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Canva Review: Should You Pay for Canva Pro?

ByDanica Djokic
September 30,2022
We form affiliate partnerships with some of the companies mentioned in our reviews, which means we may get a small monetary compensation every time you purchase a product using the links on our website. This does not influence the contents of our reviews. Learn more by reading our Affiliate disclosure.

With Canva, video and graphic design have become remarkably simple and accessible to everyone. More than 85 million monthly users rely on Canva to develop their brand, and you don’t have to be a tech-savvy designer to join their ranks. 

Those who wish to bring their ideas to life can do so with the help of more than 75 million premium images, over a dozen animation styles, and reusable branded templates. 

Read our Canva review to learn more about this feature-packed software.

Score:
A

Free version available Paid plans start at $12.99/month

pros thumb up Pros
  • Drag-and-drop editor
  • Excellent free plan
  • Top-notch mobile apps
  • Sizeable library of templates
  • Brand kits with Pro and Teams plans
  • Social media publisher
  • Free for nonprofits
cons thumb down Cons
  • Generic templates
  • Limited editing features

Canva Cost and Packages

Below is the complete list of Canva pricing plans along with the number of users allowed per package. We’ll review the features in detail in the following sections.

 

Canva Free

Canva Pro

Canva for Teams

Price per year

$0

$119.99

Starts at $149.90

Price per month

$0

$12.99

Starts at $14.99

Number of users

1

1

2+

Access to stock media

1 million photos and graphics

100+ million photos, audio, video, and graphics

100+ million photos, audio, video and graphics

Number of templates

250,000+

610,000+

610,000+

Storage (cloud)

5 GB

1 TB

1 TB

Canva also offers “Teachers” and “Schools and Districts” plans, which are completely free and only require you to contact the company or get verified online to use them.

To set up an account, visit Canva.com and review, arrange, or share all your designs from there. The website has the resources to accommodate users exploring logo options and anyone working on posters, flyers, and presentations. 

Those who wish to test things out before making serious commitments can either try out one of the free options or the Pro and Team plans during a 30-day free trial. 

To start your free trial, you’ll need to add a payment option to your account, but you won’t be charged until your trial period expires. Remember that you can save up to 16% with a yearly billing plan, so plan your expenses accordingly.

Free vs. Paid Plans

Is the free version of Canva enough or will you need to upgrade to the paid one? Let’s find out!

Canva Free

We tend to steer clear of free plans, but Canva offers many of the basic features needed for a decent design with its free version. However, you won’t have access to some of the most essential Canva design tools for professional editing. 

The free plan includes more than 250,000 templates and over 100 free design types such as social media posts, presentations, letters, flyers, infographics, and much more. 

There is no unlimited cloud storage with any plan, and the free one limits it to only 5 GB of cloud storage that you can sort into as many folders as you need

On the plus side, you don’t have to pay a dime for hundreds of thousands of free photos and graphics.

On top of that, you’ll be able to work on the move with the iOS or Android Canva app, review your virtual sketches, and share them with your team or friends through a design link. 

Once you finish your project, you’ll be able to export it in different file formats such as PDF, JPG, and PNG, or as animated GIFs and MP4 videos. Canva will also make a suggestion regarding the file format depending on the type of design you started making.

canva free version screenshot

Canva Pro

The free Canva plan is undoubtedly a useful tool for lighter and less advanced designs. But we believe that its principal function is to help users get acquainted with the platform. After a while, you’ll be able to take on more challenging projects, and this is where the more advanced Pro plan comes in. 

Let’s dive deeper into Canva Pro and review its key components, which offer great options for both professional and amateur designers. Once you sign up for the Pro plan, you’ll get everything from the free tier along with a number of additional perks. 

Each user can access more than 100 million stock photos, videos, graphics, and audio. If you’re running your own business, you’ll love the fact that you can use up to 100 brand kits to personalize your design with your company’s logo. (Keep in mind that 73% of people prefer brands that personalize the shopping experience.)

With Canva Pro, the cloud storage space is increased to 1 TB, and Canva lets you set up an unlimited number of folders to sort your designs. You can also collaborate with people within or outside your team. 

Perhaps most importantly, all these Canva features won’t cost you an arm and a leg. You’ll have to pay $12.99 per month if you’re an individual user, or $14.99 per month for the Canva for Teams plan that offers all the Pro plan features for up to five people.

If your team consists of more than five members, the price of the Teams plan automatically scales up based on the number of people involved. Note that, in that case, the larger the team, the more you’ll pay per team member.

Other Plans

One of the benefits of Canva is that it also caters to the needs of nonprofits and educational institutions. Canva Pro is free for all registered NGOs. 

Moreover, the company has developed a free Canva for Education package that lets primary and secondary school teachers and their students create and share engaging assignments, presentations, and lessons.

Ease of Use

Canva’s registration process is straightforward. You can create a Canva account by logging in with social media platforms such as Facebook, using your Google account, email address, Apple account, or other methods.

canva login screenshot

As soon as you create your account, you’ll be asked what you intend to use Canva for. Small business owners will find the platform really helpful in designing social media graphics and marketing materials.

canva user categories screenshot

Now, you might be wondering: Why use Canva when there are alternatives such as Adobe Creative Cloud? Ease of use is the answer. With Canva, you can quickly design whiteboards, presentations, and posts for social media sites, videos, and even websites without any graphic design skills. 

