Canva is probably the best graphic design tool for people who aren’t designers (like me!)
It has features for making images for social media and advertising.
Best of all, it’s completely free (to a point).
Although Canva has a premium plan (which our business uses), you might be just fine using the free version.
Canva Free has a lot of the same capabilities as the paid version.
It should serve your needs if you only use it occasionally or for personal projects.
On the other hand, heavy commercial users will find it necessary to pay for Canva Pro.
But don’t dismiss Canva’s free version too quickly!
It’s used by countless businesses around the world and likely produced many of the images you’ve seen in your Instagram or Pinterest feed.
I’ll run you through the functions of each version, so you’ll know if the free one will suffice for your current needs.
You’ve probably heard of Canva, but for those of you who haven’t, it’s a free graphic design tool that’s very user-friendly.
It can be used to make about anything, from social media posts and online courses to digital products, eBooks, and presentations.
Canva’s strength lies in the fact that it is not designed with professionals in mind.
Don’t worry if this is your first foray into graphic design.
Because of its intuitive layout, Canva makes graphic design a breeze for everyone.
You can have visual content ready in minutes, and even your technophobic grandad should be able to use it.
Related Reading: Crello (now Vista Create) vs. Canva – Learn More About The Tools Here.
What You Get With Canva Free
250,000 Free Templates
I am not exaggerating when I claim that there’s a template for anything you’ll want to create.
Do you have a big presentation that you have to prepare for?
Are you looking to make an advertisement?
Do you want to bang out a quick infographic?
You can rely on Canva to provide for all your design needs.
It doesn’t matter how much you dislike a particular aspect of one of the provided templates.
You’re welcome to modify it as much as you like.
When it comes to social media, this is a fantastic tool because it allows you to quickly and easily generate stunning, professional material without letting on that you’re a design novice.
Over 100 Design Types
As I was saying, the sky’s the limit in terms of what you can make.
You can use one of the many professionally designed Canva templates.
You can also start from scratch using a blank template that Canva has already pre-sized for you.
This will save you the time-consuming hassle of trying to determine the ideal dimensions for what you’re trying to create.
Hundreds of Thousands of Graphics
Canva provides a large selection of free stock images for your use.
All of the images, sounds, and video clips are free for both personal and professional use.
If Canva’s extensive library of free photographs and illustrations doesn’t cut it, know that the best photos may be purchased for as little as $1 each.
You can also upload your own photos.
Of course, everything is provided free of charge to Canva Pro customers.
There are over 1700 typefaces available to use without any cost on Canva’s free version.
You can make your creations look anything but basic with the assortment of fonts that come with it, which includes both standard and more artistic styles.
Free Team Members
This is a fantastic addition for any business that plans to use Canva.
A quick email to your staff with a link to your designs allows them to make changes.
If you’re making a product like an ebook or a course and you have an editor who has to check it thoroughly, this is a great tool to have at your disposal.
To make sure all of your professional designs are well-coordinated and consistent with your business’s aesthetic, you can put together a brand kit using the brand’s fonts and color palette.
5GB Cloud Storage
All of your work can use up to 5 GB of cloud storage. That is not bad for a free tool.
This is ideal for those who don’t want to clutter up their computers.
Related Reading: Pricing Of Canva Pro – Discover Here.
What You Don’t Get With Canva Free
Even More Graphics
Canva’s free edition has a smaller library of stock pictures and graphics than the paid versions, but it still offers a substantial selection of high-quality, royalty-free options.
You can access Canva Pro for a significantly larger library of both audio and video clips, in addition to a much-expanded collection of stock pictures (over 100 million in total).
Canva Pro’s media library has over 6 million licensed 4K and HD clips, and the program’s audio library has over 25,000 tracks.
There is no real audio support in the free edition of Canva, and the number of free videos is extremely limited compared to the “Pro” version.
One of the best reasons to upgrade to Canva Pro is the access to a vast material library for a reasonable monthly subscription, especially considering the price of stock photos, video, and audio these days.
Even More Templates
While Canva’s free tier provides access to more than 250,000 premade designs, the Canva Pro tier offers access to 610,000 premium templates and counting!
The Magic Resize Tool
Canva Pro’s Magic Resize feature is also pretty appealing since it facilitates the simple adaptation of existing designs for use on various platforms.
