10 Benefits of Canva – Should You Upgrade to Pro?

Canva is an online graphic design tool pre-loaded with thousands of templates to spark your creativity. Whether it be for internal use or for a client, the many benefits of using Canva make it easier than ever to knock up stunning visuals in no time. From magazines to website design to logos, Canva helps you design everything simply and efficiently without needing extensive graphic design experience or complicated Adobe programs. In this post, we'll run you through all of the Canva benefits, and we'll weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of using Canva.

​Benefits of Canva:

  1. Create wireframes with ease.
  2. Pre-made size templates make creating size-specific content simple.
  3. The ability to use the transparency tool on all elements.
  4. Hundreds of elements, icons and graphics to choose from.
  5. The ability to add frames and vignette to imagery.
  6. The user-friendly interface is easy to use for all levels.
  7. The free design templates make designing content super quick.
  8. Access to free, safe stock imagery.
  9. Comment and collaborate with team access.
  10. There are endless possibilities for creation.

Throughout this post, we'll explain these advantages of Canva in more detail, showing you why we think Canva is an excellent resource for easy graphic design. However, there is a con for every pro, so we also weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of Canva. Finally, we'll let you know why we believe that Canva isn't for everyone, and the software's disadvantages.

1. Create wireframes

Wireframes are a crucial part of the website development and design process as it allows customers to get a stripped back visual of what their new site will look like. Additionally, website wireframes can help to inform decisions around website usability and user-experience. A fantastic benefit of using Canva is that these wireframes can be created in no time, helping with those all-important deadlines.

2. Pre-made size templates

As Liz Pienaar mentions in her recent LinkedIn article, Canva offers a variety of pre-made templates to choose from, including Facebook banners, YouTube thumbnails, business cards and magazines. Using the pre-made templates, you can be sure that your content will perfectly fit your desired image location. This is a handy Canva benefit for small business's websites, whereby time and resources are limited, and efficiency is everything.

3. Transparency tool

If you love beautifully subtle design work as much as we do, you will be excited to use this tool. Unlike any other free graphic design software, an advantage of Canva is that the software allows every element to be adjusted with transparency. From backgrounds and images to icons and logos, many cool visuals can be formed using this tool, including captivating overlays and textured effects. There is an adjustable slider in the top left, and an option to input a value of opacity.

4. Hundreds of elements

Sometimes words are insufficient, so to get your message across, you might need to use visuals. Searching through the icon library on Canva can help you find the perfect visual icon for your content. Icons can be used on logos, infographics, or anything you'd like! Let your imagination run wild. We find elements useful for social media icons when creating advertisement banners. There is a menu called elements on the right where you can search from the thousands of free icons.

5. Frames & Vignette

When a standard image isn't enough, you can resort to adding frames and vignette filters to create the desired effect, whether that be to add a retro edge or to make an image more dramatic. Vignette filters are fantastic for bringing older images back to life, so you can relive your favourite memories, enhance composition, and add an antique feel to your posts. If your Instagram is themed and you want to ensure all your posts have the same vignette filter, a unique Canva advantage is that you can note down the filter codes within Canva, ensuring cohesiveness.

6. User-friendly interface

There are many Canva benefits; however, we believe this is the most important. We're certain even the least experienced users would be able to navigate Canva with ease. Their super easy-to-use templates, stickers and photos, alongside their drag-and-drop feature, makes creating beautiful content a breeze. In addition, we find the navigation easy to navigate, with the left side housing all of your major design elements and the top bar housing all minor design elements (font, colours).

7. Free design templates

Starting with a blank canvas can be daunting and often leaves you thinking, 'where do I begin?'. The benefit of using Canva is that it takes that worry away as it offers hundreds of free design templates available for you to customise to your liking. The pre-made templates help to inspire and aid. Whether you make a design completely your own, or simply change a few colours, Canva makes it simple for you to achieve in a few clicks.

8. Stock Imagery

One of Canva's benefits is that you won't ever worry about paying for stock imagery again. Canva's selection of imagery is totally free and safe to use, so you don't need to worry about getting into hot water over usage rights. Browse through their images to find pictures that represent your brand, or filter to choose images that fulfil specific criteria.

