Price: You can make many designs for free and you can upgrade to Canva for Work at $12.95 a month if you have a team of designers.
My Overall Rank: 4.8 out of 5
Canva Product Overview
In the past, I used Microsoft Publisher to put together postcards, posters and business cards, but it seemed limited in what it provided. Then I heard about Canva. So far, I have built logos for my websites. It was easy to use and I plan on using it for other design projects. I’m definitely not a graphic designer, but Canva helps me look like one.
The Good & the Bad
- Easy to use, even if you’ve never done graphic design
- Most layouts and backgrounds are free
- You can upload your own images if you can’t find what you’re looking for there
- They can help you build impressive posts for Social Media
- None yet, but I’m relatively new to Canva. If I find something, I’ll add it here.
Who is Canva For?
If you’re like me, and not an expert at creating beautifully designed documents, then Canva is definitely for you. For me, Canva works similar to Microsoft Publisher, but it seems even easier to use. They are a number of backgrounds, layouts and images that you can use for free, though there are some you would have to pay for. You can upload images from your device which is a nice benefit.
Here are a couple of logos that I built for my websites using Canva.
Collect US Coins
First, I wanted to use a map of the United States for the background. Canva had a free image in their collection that was perfect. Next, I thought of showing the locations of all of the US Mint Branches, past and present, on the map. They have an elements tab which includes a number of shapes that you can use. I found circles that I could shrink and put on the map. Then, I selected a text font and put the mint marks associated to the mint branches. For example, the “S” on the left side of the map was the mint mark for the San Francisco branch. You’ll notice two “D” mint marks on the map. That is because between 1838 and 1861, there was a mint branch in Dahlonega, GA and from 1906 to present, there has been a mint branch in Denver, CO. Finally, I added the name of my website outside of the map and in bold. Viola! I just created a logo for my website. The final cost for building this logo: $0.00.
Affiliate of Bust
This one was simpler to do than the one I did for Collect US Coins. I basically wanted to have a covered wagon with the phrase “Affiliate or Bust” on the outside. It was meant as a variation of “California or Bust” that was put on covered wagons, and later trucks, for people looking for a better life out west. So, I found a covered wagon that was from a website that provided free images and added text to it. I originally added a background that was from Canva which made the image look old-fashioned, but later decided to use a transparent background which would probably work better on a website. The part that took the longest was finding the image of a covered wagon that I could use. Final cost: $0.00.
Canva Tools and Training
Canva’s tools included different design layouts, backgrounds, text font and elements like shapes, lines, grids and frames.
In terms of training, they do have tutorials that will help you, even if you never did any design in the past. These tutorials can assist you in building your next design project from getting starting to helping you with color, fonts, backgrounds and more.
Canva provides a help section to provide more information about the site as well as downloading your designs, team settings, billing and assistance if some part of Canva is not working for you.
Like I said above, there are many layouts and backgrounds that are free, but there are some that you would have to pay for. As you noticed on the logos I created above, I spent nothing to build them.
You can add a team of designers to Canva, but to use all of the team’s functionality provided, you can upgrade to “Canva for Work” which is free for the first 30 days, then $12.95/month for each team member.
My Final Opinion of Canva
Canva is easy to use. You can create a great design in a short period of time and for free, in most cases. I think anyone can benefit from Canva, whether they are a beginner or an expert designer. Would you give Canva a chance?