My Canva Review: A Phenomenal Graphic Design Tool

In early 2015, I published my first Canva review.

Given it's now late 2018 and Canva has since then made huge steps forward, I guess it's about time for a refresher.

I have been a premium member of Canva from before I did the previous review and I still am a premium user today and I have seen their progress one step at a time, which for that; I do congratulate them.

In case you haven't guess from the title just yet - and from the fact that I have been a member for over 3 years now - I am a huge fan of Canva and their service.

If you were just looking for confirmation whether to use Canva or not, go for it.

It's free, and it's an incredible tool to use

However, if you want to know more about it, then continue reading this review as I am about to cover why Canva is loved by so many people, how to use it, the pros and cons and just about everything you should know about this phenomenal tool.

Here are some useful links you can jump to for specific information you may be looking for:

canva review

What Is Canva?

Canva is a freemium graphic design tool that allows you to create all the imagery you could ever need.

All the "design work" you see here on this website was done on Canva and if you don't like it, let me tell you that it's really not Canva's fault lol.

I'm probably not the best graphic designer you'll ever find, but trust me when I say; before starting to use Canva, I never even used to bother creating images for my blog in the first place.

I got into Canva early when I was doing a lot of heavy promotion on Pinterest and to this day, the images I had created on Canva way back when are still bringing in the traffic - so thank you Canva for that.  

If you are wondering how I manage to make money by using Canva, I'd like to refer you to my "Affiliate Marketing For Beginners" guide.

How Does Canva Work?

Canva is an online based tool, and to get access to it - which again it's free to use *with premium options - all you need to do is to visit the website and register for an account.

They also have the mobile app now too which is available on both your smartphone and tablet, and while I do not use it anymore since I mostly use the "desktop version", I have used it in the past and have re-installed it once again for the purpose of this Canva review.

(More on the Canva app down below but you can download it from here if you're in a hurry).

How To Use Canva

After you become a member, you are ready to use Canva and boy is there so much you can do with it.

Just out of the gate, you can create all the designs you can see here & more:

things you can design with canva

+ All of these designs come with their own set of templates you can load up at any given time, adjust, modify and use as your own.

Back when I used to work at a digital marketing agency, all my work presentations were created using Canva templates (and might I add they looked better than the design teams' presentations).

I won't go into how to actually use Canva as since it's so visual, I guess it's best to show you rather than tell you:

The Canva Mobile App

The  mobile app was launched in 2016 and while it has improved greatly since then, the Canva mobile app (iOs and Android) is not as nearly as powerful as the desktop version.

However, it's way better than when I initially downloaded it for the first time and you can still create pretty good images "on the fly".

I do not use the Canva app regularly myself since I do the bulk of my work on my desktop but as I said;

The app looks amazing and you can do a lot of things with it. 

The Pros & Cons Of Using Canva

I'm a big fan of Canva, and anybody who asks me about where to design and create images, I always recommend Canva with full confidence knowing it won't let me down.

I have been using it for years and have probably sent 100s of signs up to Canva.

(If anybody from Canva is reading this, I sure would love some custom gear) ?

Over the year, I have come to know Canva very well and from my own experiences, here are the pros and cons I have about Canva:

Things I Like About Canva ?

>> The Training

With their mission being "empowering everyone with design", Canva also kindly enough has provided graphic design training and resources to help you create better images.

Even as a starter member on a free plan, you can start learning some of the basics of graphic design + how to use Canva.

Here are the current courses available:

  • How To Build A Brand (7 lessons)
  • How To Be Creative (7 lessons)
  • Engaging On Twitter (coming soon) 
  • Designing For Facebook (coming soon)
canva graphic design courses

>> The Branding Tools

As I said, I'm not much of a graphic designer, but I do understand the importance of keeping your brand colors consistent and Canva does us all a favor by allowing you to keep all your settings for your brand.

In this screen pictured below, you can see I have my chosen fonts and my chosen colors.

Whenever I want to create a new artwork, I simply load up these colors and I am ready to get to work.

