So, in the example above, you can see we created the example on the left for free in a few minutes. This sort of image would work well as a social media post. (with the right message added, obviously).
You can also add video and icons to the image as we have done in the middle version. But, you do find when you use Canva, many of the better images and icons you want to use are not included as part of the free offer.
Good for beginners and those with simpler needs
While the range that is available at the free level is still impressive and the paid version is a reasonable $7 / month, it’s best used by those who do not have complex or regular graphic design needs.
You soon start to see it lacks a lot of the layering and editing capability that you find in more advanced (and more expensive) tools like Illustrator and Photoshop.
If you have low graphic design needs, it’s an option that’s well worth exploring. Canva is good place to start and experiment if you don’t know what you’re doing. It can give you impressive outputs quite quickly.
It’s particularly good for quick and easy social media content posting. The designs that they provide have all been vetted so that they fit good design principles.
But you lose a lot of your uniqueness
Where it might be more of a challenge for your business though, is that because you are using templates, you lose a lot of the uniqueness that’s possible when you use other graphic design tools. Everyone who uses the platform chooses from the same set of templates, so it can be difficult to get designs that are truly creative and unique. You can end up looking like your competitors and that’s not good. And once you recognise the style, you start to see lots of brands using that same style.
With Canva, we do also advise you to carefully check the usage and licensing terms of the designs you source there. While some offer wide use, there are often limitations. For example, you cannot re-sell Canva designs on merchandise.
An alternative option if you can’t find what you need on Canva is Crello. This US-based site has similar functionality from a design point of view but extends your range of design choices. It’s worth checking out multiple sites to find the one which best meets your graphic design needs.