20 Canva Alternatives: A Guide to Graphic Design Tools
Creating quality content is key for any brand. You also want to ensure that the content you do create integrates visual design elements in a vibrant and engaging way. People gravitate toward images and graphic design elements. Having well-written copy is also important, but without strong visual components, your social media posts, website, or whatever channel you are promoting will likely fall flat.
That being said, if you don’t have the funds to hire a graphic design artist or company to this end, you can create images and graphic design elements yourself by using DIY tools. The great thing about these tools is that for the most part, they are incredibly easy to use. One of the most popular of these tools is Canva. With even basic design skills, you can use templates and resources available in Canva to generate images. However, Canva may not be for everyone. Perhaps you want more features or more affordable pricing. What other tools might you use? Are there Canva alternatives out there that can get you similar results? Finally are there any alternatives that are even better than Canva?
Canva is definitely a helpful tool, but it may not be for everyone. For those with little to no experience in the realm of graphic design, Canva might take some time to adjust to. But on the opposite end of the spectrum, some more experienced designers fault Canva for lacking some of the more nuanced functions and options offered by Photoshop and other such design tools.
We have compiled a list of the top 20 Canva alternatives. In this guide, we analyze the pros and cons of each; hopefully, this list will give you some insight into what might work best for you—whether it be a paid tool or a free Canva alternative.
As one of the pioneers of graphic design tools, Photoshop does have a bit of a learning curve involved. Some without any graphic design experience often find it a bit tricky to navigate in the beginning. Among its key features is the following:
- The Layers palette: You can draw/edit the various sections of your canvas independently and then stack them accordingly. This gives you control over the different elements involved.
Photoshop also has some downsides, however, it tends to be more expensive than other editing/graphic design tools and does not provide much support for vector-based graphics.
Cost: $9.99 USD/month
A very easy way to create images, especially for use on social media, Stencil is a very popular alternative to Canva. While their template selection isn’t as vast as that of some others, this tool has a quote section that can be used to add some depth and interest to your images. Among its key features are the following:
- Numerous icons: Stencil currently houses more than one million icons and ready-to-use graphics, enabling you to make quick work of those urgent projects.
- Shareable images: The platform lets you create and then share your images to your various social media channels, to include Facebook, Twitter, Bitly, and Pinterest.
Cost: $9 USD/month
With more than a million designs and stunning templates available, Design Wizard is definitely worth checking out. Not only does the platform allow you to edit your images in minutes, but it also offers premium videos that you can integrate into your project. Among its distinctive features are the following:
- Easily share content: Design Wizard gives you the ability to both upload your design and share it to your social media channels instantly.
- Comprehensive editing. Its templates are dynamic and vivid—and best of all, every element is editable, from the background color to the fonts.
One downside of Design Wizard is that it is web-based only and has no mobile version at this time.
Cost: $9.99 USD/month
As far as the best Canva alternatives go, Crello is certain to appear on any top 20 list. It features similar tools to Canva, but many say that it is even easier to use. With a vast library of templates and the bonus of an Animation Maker, Crello, while relatively new, can be used to generate some truly head-turning visuals. Among its key features are the following:
- Photo editing options. From filters to various photo effects, Crello offers an extensive list of tools that you can use to punch up any photo.
- Animation Maker. As mentioned, this feature helps make Crello a stand-out as opposed to an “also ran.” There are a ton of free animated objects to access here.
Among the cons of Crello are a lack of a search function for photos. The animation library could be more comprehensive.
Cost: $16 USD/month
Originally a photo editing tool, Picmonkey has since grown into a full blown graphic design tool. That said, photo editing is still where this software excels. So, while perhaps it is not exactly a Canva alternative, it does offer some great features that let you create some impressive content. Among its key features are the following:
- Add text tool: How can you make your images pop even more? Add text to them. Picmonkey provides an easy-to-use feature in this capacity. It also has tools like drop shadow and curved text that puts them way ahead of other design platforms.
- Great seasonal graphics: If Halloween is your thing, for instance, Picmonkey is sure to have some stellar graphic images to help you enhance the look of any site or post.
One con of Picmonkey is that there is an image size limit. May not be the best option for professionals interested in serious graphic/photo editing.
Cost: $9.99 USD/month
A bit easier to navigate than Photoshop, Adobe Spark is a very close alternative to Canva in terms of its graphic design features. It does have fewer customization options than Photoshop, but its diverse array of templates and themes definitely help make up for this shortcoming. Among its key features is the following:
- Animation capabilities: Not quite as good as Crello, Adobe Spark does allow you to have some fun as far as animation goes. However this is only available via the mobile version.
Among the cons of Adobe Spark is that it is somewhat limited in terms of placing text.