Below, you can see an Instagram post we’ve made for SmallBizGenius, promoting a post about interesting facts about the food truck industry.

canva design example

Creating this post took us less than five minutes. We used a template, added our logo, adjusted it to an appropriate size, and changed a few colors. 

While knowing some of the basics of graphic design definitely helps (oh, and by the way - Canva has its own Design School with dozens of courses and tutorials), there are plenty of paid and free templates and options that make it easy to adjust any existing ones to your needs or use them as a basis for a completely original design.

Integrations

So, is Canva good for users who need to use other applications as well? The answer is yes. You can integrate Canva with multiple applications and social media accounts, such as Google Drive, Slack, MS PowerPoint, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more.

On top of that, Canva makes integration accessible for anyone with its API. Businesses with custom software solutions can integrate Canva without having to change the programs they’re already using. 

Features 

If you’ve been using online editing tools such as PicMonkey that offer fun and easy but limited features, you’ll be amazed by the top-notch resources available with Canva, especially if you opt for the Pro subscription

Photo Editor

When you review the Canva design service’s tools, the all-in-one editor is sure to stand out. This tool allows you to apply numerous effects to enhance your images, starting with the basic photo editing options: a flip and crop tool, filters, adjusting brightness, contrast, colors, saturation, tint, blur, etc.

canva photo editor screenshot

There are options to add extras such as frames and thousands of free stickers and graphics to personalize your design further. 

Finally, advanced image editing options include adding fonts, a background remover, and autofocus. However, you’ll need a Canva Pro account to access some of the best features.

canva stickers screenshot

Templates Library

Clients who have already edited photos or are satisfied with crude images might need a template to fit their pictures in and create proper designs. Those who, for example, need Canva for business cards can review its vast library of engaging templates. 

You can choose between thousands of pre-designed posters, logos, presentations, videos, virtual backgrounds, etc. You can even create engaging video content and publish it right away. Filtering through templates can be done by design type, color, language, and other elements. 

Social Media Publisher

All designs you create using Canva’s filters and editing tools can be easily and directly published on social networks, including Facebook pages, Facebook groups, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn profiles, LinkedIn pages, Slack, and Tumblr. 

Another feature recently added by Canva is the content planner, which enables you to schedule your posts on social media and easily review all the designs you have scheduled in the calendar.

Canva Pro Features and Tools

Is Canva worth it as a paid subscription service? For the average user, the basic graphic design options provided with the free version will be a fantastic solution. 

However, any business that wants to maintain a social media presence and have professional-looking digital assets will definitely need to opt for a Pro or Teams subscription. 

Brand Kit

Canva reviews reflect positively on the platform’s brand kit, which makes the process of building your personal brand much easier. 

Small businesses can benefit significantly from using Canva to set up and maintain their brand consistency by setting up logos, colors, templates, and designs. 

You can also manage multiple brands and create multiple brand kits. This is a standout feature for any emerging business or solopreneur who is still at a stage where hiring a professional graphic designer isn’t a priority.

canva brand kit screenshot

Unlimited Templates

As a personal preference, we liked having access to a greater library of assets rather than limiting ourselves to free images only. 

Even if you have a subscription to some of the paid stock photo services, you’ll find having more options will speed up the pace at which you create social media posts. You can always import external assets, so don’t disregard other stock photo libraries.

Background Remover

One of the notable benefits we have to mention in our Canva Pro review is just how convenient it is to create social media posts when you can automatically get transparent backgrounds for elements you are adding to the design. 

With a single click, you can have a vector image prepared and added to your graphic and ready to post as if professional designers prepared it. 

Magic Resize Tool

With this tool, you can adjust any design to perfectly fit its purpose. 

For example, if you are specifically designing a Facebook post, you have more leeway as you can use a higher resolution than with an Instagram image, which should be 1080 pixels in width and anywhere between 566 and 1350 pixels in height. 

Animations and Premium Video

You’ll be pleased to know that Canva also offers video editing features, including an array of templates, a large library of stock videos, and a competent video editor.

canva video screenshot

We found that having a Canva Pro account helped us make short videos and stories that were engaging to watch, and it also allows users to make their graphics pop and come to life with the help of a range of animations. 

This is great for any business that wants to maintain a presence on various social media channels. The rising popularity of TikTok and similar social media networks reflects that.

Final Thoughts 

Among the countless online graphic design tools, Canva stands out thanks to its wide range of features. 

The software has an easy-to-use UI and provides collaborative options for sharing designs and ideas. Canva’s interface is highly intuitive, and the vast library of templates and stock photos is quite impressive, making it easily accessible to the average user.

In short, Canva is an excellent choice for any designer, be it an amateur or a professional.

FAQ
What are the disadvantages of Canva?

Canva templates tend to have similar layouts and designs. This becomes increasingly apparent when you sift through the exhaustive list of Canva photos and templates.

Another one of Canva’s disadvantages relates to its editing tools, which lack some of the important functions available with programs such as Photoshop and Lightroom. 

Is Canva Pro any good?

Even though the free plan consists of decent features for making simple designs, we recommend signing up for a Pro plan. 

For an affordable price of $12.99 per month, you’ll get everything from the free plan, plus more than 100 million premium stock photos, videos, audio, and graphics, as well as 100 brand kits and 1 TB of cloud storage.

Is Canva safe to buy from?

This depends on what you’re using Canva or Photoshop for. If you just want to make captivating social media images, then Canva is a better choice, as graphic design in Photoshop might not be something you can do without prior training.