My Canva.com Review: Is It The Best Free Graphic Design Tool Out There?

In my daily blogging regimen, one thing that I always have to spend time on is graphic design.

Now I admit, I am not a HUGE fan of graphic design (probably because trying PhotoShop and hating it in the past) but of course, a great blog post needs great visuals so it was something that I had to figure it out.

Luckily, by following Guy Kawasaki (a renowned Apple Computers fanatic), I came across a nifty little tool called Canva.com.

Now I’m all for finding and reviewing online tools for online entrepreneurs and after I’ve been using Canva for a while now (close to a year), I think it’s time I share my love of Canva with my audience here on 3HUNDRD.

If you are looking to know whether Canva is something you should try, then let me save you some time and tell you that yes, Canva is an awesome tool.

You should check it out and I would also go to the length of saying it’s probably the best graphic design tool for bloggers, affiliate marketers, online entrepreneurs and whoever wants to get some work designed without a big budget.

So yes, if you’re looking for the final say about Canva, I say go for it (hey it’s free too so you have nothing to lose trying it) but, to see why I think it’s such an amazing tool, check out my detailed Canva.com review down below so I can show you:

  • What it is all about
  • How it works
  • How do I use it
  • What YOU can create with Canva
  • Some Pros & Cons of Canva
  • My Final Verdict.
  • Pricing
  • and more…

Are you ready?

Let’s get into it now;

Canva.com Review: Is It The Best Free Graphic Design Tool Out There?

My Canva.com Review

What Is Canva?

Canva is a free tool that is available over at Canva.com which you can use to create any sort of graphic design needed to help you with your designing jobs you have to do.

A while back I’ve heard a podcast with the founder of Canva.com (I forget the name of it otherwise I would’ve linked to it) and she basically said that Canva was created for one main purpose:

“It’s created for people to do graphic design work without spending too much money and time.”

I’m paraphrasing here so those aren’t her exact words but I’ve always remembered this powerful message and they have achieved this greatly.

If you’ve done graphic design work in the past, you know how hard it is to do quick designs on Photoshop (unless you are extremely proficient with it). Canva takes all that extra “fluff” away.

Please note I am not dissing PhotoShop in any way, I am sure it’s a fantastic tool also that can probably do much more than Canva but for a simple blog and social media graphics, I think Canva is a much better tool to do the job.

How Does Canva Work?

In short, it’s a simple drag-and-drop type of software and that’s all there is to it.

If you have the ability to click and move a computer mouse, then you can create some great designs with it.

As you can see from the image down below, you can select from a lot of features to help you create your design such as:

  • Text
  • Background
  • Grids
  • Frames
  • Shapes
  • Lines
  • Illustrations
  • Free stock photos (awesome value is given here)

Sign up with Canva to see what it can do for you here.

It’s super easy to use, fun, simple and you can have a design up and ready in no time once you get proficient using it. It only takes a few minutes to really understand it.

I love simple, easy to use tools like these. Somethings just does not have to be complicated in life and a simple blog graphic or a social media post is one of them, thank you Canva for being awesome.

How I Have Used Canva In My Blogging

Every design and every little thing you see that looks like it was designed on purpose was designed by me using Canva.

Now I am first to admit that I am far from a graphic designer but, with the help of Canva, I’ve managed to create some “ok” designs and had them looking great where I used them.

Here on this blog 3HUNDRD.com and also on my other one (especially on this one), I have used Canva to create some great graphic design work that went on to make me thousands of dollars.

Yes, Canva made my money. But how?

One of the biggest source of traffic for me is Pinterest (you can see how I get over 20,000 readers from Pinterest every month here).

If you know anything about Pinterest, you would agree that the platform is extremely visual and only images are allowed there.

All the pins that I have designed and shared on Pinterest, the same pins that get a tremendous amount of traffic each day, were all done with Canva in probably less than 10 minutes of work.

If you want to learn how to create great images for social media, then definitely go with Canva.

What Else Can You Do With Canva?

Everything you want, need and wish.

I use it mostly for blog post and social media graphics (mostly tall Pinterest pins) but there are all the things you can design with Canva:

canva templates

Social Media Posts:

  • Twitter Images
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook Posts
  • Facebook Ads
  • Tumblr Graphic
  • Instagram post

Documents:

  • A4 posters
  • Magazines Pages
  • Resume

And More:

  • Real Estate Flyers
  • Food & Drink Menu
  • Business Card
  • Flyer
  • YouTube Thumbnail
  • YouTube Channel Art
  • Email Header
  • Etsy Shop Photos
  • and more and more

Some Pros & Cons Of Canva

4 Extra Pros For Canva.com:

I’ve talked a lot of how much I like Canva for its easy-to-use interface, but wait there’s more:

The Training

Canva does come with free video training courses designed to show you how you can create better art with Canva.

