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Crello vs Canva: which one is right for you?

Crello Vs Canva - both logos on blue background.
(Image credit: Crello/Canva)

Who wins in the battle between Crello vs Canva? This article will answer that question, and give you the information to choose which one is right for you.

The first thing to know is that in general these apps are pretty similar. Both are lightweight apps for making quick designs in your browser. You don’t need to download anything, and you don’t have to pay either, unless you want to unlock advanced features and extra resources.

Don’t get too excited though. Neither Crello or Canva is suitable for creative professionals (for that, see our guide to the best graphic design software). They are more suitable for amateurs, and non-designers such as marketing professionals, bloggers and social media managers. 

In other words, they're aimed at anyone who doesn’t have lot of design experience or technical skills, yet needs to quick put together a basic design using pre-designed templates. 

In that light, both Crello or Canva have more in common with other easy and free tools such as the best collage maker, or the best free logo designers, than pro design software like Photoshop and Illustrator.

That said, if you need to pull together, say, a graphic for social media quickly and easily, and don’t have any pro software to do it with, both Crello and Canva let you do so with the minimum of fuss and expense. Plus, you can use both apps on a low-powered device such as Chromebook, where heavy duty software like Photoshop is a no-go.

So which should you try? Read on, as we look at both tools in detail. To keep things simple, we’ll focus here on their free plans, as that’s what most people are going to start with anyway. If you haven't tried either Crello or Canva yet, use the links below to explore the sites.

Crello vs Canva: Sign-up 

The good news is that both Crello and Canva are very quick to get started with. You don’t have to provide credit card details, nor fill in lengthy forms. 

Indeed, with both tools, we managed to sign up in just three clicks via our Google accounts.

Canva signup options

(Image credit: Canva)

Then, when we wanted to access our work on another computer, where we were already logged in to Google, we could open Crello in one click, and Canva in zero clicks, without having to remember any passwords.

Result: Draw. Both apps make it very easy to sign up, and sign in.

Crello vs Canva: Editing 

If you’re creating a graphic for a particular social media platform, you’ll find the Crello homepage makes it easy to get started. The first thing you see are a search bar and five buttons ‘Try this’ buttons, titled ‘Facebook Post’, ‘Square Graphic Post’, ‘Square Video Post’, ‘Instagram Story’ and ‘Instagram Post’. 

Click on any of these buttons, and you’ll be presented with a series of templates, along with a blank template. 

Choose the one you like, and a series of pop-up prompts give you hints about how you can customise the template to create an original design. For example, you can add your own content, move the objects on the design around or delete them, change the type size or font, and so on.

Crello interface

(Image credit: Crello )

It’s a similar story with Canva, although the opening screen is less focused on social media and offers a wider range of initial options: ‘Presentations’, ‘Social media’, ‘Video’, ‘Print products’, ‘Marketing’, ‘Office’ and more. (Note: On Crello, you can access such categories like this from the homepage by clicking through from ‘Design your story for... View all’).

On Canva, as on Crello, you click through to the kind of template you want. On the new page, a series of templates appear in the left-hand column. Choose one, and it will appear in the main window, allowing you to edit it to your own needs. (Note: Most of these templates are marked ‘Free’, but if you click on one that isn’t, you’ll be prompted to upgrade to a paid plan).

The editing process with Canva is pretty similar to that of Crello. They have slightly different ways of going about things, and a slightly different set of options, but in many ways they’re almost identical.

Result: Draw.

Crello vs Canva: Collaboration features 

One of the best things about designing in the browser is that it allows you to collaborate on designs with others, whether that’s a colleague, your boss or a stakeholder. And this is one area where Canva wins hands down. 

That's because Canva allows you to create up to 20 teams for free, and each team can have up to 3,000 members. You can add annotated comments, reply to and tag team members within your designs.

Yoga design with colleague's comments

(Image credit: Canva)

With Crello, you can collaborate with a team of up to 10 members, but the downside is that you have to upgrade to the Pro plan to do so.

Result: Canva wins.

Crello vs Canva: Resources 

At first glance, both Crello and Canva seem to have tons of resources for you to use in your designs, many of them free. So what’s the difference from a bird’s-eye view? 

On the free plans, Canva has more than 250,000 templates to choose from, to Crello’s 50,000+. Crello, however, wins when it comes to stock photos, with more than 1 million on the free plan to Canva’s 200,000, and stock videos (33,000+ to Canva’s 13,000+).

Screenshots of multiple stock videos

(Image credit: Crello)

Result: Draw. The free version of Canva offers far more templates, but Crello has a greater selection of stock images and stock videos.

Crello vs Canva: File management and storage

It’s all very well being able to create designs quickly, but you also want to be able to download and organise them easily as well.

When you want to download your design in Crello, you simply click the big ‘Download’ button at the top of the page, and choose between JPG, PNG, PNG Transparent, PDF, Print PDF, MP4 or GIF formats. 

Crello download dialog

(Image credit: Crello)

It’s the same process in Canva, and while there’s no PNG Transparent option, you do get the added option of saving your file as an SVG.

However, now comes the BIG difference. With Crello’s free plan, you only get five downloads per month, while Canva’s free plan offers unlimited downloads.

When it comes to filing your projects within the app, however, it’s the reverse situation. Canva allows you to create only two folders for free, while Crello allows you unlimited folders.

Result: Canva wins. While the lack of folders on its free plan is irksome, the ability to download unlimited files makes Canva the clear winner here.

Crello vs Canva: Which should I choose? 

The more you compare Crello vs Canva, it’s the similarities between them that become more apparent, rather than the differences.

These browser-based tools are both good at what they offer: that is, allowing non-designers to make simple graphics without needing technical skills. They’re easy to sign up for, and both interfaces and capabilities are very similar. Neither should be confused with professional design software.

Canva interface

(Image credit: Canva)

So how do you choose between their free plans? The simplest answer is that if you want to work on more than one or two designs (which we’d expect is most people), then Canva is going to be your best bet. 

In short, Crello’s limit of five downloads per month on the free plan is its Achilles heel. Really, it means this free version feels more like a trial for the paid plan, rather than something you’re likely to use in the long term. 

The free version of Canva does have some limitations over Crello, such as a limited number of folders, a smaller selection of stock photos and videos, and not being able to download transparent PNGs. But overall, if you want a free app you can use more than once in a blue moon, the lack of download limits makes it your best bet overall.

Result: Canva wins.

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Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design, photography and tech. He is author of Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books. He has previously been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine.