10 Great Canva Alternatives for Effortless Graphic Design

/ 10 min read
Sandra Goh

Once upon a time, graphic design was best left to the pros. But in recent years a bunch of useful tools have popped up online to make it easy for anyone to create eye-catching visual content.

Canva is one of the most popular of these tools. Companies of all shapes and sizes use it for everything from infographics and social media posts to presentations and business proposals. It has one simple goal: “to enable the whole world to design” (which it completely nails).

While you can do just about anything with Canva, there are plenty of great design tools that can help you achieve your goals. We’ve collected some of the best Canva alternatives so you can get an idea of what’s out there and find the best tool for your needs.

1. Designs.ai

Screenshot of designs.ai homepage(Image Source: Designs.ai)

👍 Designs.ai Pros:

  • A.I. for quick, easy content creation
  • Tools for every content type
  • Extensive asset library

👎 Designs.ai Cons:

  • Tools are not fully released
  • Not available offline

Designs.ai is a full online creative suite made for marketers, small business owners, agencies and enterprises. It uses advanced artificial intelligence (A.I.) technology to help you create logos, videos, banners, mockups and voiceovers in only 2 minutes.

The tools analyze your data and automatically generate materials you'll need for a successful marketing campaign. One of its best features is batch processing, which allows you to save time by creating thousands of social media graphics, logos or mockups in just one click.

💸 Designs.ai Pricing: There is a free tier with limited features. Annual plans start at $37/month, with month-by-month plans starting at $49.

Designs.ai vs Canva

Designs.ai’s AI capabilities set it apart from Canva. It has a variety of automation tools like auto-generation, resizing and design suggestions that make it even faster for you to make visual content.

Designs.ai also lets you duplicate your designs across multiple products or services. It also has mockup editing, voiceover generation and full video creation - tools not offered as part of Canva’s services.

2. Vectr

screenshot of vectr website homepage(Image Source: Vectr)

👍 Pros:

  • Completely free
  • Easy to use
  • Quick creation time

👎 Cons:

  • Limited advanced features
  • Small built-in asset library
  • Not available on mobile

Vectr is a free online design software aimed at everyone from bloggers and social media specialists to software engineers. The editing tools allow you to create any simple 2D vector graphic easily.

It features a simple, beginner-friendly interface that guides you through the design process in a matter of minutes. It’s not the most complex tool, but it’s not trying to be. It’s perfect for creating annotated images, logos, collages, watermarks and any sort of vector graphics.

Vectr Pricing: Vectr is a free tool.

Vectr vs Canva

If you’re looking to create vector graphics, Vectr is one of the best free tools on the web. It also has exclusive features that you won’t find on Canva. For example, the pen tool allows you to create custom shapes and you can download projects in SVG. Plus, you can't beat the price of free.

3. Stencil

Screenshot of the Stencil website homepage(Image Source: Stencil)

👍 Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Static image and video editing
  • Millions of copyright-free photos and icons

👎 Cons:

  • Limited template categories
  • Limited collaboration features
  • Not available offline

Stencil is an easy-to-use online graphic design tool and image editor built for business owners, entrepreneurs, social media marketers, and bloggers. It offers templates for social media posts, eBook covers, holiday celebration posters, emails and more.

Stencil Pricing: There is a free plan with limited features. Monthly plans start at $15/month for the Pro plan.

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Stencil vs. Canva

While Canva has a broader array of templates, Stencil focuses on social media and web images. Some exclusive features include the ability to preview social media posts, save watermarks and upload fonts.

You can also resize images and create transparent backgrounds for free, features only accessible through Canva’s paid subscription.

4. Adobe Photoshop

Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop website(Image Source: Photoshop)

👍 Pros:

  • Unparalleled features
  • Best dedicated photo editing tool
  • Industry-standard software
  • Customizable workflows

👎 Cons:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Overwhelming interface
  • Pricey subscription plan

The chances are you’ve heard of Adobe Photoshop. It’s the single most advanced photo editing tool built for professional designers, photographers and artists. It's a tool that's helped launch thousands of photography businesses around the world.

Photoshop boasts a huge range of professional editing features and is ideal if you require more advanced design. You can do anything from photo editing and digital art to graphic design and animation.