If you already have a finished design, you can utilize the Magic Resize feature in Canva Pro to easily adapt it for use on many platforms with minimal effort.
You can save a ton of time by publishing them all at once.
A background-erasing tool is available on the Canva Pro plan.
It’s useful for quickly making profile pictures or video thumbnails for uploading to YouTube.
The free version of Canva limits you to using the platform’s premade templates, while the paid version allows you to build your own from scratch.
In other words, you may make greater use of your company’s resources by creating reusable, fully on-brand templates.
Storage and Folders
In order to keep your personal files safe, Canva gives you 5GB of free space to do so (photos, videos, logos, etc.).
Unfortunately, this can be quickly depleted when dealing with huge materials, such as videos and audio files.
With Canva Pro, you get 100 GB of space.
That’s enough for most businesses.
The free plan does not have any sorting options that would allow you to view only the available free design components.
Canva Free includes all the elements that you can access on Canva Pro when you conduct a search for a design element.
This can be pretty annoying at times.
Since there is no way to exclude these paid-for results, it may take some time to sift through assets you cannot use to discover a free element suitable for your needs.
Regardless of which Canva package you choose, you’ll have access to the company’s helpful email support team whenever you need it.
However, ‘Canva Pro’ and ‘Canva Free’ have very different turnaround times.
If you have a question and subscribe to Canva’s Pro plan, you can expect an answer within 24 hours.
However, if you subscribe to Canva’s free tier, you may have to wait up to a week for an answer.
More Output Options
The output options are somewhat limiting on the free plan.
You cannot download SVGs (vector graphics) or PNGs (bitmap images) with transparent backgrounds, and you cannot customize the image compression settings.
Canva For Teams
The new ‘Canva for Teams’ plan offers an attractive price point for groups of up to five people, with five individual accounts costing just $14.99 a month.
With that amount, your small team can take advantage of Canva’s premium tools.
Additional user accounts can be added to your subscription for a monthly price that varies by the number of users you’d want to add.
Related Reading: Best Places To Buy Stock Photos – Explore the Platforms Here.
Canva Free vs Paid: Should You Make The Upgrade?
It’s important to consider your needs, budget, and anticipated usage of Canva while deciding on a plan.
If you don’t anticipate needing more than 5 GB of cloud storage or downloading designs at a high resolution, you should stick with the free plan and utilize Canva on an as-needed basis.
Canva Pro is a worthwhile investment if you frequently create visually engaging content but don’t have a large budget for graphic design software.
Its time-saving features, thousands of paid templates, and access to millions of stock images, videos, graphics, and audio files are worth it.
If you need more advanced collaboration tools, team member management, brand administration, and content scalability, you might consider Canva for Enterprise instead of Canva Pro.
Visme, Adobe Creative Cloud Express (previously Adobe Spark), and VistaCreate (formerly Crello) are some of Canva’s direct competitors.
You can produce professional-looking visual content with minimal effort with these low-cost, browser-based graphic design tools.
Canva’s other competitors include Adobe’s own desktop applications, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere (and the additional graphic design software you get with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription).
But you’ll have to get assets “outside” of the Adobe programs.
Canva, on the other hand, has a built-in library of photos, drawings, and videos that don’t cost anything to use.
Is Commercial Use of Canva Designs Allowed?
You are free to use the designs you create in Canva for both personal and business purposes as long as you do not alter the provided material in any way and resell, redistribute, or claim it as your own.
Whether you’re on the free version or the paid one, you can’t use Canva’s original content for profit.
For example, you can’t sell t-shirts with a Canva-downloaded photo or icon on them.
As an added bonus, the music it provides can be used in online ads (like pre-, mid-, and post-roll ads in a YouTube video) but not in broadcast or cable television commercials (such as TV, podcasts, cinema, billboards, or radio).
The use of any Canva content, free or paid, in a trademark application is also prohibited except for fonts, basic shapes, and lines.
Related Reading: Camtasia Alternatives Worth Trying – Find More Here.
Canva Free gives you a lot to work with.
Still, Canva Pro is well worth the investment if you manage a social media brand, own a small business or blog, or simply want to improve the quality of your presentations and graphics.
Professionally, time is money, and Canva Pro will save you a lot of both (this is why we use Pro!)
You could avoid unnecessary stress by shelling out the cash for the paid version.
You can test drive all the premium features for free for 30 days, and if you really need them, you can always buy graphics and designs separately.