Canva Pro Review: Is It Worth It? (2021)

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Canva Pro Review: Is It Worth It? (2021)


Rosie Greaves

Summary

Canva Pro is a premium design tool for creating high-quality visuals. It extends the free Canva app with additional features such as a wide selection of stock photos, videos, and audios, premium templates, a lot more cloud storage, and advanced functionality.

Canva Pro is a premium design tool for creating high-quality visuals. It extends the free Canva app with additional features such as a wide selection of stock photos, videos, and audios, premium templates, a lot more cloud storage, and advanced functionality.

Pros

Its free version is ideal for individuals and startups.

There’s a generous 30-day free trial.

You get access to masses of images.

There’s a generous amount of storage.

You can save your designs as templates for the entire team to use.

It’s intuitive and easy to use.

You can collaborate with team members.

Education and non-profit establishments get access to Canva’s free premium features.

Cons

Some of the images seem generic.

The mobile app isn’t as user-friendly.

Some users complain that customer support response times are slow.

There are no offline features, unlike Photoshop.

In comparison to more advanced tools, professional designers don’t have as much freedom in terms of functionality.

Small and medium-sized businesses face many obstacles when raising their brand’s profile to increase sales and customer engagement. 

One such roadblock is finding easy-to-use software to create beautiful graphic designs for social media posts, posters, documents, and other business collateral and marketing materials. 

These days, multiple content creation tools require little (or no) design or tech experience. However, finding the one that best suits your business needs amongst the internet clutter can be time-consuming. 

So today, we’re taking a deep dive into one such content creation design tool: Canva, more specifically, Canva Pro.

That’s a lot to cover, so let’s go.

What Is Canva Pro

Created in 2013, Canva is an Australian company with its HQ in Sydney. It aims to empower “the world to design,” describing itself as: “an online design and publishing tool with a mission to empower everyone in the world to design anything and publish anywhere.”

With 600+ employees and 15 million monthly active users across 190 countries in 100 languages, Canva is clearly doing something right!

The purpose of Canva and its premium plan, Canva Pro, is to make it easy for businesses and individuals to create attractive-looking designs. 

How?

By providing a large variety of easily customizable templates, a choice of layouts, and a drag-and-drop editor to create materials for various mediums, including social media content, marketing emails, ebook and magazine covers, presentations, posters, resumes, videos, and more.

Overall, it’s a quick and easy way of creating professional-looking visuals without any design skills. 

In addition, you can collaborate with your team in real-time on your designs, and it’s easy to sign up. You just need to create an account with an email address and follow the on-screen instructions.

Canva homepage

Canva vs Canva Pro

The main difference between Canva vs Canva Pro is that the paid version gives you access to a much wider choice of custom templates and stock images, lots more cloud storage, and additional functionality.

The free version of Canva comes with 5GB worth of cloud storage, 250,000+ free templates, hundreds of thousands of photos and graphics, and more than 100 different design types — including social media posts, presentations, letters, and more. You can also invite team members and collaborate on your designs in real-time.

With Canva Pro, you get 600,000+ free and premium templates (new designs are added every day), millions of premium stock images and graphics, and 100 GB of cloud storage.

The pro account allows you to create a Brand Kit where you can upload your fonts and logos to ensure branding consistency. The Magic Resize functionality is another pro feature that lets you resize your designs for various platforms with just one click.

With a Canva Pro subscription, you can save designs as templates for your team to use, schedule content to eight social media platforms, and use Canva’s background remover tool. You can also create unlimited folders, so if you’re working on larger projects or creating multiple campaign documents, it may be worth upgrading from the free plan.

Canva Pro features

Design Dashboard and Templates

Canva is pretty easy and intuitive to use, and the design dashboard is self-explanatory. Immediately, you’ll see the different kinds of visuals you can create inside a horizontal bar across the screen. Canva will also prompt you to select the type of graphic you want to create and suggest which templates suit you best.

On the left-hand side of your dashboard, you can view all your designs, access your folders and Brand Kit, and see all the work that has been shared with you.

As I’ve already hinted at, the Brand Kit functionality is only accessible to Canva Pro members. Here, you can create your logo and other business collateral to ensure branding consistency. 

To illustrate how the Canva dashboard works, I’ll quickly show you how to create a video.

Once you’re logged into your Canva account, you’ll be presented with a choice of different design types. Simply click on the video option, and you’ll see the following screen:

Canva Pro dashboard

Here, you’re presented with a series of templates organized into many different types of video categories, including marketing, educational, birthday, real estate, explainer, health, sales, and more. As there’s pretty much something for everyone, you’re bound to find a template you can adapt to meet your needs. 

However, Canva Pro users are given a much wider choice, as previously stated. The pro templates are easily identifiable as they have a gold crown in the bottom right-hand corner. 

Once you have decided on the template you want to use, drag it onto the blank screen. If you want to customize any element of the video, click on it and use the utility toolbar that shows up on the screen. There’s another toolbar on the left-hand side of the dashboard that allows you to choose a different font and text style for your video heading, subheading, and body text. 

