Stencil App Review: Best Free Social Media Graphic Designer for Marketers?

In this Stencil review, you will learn whether Stencil is a good investment for your business while dozens of Stencil alternatives such as Canva and Vista Create are out there.

We all know that visual content is the best way to express anyone a message despite age, gender, and language barriers.

In online marketing, we used to encounter tons of visual content such as images, infographics, slide shares, videos and Gifs every day.

So, if you’re a blogger, social media marketer, or even an online advertiser who uses different social channels like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Pinterest to grow the business, you should be aware of which tools you can use to create visual content.

To be honest with you, I am not a Photoshop expert. And I even don’t like to spend hours making a simple graphic for my blog post, Facebook post, or Tweet. It costs me time.

That’s why I use online photo editing tools to make the photo designing process easier and more flexible for me.

By using an online photo editor, I can produce visual content that is equal to or slightly similar to the one that has already been pictured in my mind.

One of the tools that I am currently using is Stencil

Before using Stencil, I used a few image designing tools such as Vista Create, Canva, Pixlr, and SnapSeed (a mobile app for photo editing by Google for Android and iOS mobile operating systems) to create graphics for my blog posts and social media.

But, Stencil is an entirely new and all-in-one online photo designing tool for me.

What is Stencil?

Stencil logo transparent

Stencil is the rebranded name for Share As Image. You might have heard that name before. It was a very popular brand among social media marketers and bloggers. Recently, NameCheap, a popular domain name registrar service acquired Stencil.

Now, the Stencil app is available to use for free under the Visual Suite of NameCheap.

Stencil App or Stencil is another cloud-based online graphic designing tool just like Canva.

But, Stencil has a few unique features that you may have wished to have if you have previously used the Canva editor.

Unlike Canva, Stencil’s pricing model is very straightforward. In GetStencial’s Unlimited plan, you can make an unlimited number of images using tons of ready-to-use icons, graphics, and pictures. However, in Canva, you have the very least amount of icons and graphics, which are free to use.

How to use Stencil App


Using the Stencil App is straightforward. Once you created your account, you can start designing graphics for any social media project even though you don’t have any graphic designing skills.

Here is the dashboard of the Stencil app.

Stencil app dashboard
Stencil Dashboard

As you can see, it’s a simple interface. On the left-hand side, you can move around different tools. On the right-hand side, you can edit the graphic.

The very first thing you should do is choose the appropriate dimensions for your graphic.

For example, the dimensions we use for a Facebook post image aren’t similar to a Twitter post’s image sizes. The same goes for other social media networks as well.

Luckily for you and me, Stencil has lined each dimension for every social network nicely.

Stencil social post dimensions

Are you looking to create an astonishing cover for your Facebook wall? No problem. Here’re all dimensions of each social network.

Stencil headers dimensions

Are you a next-level marketer? Looking for an excellent tool to create high CTR creatives for media buying campaigns? Not to worry, just click on the Ads tab under dimensions. You can see a variety of types of ad sizes you can choose from.

Stencil ads dimensions

If you are like me, find something that needs to be done manually from hundreds of options available, then click on the “Custom” tab and enter a name, values for width, and height. Click the “Add” button, and you’re ready to go!

Stencil create custom size

One useful benefit of Stencil over Canva is that you can change the dimensions of your graphic anytime. That’s a plus point as you don’t have to start all over again!

If you’re in a situation where you can’t decide what to make, then my suggestion is to check out the “Templates” gallery and use one of the 1,350+ premade ready-to-customize designs.

Featured templates in Stencil

There are templates for different purposes, such as ebooks, quick quote pictures, and Zoom virtual backgrounds.

Also, you can save and categorize your own graphic based on social networks and purposes (ex: blog post promotions, advertising campaigns, etc.) using the “Collections” feature on Stencil.

Stencil templates and collections

For example, if you’re running a Facebook promotion, you may use this image as a Facebook post and insert a CTA link in the description. You may also use Facebook advertising (post boosting) to reach more audiences.

Template inserted Stencil

If you’re not sure your creative isn’t eligible for Facebook advertising, use Stencil’s Facebook Ad Grid tool to ensure your graphic qualifies for Facebook advertising.

Stencil template inserted workspace

With the Stencil app, you no more want to research the Internet to find a perfect royalty-free image for your graphic. You can search and insert desired pictures that you think perfectly suit your graphic. This feature alone will save a lot of your time which you can spend on other productive activities.

Add backgrounds to Stencil graphic

Also, you can do basic photo editing on Stencil such as blurring, transparentizing, darkening, and filtering.

