Canva VS Stencil – Which One Is The Best Graphic Design Tool?

Graphic design is one of the essential aspects for any business to take their presentations a notch higher. It helps in enhancing the work quality and leads to a better understanding of the message one wishes to convey to their customers.

Graphics are of various types, ranging from posters, social media graphics, and other visualized content.

However, it takes too much time, energy, and effort to make graphics from scratch, and hence, there are tools to help you with this. 

One of the most renowned tools for graphic design is Canva and Stencil. Both the tools help you design quality visuals in minutes and also give you access to advanced and automated features.

The features save you a lot of time by providing you with templates and other eye-pleasing elements. Let us conduct a thorough analysis about Canva and Stencil as competitors, what they have to offer and which one you should opt for today!

Canva VS Stencil | Overview

Canva

The graphic design platform, Canva is the tool that creates social media graphics, documents, and all other sorts of visual content. It includes templates for each of the users to use.

The users can also share file links to have other people edit the same document for ease of use. It offers paid subscriptions but also has a basic free plan for people who just need help with basic designing. They also print and ship products physically!

From a historical perspective, the only controversy that has ever happened with the brand is the data breach situation that took place in 2019. Here, millions of users were hacked, and their personal data was exposed.

Password hashes also happened for some users. However, how Canva handled the entire situation was applauded by all, though some users were not happy with how they initiated the solution with a marketing content email.

Apart from that, Canva has always been in the good books of users and has been providing features, tips, and tricks to all its customers to become better at graphic designing. 

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Stencil

Stencil is a graphic design tool that is focused on creating quality digital images.

They focus highly on image sharing than only branding or ad creation. It helps in editing images with clickable layers that allow you to edit text, colour, background, and more visual qualities about the image. It also resizes it quickly so that you and share it easily. 

Stencil has a library of stock images, fonts, and illustrations for free commercial use. Their built-in storage got uploaded images, custom templates, and ore helps you store everything in one place without having to worry about your computer/laptop’s storage being utilized. 

Historically, Stencil was primarily launched with the name ‘Share As Image’. As back then, every similar tool only focused on the editing part of the image instead of the sharing part.

This is how it gained much popularity due to its unique focus as it solved the problem—resizing and sharing easily. As the popularity grew, it was rebranded as Stencil.

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Major Features

Canva

  • It offers thousands of professional templates with images and quality content that helps you bring your best ideas to work.
  • It helps you collaborate easily by inviting people to edit with you. Set up an entire team on Canva Pro to manage to brand, leave feedback, scale the content and get approvals simultaneously.
  • Share your content by features of downloading, sharing, printing, presenting, and scheduling. 
  • The feature of team folders helps you stay fully organized, store assets, and manage content easily. 
  • Plan, create a schedule, and publish every post that you create directly from Canva.
  • It offers real-time collaboration across companies, departments, and even countries!
  • There are also built-in comments which are made to communicate, resolve issues, provide suggestions and work together in real-time.

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Stencil

  • It offers 5,00,000+ stock photos that are royalty-free. 1000+ new images are added every week.
  • 1,300+ stunning premium templates that can be edited easily. 
  • You can upload and store every single variation of your logo. 
  • 100,000+ quote images can be made in seconds by searching through their extensive collection of quotes.
  • Stencil has 3,400+ google web fonts that enhance your work.
  • Upload your own fonts and match them to your brands for a higher brand connection.
  • It offers 3,000,000+ icons and graphics that are royalty-free and save to use either for personal or commercial use. 
  • The app also offers pre-loaded optimal sizes for all your social networks, blogs, ads, and more. 
  • Easy add-ons for Safari, Firefox, and Chrome.
  • Strong integrations with social tools like Buffer.

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Templates

Canva

Canva’s templates are highly extensive and are put into different categories for you to browse through them quickly and easily.

This means, if you need a template specifically for an Instagram story, YouTube channel art, or a business card– you will get specific designs to cater to these needs. Here is a list of all the template bundles that Canva provides –

  • Social media: Specific bundles for Instagram stories, Instagram posts, Facebook posts, Facebook covers, YouTube channel art, and LinkedIn Banners
  • Personal: Specific bundles for invitations, cards, resumes, postcards, t-shirts, and weekly schedule planners
  • Business: Specific bundles for presentations, websites, logos, business cards, invoices, and business letterheads.
  • Marketing: Specific bundles for posters, flyers, infographics, brochures, newsletters, and proposals.
  • Education: Specific bundles for classroom décor kits, lesson plans, worksheets, certificates, bookmarks, and class schedules. 
  • Trending: Specific bundles for a canvas print, videos, YouTube intros, photo books, Mother’s Day cards, and Mother’s Day gift certificates. These bundles keep on changing and updating on a regular basis, depending on the occasion and time of the year. 