You can also add design elements to your video by clicking the Elements tab. These are different lines, shapes, graphics, photos, video, audio, and frames you can click on to customize the template further.

For example, when you add audio, the element appears above your video, and you can hit the play button to hear the sound. If you decide you don’t like it, there’s a trash bin right next to the element, and you can keep looking until you find the right sound.

Canva dashboard Elements tab

You can also add your own images by clicking on the Uploads tab or dragging and dropping them onto the video canvas from your desktop. 

When you are done editing your video, click the Download button on the top right-hand side of the screen. Then you can share it, for example, on your socials.

If you want to resize your video to make it Twitter-, Instagram-, Facebook-, or LinkedIn-friendly, you’ll need the pro version. Otherwise, you’re better off using the social media templates provided by the free templates.

You can also print your designs straight from Canva. As with all other parts of the Canva website, it’s easy to navigate the print function. You can choose a designer-made template in the same way you would create online content, customize it, and Canva will print and deliver it for free to your doorstep (you’ll have to pay for the prints, though).

It’s possible to use your designs on t-shirts, business cards, photo books, prints, mugs, wedding invitations, and more. 

Once you’ve chosen the type of print project you’re working on, simply click on it, and follow the step-by-step instructions. This includes selecting the size format, paper quality, and so on. 

Here’s an example of some marketing style postcard templates you can choose from to print:

Canva marketing postcards for print

Stock Photos and Graphics

Canva Pro provides tons of stock photos and graphics. The entire photo library, including free and pro images, is easily accessible from the Features menu on Canva’s homepage.

If you don’t have time to wade through all these snaps (there are millions!), Canva helpfully categorizes the images into themes such as flowers, beach, nature, business, computer, social media, travel, and more.

You can see which images are on the Pro plan because they each have a currency icon in the bottom right-hand corner. 

To give you a feel of image quality, here’s a snapshot of Canva’s travel images:

Canva travel photos

Once you have selected an image category, you can filter your search further by topic. For example, under travel, there are sub-categories such as luggage, business travel, airport, and others. 

Just click on the image you want to use, and either add it to your Canva folder(s) or use it straight off in a design. 

Apps and Integrations

Canva natively integrates with many third-party apps and services. You can find the Apps Directory by clicking the Features > Apps menu.

Here, you can see which apps you can work with — for example, you can add Google maps, YouTube videos, QR codes, and other embeds to your designs.

You can also access apps to help enhance your images further and post your designs onto platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Slack, MS Powerpoint, and others.

Canva apps directory

Learning Materials

Although Canva is simple, fun, and intuitive to use, even for non-designers, it’s always reassuring to have learning materials and user support just in case. So, how does Canva stand up to scrutiny in this area? 

The homepage has a drop-down menu, where you’ll find the Learn section. Here, there are short video courses on social media, graphic design basics, branding, and other topics.

You can also find tutorials on getting started, designing, and a specific tutorial on using Canva Pro. Like the video courses, tutorials are concise as well.

On top of that, Canva has a handy blog. Topics are organized into categories such as marketing, branding, design, and more. There are also separate blogs for teachers, students, and non-profits.

Canva learning materials

Customer Support

As for customer support, there’s a help center on the Canva website. Here, you can type your problem or question into the search bar, and this will bring up relevant materials that will hopefully answer your query.

The help center separates its documentation into different categories depending on your questions, such as account settings, payments and pricing, editing and designing, and others. 

To contact Canva directly, you’ll have to sign in to your account and head over to Canva’s contact support page. From there, you can submit a help ticket. Response time is much shorter for pro users — Canva’s support team gets in touch with you within 24 hours as opposed to one week which is what free users can expect.

Canva help center

Pricing

Canva Pro’s pricing is based on the number of users you want to register, starting at $12.99 per year for up to five members, with annual billing. Any user on top of that is billed at $7 a month.

There’s a generous 30-day free trial, though you have to provide your credit card details to access it.

It’s also worth noting that education and non-profit organizations can access Canva Pro for free, and Canva will tailor it to their needs.

Canva Pro Review: Final Verdict

Depending on what you’re hoping to achieve, Canva Pro is an excellent investment. That said, if you have lots of users and collaborators and your business is still relatively small, the costs could mount up, so it’s worth bearing that in mind before spending your hard-earned cash. 

Canva Pro is certainly worth it if you want access to millions of images, graphics, audios, and videos, and thousands of graphic design templates. It’s also worth upgrading if you want the freedom to resize designs and a ton of cloud storage.

I’d recommend trying it out first for free for 30 days and assessing whether you really need that many images and templates and that much storage. If you don’t, then stick to the free plan. Then, of course, you could always upgrade as your business or individual needs grow.

Are you ready to start using Canva Pro and want to sign up for its free trial? Let us know what your designs looked like and what you used them for in the comments box below!

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