In 2021, you don’t need to be well-versed with premium design software or expensive graphic designing apps to make appealing visual projects. Canva is proof of this and has been for some time now.
It is incredibly simple to use and has a very extensive free plan, so there’s no reason anymore for brands and marketers to create online content that is cheap and unprofessional-looking (regardless of the means and resources at their disposal).
However, Canva now finds itself head-to-head with some new kids on the block. For this comparison, I’m going to be pitting it against Glorify and Crello. These apps are aimed roughly towards the same target audience, and are meant to be simple but competent graphic designing apps that non-designers will be happy with. but they do have some key differences. Let’s get straight into it.
The prices of the software will be a major deciding factor for you, especially if you’re a freelancer, or represent a small business. Hence, let’s start by discussing pricing.
Using a free Canva account won’t be a real hindrance to creating good content. Here’s what the free plan includes:
- Tons of free templates (250,000+ as claimed by Canva)
- Tons of free photos and graphics
- 100+design types
- Ability to invite members and collaborate on a project
- 5 gigs of cloud storage
A Canva Pro account will set you back by $12.99 a month, or $119.99 if billed annually. Apart from all features in the free plan, this includes:
- Over 100 million stock photos/graphics/videos/audio
- Over 600,000 templates
- Ability to apply your brand kit to each creative easily
- Background remover
- Creative resizer
- 100 gigs of cloud storage
- Social media scheduling
Glorify’s free plan provides access to all of its design features for:
- 1 workspace
- 5 projects
- 3 users
Additionally, you can remove the background for 10 images per month, and use up to 10 premium stock images every month.
The Pro plan will set you back by $9.99 a month (billed yearly). Up to 5 users can use this plan, and you can create 5 workspaces and unlimited projects. Also, you get 100 background removal credits and premium stock images a month.
There’s also a Business plan for $28.99 per month, that can be used by 10 users. You’ll have no restrictions on workspaces, projects or on any feature credits.
Here’s what you get with Crello’s free pack:
- 5 downloads a month off Crello
- 50K+ graphic design templates
- Over 1 million free premium images
- Thousands of animations and video clips in high definition
- Access to over 200 million royalty-free stock files
The Pro plan will cost you $7.99/month. Over and above what the free plan offers, you get
- Collaboration features
- Ability to create branded content with Brand Kits
- Background remover
Pre-designed templates in the graphic designing apps
Canva’s main strength in this comparison lies in the sheer number of pre-designed templates it offers. This will matter most to newbies in the designing space, but then again, this group makes up a huge chunk of the total users of these design apps.
The free plan offers 200,000+ templates and the premium plan offers a whopping 600,000+. Regardless of what the Photoshop and Illustrator snobs will tell you, these templates are a major boon for quick and high-quality design.
These are also updated very frequently. For example, with work-from-home being mainstream, Canva has introduced tons of templates for Zoom Backgrounds.
It’s amazing how these templates make it so easy to design things that you’d otherwise need a professional designer for, like creating restaurant menus.
And that’s just the beginning. Remember, 600,000+ templates.
As of September 2021, Glorify offered over 14,000 templates for the Pro version. This is pretty limited, but it highlights the fact that Glorify is marketing itself as something more complex than a simple drag and drop editor.
The templates that are available are quite attractive though. However, because Glorify is aimed at all things e-commerce and social media (and nothing else), it doesn’t have templates for things like menus and presentations.
However, Glorify offers templates known as Mockup Scenes that the other two graphic designing apps don’t have. Essentially, they’re templates and designs built around mockups. Some of these are really quite beautiful. They’ll also be useful to a lot of people!
Crello’s Pro plan offers 30,000 templates. This is more than twice as much as Glorify offers, but nowhere near as extensive.
These templates essentially cover the entire breadth of what Canva does, but there aren’t as many templates for each category.
On Crello, you’re better off starting from scratch, and using these templates as inspiration.
There are some very cool integrations into the Canva app itself. Some of them aren’t more than gimmicks, like the Bitmoji integration that allows your Snapchat avatar to show up on Canva. Here are some very clever and useable integrations:
- Instagram: To view your account’s past posts and add them to new creatives
- Google Maps: To search for any location and add it to a creative
- Pixton: To add illustrated characters to your creatives
- Publer: To publish tools on social media directly
- Giphy: To add gifs to your creatives
- Pexels and Pixabay: For premium stock images
There are tons of other little integrations you’ll notice as you use the app.
As far as integrations are concerned, Glorify is not as extensive as Canva. Here are its main integrations:
- Pixabay and Pexels for premium stock images
- Icons8 and Noun Project for some very beautiful and customisable icons
- Ouch! for premium 2D and 3D illustrations
Apart from this, there are also some predesigned templates especially curated for Shopify, WooCommerce and Amazon. Feature images for Product Hunt and gallery templates for Fiverr are coming soon.
A lot of people have dubbed Canva’s plenty integrations as purely gimmicky, and if you think so too, this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. Also, Glorify does offer the essentials for graphic designing apps, like stock images and a massive icon collection.
You can integrate the Crello Editor into your website, so your users can create designs without having to navigate to another. You can contact support, and they should provide a personalised API design tool for your platform. This is very similar to how Canva can be integrated into any platform.
Apart from pre-designed templates for several platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram etc., Crello only offers one in-app integration. This is with Deposit Photos, so you can access premium stock images within the app (as of October 2021).
Added extras in the graphic designing apps
- SmartMockups: You can create high-quality mockups on Canva itself with its integration with SmartMockups. The number of mockup templates is fairly limited, but the app does cover all the categories like tech, clothing, business cards etc., so you’ll probably find something that will suit your needs.