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Stencil

Stencil provides over 1300 built-in templates that help you with a quick start. You can easily customize these bundles with Stencil’s editor and use them for personal or commercial purposes.

These templates include photos, fonts, and icons that are also free to use. Stencil does not require you to provide any attribution to use their photos, templates, or fonts.

Here is a list of all the template bundles that Stencil provide

  • Business
  • Celebration
  • Colourful
  • eBook
  • Facebook
  • Facebook cover
  • Fitness
  • Holiday
  • Instagram
  • Instagram story
  • Outlines
  • Pinterest
  • Promotional
  • Quotes
  • Social Media
  • Twitter
  • Zoom virtual background

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As you can see, Stencil does have more categories for its templates. In contrast, Canva does not provide any templates for Zoom, Pinterest, and Fitness, while Stencil does.

This makes it a more robust platform for you to use templates and make the designs of your dreams. However, what Canva offers is a more segregated template bundle.

That means for social media bundle, it has different segments catering to Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. This is not provided by Stencil. This leads you to spend more time finding the right template for the right purpose.

Canva VS Stencil | Learning Resources

Canva

It offers an extensive set of learning resources that help you not only design in real-time but learn about graphic designing in detail, from a futuristic point of view.

It does so by giving you creative tips that supercharge your design skills through tutorials, blogs, and courses. The tutorials range from a variety of topics such as ‘how to create a resume using Canvas, ‘how to create a bar chart,’ and more. 

The courses offered teach you along the lines of social media mastery, graphic design basics, personal branding, branding your business, and presentation skills to impress.

These courses are designed in a video format that helps you go back and forth to any video that you do not understand for clarity. Lastly, it also offers an active blog portal that has regular articles on design, marketing, branding, nonprofits, and more.

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Stencil

Compared to Canva, Stencil has a narrower learning aspect. It does not offer courses or tutorials to polish your design skills. However, what it does offer is a regularly updated blog portal.

Their blog teaches you various things about graphic designing, from design principles to lips to leverage Pinterest. It also shares knowledge about visual marketing trends, social media marketing funnels, Instagram reels tips, and a lot more. 

Stencil blog has several articles giving detailed insights about particular things that help you become a great marketer and even a sound marketer. This helps build your brand image as a whole.

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What makes them stand out

Canva

It offers print services that hardly any other graphic design tool offers, not even Stencil. It allows you to print, order, and pay for your designs to be available to you in tangible form. The Canva team ships it to you like any online store, and you receive your products with your securely. 

The print services are available for printing business cards, canvas prints, mugs, cards, photo books, t-shirts, rack cards, trifold brochures, stickers, labels, posters, gift certificates, postcards, and invitations. Hence, it has a diverse range of products that you can actually choose the design for and get them delivered to your doorstep. 

Things they promise as print service providers –

  • Professional print quality through partnerships with leading printers in the industry that offer the best colour quality on premium papers.
  • Free delivery of the products with your beautiful designs. 
  • Cutting-edge designs and templates for you to capture our memories in hard form with a modern and professional touch, with complete customization.

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Stencil

As we have already discussed above, Stencil is not only an image editor or graphic designing tool, it is also an excellent resizing tool, and one of its firsts to exist. It sets up the perfect size for any image that you create and magically changes the sizes accordingly to fit the frame in the most suitable form. 

It has over 140 presets that involve optimal sizing for social posts, blog images, ads, and more. These presets are pre-loaded and updated regularly. Apart from that, it also lets you have your own custom sizes. If you have a specific size in mind, you can easily create as many custom sizes as you want with Stencil.

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The Entrepreneurial Advantage

Canva

Graphic design is a segment that is important to all. From entrepreneurs to corporates, everybody needs a solid design. However, in these days of businesses growing and new ones entering the marketing, it is time to expand features from an entrepreneurship point of view. And so, Canva has.

