4 Alternatives to Canva that help you create amazing graphic designs

by | Mar 6, 2021

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Canva – A Great Resource to create professional Designs

During the course of my web design career, I have learned different skills and used different resources. When it comes to design for social media I have leaned heavily on a resource called Canva.

It is a resource I highly recommend and no doubt you have heard of it. Canva allows you to design graphics for many different formats, including social media, postcards, web graphics, t-shirts and presentations. Not only that Canva comes with helpful templates, a wide selection of vectors and graphics, photos and inspiration for your next post.

Canva takes something complicated like design and allows the user to create stunning social media posts with half the effort. No more stressing out about what to design or using some expensive software! With Canva’s awesome templates, you will be inspired to create awesome social media posts and graphics that look professional and takes less time.

I use Canva pretty regularly. However, I went to check the interwebs and see if there are any Canva alternative’s. Lo and behold I did! (Obviously I did or else this would have been a super short post!) After I narrowed down the list, I found 4 other alternatives to Canva that I feel are at least worth mentioning.

The 4 Alternatives to Canva. Are they any good?

So did these 4 other alternatives sway me from Canva? Are they any good? Is Pluto a planet or not?

Let’s check out these 4 alternatives briefly and see what they offer.

Let me quickly say that this is by no means an exhaustive list. I mainly use Canva for Instagram posts. So, I decided to check what each offered in term of templates, customization, ease of use and price. These were the main criteria I used as well as just exploring what they had to offer.

1.) Easil

Easil Front Page

Overall, I really liked Easil. What was great is that with Easil you get a free trial, and they also have a nice little walkthrough at the beginning to get you going. If you have used Canva before you will feel pretty much at home with Easil. Easil had a nice amount of templates and solutions to offer.

In fact, one of their strong points was that they had a section of templates or Google Ads. That was a nice touch because Easil allows you to pick and choose what size Ad you want to use and no more guessing when you create an Ad.

Overall, when using Easil I really enjoyed it, however I did run into a couple of things that were odd. There were some pictures and graphics I added that couldn’t be modified, such as rotate or lengthen. Minor thing, but annoying nonetheless. Easil is laid out to mirror Canva with the bar on the right side unlike Canva’s right side layout.

Easil’s pricing was great. You get a FREE 30 day trial of Easil Plus, which is normally $7.50/month. That’s pretty good considering most places only give you around 7-15 day free trial. A whole month is really good and I will probably take advantage of that since I only used a few days thus far.

Overall, I give Easil a solid 4 out of 5 stars. A worthy alternative to Canva.

2.) Designbold

Some features of Designbold

Designbold, like most of the others on this list, doesn’t require you to create a free account to get started designing. However, if you want to download your design they do ask you to create a free account. Honestly, that was quite alright with me as Designbold offers some great resources.

They too also had varying templates, whether for web or print. Great selection or varying sizes and media types including ads.
Not only that but Designbold’s templates were really great, probably the most ‘advanced’ I would say out of the lot. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you need or think. They can either seem to busy or have a lot of options built into said template.

The one thing though that bothered me was the UI.

Designbold, like Easil, has a layout similar to Canva. Speaking of UI, this particular aspect is what I felt is Designbold’s biggest area of weakness. When I visited Designbold, there was a banner on top of screen that took away all of my options. So, I was unable to find some options like Undo, until I realized they hid it behind the banner.

Another downfall was the zoom level. It went from 20% to 50% nothing in between. During the design process, I couldn’t see some words and needed to slightly zoom in order so I could see better. However, when I zoomed in it then took up ALL my screen. Sort of like in Aladdin when the camera zooms in super close to the peddler during the Prologue.

How I felt when I zoomed in while editing with Designbold

Going on to the pricing it too is cheaper than Canva, and also does have a 30 day trial.

Overall, I did like Designbold because of the amount of choices it had and I feel that it is also a strong alternative to Canva. I give it also 4 out of 5 stars.

3.) Snappa

Pretty standard homepage, but nicely done adding Featured In right at bottom of viewport

The third alternative to Canva I found was Snappa. Similar to the other sites it too included different templates. However instead of offering a lot of different types of sizes, it only focuses on social media type sizes. So Snappa is more for social media focused users, instead of an all-in-one.

Snappa offers a lot of templates, however, it doesn’t have a search filter like the rest of the crowd. So if you are looking for say a Christmas or a Sale template you have to scroll through ALL of the templates or just start from scratch.

The UI was different than the rest, as Snappa places everything at the top of the screen, then opens a bar on the left side of the screen when you click on a category. Snappa offers different options for backgrounds and is the only one aside from Canva that I saw that offered gradient backgrounds. Unfortunately, you can’t actually modify the colors but it gives you quite a few options nonetheless.

Concerning some photos, all of these services offer free and premium photos from varying places. It seemed as though Snappa just offered random photos through Unsplash. There is nothing wrong with that, I just wished that Snappa offered some ‘exclusive’ photos you can’t find anywhere else, instead of photos you get for free from Unsplash (by the way Unsplash is a GREAT resource!).

Lastly, the price is more than Canva starting at $15/month. Not sure it is really worth it as most of the options in free are good enough for most users, with the exception of how many posts you can download a month.

Overall, I would give Snappa about 3 out of 5 stars. Not enough to impress me and you are better off with Canva or the other two previously mentioned.

4.) Crello

I really like how they emphasize anyone can be a designer

I am not going to spend to much time on Crello as this was the least favorite of them all.

Crello has some solid templates and good offerings however, the UI is laid out just like Canva, and, while most of the options were solid they were not enough to sway me from Canva.

The pros for Crello is that it is similar to Canva. The con is that Crello is too similar to Canva that you might as well get Canva.

However, it had a good price for $10/month but unless you were working on a team the free plan was enough.

A cool feature I do like about Crello are these neat patterns for backgrounds, but there are only a couple that I feel are worth it. And even then not by much. Good effort but just not enough to sway me to move away from Canva or recommend Crello over the other alternatives.

Overall, about 2.5 stars. Similar to Canva, but too similar.

Conclusion

Canva really showcases how you can seriously design anything for anything

So there it is my 4 alternatives to Canva. Would I recommend any of them over Canva?

Perhaps only Desinbold and Easil, as I really like the fact they have categories for Ads. The templates that Designbold and Easil offer are solid and with their lower price may even sway me over to them at some point. Maybe.

Overall, I am going to continue to use Canva for now, and even take advantage of Designbold and Easil’s 30 day trial. After that I will then see where I want to continue with. Perhaps I will make another blog post detailing what I decided to use.

I hope this post helped you out and maybe even helped you decide which service to use. I mainly use Canva to help with my social media posts for Reanimation Marketing. However, with what Canva offers, and even the others, you can expand on that and use it even for print, ads, or even brochures and pamphlets!

Final Thoughts on Canva and Design

As I wrote in another of my posts, I have learned some of these skills, such as {some} coding, but I have somewhat embraced a Low-code workflow that allows me to work efficiently and better than spending time spinning up servers and figuring out why I can’t load the .json file. Nothing wrong with any of that, I just like the visual aspect of coding more, and I do some freelance web design through Reanimation Marketing.

With Canva and its alternatives I am able to send more time dreaming up stuff, then trying to set up a work environment. Canva is a great tool, but I also must caution and say that it still takes some time to learn and become skillful at it, because I am still in that process. You see, at it’s heart, Canva is a design tool. And design is learned as much as it natural.

I still have a long way to go, but what is great about Canva and website builders like Divi, is that you can be inspired and learn how to create visually. Learn by copying, replicating and then make it your own. While design has best practices they are not rules to shackle you down, but rather guidelines to give you boundaries. And in those boundaries you push them to their limit and make something that reflects you.

So, whatever platform you use, whatever you decide to do: Be proud of it and be prepared to fail, and for some people to not get it. But push on. Happy Designing!

Design. Develop. Dream.

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