What is Canva and should I be using it?

Do you wonder how to make impressive graphic designs for your business? Do you think it’s too difficult, or that you need to be a genius with photoshop to get good results? Maybe you’re someone who often says ‘I’m going to need a professional designer for this!’

LIFESTYLE /
Work and Money
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Adam Taylor Article Writer

If that’s the case, it may be that you haven’t yet come across Canva. Founded in Australia in 2012, Canva is an online graphic design platform that gives users the tools they need to create eye-catching visual content, powerful presentations, and online images for websites or social media. 

As an easy-to-use platform, Canva has seen rapid growth since it launched. Currently valued at $2.5 billion, it has around 15 million active users across the globe, all benefitting from its simple functionality. 

Like any business decision, however, knowing whether or not to use a new platform to promote yourself should be carefully considered. That’s why, in this article, we’ll share with you details about Canva, before we go ahead and weigh up the pros and cons of using it so that you don’t have to. 

 

 

What is Canva?

Canva is a graphic design tool that enables anyone to make professional graphic images. Whether you need to design a business logo, infographic, or post to Instagram or Facebook, Canva makes the process simple and easy for everyone.

The great news is that, when you use Canva online, around 8,000 templates have been ready-made for you to get creative with. 

Yet, the truth is that we’re all born with an ability to be creative. But with so many other daily tasks to fulfill, many of us are either stretched to our limit or, worse, close to burnout. So, where both of these things will impact our capacity to be creative, this is where Canva steps in to allow everyone to flex their creative muscles with ease and produce high-quality visuals. 

If you’re still not feeling confident then don’t sweat it. Canva has a design school that can give you the online tutoring, guidance, tips, and support you need to use visuals to lift your business to match or exceed what you see from the competition. 

And, if you don’t find what you’re looking for when using Canva templates, or feel able to realize your artistic vision using Canva’s photo editor, you can always consider using your own custom project. 

Once you’re happy with your design, Canva lets you download the image to your flash drive or even simply share your images straight to your social media pages or website. 

 

 

Keep in mind, there are differences between Canva and Canva Pro, which is a premium, paid-for version of the site. That’s right, Canva is a graphic design tool that’s completely free. 

But then again, there are some limitations to this. 

That’s why we’ve decided to review the pros and the cons of using Canva (the free version). We want to make it easy for you to decide whether to invest in the premium Canva Pro service. 

Advantages of Canva 

With a clean, straightforward interface, Canva is certainly user friendly. Considering it’s offered as a free service, Canva provides an excellent range of features for small businesses:

  • Saves money: Setting up an account straight away, without the need for a subscription, is easy to do. And by doing so, you’ll get access to millions of photo images, fonts, and predesigned templates that won’t cost you a thing.
  • Saves time: If you’re looking to post on social media sites, or want to print Canva posters, don’t fret. The templates you’ll need are sized up and are ready to go. With a few creative tweaks here and there, you can create visuals and have them ready to share in no time.
  • Saves space: There’s nothing worse than working on something and, for whatever reason, not being able to find it again. This is avoided using the Canva editor, which will save all your designs for future use. With a total of 1GB of storage, you’ll be able to log-in to your account and pick up your visuals wherever you go.
  • Easy to upload: Whether you need to refine your existing photos or upload branded images from elsewhere, the Canva editor makes it easy to do.
  • Easy to integrate: Integrating your social media channels using Canva is a doddle. That’s because it’s already set up to connect with your Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google Maps, Dropbox, and Pixabay accounts. So, there’s something else that’ll also save you time!

Disadvantages of Canva 

If you’re a new entrepreneur, you’ll want to be prudent about how you spend your money. At the start, it can be tempting to over-invest in your business to make it successful. If you do, there’s a high risk you could end up in an unwanted position of debt later on. 

However, before you put away your credit card, take a look at where Canva may have some drawbacks when compared with Canva Pro:

  • Lacks photos or fonts: With a monthly subscription, Canva Pro contains more photos than Canva. In fact, it has more than 60M photos and elements and 1,000 different fonts.
  • Lacks a Brand Kit: The Pro version will give you the ability to create a brand kit. This could help you to customize elements of your brand identity using your business logos and fonts.
  • Lacks Animator: Canva Pro enables users to create animated graphics, in different styles. This is something that’s not available on Canva.
  • You won’t get flexibility: Canva Pro enables users to design custom templates, to share with their teams. This could be beneficial when developing a new brand and letting your team members be a part of the process.
  • You won’t get support: Paying for a monthly Canva Pro subscription means you’ll get access to on-demand support from the Canva support team. If you sign up for the standard Canva version, you won’t be able to access that.

At this point, it’s also worth mentioning that Canva has a third-tier package – Canva Enterprise.

Designed for larger teams to use, Canva Enterprise enables complete control over a company’s brand. It’s also designed to be streamlined with a business’s marketing workflow. So, unless you work in a large team and use a wide range of marketing platforms such as MailChimp, Google Adwords, or Dropbox, this version may not be for you. 

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