They will go through how you can use text, images, shadows, fonts and more to create a much more “professional looking” design.

As I’ve said, I am far from a graphic designer but with the lessons I’ve learned there, I have managed to pull off some great work (if I may say so myself).

Your Branding

When you create your user account, you are also asked to fill out your brand’s colors and fonts which mean that you can match your blog’s colors and fonts to help make the design more “brandable”.

You can also upload a logo to use for all the pre-made templates that they have ready for you.

Please not that this is a premium option only, I will talk more about pricing further own below.

Ability To Download Transparent Designs

This may not seem like such a big thing but it has come in handy more times than I can think of, especially when I created my own personal designs to sell on a custom t-shirt business I’ve built for my other blog.

All it took for me to get in “the fashion business” is to go over to Canva, create a cool image and then download the transparent (.png file) and plastering it on a blank t-shirt and selling it.

You can also use this feature to create your own logo too if you wish and you will be able to place your logo everywhere.

Quick Support

One thing I would like to add about Canva is their great support system which I have only used on Twitter.

They do have an equally fast and helpful support system by email but I’ve always used Twitter to ask them quick questions and they usually respond in just a few minutes.

If you’re reading this Twitter support people, you’re awesome!

2 Tiny Cons For Canva.com

Hmm does Canva have any cons? Maybe just a few.

Pricing Of Images

Although there are some stock photos you can use for free, the majority of them are stock photos which you will have to pay $1 for a one-time use of it, and that bugs me a bit.

I know it’s still much cheaper than hiring a graphic designer to do your graphics but paying $1 for an image you use only once is a bit too steep I think.

Having said that, you are more than welcome to upload your own images that you have already and you can use them for free for as long as you wish.

No Mobile Apps (Yet) (See Update Below)

To this day, Canva has let me down in one major (tiny) way and that is; no mobile apps yet.

They do have an app for the iPad but still no sign of the iPhone app.

I am not sure how they would be able to fit all the functionality of the “desktop Canva” on a mobile app but I sure would love to see them launching something soon.

Please Canva, for all the mobile lovers worldwide.

-> July 2016 UPDATE!!!

Canva has answered my prayers by releasing their native iPhone app this month and I could not be happier with it! You can download the app for free from here!

Thank you CANVA!

How Much Does Canva.com Cost?

Canva Premium Pricing

Apart from the ability to create your branding and the ability to download transparent files, all that I have mentioned and raved about here on this Canva.com review are all free to use.

You can go over there and get started straight away and have a design up and ready in no time.

However, if you want to go for a premium option called “Canva For Work“, (which I think it’s worth it as I am also a premium member of Canva), you can jump onboard for a mere $12.95 per month.

To me, it’s been very well worth the price so far and I have been premium or about a year now.

You can see what else you get with “Canva For Work” here.

My Final Rating Of Canva.com

As you might have imagined and as I’ve also said at the beginning of this review, I do love Canva and I do think you will greatly benefit from such a tool in your arsenal.

For the many reasons I gave above and for all the money I have earned with Canva, I give this tool a HUGE thumbs up for their quality of service, easy of use product and all around great customer care.

If you are looking to find a once and for all solution to your graphic design problems then look no further from Canva.

Just try it out for free now.

Also, it’s good to say that I am in no way promoting Canva because they paid me to or because I am an affiliate for them.

At the time of writing this, (3rd May 2016), Canva.com does not have an affiliate program.

Which means…

I’ve dedicated a lot of my time writing this Canva review and I will get nothing for it, which is quite unusual for me as I am trying to build out my business, but hey;

They do deserve it and your business also deserves to try this thing out.

Any Other Alternatives To Canva?

Probably there are yes.The ones that come to mind are PhotoShop and PicMonkey. I have used both of those products myself and I can tell you that for my needs, Canva is the main winner here.

The ones that come to mind right now are PhotoShop and PicMonkey. I have used both of those products myself and I can tell you that for my needs, Canva.com is the main winner here.

Closing Words

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Canva.com review today.

I really like this product and this company and I look forward to seeing where they take this company next.

It’s constantly improving and they are always updating it with new features, designs, and templates for you to choose from.

Since I have you here I would like to ask you to join my email newsletter down below.

I will be sending you some of my best online business advice and you will also get a free invitation to my number one rated online marketing training platform, Wealthy Affiliate.

I look forward to seeing you in there and if you have any questions (especially about Canva.com) feel free to drop them down below.

I’d be more than happy to help you get used to Canva if you need help so get in touch.

Thank you for reading.

Mr 3HUNDRD

28 thoughts on “My Canva.com Review: Is It The Best Free Graphic Design Tool Out There?