Below are the features that are specifically designed for entrepreneurs and businesses to leverage –

  • Canva logo maker
  • Color wheel color matcher for the perfect color combination
  • Team access and shared folders
  • Over 8000 professional templates
  • Access to millions of professional photos
  • GIF creator to add that element of fun to any business post

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Stencil

Like Canva, Stencil has also expanded its services to specifically cater to entrepreneurs. It has made sure that businesses are truly advantaged with the tool. Below are the certain features that cater to business minds –

  • Automatically dropped 100,000 quotes in the document saving you the time to find an inspirational quote for your post
  • Transparent background image creator
  • Saved watermarks appear automatically the next time you open the document
  • Social media post previews
  • Access to over 2,500 google fonts
  • Access to brilliant icons
  • Browser extensions and integrations making work seamless

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Pricing

Canva

It has 3 different pricing plans, as follow –

  1. The free plan

The free plan costs nothing for obvious reasons. It has all the features that one needs to kickstart their design journey. Features included in this plan are –

  • 250,000+ free templates
  • 100+ different design types for presentations, social media posts, letters, and more
  • Thousands of free stock images and graphics
  • Invite members to your team to edit together
  • Collaborate and comment in real-time
  • 5GB cloud storage

2. The pro plan

The pro plan costs about $100 per user per year. It helps you make professional designs easily with unlimited access to the premium tools and content that take our designing a notch higher. Here is a list of things included in this plan –

  • Everything the free plan has
  • Over 75 million premium stock images, audio, graphics, and videos
  • Resize designs infinitely – magic resize
  • Save designs as templates
  • Invite the team to work on and use the saved designs
  • Over 420,000 free templates, new designs updated daily
  • 100GB cloud storage
  • Social media scheduling on 8 platforms
  • Create a brand kit and upload your own logos and fonts
  • Background remover unlimited 

3. The enterprise plan

The enterprise plan is the most elite plan offered by Canva. It is issued to empower a team, manage the brand, and scale content all from one platform. It costs about $30 per user per month. The things included in the plan are –

  • Everything in the pro plan
  • Brand visual identity enhancement with logos, fonts, colors across multiple brand kits
  • Control team access to graphics, colors, apps, logos, and fonts
  • Brand controls
  • Control team upload
  • Built-in workflows
  • Set what all your team can edit and what they cannot with template locking
  • Unlimited storage
  • Single sign-on
  • 24/7 enterprise-level support

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Stencil

Stencil, like Canva, also has 3 different subscription plans. These plans are –

  1. The free plan for the hobbyist

This plan is generally for the people who try out Stencil for graphic designing as a hobby or passion. Their needs are limited, and so is the feature. It helps you explore the world of graphic designing without having to spend anything. It remains free forever and include s-

  • Save up to 10 designs every month
  • Limited photographs
  • Keep up to 10 favorite photos
  • 10 Instagram SMS per month
  • Limited icons
  • Upload up to 50 photos
  • Create up to 10 collections

2. The pro plan

The pro plan helps you become an image master. These are for the people who are intermediaries at graphic design and need solid support from a tool like Stencil to enhance the designs. It costs $9 per month for a person when paid annually. It includes –

  • Saving up to 50 designs/images every month
  • Font uploads
  • Premium support
  • Over 5,000,000 photos
  • 3,100,000+ icons and graphics
  • Over 1,300 templates
  • Upload up to 250 images
  • Create up to 25 collections
  • Keep up to 100 favorites
  • 25 Instagram SMS every month
  • Over 3400 google fonts
  • Logos and watermarks

3. The unlimited plan

The unlimited plan is made for extremists who require high-end designs for professional purposes. It helps you create all the images that you want efficiently. It costs $12 per user per month, paid annually. The things it includes as features are –

  • Everything in the pro plan
  • Save unlimited images
  • Upload unlimited images
  • Keep unlimited favorites
  • Create unlimited collections
  • 100 Instagram SSM every month

Basically, in this plan, you get everything unlimited.

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Ease of Use 

Lastly, we come to the ease of use of both these platforms. Why we are not comparing both the platforms separately for this particular feature is because both the platforms are pretty simple to use.

They have a user-friendly interface, and the entire tool is easy to navigate. With every feature present and the editor is an effortless manager, there is nothing about the two platforms that make them different when it comes to simplistic usage and seamless processing!

Conclusion

Both Canva and Stencil are outstanding market performers. It is tough to choose between the two, and it will highly depend on an individual/business’s specific needs.

While Canva focuses on design editing,  Stencil focuses on design resizing. They are both top picks as a graphic design tool, and we can assure you that irrespective of which one you pick, you will not be disappointed. 

Both of them are impeccable in their own ways, with features no other tool can beat! The only way to try and test both tools is by using their free plan and getting a hands-on experience before you choose whom to select as your graphic design savior.

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