Canva: Quickly create professional looking designs with little to no experience
August 27, 2018

Canva: Quickly create professional looking designs with little to no experience

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Canva

We use Canva across our development/fundraising department to quickly and easily design cards and invitations to special events. The platform allows a variety of users with any level of design experience to quickly create professional looking event collateral. There is very little training needed, and the software guides users through the design process with on-screen tips, guidelines, and tons of great looking templates. This allows us to create our design materials in-house without hiring additional graphic design staff or costly consultants.
  • Design professional-looking postcards and flyers using a wide selection of adaptable templates.
  • Create print-ready brochures, flyers, and presentations with high quality graphics with little or no graphic design experience.
  • On-screen tips guide you through the design process, so literally anyone can log onto the system and initiate or complete a design.
  • There is very little I would do to improve Canva, as the platform seems to regularly update itself with new content and features. My primary area of improvement would be the the pricing model, which is subscription-based. I understand this is the new way that most software is moving, and it makes sense given the regular updates and new content being added; nevertheless, from a business standpoint (and this isn't necessarily a problem unique to Canva!), while monthly subscriptions make software affordable from a cash basis, over the long run it feels like you pay just as much as you would to buy a professional software off the shelf.
  • The monthly cost is easily absorbed into our department budget, and allows us to create tons of design collateral at an accessible price point.
  • Combining Canva with PaperlessPost helps us keep costs down for our monthly donor events, providing us with a sustainable model over the long run.
  • Canva provides the tools for our regular staff to create professional looking graphic designs without the additional cost of hiring a graphic designer on staff, or as a pricey consultant.
Prior to implementing Canva in my department, we relied on Adobe InDesign and occasionally Photoshop or Illustrator. While much more powerful than Canva, these platforms required a lot of staff support, outside training (we even sent staff to expensive classes). Our versions of these software alternatives also did not live in the cloud. Canva lives in the cloud, and can be used by a staff member with little to no design experience, and no outside training or technical support.
Well suited: We use this platform most frequently to quickly design electronic invitation cards to a monthly cocktails event. The files export easily, allowing us to import into PaperlessPost for our event emailing and RSVP tracking. This is a very powerful combo if you host a lot of special events on a regular basis.

Not so well-suited: For text heavy designs you may consider another platform, as copy/pasting text and maintaining or universally changing text format can be challenging. Think of this as a graphic design program with some text features, mostly to design sales collateral and you will be very happy; just don't try to use it to create a book or a very long, text-heavy annual report.

Using Canva

I have seen firsthand how easy it is for new staff to get up-to-speed on design projects and quickly start using the program. We produce a lot of collateral on a regular basis, and new hires, with no experience using design software in the past, immediately felt comfortable enough with the interface and help features to start producing great looking materials.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Align text and graphics in elegant proportion with the help of on-screen guides and snap-to-grid visualizations
  • Quickly create professional looking designs using a wide variety of built-in templates
  • Easily export files for professional printing or emailing
  • Large blocks or text, or high volume use of text is slightly clunky. This software is best for a balanced use of text and imagery/graphics