Using a graphic design tool if you are not a graphic designer, is like a list tracking tool, there are a lot of options, and the best one for you may not be the best one for your neighbor. There is a lot to consider from the ease of use, complexity, price, and so much more. One thing is for sure though images are super important for marketing. The phrase “an image is worth a thousand words” is truthful and powerful. Like music, images can be languageless, they speak to the soul instead of to your brain. Images help develop a brand and image that you want to be known by with your audience.
Many have likely heard of Canva as one of the leading online design tools. It is used far and wide by marketers and small businesses alike. Canva has likely become the most used design tool after the trusted Adobe products. Even Creative Market and many others now offer templates for sale done in Canva. Canva is extensive, yet still fairly easy to use. It is free to get started and doesn’t massively break the bank for the pro version. At times though it can be overwhelming or underwhelming, if Canva is not the right fit or didn’t impress you and you are looking for alternatives to Canva, keep reading …
Alternative 1 – Stencil
Stencil is likely my favorite alternative. Since I use online graphic software 90% for online marketing, Stencil makes this so easy to do. Stencil is so fast and versatile that I don’t miss the additional features of a fuller design app like Canva. The user interface is super simple and easy to figure out. Stencil is designed for speed and efficiency with an added bonus of being able to schedule to social media sites or integrating with Buffer from inside the app.
Stencil features that can’t be missed:
- Massive library of fonts, icons, graphics, and quotes.
- Upload your own logos and images to add to other images in a flash.
- Royalty-free library of images from Pixabay, Pexels, and others.
- Sizing for various social networks as well as the ability to do unique sizing.
- Tons of templates to get started with the best image for the job.
I was lucky enough to purchase Stencil as a lifetime promo from AppSumo. Unfortunately, it is no longer available but the pricing is not bad when compared to other tools and won’t break the bank. It is affordable especially if you choose the annual plan it is less than a fancy drink a month. They also offer a free plan that is an extensive free plan that makes it easy to get started.
The Bottom Line: Stencil vs Canva
Stencil is a bit cheaper when compared to Canva. If your interest is online marketing graphics, Stencil is worth every penny or non-penny for getting those created. Canva offers more templates for print but you quickly have to jump into a paid plan to get a lot done. I find myself using Stencil for 99% of things and if I need something for print quickly I may get Canva for a month. Usually, though I have found other tools for print a lot more useful such as InDesign or Affinity Publisher. I love me some subscriptions but it does get pricey fast so the more I can limit it the better!
Alternative 2: DesignCap
DesignCap is fairly new to the creative market. They offer similar to Canva and Stencil tons of features that make it the perfect graphic creation app for some. One fun unique feature is the integration of charts and infographics for a more data-driven graphic set of tools.
DesignCap features that can’t be missed:
- Modules that are sets of graphics set together for a specific look helps a lot in the creation process.
- The ability to do print designs as well as graphics for social media makes this an affordable more encompassing alternative to Canva.
- Charts and Infographics help round out all the options available.
- Tons of templates to help get you started.
- Stock images from Pixabay available directly in the app.
DesignCap is one of the cheapest alternatives. With both plans, including their plus, under $75 a year. DesignCap if the right fit will likely not break the bank for many. The limitations are interesting. The free version is definitely just to get to know the app with only the availability of 5 uploads and 5 designs. Also worth noting that exports are only available in JPG files. Updating to Basic, you have a lot more uploads and saved images as well as modules and unlimited templates and stock icons.
The Bottom Line: DesignCap vs Canva
If you are looking for a super cheap alternative that will be powerful in print and social web, then DesignCap is a great option. With a variety of print templates as well as web templates, this all in one versatile app can take care of just about anything.
Alternative 3: RelayThat
RelayThat is very different in this group of tools. While others focus on one brand and social media or social media + print, RelatThat focuses on the individual entrepreneur with multiple brands. From social media managers to graphic designers, this is a perfect fit. What sets RelayThat apart is the option to quickly resize and reformat designs. From one set of information, you can create tons of unique images that are not only resized but the layout is reapplied too so that it doesn’t need extra work to look natural. In creating multiple pins or just various graphics for something like an event this is the best and quickest tool.
- Tons of images and icons for every situation.
- Custom fonts that are easy to upload and apply to the brand.
- Templates for all web graphics including ad image templates.
- Font pairing to take the guesswork out of what looks good together.
- Awesome image SEO to step up your game and magic import that takes a page and auto-magically gets everything organized.
I was lucky enough to purchase RelayThat as a lifetime promo from AppSumo. It is still available for a limited time. At $49 for a lifetime deal, this can’t be beaten if you need these features. RelayThat Pricing is a bit different. Still cheaper than the comparable plan in Canva. For a social media specialist with multiple brands, this is a huge leap. Check out the RelayThat AppSumo deal.
The Bottom Line: RelayThat vs Canva
While Canva focuses on one brand at a time and creating new Brands requires the Enterprise plan starting at $30 / member/month, RelayThat’s focus started on developing different brands quickly and on Brand for each client. It is truly a great alternative for social media managers or anybody needing to keep up with multiple brands.
Alternative 4: Crello
Crello is another new’ish Canva alternative on the market. Currently, there is a Crello AppSumo deal for $49. If this seems like an alternative that will work for you it is the time to jump on the offer.
- One-click editing tools for text editing, resizing, photo effects, and more
- 30,000+ graphics and animated templates
- Stock photos instant access
- 50+ formats for social media and beyond
- Companion mobile app for iOS and Android
If you don’t jump on the Crello AppSumo deal, you will be looking at 9.99 / month which isn’t too bad. Going to an annual plan will save you 20% coming to about $7.99 / month.
The Bottom Line: Crello vs Canva
I love the video and animation effects that are included in Crello. This is a solid Canva alternative especially if you can snatch it at $49 in the AppSumo deal! The addition of a mobile app is a huge plus to take the designs on the road.