Canva has become a wildly popular program over the past few years, bringing graphic design capabilities to entrepreneurs, influencers, and budding designers alike. But is Canva a program that is used in a professional graphic design setting, or should these designers be using something different?
Graphic designers can use Canva to create a variety of things. But that doesn’t mean the program should be used in every situation. Like all graphic design software, Canva excels in some areas and lacks in others. Below are 6 things you should know before using Canva for graphic design.
Should Graphic Designers Use Canva?
Whether or not you use Canva as a graphic designer really depends on personal preference, and what you actually plan on creating. You can find a lot of graphic designers—both freelance workers and those working in traditional office settings—using Canva to create a number of different graphics for clients, social media, and digital marketing purposes.
Canva is great for those who don’t know how to design and need to do simple tasks like adding text to an image or designing a social media post. But that isn’t all it’s limited to. Business owners, influencers, and marketing gurus use the program for some more advanced media projects such as video editing, book covers, and on-demand designs.
So, should you use Canva as a graphic designer? Yes and no.
The goal here is to understand the program and what it is best used for. Canva can do many things, but there are also many things it can’t do. It doesn’t replace programs like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop but instead acts as another tool to add to your toolbox. Therefore, the better you know Canva, the easier it will be to figure out when you should and should not use it.
6 Things to Know About Canva Before Using It for Graphic Design
Before diving into a new design project with Canva, it’s important to know when it will benefit you as a designer and when it won’t. Here are 6 things you should know about Canva before getting started.
1. Canva Can’t Be Used Without Internet
If you’re a designer who prefers to work on the go, you might have some problems using Canva for your work.
One of the disadvantages of Canva is that it requires internet access in order to be used. Because it is an online platform, you will be unable to log in and create graphics if you do not have access to WIFI.
While you could always sketch out your plan by hand and then create the design in Canva once you have access to the internet again, this isn’t always ideal.
This is where you would benefit from using a different design program that is downloaded to your computer.
2. Canva Won’t Make You Stand Out
There are hundreds of free, professionally designed templates at Canva that can be altered with a few mouse clicks due to their drag and drop interface. While this is great for quick and easy designs, this isn’t exactly going to make you stand out from the crowd.
With the wide availability of the templates, your designs may appear very similar or even identical to just about anyone else who has used the same template.
However, this doesn’t mean that Canva isn’t a valuable asset. Using a free online graphic design tool may be sufficient for short-term visuals like social media postings, but if you need something that will stand the test of time, you’re better off using a program that allows for more customization.
3. Canva Pro May Be More Suitable for Graphic Design
If you’ve been working with Canva for a bit, you may want to check out Canva Pro. While the program has a lot to offer for free, the extra features like Brand Kit, background remover, Magic Resize, and content planner make it easier to work as a team and create more professional designs.
4. Canva Doesn’t Work with Vector Images
For the most part, the main difference between Canva and other design tools like Illustrator and Inkscape is that Canva exclusively makes raster graphics instead of vector images.
Vector images are made up of mathematically defined points, lines, curves, and forms. You can easily resize or change the pathways without worrying about them becoming pixelated or fuzzy since the paths are automatically recalculated as the image size is changed.
Raster images, on the other hand, are graphics that are made up of pixels. This enables them to have a reduced file size and are the sort of graphics you would use for anything that will be seen on a screen. The disadvantage of raster graphics is that they cannot be expanded without becoming pixelated, they are difficult to modify, and they can sometimes appear in poor quality when printed.
Because of this, Canva is a bad option for things like logo creation. Logo designers should always have a vector file of their work on hand as a rule of thumb. This is because the routes may be modified, re-colored, or even re-configured whenever needed.
So, if you’re working with logos or design that need to be resized and edited frequently, Canva isn’t the program for the job.
5. Canva Is Great for Those First Starting Out in Graphic Design
Canva’s biggest selling point is its ease of use, which requires no prior knowledge of design. They give fantastic templates that you may tweak for your business and that make it simple to produce attractive designs even if you don’t have a design background.
The Canva website offers free video courses for those who are new to graphic design and wish to learn about branding or how to implement Canva into their business.
6. Canva Designs Cannot Be Trademarked
We already went over not using Canva for logos because it doesn’t produce vector images. However, another big reason not to use Canva for logo creation is that you can’t trademark the work you make.
All of the logo templates on Canva are customizable and can be used by anybody, making them accessible to everyone. As a result, you have no exclusive ownership of the logo and are unable to apply to register it as a trademark.
People who are just starting out and don’t have the time or money to make a unique logo can benefit from using a template to make a logo. However, there are better options than Canva.
Placeit.net, for example, allows you to copyright and trademark the designs you create.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of when you should use Canva. When it comes to using Canva as a graphic designer, there is a time and place for everything. If you’re making simple social media posts, then, by all means, Canva might just be the program to use. However, if your focus is more in the area of branding and logo design, you may want to stick with other programs like Illustrator.