- Extensive photo-editing: The app has tied up with a lot of third-party filter-makers, so apart from editing the fundamentals of your photo on Canva (brightness, saturation etc.), you also have a wide range of filters to choose from. My favorites are Liquify (which has filters that distort the photo like it has come in contact with liquid) and Letter Mosaic (these filters turn any photo into a Letter Mosaic).
- Social media publishing: Canva is the only app here that allows you to share your creatives directly to some of the top social media websites. However, this feature is only available on the paid version.
- Effects and textures: Glorify offers tons of predesigned effects and textures that are missing on the other apps in this comparison. These can be really handy for folks trying to create an animated scene on the app. They can also be customised in terms of colours/shadows etc. I particularly found the ‘Dirt’ and ‘Flares’ tectures to be very realistic.
- Focus on e-commerce brands: Moreso than Canva and Crello, Glorify focusses especially on content for e-commerce brands. This is Glorify’s differentiation point from other graphic designing apps, and it becomes very evident when you being to look at the templates on offer. Hero images, infographics, comparison images, ad formats, they have it all. Aforementioned, specific templates for different e-commerce platforms are also very handy.
- Free image resizer: This is the only app here to allow image resizing for free; in Canva and Crello, you aren’t even offered any resizing credits. I found the resizer to be quite smart as well, you have the option of manually entering dimensions or choosing a particular format.
- Quick customer support: Crello offers a much better overall customer service experience as compared to the other apps here. If you think you’ll often find yourself wanting quick resolutions to design-related issues, this is the app to best fulfill that need!
- Massive offering of stock photos: DepositPhotos offers millions of premium stock images through Crello, in the free as well as the paid plans. In the other apps, to gain access to photos in a similar number, you will have to upgrade to the paid plan.
- Dedicated logo-maker: Crello offers a dedicated logo-maker through which you can play with fonts, colours and the overall design to create a logo for yourself in mere minutes. This feature is ideal for those who absolutely do not want to spend on designing a logo.
Ease of use
Just like me, you’ll likely already be very familiar with Canva’s interface if you’ve ever had to make quick creatives for social media or a website. This works as a major disadvantage for the other two apps in this comparison, as most people would like to continue using what they’re familiar with.
This is what the home screen looks like. All of the content templates are sorted out in themes so you can easily find the template or the dimensions you’re looking for. You can also click on ‘Create a Design’ on the top right, to add custom dimensions or choose from the most popular list of templates. When I clicked on Presentation, this is the screen that showed up.
There are a LOT of templates for each content group, and these are further grouped by purpose, which makes it easier to find exactly what you’re searching for. For example, as you can see, there is a distinct tab called Advertising Presentation where I can scroll through related templates. It’s all very convenient.
Your previous uploads to Canva and the templates for text, backgrounds and elements can also easily be accessed from the sidebar. You can simply drag and drop these presets into your design!
These preset templates make it a breeze for new designers who otherwise might not know how to make their designs appealing.
Clicking on the ‘More’ section reveals Canva’s many integrations with popular apps and websites (you can even add Google Maps locations directly to Canva).
Editing itself is a breeze too. Everything is where it’s supposed to be, and everything is laid out so simply that you’ll start wondering why Microsoft makes PowerPoint so convoluted.
As far as ease of use for graphic designing apps goes, Canva is simply second to none.
Glorify’s homepage is a little bland as compared to Canva, but I didn’t mind that at all. It’s still easy to navigate and find the format for which you want to generate content.
Once you start editing though, you begin to realise how different Glorify is, as compared to Canva.
While Canva and Crello are both designed to optimise ease of use, Glorify gives you a bit more control with regards to how you edit the elements in your creative.
However, for beginner designers or solopreneurs, this becomes a bit of a hassle. For example, when I was trying to move the ‘Minimalism’ text box around, the editor didn’t display grid lines when I was trying to find the horizontal centre of the page. The option to turn this on was tucked away in the hamburger menu on the top left. Again, pro editors would know this, beginners may not.
Also, everything in Glorify just feels a wee bit smaller. The buttons, the image/template previews, the icons etc all feel just a bit too small for comfort. On my 14-inch screen, I had to zoom in on Google Chrome to comfortably use Glorify.
Overall, Glorify comes with a bit of a learning curve, but you’ll still be able to create quickly once you get the hang of it.
Crello’s interface is very similar to Canva’s, and this only works in its favour. If you’ve been a Canva user, there is absolutely no learning curve when you switch to Crello; you can just log in and start designing.
In fact, I actually like the simpler look of the home screen.
You can manually search for a format or template, or scroll horizontally to do so. The featured templates and designs are tucked underneath all this, and reveal themselves when you scroll down.
When you click on a format and start editing, the similarities become really apparent.
You can add all templates and elements from the sidebar, by simply dragging and dropping. All the editing tools are neatly laid out in a bar above the design preview.
Nothing much to speak of here, then. Everything is where it is supposed to be, and you’ll have no difficulties using Crello.
Okay, so where does that leave us? One thing is very clear to me, now that I’ve spent some time with each of these graphic designing apps; if you’re simply looking for a platform where you can make good designs fast and without hassle, these are all great options. You’ll be very happy with whatever you use, and you’ll also be hard-pressed to find a better web graphic design app than these three.
However, if I had to pick a winner, it would be Canva. I’ve been using it for a couple of years now, and although the two new additions stack up really well, they don’t offer much more to prompt me to switch. Apart from this, I use templates very often, and this is one area where Canva is leagues ahead the rest.
If you run an e-commerce store, I’d highly recommend you check out Glorify, though. You’ll see that you have a bit more control over how your design turns out, and the e-commerce related templates can be seriously useful.
Again, all these apps offer a LOT for the price (the free versions themselves are well-equipped), and they’re all winners in my book!
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