Canva Review – Graphic Design for Beginners
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Canva is a platform where digital creators ranging from beginners to experts can come to create beautiful designs. This can be done whether you're working on your phone, on your laptop, sitting at a desk, or lounging on a couch. It can even be done on the go! This Canva review will show you why this is a great graphic designt tool for beginners.
It is a very user-friendly platform that anyone can take advantage of, and you don’t need any type of design experience to be able to benefit from it. But why might people use this platform?
People might have their own business, are freelancers, have a side hustle, etc. and need a place to come to create. This can be creating designs for a brand, to help promote a business, for events, etc. There are all different kinds of reasons why a person would come to create a graphic on Canva.
Why use Canva?
Some may hire a designer for these purposes, but Canva is the best way to keep that money in your pocket and take the design into your own hands. Canva keeps everything simple for beginners, but also has the tools needed for experts to take advantage of.
It is also a free platform to use, with the option to upgrade to Canva Pro that comes with a wide range of features that are helpful, but not absolutely necessary for beginners. The free version works great for those just starting out on Canva so they can get to know the platform before making an investment.
Canva also comes with a library full of templates that can help you get your design started, as well as a large free and paid stock photo library to take advantage of. There are fonts and other pre-made elements that you can use in your designs as well, so you really have all the tools you need to create wonderful designs.
What is Canva for?
What exactly can you make with Canva? These are just a few ideas, as the opportunities really are endless.
- Social media graphics
- Website designs
- Newsletter designs
- Digital planners
- Greeting cards
- Business cards
- Resume Templates
There is so much you can do with Canva, and these are really just a few of the opportunities! You can also create designs with completely custom sizes if you have an idea for something that isn’t already on the platform.
Basically, Canva can be for any type of design whether it is for physical or digital use, for a business or for personal use, for beginners or experts. The opportunities of where you can go with Canva are endless!
Who is Canva for?
We touched briefly on the fact that Canva is for both design beginners and design experts. But what type of people may be coming to use Canva? Who takes advantage of this type of platform? Here are a few ideas:
- Small business owners
- Social media managers
- Party planners
- Web developers
- Virtual assistants
Although these are just a few of the ideas of the type of people that use Canva, it really is for everyone. It doesn’t matter the type of work that you do, or your level of design experience. Everyone can take advantage of the tools that Canva has to offer!
What are the Advantages of Canva?
We’ve already mentioned what makes Canva such a great platform for everyone to use, but here are some of the specific advantages.
It is simple and user-friendly
Canva is a platform that is very easy to get comfortable with. It is very much a “drag and drop” style platform, especially with all of the provided templates and elements that you easily add into your design.
It is easy to find tutorials of how to use the platform if you feel stuck, and you will quickly find out that it is simpler to use than you realized. Once you have the basics of the platform figured out, that is when you can really take advantage of all the extra tools that Canva provides.
You don’t have to be a design expert
Canva prides itself on being a platform for everyone to use, not just those that are experts when it comes to designing things. They help out the beginners by providing plenty of direction and ideas to help them get started, which leads us into the next advantage.
There are provided templates
If you’re coming to Canva and feel stuck with where to go with your design, you can easily use one of Canva’s templates or at least use it as inspiration to create it on your own. This can be a big help for beginners that don’t have the design experience to know where to begin.
The other great part of Canva’s templates is they come in the correct sizing needed for that specific type of design. So for example, if you are needing to create a Pinterest pin and start with Canva’s base template, it is already in the correct size needed to upload to Pinterest. You don’t have to worry about resizing or uploading the incorrect size image to the platform.
It is budget-friendly
Canva has both a completely free option, as well as a Pro plan that is $12.99/month. For those that are only looking to do the basics on the platform, they can easily get away with just the free plan.
For those that want the extra advantages of the Pro plan, the cost per month is very reasonable for the amount that you are provided with on the platform. Either way it is a very cost-efficient way to design anything!
There is stock photography
Instead of also paying for a stock photography platform, you can simply take advantage of what Canva already provides! If you have the Pro plan, you have even more selection of photos to choose from.
You can work with a team
Need to collaborate on a project? Canva is such a great tool to do so! You can invite members to your team, share projects with them, and communicate through comments all through the same platform.
This makes it super simple to work together on a design without having to go through other platforms, and keeps everything in one place.
