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Stencil vs. Canva — Here’s The Deal

Stencil vs. Canva — Here’s The Deal

Stencil or Canva? That is the question in today’s article.

Well, in this fast-paced, social media-laden world we’re living in, there are several factors you have to consider which graphic design tool you’ll use.

As both Canva and Stencil have intuitive designs, it’s hard to choose what to use. But, you shouldn’t fret over this.

After all, both tools promise to give their users the best experience whenever they create stunning designs.

But, if you still can’t decide which of the two you should use, let’s break down what each has to offer, okay?

So, shall we get to know Canva and Stencil better?


Stencil vs. Canva: What They Claim To Be

If you’re a veteran graphics designer thriving way before all these cloud-based platforms emerged, Photoshop’s your go-to tool.

But, as powerful as this application is, most people complain about the complexity of using it — at first.

Yet, as practice perfects every skill, you’ll also get the hang of using Photoshop.

But, what if you can’t afford to lose valuable time to learn a new graphics design software?

That’s where Canva and Stencil come in.

Both Canva and Stencil are cloud-based graphic design tools that allow everyone to create jaw-dropping social media-related content, logos, and the likes.

And, by everyone, even the non-graphic designer users can enjoy creating designs with these platforms.

With their drag-and-drop feature, you can simply choose what template you’d like to use and start working from there. You can even work from scratch if that’s what you want.

Aside from that, there are a few more areas that both Stencil and Canva have in common. 

Read all the way down and discover all about them in a jiffy.


Stencil vs. Canva: In-depth comparison

As mentioned earlier, both Canva and Stencil are graphic design tools. Hence, it’s not unusual for those keen of eye to notice that both are pretty much the same. 

Both browser-based tools share a few similarities in the features they’re offering their users.

  • Availability of the resize feature (depending on what plan you’re availing of/resizing is a PRO feature in Canva, for instance)
  • Upload your images to the site or use royalty-free images for your designs
  • Professional-looking templates for you to choose from
  • Variety of fonts to choose from, with the option to add your custom fonts in the tool
  • Easy downloading of designs on your device

Great, right?

But, while both design tools have a lot to share in common, it’s not unknown that both have differences as well.

Let’s dive deeper and know the nitty-gritty of each tool.



Just like all graphic design tools, it’s not new to our ears to hear that Canva and Stencil have subscription plans. Though both offer free access to their platform, they come with certain limitations.

For one, you’re limited with the choice of elements, fonts, images, and templates you can use for the design you have in mind. 

But, if you’re still in the trial stage and want to get a feel of how to use both platforms, then try their free accounts by all means. 

Just take note of what Canva and Stencil have to offer.


Stencil Free

  • Limited image and icon options
  • Save 10 images a month
  • 50-photo upload limit per month
  • Schedule 10 Instagram posts every month
  • Create and favorite 10 collections

Pretty tight, huh? Check out Canva then.


Canva Free

  • Access to about 8,000+ design templates
  • Thousands of royalty-free images and graphics to use
  • Hundreds of design types available

You can still use them. Just with limitations, though. 

They might not be bothersome at the moment but they can quickly become a turndown when you need a particular image to use.

So, you can buy those elements, templates, or whatever individually. But, isn’t it such a hassle?

Hence, it’s best to avail of their subscription plans.

For Canva, they have two plans available for the taking: Canva Pro and Canva Enterprise

Canva Pro costs about $10 a month, while the Enterprise plan costs $30 monthly. Despite the big price jump, you’ll have to consider that Canva Enterprise’s made for larger design teams that need seamless collaboration.

Both plans allow you to have unlimited access to their vast gallery. You can also create your brand kit for more customization purposes.

But, with the Enterprise plan, you’ll have user access, as well as the chance to create multiple brand kits. Nifty, right?

Now, Stencil also has 2 sets of paid subscriptions: the Pro and Unlimited.

With Pro, the image-saving limit’s increased to 50 per month, plus access to more photos, graphics, and icons than in the free version.

Plus, you get to upload up to 250 images and create 25 collections on the platform. On top of that, you can keep up to a hundred favorites and schedule 25 Instagram posts per month.

All for a very affordable price of $9 a month.

But, if you still find that a bit restrictive, you can avail of the Unlimited Plan for $12 monthly. 

And, from the term itself, the sky’s the limit with the image uploads, downloads, as well as scheduling Instagram posts.


Easy Usage

Another feature that both Stencil and Canva have in common is their ease of usage. 

Both these graphic design tools offer drag-and-drop editing.

With that said, all you have to do is pick out an element or image from their galleries and drag it towards the template.

But, if you’re the type of user that’s more into creating social media posts, then Stencil might be the better option for you. 

Why is this so? Well, for one, you can install Stencil as an extension in major browsers like Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. 

With that, you won’t need to visit their website just to create a post for your social media.

Plus, Stencil’s got this feature where you can easily integrate a quote from the web into your design. 

Just click the browser extension you installed, and wallah! You’re on your way to turning that quote into a social media post.

With Canva, though, you still need to visit the website itself as it’s a web-based tool.

Also, Canva doesn’t have the browser extension feature that Stencil offers for creating visually appealing quote graphics. 

You still need to copy the text manually from the web and paste it on your Canva template.

Quite a hassle, but hopefully, Canva will get there.


Availability of Templates

Are you planning to create a soc med post from scratch, but don’t have the right photos to go along with your design? Well, you don’t have to worry, as Canva and Stencil got you covered on this aspect.

Since both are graphic design tools, Canva and Stencil partnered with world-renowned image platforms like Pixabay and Pexels to allow their users free reign over their creativity.

Since the pictures from Pexels and Pixabay are royalty-free, you can use them without any attribution. With that, you can easily incorporate them into the templates you’ve chosen for your project.

