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Canva Quick Tips: Introduction to Canva (Free vs Pro) tutorial

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

Canva Quick Tips: Introduction to Canva (Free vs Pro) tutorial

Have you been wondering if you should pay for Canva Pro? Is Canva Pro worth it? What are the features and benefits of Canva Free vs Pro? This video is the beginning of my Canva Quick Tips series where I introduce Canva and give you the rundown on the different account options and why you might choose one or the other.

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As a professional graphic designer, I do use the Adobe Creative Suite every day in my job, but for most people, those programs are just intimidating, not to mention expensive, and just way more than you really need for most projects. That's where a program like Canva can be a great solution. Now, yes, there are some advanced features that Canva doesn't have that you may want a professional designer to help you with, but for a lot of what you're going to do - basic layout and design, social media graphics, those kinds of things - you can absolutely master those skills yourself in Canva. In this blog post we're going to cover the two main options for Canva accounts, including the features and benefits of each.

On the Canva website, you can compare the basic Free plan and the upgraded Pro plan. Obviously, the main difference here is price. The Pro plan comes with a cost and you get a better deal if you pay annually in one chunk (note: that $9.95 a month price that you see is calculated off the annual payment, so if you pay month to month, it's actually $12.95). With the Pro plan, you get access to the brand kit, which we'll talk about later, the one-click resize feature, a lot more templates (60,000 versus 8,000) and a huge jump in the amount of stock images and graphics, plus the stock videos. You can also upload your own fonts and logos and create custom templates on this plan. We're not going to cover this too much, but you'll see that there is an option for an enterprise level plan, which includes additional features like multiple brand kits (2021 UPDATE: Pro Plans now include multiple brand kits), extra support, extra storage and things like that. But for most people we're talking about an individual plan, so we'll look at Free versus Pro. If you're going to be doing any significant amount of projects in Canva, I'd really recommend the Pro account for some of the features like magic resize, being able to use your own brand fonts, logos, and colors, plus the large stock library that you have access to.

As I mentioned before, the stock images are more limited on the free plan. However, you can use other external sites for free stock photos and upload them into your Canva account. One big feature that distinguishes the Pro account is the ability to download your designs with a transparent background. If this is important to you, you'll have to go Pro. The free account doesn't have this option nor the ability to adjust the size or quality of the file you download. If you want to work with the video or animation features in Canva, those also require a Pro account. These features, the magic resize, and the transparency are some of the main reasons that I chose to upgrade to Pro. I just use them SO much in the designs that I do.

What I really want to touch on next are the brand management features with the Pro account, you do get access to the brand kit, and this is where you can store all the logos, fonts and colors associated with your brand. This is super helpful when working with your designs, as far as storage, you shouldn't run into issues on either plan. But the great thing about Pro is the unlimited folders for keeping all of your assets and designs organized. Anyone that knows me, knows I am a sucker for organization. And when I found out I could make folders and sub folders to my heart's content, oh boy! it was a good day.

With the Pro account you get 24/7 support. I haven't needed it yet, but it's nice to know it's there. There's your overview of Canva and the two main options for you. To get started, for a lot of people, the free version is going to serve you just fine. But if you are wanting to have some of those extra features that the Pro version offers, I'd say definitely, $9.95 a month for the annual purchase, or if you want to just try it out month to month, that is $12.95... I think both of those are still a great deal for all of the functionality and the features that they pack in there.

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