It’s also a part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud which includes access to other advanced tools like Illustrator and Lightroom, for all your photo editing needs.

💸 Adobe Photoshop Pricing: Prices start at $14.29/month for Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop on Desktop and iPad, with 20GB cloud storage.

Adobe Photoshop vs Canva

Photoshop is the tool for you if you need to do things beyond putting together a few quick social media posts. It gives you unmatched power to retouch images in all sorts of ways, whether it’s removing entire objects, retouching portraits or adding effects.

It also has an excellent cloud service that lets you take designs anywhere. You can start a project on your iPhone, edit it on Google Chrome and add the finishing touches on your tablet.

5. Snappa

screenshot of snappa website(Image Source: Snappa)

👍 Pros:

  • Great interface
  • Extensive asset library
  • Speedy creation time

👎 Cons:

  • Limited editing features
  • Only exports to JPG
  • Video length is limited to 30 seconds

Snappa is an online graphic design tool focused on ease of use and quick creation time. The platform strips away complex design features and boasts, a simple, clean, interface with everything non-designers might need to create graphics.

You’ll find all the standard design app features like templates, high-res stock photos and the ability to easily resize images. Snappa concentrates on making the experience as painless (and quick) as possible.

💸 Snappa Pricing: There is a free plan with a single user, and limited features. Plans start at $10/month for Pro, and $20/month for Team.

Snappa vs. Canva

Snappa is one of the most similar tools to Canva on this list, though it’s newer to the space and doesn’t offer as many features.

One element where it rivals Canva is with its onboarding support. As soon as you sign up you are guided through the creation process with a video tutorial sent straight to your inbox.

6. Visme

screenshot of visme website(Image Source: Visme)

👍 Pros:

  • Wide range of features
  • Millions of stock resources
  • Intuitive Interface

👎 Cons:

  • No custom sizes and text styles
  • Not available offline
  • Free plan is very limited

Visme boasts a wide array of tools that allow users to create engaging presentations, interactive infographics, documents, graphics and just about anything else you may need. It empowers anyone to create branded content.

A handy feature is the ability to embed things like polls, tweets and surveys. You can also add charts, maps and data widgets with a few clicks, or upload your own. '

Their features make the content creation process easy and their cloud storage means you’ll never have to worry about losing your work.

💸 Visme Pricing: There is a free plan with limited features. Monthly plans start at $25/month for Standard, and $39/month for Business. Enterprise plans are available upon request.

Visme vs Canva

The library of templates that Visme offers leans towards business-oriented designs instead of a boost of creativity. You can always customize or switch the colours of the template around to your liking to make it more fun, but Canva offers you many more possibilities.

7. DesignPickle

screenshot of designpickle homepage (Image Source: DesignPickle)

👍 Pros:

  • 24 hour customer support
  • Unlimited requests and revisions
  • Fast turnarounds

👎 Cons:

  • Expensive monthly rates
  • No team collaboration outside Pro plan
  • Additional payments for custom illustrations

DesignPickle is a flat rate graphic design service that does the design for you - literally. You get access to professional graphic designers who will come up with material, from advanced interactive graphics to gifs, book covers and social media banners.

Whatever you choose will be completed within two business days (with unlimited designs and revisions.) This is a great option for entrepreneurs or small business owners who don’t have the time to fiddle with the design themselves but don’t quite want to fork out the cash for an actual designer.

💸 DesignPickle Pricing: There are three tiers to DesignPickle's pricing: Graphic Design Essentials ($399/month), Graphic Design Pro ($995/month) and Custom Illustration ($499). Each is aimed at businesses of different sizes.

DesignPickle vs Canva

DesignPickle is a great, albeit costly, alternative to Canva. Where Canva and most of other apps on this list give you the tools to create your visual content, DesignPickle gives you a dedicated designer. While the monthly fee is expensive, you can get truly unique graphics specifically tailored to your business by a professional.

8. Placeit by Envato

screenshot of Placeit by Envato website(Image Source: Placeit)

👍 Pros

  • Fantastic usability
  • Colossal asset library
  • Intuitive interface

👎 Cons

  • No free trial
  • Limited advanced features
  • Not available on mobile

Placeit is a smart design, logo and mockup tool that empowers users to create stunning visuals and marketing materials. Choose from the thousands of apparel, video, and graphic design templates and edit it to your liking.

