this point, you must wonder whether Canva Pro is even worth for you or should you just stick with a free plan.
Canva Pro is the premium plan of Canva that unlocks additional features that are a must-have for anyone who wants to create designs. With Canva Pro, you’ll get access to more than 75 million free images, illustrations, graphics, and even audio files. For only $9.95 per month, you can create your own brand with Canva Pro.
You can do what I did.
I started with Canva Free to get a whiff of what the fuss is all about. I learnt how to use it and created dozens of designs.
Later, I decided to try additional features, so I applied for the free trial.
During these 30-days, I became dependant on Canva. I needed it for Photutorial.
|Canva Free||Canva Pro|
|Stock photos, videos, audio, and graphics||< 1 mil||75+ million|
|Invite members to your team||✓||✓|
|Collaborate and comment real-time||✓||✓|
|Create 1 Brand Kit and upload your own fonts and logos||✗||✓|
|Save designs as templates for your team to use||✗||✓|
|One-click design Magic Resize||✗||✓|
|Schedule social media content to 7 platforms||✗||✓|
Canva is a big advocate of teamwork and to prove that, its developers created an easy-to-use system to invite team members to your project.
There are two types of Canva teams: free teams and Canva Pro teams.
Free teams are available to all Canva users. With it, you can create a total of 20 free teams with each team having up to 3000 members.
To make the managing easier, you can assign Administrator and Member roles to your Canva team members.
Canva Pro teams have additional features, that make managing your teams even easier.
To add new team members, an administrator sends team members an invite link, or by manually typing in their email addresses and sending them invitations.
Adding new members to your team is not free, though. Each additional member will cost extra $11.99 a month.
Canva Stock Photos
Canva Stock Photo library houses 75 million+ images & elements.
You can find all photos if you navigate to Discover > Photos in from the main menu. Photos are separated into two categories, as Free and Premium.
As a free user of Canva, you can use a large collection of free images, videos, music, and other graphics. For a wider range of choices, premium elements are available for purchase, although these will have a watermark on your design until you pay for them.
You can purchase Canva premium elements by following these steps:
- Step 1: Subscribe to Canva Pro ($8.99) or Canva Enterprise,
- Step 2: Browse and purchase premium stock photos or icons,
- Step 3: Remove watermarks,
- Step 4: Download design to purchase premium elements.
Canva Free media*
You can download and use any media marked as “Free”, this includes images, graphics, music, and videos.
You don’t have to attribute authors or Canva, though it’s a nice gesture and is appreciated.
Remember, you are not allowed to redistribute or sell the downloaded media on other stock platforms.
The Do’s and Don’t’s of the free media on Canva.
- It can be used for free for commercial and noncommercial use,
- If the media contains an identifiable person, place, logo, trademark, or other private or intellectual property, check the source or contact Canva about the legal issues,
- Attribution is not required but it’s appreciated,
- You can edit the media as you like.
- Don’t sell unchanged copies of the media
- Don’t imply endorsement of your product by people of brands
- Don’t redistribute or sell the stock media on other stock media platforms
- Identifiable people may not appear in a bad light or in a way that’s offensive
Related reading: Canva’s free media license agreements.
Canva One Design
One Design is applicable to everyone who’s working on a project solo and wants full resolution images and graphics, high-quality music, and high definition videos.
Prices apply to one Canva design and export per person, $1 for images and graphics, $3 for music, and $5 for videos.
Related reading: One Design Use License Agreement by Canva.
Canva photo editor
Canva has a free photo editor everyone can use without even signing in.
Canva photo editor is quite unsophisticated in comparison to other photo editing apps, such as Lightroom, Luminar 4, Luminar AI, or ON1, but you will be able to do basic adjustments.
Canva photo editor supports the following compressed: .tiff, .pjp, .jfif, .gif, .svg, .bmp, .png, .jpeg, .svgz, .jpg, .webp, .ico, .xbm, .dib, .tif, .pjpeg, .avif.
You will be able to performs the basic adjustments with Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Tint, Blur, X-Process, and Vignette sliders, that work just as well as those in Lightroom. You can also crop and resize your images. You can choose from several presets crop ratios, but you can also Resize, Rotate, and Flip images.
If you’re not happy with the tones, you can completely change the look of your image with 19 filters; to change your image even more, there are several effects to choose from: Duotone, Bad TV, Color Mix, Liquify, Pixelate, Screen, and Slice.
I am sure you will love this tool: the Background Remover. It does exactly as its name says and it usually does a splendid job.
Although it usually does a good job removing the background, it doesn’t always get it right. I wish there was a way to adjust this process, but there sadly isn’t. If the Background Remover screws it up, there’s nothing you can do.
Frequently Asked Questions | Canva review
Is Canva Pro worth it?
Canva Pro offers everything a small business needs, and for only $9.95/month Canva Pro is worth every penny.
Canva Pro download
Canva isn’t exclusively an online platform. You can also download it for Windows.
Do professionals use Canva?
Mostly no. Canva is the best for amateurs who want an easy workflow. Although it has numerous handy features packed into its drag-and-drop editor, it lacks advanced functions, which professionals need.
How do I get Canva Pro for free?
You can start Canva Pro free trial here.
Is Canva free?
Yes, there’s a free version of Canva which works great but it quite limited. You will only be able to download 3 designs per months and you won’t get access to some objects, fonts, and images within Canva. You can start Canva free trial here.
Is Canva any good?
Canva is an outstanding online platform capable of producing beautiful graphics with ease. It is available on the web, as well as a mobile version for iOS and Android. You can use it to create just about everything, from social media posts, to personal business postcards.
Conclusion | Canva review
Let me conclude this Canva review by leaving you with a piece of advice; If you’re looking for an easy-to-use drag-and-drop graphics tool, Canva is the perfect option for you.
Canva is like a swiss army knife of graphic designing tools. It offers preset dimensions perfect for every occasion, and with its countless presets you’ll never have to spend more than 5-10 minutes to create an awesome design.
What is more, Canva is a solid money-saver. For as little as $9.95 you get hundreds of templates, access to its huge free stock photo library, and a free photo editor.
Let’s do some math. The price of templates ranges from a few dollars to tens of dollars. It’s true that stock images can be bought for as low as $0.20/piece but it requires a subscription. Considering that you don’t subscribe and purchase only one image, the Canva pricing starts at $10. Lastly, photo editors cost $50+ or $10+/month.
I hope you’ll enjoy using Canva as much as I do.
* This is a simplified version of Canva’s license policy, which was shortened for easier reading and understanding. Photutorial and the author of this article do not guarantee complete accuracy of the provided license information and are not to be held responsible for any legal, or other issues caused by the potential misinformation provided in this article. Photutorial and its author(s) try his (their) best to keep any information as up to date as possible. If you spot a mistake, feel free to let me know via an mail at [email protected].
Matic is a photographer and avid teacher of photography from Slovenia. In 2020, he founded Photutorial.com, website/blog dedicated to teaching photography, writing honest and helpful reviews, and inspiring photographers.