Edit Stencil design

I have seen some marketers hire freelancers for simple tasks such as blurring, which you can do efficiently using a graphic design tool.

Can you add an icon to your design in Stencil?

Why not!? I will also make more graphics using weird arrows, symbols, and fonts.

Add icons to Stencil designs

If you want to mention your brand on your graphic, then you first need to upload your watermark/logo to Stencil and insert the logo from there. As I have previously uploaded logos of my websites, I just need to turn on the appearance of the logo.

Add Logo/Watermark to Stencil design

Before making graphic variations, make sure you save your design. It will keep your time by far.

Save Stencil design

Once you create your graphic, you can download it as a JPG image or PNG image. But, I prefer to download most of the images in PNG format.

Download Stencil graphic

Also, when downloading images in PNG file format, you can reduce image size by compressing via Stencil or using an online tool like ShortPixel. Learn more in this review on ShortPixel.

As you can see, It’s straightforward to use the Stencil app for creating graphics for any social network. But that is not all about Stencil. There are a lot more!

Stencil Features & Benefits for Social Media Marketers, Bloggers, and Online Marketers


Save Images

Save your time & money by storing photos in the cloud. View from anywhere. Edit anytime!

Stencil saved images

Preview & Share to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and online

Stencil’s social sharing feature allows especially marketers to create campaigns efficiently.

Direct post social media Stencil design

3,100,000+ Royalty-free icons

Stencil has millions of icons that you can use for ANY project.

What’s more? Now you can download icons up to 2000×2000 pixels in seconds. Very useful if you are a web developer. They are free for personal and commercial uses as well.

Stencil icons

Collections

Stencil Collections are like “folders.” You can organize your designs or works according to each project or category. 

Photo collections Stencil

Post to Instagram (Send Via SMS)

Create Instagram posts from your PC. Publish them through your smartphone easily.

Stencil post to Instagram

Add to Buffer

Do you use Buffer to manage your social media accounts? Add your graphic to Buffer and share it with multiple social networks.

Stencil add to Buffer

Import images from Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, and more!

Want to capture a picture from your camera and edit it on Stencil? or want to import a graphic from a website? No problem!

import-images-stencil

Compress images

Now you can compress images within Stencil Dashboard, so you would not need to use alternative tools such as ShortPixel or TinyPNG for image compression.

compress-images-stencil

Import Google Fonts

Looking for adding text in your local language? Is it on Google fonts? Just import to your Stencil account and do your work!

Import Google fonts to Stencil

Browser Extras

Without logging into your Stencil account, make a graphic quickly with browser extensions.

Stencil web browser extensions

Stencil Pricing

When It comes to pricing, Stencil provides three plans for all types of users.

Stencil Pricing

Why Should You Use Stencil?

As a blogger, I know how much important visual content is for engagements and conversions. In social media marketing, we can’t even talk about it without visual content.

I have used various online and offline tools to make graphics for my social media campaigns and blog posts. But, in the end, I stopped at Stencil App.

Here’s why you should subscribe to Stencil Today.

  • Save Time: I don’t want to wait hours or days to make a simple thing done. If I can do it myself within a few minutes without hiring a designer, I will opt for it despite the prices. If you weigh time over money, then you should actually use Stencil App today.
  • Grow Instagram following: If you’re an Instagram marketer or have an Instagram account where you want to post pictures consistently, you can use the Instagram SMS feature to send ready-to-publish images to your mobile or your Instagram page moderator at no cost to you. Think about the fees you may have to pay for each SMS if you live outside the US.
  • Share directly to social networks: Once you connect your Facebook account, Facebook pages, and other social accounts to your Stencil account, you are just a few clicks away to share them with your followers.
  • Share your designs with others: No more need to have hosting accounts or save on imgur.com to send images to your friends privately. The stencil will generate a link you want to share with whoever needs to see your design.
  • Save money: No hidden fees. No fees for each element. Only monthly fee.

User Reviews on Stencil

Here are a few Stencil reviews by its customers.

stencil-user-review-1

Overall: Stencil was made for Personal Branding Enthusiasts like me, it’s one of the best software that I used in my Professional Experience when it comes to Good and Great Looking Graphic Design and Illustration.

stencil-user-review-2

Cons: Only one – they have a really great Chrome extension that is fast and easy to use, but occasionally I will try to download the image from the extension and it only downloads a pure black or white image. I know they are working on this, and I haven’t had this problem in a while, but it’s the only reason why I didn’t give them a perfect 10.

Check out more Stencil reviews by users on Capterra.com.

Stencil Alternatives

Stencil is a good graphic designing app. But, it might not be for everyone. If you are looking for alternatives to Stencil, here are some of them.