This tool is great whether you’re an individual or huge eCommerce retailer that wants to create visual assets to promote your brand. It also gives you access to the largest collection of mockups on the entire internet.

💸 Placeit Pricing: The Unlimited Subscription gives you access to all Placeit’s templates and costs $14.95/mo or $89.69/year (a saving of 50%).

Placeit vs Canva

Where Canva is aimed at users creating all kinds of posts, Placeit concentrates on helping people create mockups for social media content and apparel. In contrast to Canva, Placeit also has a single purchase option for users who don’t want to commit to a monthly fee, or only need a single design.

9. flipsnack

screenshot of flipsnack website (Image Source: Flipsnack)

👍 Pros:

  • Interactive content
  • Available on mobile
  • Platform to sell your publication

👎 Cons:

  • Limited to 20 pages
  • Sparse template library
  • Finicky interface

flipsnack has a unique niche: flipbooks. If you’ve never heard of a flipbook before, it’s a way to transform boring old PDFs into online books that you can flip through. It’s great for things like online magazines, brochures, and creating ebooks.

Just upload a PDF and turn it into a digital publication - it’s really easy to use. You can also design from scratch within the app. They’ve got an excellent drag-and-drop editor, as well as a bunch of useful design features, to make it a breeze.

💸 flipsnack pricing: There is a free plan with limited features and no commitments. The Starter plan is $32/month, with plans ranging from Professional ($48/month), Business ($99/month) and Enterprise.

Flipsnack vs Canva

Flipsnack is heavily geared towards magazines and interactive PDFs. This makes it a really effective tool for specific use cases like creating study material for students or building an online catalog.

10. Lucidpress

screenshot of lucidpress website(Image Source: Lucidpress)

👍 Pros:

  • Printing service included
  • InDesign compatible
  • Free webinars

👎 Cons:

  • Not available on mobile
  • Free plan limitations
  • No video creation option

Lucidpress knows what you need: on-brand, personalized content that gets results. They promise to get those results for you with their brand templating solution that helps you make content to scale. It’s used by companies like Amazon, HubSpot and Prada, so you know it’s doing something right.

Their template gallery helps you start quickly and their drag-and-drop editor makes the process pretty much effortless.

💸 Lucidpress Pricing: There is a free plan with limited features and only 3 documents. Paid plans start at $10/month for Pro, which includes unlimited documents and pages, premium templates, and advanced design features.  

Lucidpress vs Canva

Like Canva, Lucidpress offers great brand options to manage your designs and solidify your workflow. An area where it particularly excels is security: Lucidpress offers advanced encryption and multi-factor authentication for those working with sensitive documents.

11. Venngage

👍 Pros:

  • User-friendly interface that is easy to navigate
  • Offers a wide variety of templates and design elements to choose from
  • Allows users to create professional-looking designs without design skills

👎 Cons:

  • Limited customisation options for certain elements
  • Important features and elements only available via a paid subscription

Venngage is a web-based graphic design platform that allows users to create visual content such as infographics, reports, and social media graphics.

It offers a variety of templates and design elements that users can customize to create professional-looking designs without the need for design skills.

💸 Venngage Pricing: Venngage is free to get started. The free plan includes five designs, free icons and widgets, and six image uploads. Paid plans start at US$16/month/user.  

Venngage vs Canva

Canva offers more features and customization options than Venngage, but if you are looking for a platform that is more focused on infographics and data visualization then Venngagea may be a better fit for you.

Over to you

There’s no shortage of options in the graphic design space. There’s a tool for everyone, whether you need to create social media graphics, touch-up photos or just find a way to spruce up your business reports.

While Canva is the king of online graphic design tools, the scale and quality of the alternatives shows just how much the field has evolved. There’s no shortage of choice in 2021 and beyond - which pushes innovation and benefits consumers.

The good news is you don’t have to commit to one software. Whether you're looking for web development tools, online form builders or payment gateways, the process is the same. Try some of the free trials available and consider which tool is best for your use case.

It’s about speeding up your workflow, improving your visual content and freeing up time so you can do other things related to your business. All that’s left now is to try them out. Good luck!

About the author
Sandra Goh

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