There is no doubt that Canva has taken over the world of digital design. It’s easy to use, powerful and downright beautiful. I started out as a free Canva user and was really impressed with everything it can do. Once I was intrigued, I decided to try the free trial of Canva Pro and haven’t looked back. I have been happily paying a subscription for many years now.
If you’ve been debating whether to subscribe to Canva Pro, read the following sections to see what an upgrade could bring you. As you’ll see, some of these features are SUPER important depending on what your design needs are. For example, I use the background remover so often that I would pay for Canva Pro just for that feature. Think about what you do most often (or want to do) and how each of these features could make your life easier or more efficient.
1. Access to over 60 million photos and elements
When you upgrade to Canva Pro, you unlock a whole world of images and design elements. 60 million photos and elements is an insane number. These aren’t amateur photos and low-quality elements. No, the photos and elements you get in Canva are top-notch and rival anything you’ll find on other stock photo websites. In fact, some of their photos ARE the same as those you’ll find on other stock photo websites.
If you use stock photos often, the price of Canva is a total steal. Paying $119 for 60 million images and features is unprecedented in the stock image world. If you look at popular sites like Shutterstock, you’ll pay $199 MONTHLY for a maximum of 750 images. On other sites like iStock or Adobe Stock, you’ll pay per image, which can add up quickly. And that’s just for stock images.
2. Access to over 1,000 fonts and the ability to upload your own
The fonts are so much fun. Having over 1,000 of them is really fun. Almost too much fun. The Canva Pro app is full of every font style you could ever want, from script to grunge alphabets to box letters. Whether you’re designing a resume or a child’s birthday card, there’s a font just for you. No matter what style you’re trying to achieve, you’re sure to find a font to match it. In fact, there are often too many to choose from.
Honestly, I could waste a lifetime searching through all the fonts in Canva. There are just SO many. I’m also incredibly indecisive. If I decided to go through every single font every time I started a new design, I’d never finish anything.
Just like stock photos, fonts can also be expensive to purchase individually. One font alone can end up costing you much more than a month’s subscription to Canva. Canva Pro can be a really cost-effective way to experiment with lots of different fonts without having to pay for them individually.
3. Access to Tons of Templates
If you need inspiration or simply want to get started with your design, Canva offers some amazing pre-made templates you can use. Many of them are beautiful enough that you can use them as they are.
Canva has templates for every size of design you might need. Posters, business cards, social media posts, greeting cards, there are templates for them all. Trust that when you get mentally stuck, these templates can be a great way to get inspiration.
With a Canva Pro subscription, you have access to many more templates than with the free version. Pre-made designs at your fingertips? Yes, that’s pretty awesome. Rarely do you find SO many pre-made templates for such a low price, which is a huge advantage of Canva Pro.
4. Resizing to Any Format
Again, another Canva Pro feature that is worth the full subscription price. Sure, it would be nice if they included it in the free version, but it’s still a business.
You can’t resize any of your designs without Canva Pro. Once you set your dimensions, you’re done with them. I’ve written a post about a solution to this problem for the free version. That being said, the solution is somewhat opaque.
If you’re constantly resizing your designs, you’ll want to have the resize feature included with Canva Pro.
5. Downloading with a Transparent Background
I download a lot of my designs as pngs with transparent backgrounds for mugs, t-shirts and other types of merchandise. I also use them if I need separate designs to import into other designs. There are a million different reasons why you might want a transparent png, so the fact that the free version of Canva doesn’t offer this is a big hurdle if you’re trying to use the free version for all your design needs.
This feature of Canva Pro may be the least sexy on the list, but it’s one of the most important. If it disappeared, I’d have to abandon Canva altogether in favor of a new design program.
6. Ability to Build a Brand Kit
With the Pro version, you have access to the Canva marker set area. Think of it as an organized repository for everything related to your brand – fonts, colors, logos. If you’re constantly using the same colors and assets, it can really cut down on your design time.
No more scrolling through uploaded files for a logo or entering color codes to change the background. Save everything within your branding kit and you’ll be able to quickly grab everything you need for your branding designs.
7. Use of an Unlimited Amount of Folders
The longer you use Canva, the more chaotic it gets. In the beginning, you’ll only have a few rows of designs, but as time goes on and you grow to love Canva more, you’ll have to scroll and scroll to find the old designs you’re looking for.
That’s what folders are for. Folders allow you to… well… we all understand how folders work. With Canva folders, you can organize your designs in a way that makes sense to you so you can find them again. And trust me, you want to do that. I made the mistake of not using folders and had to spend a stupid amount of time looking for older designs that I needed to update. That’s not fun.
The problem with the free version of Canva is that it only has two folders. This helps with organization a bit, but not enough if you use Canva often.
In Canva Pro, you have access to unlimited folders, which gives you much more organizational options than the free version. If you want, you can create folders for each project. I’ve been lazy about folders in the past, but the huge benefit of getting organized in this area is not lost on me.
8. Animating Your Designs
Use Canva Pro to turn your designs into animated movies (MP4 files) of gifs. Basically, you can let your elements flow into your design. Remember those nifty transitions we all loved to play with when we first started creating PowerPoints. It’s similar. Through their animation feature, you can let your elements enter your design in a few different ways:
- Fade: elements “fade in” as the name implies
- Pan: elements come in from the side and the backgrounds pan across the screen
- Block: elements come in more dramatically and suddenly
- Rise: elements “rise” from the bottom of the design
- Breathe: elements come in subtly and the backgrounds zoom in and out as if they’re breathing
- Slide: elements slide in
9. Collaborating with Team Members
Don’t like how programs like Google Docs and Google Slides make it easy to work on a project with others? You can watch in real time as someone builds and changes things… for better or worse. Whether you like your team members or not, working on the same project at the same time can be very rewarding no matter where you are in the world.
With Canva Pro, you can invite team members to collaborate on any project or proposal. Not only can you create everything together, but you can also leave comments and communicate directly through Canva.
Is Canva Pro worth it?
Hell yes! If my feelings about the Canva Pro have not been clear up until now, let me make it clear that I think:
Canva Pro is an amazing investment.
I’ve tried a number of design programs and this is the only one I’ve come to love. You can tell just by looking at the control panel that Canva is not a cumbersome little curbside design program. Instead, it’s an easy-to-use platform filled with millions (literally) of amazing resources and tools.