What are the Disadvantages of Canva?
Now, what are the disadvantages of the platform and where might you run into issues? Here are a few of the cons of using Canva.
The style of Canva
Because there are pre-made templates and stock photos provided on Canva, you can be slightly more limited in making your design stand out. This is especially true if you are sticking completely to the template exactly, rather than customizing it more to make it your own.
This may make it more obvious that your design was created on Canva, unless you can find ways to ensure that your design is unique and different from the templates already provided.
You can learn more about making your own Canva templates to sell here.
Export settings are limited (not anymore!)
When you are creating designs on Canva, you are using the RGB color space. This is the color space that is optimized for digital items. So when you go to print a design created in RGB color space, it may look different than it appeared on your computer.
This is because CMYK is the best color space for printed products.
Canva now has added the feature where the user can download their design in CMYK. Learn more about CMYK vs RGB here.
The free version is limited
When it comes to the fonts, elements, and stock photos that are available to you on the free version, you can be quite limited. You are often choosing from the same fonts and elements that you will see heavily used elsewhere, so it may be frustrating to choose from these options for your designs.
The mobile version is not as user-friendly
The difference between the desktop version and mobile version of Canva are quite different. The mobile version is much less user-friendly and can actually be quite confusing and difficult to find the different tools that you are looking for. It is best used for social media posting.
Is Canva trusted?
The simple answer to this question is that yes, it is a trusted platform that many know they can come to and design without any worries of privacy or security. Since it is such a widely-known platform, most people don’t think twice about whether or not this platform is safe to use.
Is Canva as Good as Photoshop?
Canva is a great program, but it’s not necessarily the right choice for everyone. There are definitely pros and cons to each platform, and these are just a few things to keep in mind.
Canva is definitely the easier program to figure out and use with no prior design program experience. On the other hand, Photoshop can be overwhelming because of all of the features and tools available.
This is the main selling point for Canva. However, it can be limited in different tools where Photoshop would easily be able to accomplish what you are hoping. If you're wanting to resize your designs, you also need to have Canva Pro, which may be a downfall for those hoping to save money by using the free version.
Photoshop may be easier to use to fully execute your vision, once you feel comfortable using the platform. Some designs just may be more difficult using Canva, while Photoshop has more features like outlining fonts, using color overlays and gradients, creating custom drop shadows, etc.
If you’re looking for a platform that is quick and easy with the necessary tools, Canva is the better value. But, if you want to create professional images, edit out any imperfections, and just create high-quality designs, then Photoshop would be the best value.
It really depends on your goals and what you are looking for in your designs.
Canva Review and Pricing
To summarize everything we have covered previously, Canva is an excellent platform that is made for everyone to use, from beginners to design experts. It provides a wide range of tools to create incredible designs. It provides a large library of templates, fonts, and elements to choose from for many different types of designs.
The platform is very user-friendly and easy to use, with a very small learning curve to be comfortable with all that Canva has to offer. It is also very simple to add on team members and work together to create designs together and communicate, without having to leave the platform at all.
Canva is very budget-friendly. It offers a free version that includes many of the tools you need to create simple designs. For beginners, this is the perfect way to get started and learn the platform without having to make an investment.
Canva Pro Pricing
As mentioned previously, the cost of Canva Pro is $12.99/month. It includes a wide range of other features, more stock photography, more fonts, and more elements. Here’s a few things that come with Canva Pro:
- Access to the complete photo, element, video and audio library
- Create, edit and save premium videos to use for any platform
- Easily click to remove backgrounds of images
- Instantly animate your designs
- Schedule your posts directly onto social media
- Invite unlimited team members and easily share your templates and brand details
- Compress large files
- Download PNGS with transparent backgrounds, perfect for logos
- Resize your designs easily (for example from an Instagram post into a Pinterest pin to easily move over your design)
- Add all of your brand details from your logo, to brand colors and brand fonts to easily upload to designs
For all of the extra features that you receive with Canva Pro, it is still a very budget-friendly platform that gives you everything you need to create the best designs.
Canva, whether the free or paid version, is an incredibly user-friendly and high-quality platform that allows you to make designs that stand out in the crowd. It invites everyone to come to the platform, whether you have zero design experience or years of it.
Canva has endless opportunities to create beautiful designs, so it’s time to get started creating!