9. Team Access

Do you ever wish that you could share a design with a colleague but loathe the faff of downloading the pdf and emailing it to them? You needn't worry any longer. Canva allows team members to view, edit and comment on others work, making the feedback process smoother and quicker than ever.

10. Endless possibilities

With all of the professional tools at your disposal, there are endless possibilities for creation within Canva. For example, you can create infographics for Pinterest, Facebook Ads for paid social or even banners in your website design. Additionally, there are plenty of GIFS and animations to choose from if you're creating a moving image presentation.

​Canva Disadvantages:

1. Overuse of Designs

While it may seem convenient to use one of the pre-made design templates that Canva offers for free, you may find that your design looks awfully similar to other brands' work upon completion. As the templates are so readily available, other companies may use that same design template for their own work. You can avoid this problem by being more creative with your design and customising the Canva templates more. Alternatively, using a professional graphic designer can help you to create custom designs that are unique to your business.

2. Desktop is Superior

Although the mobile Canva app is pretty neat and very convenient, there are limited features available through the mobile app. The mobile version has less than half of the features available compared to the desktop app. So, while it may be handy to have, it's certainly not as useful.

3. Limited Export Settings

As Canva isn't as specialist as many other graphic design apps, export settings are limited and may not be as accurate as others. For example, Canva can't export files such as PowerPoint, which is useful for creating multi-page documents. Similarly, Canva only exports in RGB colour, which is more limiting than CMYK.

4. No Local File Storage

When using software that lives online, many issues can arise, such as the website being down or faulty internet connection. For example, if the Canva website is down, there is no way to access your files. In the same vein, if you plan to work on a design but you find you have no internet connection, there is no other way to access your designs. This can be frustrating for those wanting to work remotely or those prone to internet issues.

5. Canva Controls Everything

While you are using the software to create your own unique designs, the Intellectual Property lines are blurry. You are not licensing their software, you are simply using their platform in which to create designs. As Canva owns everything, they have the right to delete your profile and content at any time.

​Benefits of Using Canva for Logo Creation

If you're tired of your current branding, Canva makes it super easy to create a brand new visual for you to change your logo in a matter of minutes. If you're working in OpenCart, check out our blog post on adding your logo to your store in our handy blog post. Just to show you how Canva provides a simplistic approach to design work, we've mocked up a logo in roughly 120 seconds.

1. Log into Canva, select logo & choose a template. Select a template from the drop down on the left hand side.

2. Amend the text by simply clicking on it and amending it. Change colours to fit with your colour schemes.

3. Download the image & select the file size you wish.

4. Finished product!

Whilst Canva is free, we prefer using the Pro version to make our designs really stand out.

​Here are the benefits of using Canva Pro, compared with the standard free Canva plan:

Free Canva PlanCanva Pro Plan
£0 a month£10.99 a month.
Create two folders to organise work in.Unlimited folders available.
5GB storage for photos and assets.Unlimited storage for photos and assets.
Access to over 20,000 photos.Access to over 75 million photos.
Save one brand colour palette.100 brand kits: colours, logo and fonts.
Access to six animation effects.Unlimited GIF and MP4 format animations.
Extensive guides and FAQ helpsPriority support with 24/7 access.
1700 fonts available to choose from.3000 fonts available to choose from, including the ability to upload your own.
250,000 templates to choose from.420,000 templates to choose from.
Numerous size templates to work from.Re-size designs to custom dimensions.

We believe that Canva is a brilliant tool, and that the benefits of using Canva are self-explanatory, however, it's clear that it isn't right for everybody. Depending on where you're at in your business, you may find that Canva's simple interface and pre-made design templates are the quick fix that you need. However, for design professionals or larger brands, you may require greater control over Intellectual Property and access to cloud files, meaning that Canva isn't right for you. Regardless, we believe that Canva is a game-changing platform with a multitude of benefits which can help you elevate your business.

If you're interested in elevating your business through personalised graphic design or custom website design, contact our team today.

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