Done and dusted.

brand building in canva

>> Downloading Transparent Images

This may not seem like a big deal to those who have a basic understanding of advanced design tools such as Photoshop and others but to me, the ability to download and save images with a transparent background is a god-sent feature.

Thanks to this, I was able to yes; create custom designs for my print-on-demand business and have since made a killing simple designs created with Canva.

Canva 2.0 Apps Deal

This is from the Canva 2.0 update which I will tell you about soon.

>> Creating Beautiful PDFs

Another fantastic feature of Canva is the fact that you can create pdfs.

I have just finished updating my free ebook "How To Win at Affiliate Marketing" a few months ago and all 40+ pages were designed using Canva.

It came out looking as sleek and professional as can be. 

Things I Didn't Like About Canva ?

When I first did my original review, my only "complaint' about Canva was the fact that they did not have a mobile app - however now that's been fixed, there seems to be another issue that is bugging not only me, but many others as well.

>> Some Canva Images Are Blurry When You Download

Seeing as how I am on a premium plan (thus I have the option to download images in HD), I always expected this to be something from my end that was acting up but as it turns out, it's not just me that have this problem.

Apparently, there are other users who are reporting that on occasions, the images we download from Canva end up coming out slightly blurry.

So far I have not found an official response from Canva on this issue but some users seem to have found a fix for this problem.

It's weird problem as it's not every time I download an image that this happens so I can't really put my finger on it. When it does happen though, my solution is to simply take a screenshot of the image, crop it to my desired size and I'm ready to go.

Apart from the fact that Canva still doesn't have an affiliate program, this is the only con about Canva worth mentioning and that I experience often.

Can You Use Canva Offline?

While going through the keyword-traffic for the previous Canva review I had published, I noticed people were wondering if Canva can be used "offline".

The answer to that is no, at the current time; Canva can not be used offline.

There's no way you can use the desktop version of the site and the app also can not be used when you do not have an internet connection.

However; if while you are working on Canva you suddenly lose connection, don't fret.

Canva syncs and auto-saves every step of the way so there should not be any hair pulling if the power/ internet connection were to go out.

Canva Is Launching Canva 2.0 Soon (Mini Review)

Pretty soon Canva will be releasing an "update" to their existing product version, which is going to be called Canva 2.0.

As described by Canva, the update is aimed at making things flow easier and smoother allowing use the users to create better designs and have a better user experience altogether while using the website (and app).

You can find out more about Canva 2.0 here >>

Will You Be Using Canva 1 or Canva 2?

It all depends on when you are reading this.

While I believe Canva 2.0 is meant to replace the original Canva for all users eventually, at the time of writing (Sept 2018) Canva 2.0 is only available in beta mode for what I assume to be only for Canva For Work plans.

So far the update looks great as I had the opportunity to access it as a beta user and I am sure you're going to love it as well.

Below is a screenshot of the updated editor, and also a video showing you more of what to expect from Canva 2.0.

Canva 2.0 Review

How Much Does Canva Cost?

There are currently 3 pricing packages in Canva and these are:

>> Canva Free - $0 (forever)
>> Canva For Work - $12.95
>> Canva Enterprise - Get in touch

Of course, as a free member you will not get access to the full Canva experience but you can still do a whole lot of work with a free account.

You can find the 3 pricing plans with all their differences listed below: 

I myself have been using the Canva For Work package and I pay yearly for that which is what I recommend if you plan on using Canva often (for work).

When you switch to a yearly payment plan, the month-on-month Canva For Work package drops down to just $9.95 per month, which to me is a fantastic deal.

As for Canva Enterprise, this is mostly for major companies with big teams.

While I can not say for certain what the Canva Enterprise is all about, I am sure that whoever is reading - solopreneurs like myself - would probably over ever need to go up to Canva For Work.

Is Canva For Work Worth The Price?

In my opinion, yes; 100%.

For $9.95 per month and being able to create, download and use as many images as you can possible create is a great deal.

As I said already, the designs Canva has created for me has actually produced an income for me so I see Canva as an integral investment for my business and I do not see myself ever cancelling my subscription deal

(Not to mention god-knows how much money was saved from hiring graphic designers)

Any Canva Alternatives Worth Mentioning? 