Cost: $9.99 USD/month
With hundreds of thousands of graphic images and photos to choose from, Snappa (as its name suggests) aims to make your graphic design creation a “snap.” What makes this a great Canva alternative is the fact that it is so easy to figure out, even if you’ve never done graphic design in your life. Its drag-and-drop system ensures that even the most technologically skittish can figure it out. Among its key features are the following:
- Upload your own images: As with most of the Canva alternatives listed here, you can upload your own photos and images and then edit them to your heart’s content.
- Team feature: There is also (much like in Canva) a team collaboration feature that allows you to seamlessly share your files.
One downside with Snappa is that everything is drag and drop, which can get frustrating at times. Additionally, there is no mobile version at this time.
Cost: $10 USD/month
Definitely one of the front-runners among Canva alternatives, Easil is known for creating the trends rather than following them. This is why it is such a terrific tool for social media content—it has its finger on the pulse of what’s hot! Additionally, Easil’s Brand Kit makes it so easy to create a cohesive and unified brand identity. Among its key features are the following:
- Automatically generates a palette: In other words, the tool will utilize the color from within your image to create a color palette specifically for your project.
- GIF creator: More so than with Canva, with Easil there are a ton of ways to make your images come to life using the GIF maker.
The cons of Easil are that it tends to load larger images slowly and some of the text related functions can be difficult to work with.
Cost: $7.50 USD/month
A favorite among many companies, Visme is all about making what might otherwise seem mundane come to life. By giving you the ability to create eye-catching presentations, infographics, and more, this tool has helped many a marketer take their game to the next level. Among its key features are the following:
- Pre-built infographic templates: For those who dread the thought of having to devise an infographic from scratch, this is most definitely the tool for you.
- Search templates: You can actually search through the platform’s many templates by using keywords. This may not seem like an important feature, but it certainly comes in handy when pressed for time.
One downside of Visme is that the social media integration can be somewhat sluggish and hard to navigate. Additionally, the font selection should be broader.
Cost: $25 USD/month
Another graphic design/editing tool that is geared more toward business documents, Piktochart enables marketing professionals to create reports, presentations, and infographics in minutes. It is also great for companies and brands that do a lot of social media posting and want to generate DIY visual designs in a hurry. Among its key features are the following:
- Customizable templates: Whatever type of business presentation or file you need to adjust and “make your own,” Piktochart allows you to do just that. Additionally, the learning curve isn’t all that steep.
- Numerous presentation templates: The truly great thing about this tool is that there is such a variety of templates to choose from, more so than with some of the other, more business-oriented design tools.
The downsides of Piktochart are that it does not have as many features as some of the other Canva alternatives out there, and it has fewer templates available than Canva.
Cost: $29 USD/month
Used predominantly by social media users and marketers, Desygner is a cost-effective and easy way to create compelling graphics for your posts. It is an online banner maker that helps any website stand out. And as with most Canva alternatives, you can customize essentially any template offered. Among its key features are the following:
- Import images and text: Desynger offers users the ability to import images from PDFs and PowerPoint files, for example. It is thus a flexible tool for creating many different kinds of photos.
- Expansive image library: This tool lets you choose from millions of images across the internet. Its template selection ranges from album covers to real estate flyers.
A downside of Desynger is that some of the templates are somewhat lacking compared to those of other graphic design tools. Can be sluggish depending on file size.
Cost: $6.95 USD/month
A quick and easy Canva alternative, RelayThat uses premade templates and then allows users customization options. Unlike some of the other tools, though, it is a little more rigid in terms of what is changeable. However, you can still do quite a lot with this design tool. And with over 3 million images in their library, RelayThat is one of the standout tools in terms of graphic options. Additionally, all images load extremely fast. Among its key features are the following:
- Preset image sizes: With this feature, if you are creating Facebook or Google ads, it will do some of the work for you by offering ideally sized images.
- Magic Import feature: This new tool allows you to import colors, fonts, and images from any URL and utilize those in your individual project. This is a game changer for sure.
The downside of RelayThat is that it is not intended for professional graphic designers. It can thus be difficult to obtain total control over your project.
Cost: $25 USD/month
The great thing about this particular tool is that you have the option to either start a graphic design project from scratch or use a professionally developed template. Among its key features is the following:
- Photo editing capacity: Because this tool was originally designed for photo editing, their retouching, filtering and color/contrast adjustments are among the best of the tools on this list.
The downsides of BeFunky are that it lacks an eraser tool and cannot be used to create a custom photo collage.
Cost: $6.99 USD/month
A web-based platform, this tool does a great job of helping you create eye-catching images, particularly for use in blogs, presentations, and websites. Marketers often choose DesignBold because they have thousands of templates that are specifically designed for those who likely do not have a ton of graphic design experience. They also offer more than 40 million stock photos—one of the largest libraries on this list. Among its key features is the following:
- Images galore: As previously mentioned, this tool is especially good when it comes to options and choices. If anything, they may have too many for you to choose from!