Despite both tools featuring ready-to-use templates for their users, both are bound to have differences at some point. And, for Canva and Stencil, it boils down to flexibility.

With Stencil, you can customize the design’s size however you want it. Stencil even allows its users to create their custom sizes.

Though Canva also offers customization, it isn’t as flexible in terms of image sizing. 

But, to make up for the lack of such a feature, Canva allows you to create your very own brand kit to ensure consistency of the themes you’ll use in your designs.

You’ll just have to choose which feature you’d like to avail.


Social Media Integration

If you’re a social media manager, it would be great to use a graphic design tool that allows you to directly post your design from the tool itself.

But, enough of such wishful thinking, as both Stencil and Canva have incorporated such feature in their platforms. They just approach such incorporation differently.

As Stencil markets speed, it’s not surprising to see them integrate the tool with the largest social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about scheduling your posts any longer. If you have an account on Buffer, you can simply connect it with Stencil and schedule your posts from there. 

You can also shorten the link and track how your social media post’s faring through Bitly. Pretty neat, right?

With Canva, they also have incorporated the social media post scheduler tool. But, compared to Stencil’s, Canva’s post scheduler’s a bit more complicated than an average person would like.



With web-based platforms, it’s expected that all your designs will be saved using cloud service. And, both Canva and Stencil offer such great feature to their users.

Since both Canva and Stencil use cloud services to store the designs that their users create every single day. It all boils down to how much you can store on it.

On both platforms’ free versions, it’s expected that you have limitations with storage. After all, you’re not paying a single cent to rent out storage space. 

But, if you opt to have more storage, then it’s better to avail of their paid versions. 

Regardless of what plan you choose, the most important thing is that you don’t need to download your designs to your device every single time just to share them on your social media. 

Though, such a feature’s still available if there’s a need for their users to do so.


Customer Support Options

Now, if something goes wrong any time while you’re using Stencil and Canva, how can you contact their support team?

Though it’s rare, both platforms experience glitches that common users can’t troubleshoot by themselves. No matter what hacks or tricks they use, still they can’t overcome the issue.

But, not to worry, as Canva and Stencil have heard your pleas in this matter. And, again, they’ve got different ways of addressing this.

With Canva, they don’t have live chat support to address any technical issues with their customers immediately. 

But, to compensate, they’ve opened both phone and email support so their users can easily ask for their help. 

Recently, though, Canva removed the phone support feature and focused more on emails. 

Not to worry as using email for raising your concerns allows you to send screenshots for a more detailed report.

On the other hand, Stencil offers live support. With that, you can simply click on a chat button on the platform itself and talk with a customer representative on the dot. 

Besides the live support, there are no other means you can reach out to Stencil’s support team.


Third-Party Integrations

Now, on to the clincher part. 

As it’s important nowadays to seamlessly use an app across other websites, both Stencil and Canva must partner with third-party apps.

That said, let’s start with Stencil. Aside from its partnership with Pexels and Pixabay for their photo gallery, you can also use it with WordPress. 

You might be confused about how can you use a graphic design tool in a publishing app like WordPress. 

What you don’t know is that you can install it as a plug-in, and from there on, insert photos to whatever part of the text you’d like to place it in.

Plus, as mentioned earlier, Stencil allows its users to directly post their designs on social media from the tool itself. 

But, Canva isn’t lagging far behind Stencil in terms of third-party integration. 

Though you can’t use Canva directly on WordPress, the tool still allows you to publish your designs directly on social media.

What more, it allows various members of the design team to share their designs (and even comment on them) through HubSpot. 

With that, team members can view the same design in real-time.


Stencil vs. Canva: The Pros and Cons

Now that we’ve known all about Canva and Stencil’s list of features, let’s take a look at their strengths, as well as weaknesses.

After all, it’s better to be informed of one tool’s capacities rather than regret later on for paying without fully knowing of its capacity.





  • User-friendly design
  • Comes with varied choices of templates, elements, videos, animations, and photos 
  • Allows users to customize their designs even when creating them from a template
  • Users can create infographics and graphs easily with the graph editor
  • Comes with a photo editor tool
  • Offers photo printing service from the website itself
  • Cloud-based storage
  • Free use of the tool (Canva Free)



  • Slower performance; tends to get stuck during image downloading
  • Can be quite complex for the newbie or average graphic designer
  • Doesn’t offer extensions for browsers
  • Not integrated into WordPress
  • Doesn’t allow customization of the design’s size
  • Doesn’t have phone or live chat support options
  • More expensive plans





  • Tool’s layout is easy to navigate through
  • Comes with a wide array of photos for users to choose from in creating their designs
  • Allows customization and resizing of the images even when using a template
  • Offers stock videos and animations
  • Offers cloud-based storage
  • Designs are easily shareable on social media
  • Easily integrated into major web browsers through extensions
  • Can be installed in WordPress as a plug-in
  • Cheaper plans available



  • Doesn’t have stock videos and animations
  • You can’t create graphs and infographics as it doesn’t come with a graph editor
  • Doesn’t offer direct printing services from the website
  • The only option to reach the support team is through live chat
  • Limited access to the tool’s features if you’re using the free plan


And The Winner Is…

Both Canva and Stencil offer their users great features that make graphic designing so much simpler. 

Even though they’re similar in most aspects, it’s undeniable that each of them comes with certain advantages and disadvantages as well. 

We personally prefer Canva and are loving it so far. It’s very easy to use and it makes our blogging job that much easier. Also, if you are working with Video, Stencil is not really an option, as they don’t offer stock video footage.

However, it needs to be said that the video editing functions of Canva are also very limited. It’s pretty good for very simple videos but if you are serious about video creation, you should definitely look elsewhere.

Good choices for video editing are Adobe Premiere Pro and Davinci Resolve.