I am sure there are, but I have never used them myself as I'm a loyal Canva-er.

However, this blog post right here lists some the best Canva alternatives, which are:

- Stencil
- Snappa
- Design Bold
- Fotor
- Piktochart
- PicMonkey
- Desygner
- Adobe Spark

You can read more about these on this page >>

Does Canva Have An Affiliate Program?

Sadly no.

If that was the case; I'd be making a a nice decent commission off this review.

I'm bringing this up not only because I have a lot of affiliate marketers reading my blog (and they would be interested in promoting Canva) but also to prove to you that;

This is not sponsored post.

I am not fluffing up Canva to sell it to you, in fact; whether you get on Canva or not, it really does not make any difference for me.

Tthis blog is dedicated to finding great tools for online entrepreneurs and Canva is definitely such tool.

(Hopefully we can get an affiliate program soon though).

affiliate guide

My Final Thoughts About Canva

Thank you very much for reading my (2018-updated) Canva review.

Canva has had a great run and has become somewhat of a household name in the digital entrepreneur space and it's a well deserved achievement.

It's no secret that I am a big fan of Canva and for as long as they keep up the great work, I will stay on as a customer, and you should too.

Get on Canva and start creating >>

I wish you all the very best.

Talk soon.

Christian Lee.

how to use canva for free

12 thoughts on “My Canva Review: A Phenomenal Graphic Design Tool”

  1. Awesome product, Canva, featured in this article. I have always wanted to create my own images. This could be it.

    The website is nicely laid out. Clear and concise. Author has homed in on what most newbies need. I am sure this will benefit many newbies!

    Thanks for sharing this great information!


  2. Dear Christian Lee,

    Thanks a lot for the detailed and in-depth review post on Canva.

    Although I heard about Canva I don’t know how to use (I tried once) and your post explained me in detail on using it (Canva Tutorial) which is really helpful and I am sure I am gonna use it going forward.

    As you said although you don’t benefit from the Canva review since it doesn’t have an Affiliate program you have provided a great review on Canva for us thanks a lot.

    I was never aware this much training is available with Canva thanks again for your post. After reading your review I decided to login again on my Canva account and make use of it.

    Wishing you great success!

    Your Friend,


    • Hey Paul.

      Glad to hear that. 😉 

      Give it a go, they’ve recently updated as well to Canva 2.0 so you might find that better/easier to use.

      Let me know if you have any Qs. 

  3. Wonderful detailed review on Canva.  I tried Canva a couple of years ago and I didn’t stick with it, but from all of your info, it sounds like I need to take another look.  I make a lot of Pinterest banners and I think it would be a really great tool for that.  Thanks for reminding me!  🙂

  4. Canva is the ultimate graphic design tool, indeed. For people like me who are not professional designers, Canva with all its professional templates is like a miracle. It has also a lot of advance features for master designers too. The pricing is also very fair for the value it brings.

    But I think for some daily simple graphic tasks Canva is a little bit of an overkill. For example, for social media images, I find tools like Stencil easier and faster than Canva.



  5. Wow, this is the most extensive review on Canva I’ve ever seen! You sure know your stuff.

    I’ve known Canva for three years now and I’ve used it a lot in the past for creating my Facebook ads. Only used the free version though, as it was more than enough for me.

    Recently I’ve switched over to Stencil, but reading your updated 2018 review really makes me curious to see all the new features.

    So I think you’ve convinced me to revisit Canva once more!

  6. Nice review of Canva, I use this program myself and I love it, It is my go to tool for website graphics. I currently only use the free membership and it provides me with what I need at this point. I will for sure look into up grading since the features would be better and HD downloads are a big deal. The fact they don’t have an affiliate program is a bummer but it also shows that you are giving a true and honest review since you have nothing to gain by it. This is a great program and one every blogger should look into. Great Review


    • Oh how I wish they would add an affiliate program 🙂 

      I must’ve sent hundreds of people over to Canva lol.

      Thanks for stopping by Todd. 

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