However, DesignBold can get a bit buggy at times. Some users have had to redo entire edits after downloading.
Cost: $7.99 USD/month
A standout when it comes to creating infographics, Venngage does have other features, but marketers and designers mostly use it to develop stunning infographics. With more than a hundred templates to choose from, this tool divides them into categories, making browsing through their selection highly convenient. Among its key features are the following:
- Easy-to-use text blocks: Think outside the ordinary and use professionally designed blocks of text instead of the standard text boxes.
- Brand kit creation: Venngage lets users add all relevant items/designs to a brand kit. You can also input an URL, and it will go ahead and pull the design elements that intersect with your brand from the site.
The downsides include the fact that size conversions can be somewhat tricky.
Compared to other Canva alternatives, Fotor is more of a photo editing tool than a graphic design tool. Fotor is quite a bit easier to use than, say, Photoshop. And with over 100 special photo effects, the tool allows even a novice photo editor to easily create absolutely beautiful images. Here are some of the standout features:
- Ease of color correction: Since this is largely a photo editing tool, it makes it as simple as possible for users to adjust all aspects of color, contrast, and brightness through sliders.
- A number of collage templates: Want to create a vibrant collage? This is definitely the tool for doing so. With more than 80 templates to choose from, you are sure to generate a veritable work of art.
Fotor’s downsides include limited customization options.
Cost: $8.99 USD/month
Truly an all-in-one solution to graphic design and photo editing, FotoJet is often used to make cards, banners, invitations, and other fun projects. The folks at FotoJet opted to keep things simple so as not to overwhelm those who otherwise might not have any design experience. Canva certainly has more features, but overall, this is an extremely easy-to-use tool for labor-intensive projects. Among its key features are the following:
- Quick share option: Anything you create with this design tool can be instantly shared via your social media accounts with family and friends.
- Offers more than 300 professional designs: They’ve taken care of the legwork for you. Use a premade template or design and customize it to your liking.
One downside of FotoJet is that it has a more limited image library than some other Canva alternatives. Its photo editing features are also not as robust as with some tools.
Cost: $6.99 USD/month
As a suite of tools that allow you to explore your creative side, Designs.ai bills itself as effortless. Used largely for creating logos and videos, Designs.ai is said to enable users to design and complete their projects in a manner of minutes. Its AI-based features, combined with a fairly impressive graphics library, make this a Canva alternative worth checking out. The standout features include:
- Graphic Maker tool: Even those without any design experience have been able to successfully navigate the Graphicmaker and create images that can be used virtually anywhere.
- The Logomaker feature: All you have to do is input business info, some preferences, and color ideas, and the tool will generate numerous logo ideas for you to choose from and customize further if desired.
A downside of Designs.ai is that its videomaker feature has a steep learning curve.
Cost: Prices vary depending on the product.
As part of the Buffer suite of tools, Pablo was developed with the idea of letting you get out graphics and visuals quickly and without the fuss involved with some other Canva alternatives. This tool is also completely free! By keeping things simple and straightforward, Pablo allows even the busiest individual the flexibility to generate and deliver content quickly while keeping things visually appealing. Among its key features is the following:
- Comprehensive quote library: As with some of the other alternatives to Canva, Pablo accommodates its users by offering an extensive quote library, thereby helping keep content more personable and fresh.
One downside of Pablo is that it is not quite complex enough for more intricate and technical graphic design applications.
Similar to Photoshop, Pixlr is a suite of image editing resources created to give graphic designers powerful tools to use across any device. That being said, it is also incredibly useful for when it comes to short-term and faster jobs as well. Without the steeper learning curve of Photoshop, this is an easy-to-use Canva alternative. It is also completely free! Among its key features are the following:
- You can work in layers: Again, much like with Photoshop, Pixlr does allow users to edit a project layer based upon each layer if they so choose.
- It is free: Perhaps the best thing about this tool is, its cost—or lack thereof. You can opt for add-ons, but however the editor itself is free.
Among Pixlr’s downsides are the cons: image resizing can be complex. It would usually require frequent updates and/or downloads.
Over to You…
The world of graphic design doesn’t have to be out of reach. Even the most inexperienced people can still create amazing images, graphics, and photo projects. The key is to understand which tool might best suit your needs and expectations. There is a wide range of prices out there when comparing Canva and its alternatives, as seen in this list. Most of them offer a free version (or at least a free trial version), which is good if you still want to shop around a bit. Each tool offers distinct advantages and disadvantages, so pay attention to the details, take them out for a spin, and see what kind of results they elicit from your inner graphic designer.