  1. Huge Canva fan, here! Thanks for this great review. I’ll definitely be sharing it with my readers. I, too, believe that Canva has made a major difference in my business because of the ability to create such great graphics for FB, Pinteret, etc. I especially love how easy they make it to create a FB cover photo or a Twitter header, etc. Smart, Canva.

    1. Oh thank you very much Laura for your share. Much appreciated. yes Canva is amazing and I look forward to their updates.

      Talk soon.

      -K

  2. I love, love, love Canva. I think it’s perfect for graphic design beginners, and it makes everything so quick and simple with their premade templates. I especially love their resume builder, it’s been so helpful for me!

  3. I am a Real Estate broker and Founder of an Educational Non-Profit, and I came accross Canva via Guy Kawasaki as well. All i can say is itis the BEST TOOL ever… for me to express concepts, put together something in a pinch, as well as thought out images! I HEART CANVA 2

    1. Agreed. Canva is a great tool for real estate brokers yet. There’s even templates you can use for your brochures and adverts.

      Glad you’re enjoying Canva.

  4. I am a freelance designer who just perused Canva.com for the first time. I must say, that I am incredibly disheartened. They have taken my profession and turned it into a “drag and drop” tool.

    1. Hey Lindsay. I understand your plight here but Canva didn’t ruin your profession. There are many, many things a Graphic Designer can do that it’s impossible with Canva. It’s just a good place to go for people that want something quick. I can’t imagine paying a designer for graphics everytime I need a blog header for example.

  5. I’ve been using Canva for a while but just recently discovered Easil (easil.com) after attending the SMSS. It’s VERY cool! They have heaps of modern templates – great quality and so far pretty easy to use. No mobile app but as I use these tools a lot for production work I prefer desktop anyway.

    1. Oh wow! Just had a quick look at Easil and it looks great. Will try it out later. Thank you for your suggestion! Might do a review on it as well soon!

      Great find! 🙂

  6. Hi there,
    I was interested by your post because I was looking at the potential for Canva as a design tool to sell t-shirts and other items. You say that you have done this successfully but when I read their terms, I thought that this was not possible as it says:
    Except as explicitly provided herein, nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed to create a license in or under any such Intellectual Property Rights, and you agree not to sell, license, rent, modify, distribute, copy, reproduce, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, publish, adapt, edit or create derivative works from any Canva Content. Use of the Canva Content for any purpose not expressly permitted by this Agreement is strictly prohibited.

    Or have I misunderstood and creating designs on Canvas for commercial purposes to sell items vs. only display is OK?

    1. Hey there Catherine. You are not allowed to use the premium images you can BUY from Canva. The images do not come with a “commercial license”. However, the images you can create with the free tools and elements, you can use 🙂

  7. As usual, reviews are misleading.

    Canva is free ONLY if you choose the basic package which lacks a lot of the preferred customizing options that good designs need. If that’s all you need, more power to you, but I do not care for generic looking, cookie-cutter designs.

    Being that business is highly competitive, I want something that stands out, and you can only achieve with ‘one-off’ design tools.

    1. Hi Rich.

      Actually, Canva is free – only when you use the premium stock photos you have to pay (but you can get those for free elsewhere and upload them to Canva).

      Obviously it doesnt have the power of Photoshop, but it’s very much a good value for money considering it’s free for people that want to create “simple” designs.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts though. Much appreciated 🙂

    1. Yeah. I get that a lot of blogs copy paste my reviews. It’s ok, it hurts them more then it helps them haha! 🙂

      Glad you like Canva KT, it’s a blessing for us bloggers and marketers.

  8. Thanks for the great review!!! Iʻm trying Canvaʻs free trial, yet am being asked to pay for things. I canʻt reach out to their customer support. There is ZERO ways of emailing/contacting them about this issue and (suprise, surprise) my question is not addressed in their faqs page. Hopefully, you can help. I want to know if Iʻm going to pay ala carte for every little thing during this FREE trial…I mean, whatʻs free about that?!

    1. Some of the elements are paid yes but you can easily choose from the free ones. Also, if you are using the templates and it shows that it’s a paid option, it’s mostly because it is using a stock photo. You can easily remove the premium (stock) photo and add your own. you have a great list of sites that supply free images here.

  9. I have discovered Canva through your review. Thanks for that, I am having a lot of fun. Now, you are speaking about a fast and helpful support system by email, but I can’t find it… Could you please help me with that? I have one single question to ask, maybe you will be able to support me faster than the support team 🙂 I want to use Canva for infographics to paste in my word documents and my powerpoint presentations, is it in any way possible to download a single element in png?

    Thanks in advance

    1. If you want to download a transparent file (.png), then you can do that with Canva yes but you need to have a premium account ($10 a month ish).

      I am super glad you are enjoying Canva Alexandra. THere’s a lot more things coming that are going to make it much better! 🙂

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