Vista Create

crello-image-editor

Vista Create (formerly Crello) is a robust graphic designing app and might be the Stencil alternative that you are looking for.

Here are some features of Vista Create.

  • Make static and animated graphics
  • Exports animated images as an MP4 video. (Useful for making short Instagram stories etc.,)
  • Background remover tool
  • Add music to your videos.
  • Animated objects
  • Powerful editing options

Stencil vs Vista Create

Here is a short comparison between Stencil and Vista Create designing apps. I recommend giving both Stencil and Vista Create a try to experience differences.

FeatureStencil Vista Create
Free PlanYesYes
Templates YesYes
ResizeYesYes
Animation features NoYes
Upload your own fonts and images YesYes
Background remover NoYes
Auto watermark YesNo
Team members NoYes

Vista Create is a good competitor to Stencil with lots of features, including animation features. One of my favorites is the background remover. 

Pixteller

pixteller

Pixteller is another graphic designing app close to Crello. It provides features to make animations and some powerful animation editing tools such as a timeline.

But, that does not mean it lacks graphic editing features. Learn more about Pixteller in my review article.

Stencil vs Pixteller

FeaturesStencil Pixteller
Free PlanYes No
TemplatesYes Yes
Resize Yes Yes
Animation features No Yes
Upload your own fonts and images Yes Yes
Background remover No No
Auto watermark Yes No
Team members No Yes

Canva

Canva is another graphic designing app with many features. Some are similar to Stencil’s, while many are unique to Canva.

Some of the key features of Canva are:

  • Dozens of design types
  • Templates
  • Customization options
  • Team collaboration
  • Text Animations
  • Photo gallery
  • Icons
  • Charts
  • Photo effects
  • Design grids, photo frames, stickers, enhancement tools, and many features
  • Use on Windows, macOS, and Android & iOS devices with enhanced native applications
  • Apps to enhance your Canva experience

Stencil vs Canva

FeatureStencil Canva
Free Plan Yes No
Templates Yes Yes
Resize Yes Yes
Animation features No Yes
Upload your own fonts and imagesYes Yes
Background remover No No
Auto watermark Yes No
Team members No Yes

What is the best Stencil Alternative?

As I’ve mentioned earlier in this Stencil review, the Stencil app is unique itself. While there are dozens of tools like Stencil with many fancy features and tools, what makes the Stencil stands out is its simplicity and ease of use.

The stencil team has focused on what makes the tool unique, and that worked out pretty well. I have been using Stencil for over four years now. Although I own tools like Crello, and Pixteller (paid accounts), I mostly used Stencil!

The sole reason is Stencil does what it promises well. If you are looking for a power graphic editor with animation features, I recommend Canva or Vista Create. They have premium photos for free to use and a background image remover that saves lots of time and money.

Final Words on Stencil Review

I use Stencil Unlimited plan, which is fair enough for me to supplement my graphic design needs for blogging, social media, YouTube video thumbnails, and internet marketing campaigns.

I would also recommend you check out Stencil App now and subscribe to one of their paid plans. Remember, they offer a 7-day money-back guarantee.

Stencil is one of the best alternatives to Canva, the popular online graphic maker tool. I have used many tools to create visual graphics for my blog posts and social media promotions. Stencil is my favorite because of the simplicity of using the platform and flexibility to create graphics.

So, have you not used Stencil before? Give it a try today and share your experiences below in the comments.

Stencil From $9/Month
  • Graphic creator
    (4.5)
  • Templates
    (3.75)
  • Ease of use
    (4.5)
  • Icons
    (5)
  • Other features
    (4)
4.4

Summary

Its simple interface and vast image and icons library will make Stencil one of your daily favorite tools. Stencil’s Quotes library and browser extensions are also notable, underrated tools/features. If you blog on WordPress, do not forget to use Stencil to make your graphic designing process easier and smooth!

Pros

  • Social media sharing
  • Favorites and own collections
  • Custom dimensions
  • Custom fonts
  • WordPress plugin

Cons

  • Lack of text formatting options
  • Lack of color gradient support
Stencil review featured image

7 thoughts on “Stencil App Review: Best Free Social Media Graphic Designer for Marketers?”

  1. This pretty lit Chamal! I’ve been using Canva but I think I’ll have to try Stencil too. Too bad it’s free version is very limited compared to Canva. Is that what you use for your blog’s graphics?

    Reply
    • Yes, I am using it for a few month. Most graphics you see in new posts are made using Stencil graphic maker. Compared to Canva, its basic plan lack of features. However, paid plans are cheap. Canva’s prices come on the element basis. However, Stencil’s pricing is flat.

      Reply

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