I have been using the free design tool Canva for over a year now. If you haven’t heard of Canva, it is an online service that makes it easy for anyone to design graphics, fliers, presentations, you name it. Gone are the times when you had to hire a graphic designer to design the same things in Adobe Illustrator.
While Canva could fulfill almost all of my graphic design needs, I am always curious as to what else is out there. Recently, I discovered another free design tool called “Visme.”
What is Visme?
Visme is a free design tool that lets non-designers create just about any type of visual graphic for digital and print use. Read on to hear our thoughts on this lesser-known Canva alternative.
Differences between Canva and Visme
Both Canva and Visme have free memberships, however, you can take advantage of more features with paid memberships.
Canva for Work
The “Canva for Work” account costs $12.95/month. You still have to pay to license certain photos, graphics, additional elements. This can be anywhere from $1, $10, or $100 USD, depending on what you intend to use the image for.
Some of the features included are: more storage space, access to more photos and graphics, ability to download transparent images, and priority support.
The “Standard” account at Visme will cost you $19/month, however, you’ll get access to everything they have to offer. You don’t have to worry about getting charged for stuff every time you design something on Visme.
Some of the features included are: more storage space, access to all assets and templates, removal of Visme branding, and custom color palettes.
Canva – JPG, PNG, PDF
Visme – JPG, PNG, PDF, and HTML5.
Saving projects in HTML5 allows you to use your presentations offline while maintaining animations and interactive features. The HTML5 feature in Visme requires a “Complete” membership plan which comes at a price of $30/month.
One major advantage that Canva has over Visme is a mobile app. Visme currently has no mobile app and is only available in a web browser. We reached out to Visme via Twitter to ask them if a mobile app was in the works.
The fact that they are working on it is promising. We are excited to see how this robust free design tool will translate to a mobile app.
Canva, on the other hand, does have a mobile app available on iOS and Android. While not as fully-featured or intuitive as the browser version (as is expected of a mobile app), it is very useful for designing things on-the-fly.
Visme offers analytics so you can see the number of visitors and the duration of visits to your content. This helps businesses to keep track of what content their audiences interact with the most.
How good is Visme print quality?
You’re probably wondering if graphics designed in Visme are good enough for printing. A lot of businesses still complement their online marketing efforts with print advertising and need a graphic design tool that can handle both. We tested out the print quality of Visme’s graphics for our holiday rate sheets – check out what we found:
We designed the following graphic in Visme:
Then we printed it out on a home printer:
The results were very impressive. We even printed some out on brochure paper which is a little glossier and thicker, and they look and feel legit. If you have the resources to do this, you could skip a trip to the local printing shop and do it yourself.
Visme’s stand-out features
Infographics & Charts
Visme’s infographics feature is what puts it far ahead of Canva in terms of ease of use and time-saving.
Input data from Google Spreadsheets
One thing I noticed right away was how intuitive Visme’s infographic feature was. You can input the data for your graphic into Visme’s spreadsheet in a pop-up window, or import data from a Google spreadsheet. Hit the “Replace” button to fill in the chart with your data, and you’re done.
Another thing I noticed is how customizable your charts can be in Visme. You can label your X and Y axis, include a legend, and also label the actual chart itself. These are all elements can can be customized further with color, font, and font size.
By comparison, the extent of Canva’s chart feature seems lacking.
Head-to-head: Visme vs. Canva
Below are social media posts created in Visme and Canva. I tried to make them as identical as possible using the features of each design tool and not paying for additional elements. Do you notice any differences when reading the data in the chart?
Canva’s chart customizations are limited
The Canva version doesn’t have X and Y axis labels, a legend for decoding which color represents women and which represents men, and the chart doesn’t have a title. It is not clear to viewers that the data is taken from the top 250 grossing films from each year.
While the Canva version is beautiful, Canva’s shortcomings in regards to charts makes the data harder to understand. In addition, Canva offered a limited amount of styles for bar charts, and this was the closest one available.
Another difference is the lack of a background image in the Canva graphic. Because Visme gives you access to all of their content, I was able to effortlessly search for and drop in the background image. Canva, on the other hand, would have charged $1 for the image that I wanted to use.
Different people have different needs when it comes to free design tools. Is the background image necessary in the Visme graphic? No. Does the lack of X and Y axis labels make the Canva chart completely useless? No! Those things could be manually added, although it would take more time to create.
Visme is a very worthy contender for a Canva alternative if the price and lack of a mobile app doesn’t bother you. The fact that you won’t be paying for additional content might make up for the price if you use it enough.
What are your needs?
If you are in a field that relies heavily on presenting data and putting together presentations featuring data, Visme is hands down the winner.
If your primary audience doesn’t need to see data visualized in complex ways, Canva will suit your needs just fine.
One thing to remember is that these tools are useless if you don’t apply them with even the most basic design skills. Which free design tool would suit your business needs better? Let us know in the comments!