Stencil vs Canva Review 2023: Which one is right for you?

Stencil and Canva are two of the most popular online graphic design tools. But those tools have many different features.

In this Stencil vs Canva review, you find out which one is right for you based on features, strengths, and weaknesses compared with each other and pricing.

Stencil vs Canva

Stencil Review


Stencil is a simple yet very useful graphic designing tool that NameCheap, a popular domain name provider, acquired. Check out the Stencil review for a more in-depth analysis.

Add backgrounds to Stencil graphic

Key features

  • 5,000,000+ royalty-free photos – Stencil has integrated many services that provide royalty-free images, so you do not need to export them to Stencil. Search a keyword, and the higher the chance you will find pictures for your work. All of these photos are of high quality and let you crop, scale, etc.,
  • 3,100,000+ royalty-free icons – One of the most extensive icons library I have seen on an online graphic editor.
  • 1,350+ templates – Find ready-made and editable templates based on platform (ex: Facebook, Pinterest) and purpose (ex: promotion, picture quotes)
  • Automatic watermarking – Upload your logos and enable them from “Logos/Watermark” to emphasize your brand identity and discourage content theft.
  • Import images – Import images from your Facebook and Instagram accounts or cloud file storage services such as Google Drive, Microsoft’s One Drive, or DropBox, or from your camera or from pasting the image link/URL.
  • Image sizes and custom dimensions – Stencil includes almost all resolutions for graphics for social media, banner advertising, and offline work, so you do not need to research which sizes images should be for each platform/work. Also, you can create custom dimensions and save them as a new image size template so you can use them later. Stencil provides pixels (px), inches (In), and centimeters (cm) as measures for height and width.
  • 5,000+ Google fonts – Make your graphic even more stunning by using Google fonts. Go to Import Google fonts in your Stencil account, click “Add to my fonts,” and then use it in your editor.
  • Make Facebook-ads-friendly images – Use the “Grid” feature to check whether your graphic adheres to Facebook’s text limit for ads.
  • Preview – See what your posts will look like on social share platforms.
  • Download options – Make your final image (the download version) two times (x2) larger for retina displays and specify whether media type (Digital or Print (300dpi)) and compress before downloading.
  • Browser extensions – Stencil provides browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. One of the most efficient graphic editing browser add-ons with many use-cases
  • WordPress plugin – Design new graphics or edit existing ones using images in your WordPress media library with the WordPress plugin.
  • Graphic options – Use one of fifteen filter styles, and add blur and transparency color overlay to the graphic.
  • Text options – Set text alignment, text & background colors, and outline color, font size and make text bold, italic, and underlined.
  • Change history – Find which changes were made at specific periods and revert back and forth between versions.
  • Two image extensions – Stencil supports both JPG and PNG image formats

Easily use the right dimensions for your graphics and create custom image sizes.

Stencil create custom size

Furthermore, you can upload images and SVGs and use them in your projects.

Stencil icons

Use “filters,” add overlays, and set horizontal and vertical alignment, lighten or darken images.

Edit Stencil design

Save a design as a template or add it to favorites to reuse later.

Share your designs on social media instantly.

Direct post social media Stencil design

Canva Review


Canva is one of the most popular graphic design tools out there, with tons of features and stunning templates.

Canva video editor
Go beyond image editing. Unlike Stencil, Canva lets you make animated images (GIFs) and videos.

Key features

  • Thousands of templates in dozens of categories – From social media graphics to business cards and print products, Canva provides tons of beautiful templates. And the list is ever-growing every day!
  • Extensive library – Find millions of free images, icons, and graphics and design whatever you want.
  • Fonts – Upload your fonts or use one of 3,000+ free and premium fonts
  • Use anywhere – One of the most outstanding features that should be mentioned in the Stencil vs Canva review is that Canva provides Desktop software and mobile apps apart from a cloud editor. One account and use it on any device.
  • Projects – Organize your work with “Projects” so that you can easily track each campaign. Tip: Make use of folders to organize campaigns.
  • Apps – Upgrade your workflow and quality of work with third-party applications. Most of the available apps are related to graphic editing and enhancement features.
  • Real-time collaboration – With the team member functionality, you can collaborate with your team members in real time.
  • Brand kit – Store your logos, brand colors, and fonts to make your graphics resonate with the brand.
  • Background remover – Delete the background from an image from one-click
  • Photo effects – Add effects to an image with a click of buttons or customize them
  • Graphics and charts – Present data in graphical form with stunning charts and graphics.
  • Content planner – Events calendar to schedule your events and find exclusive events happening globally.
  • Media library – Find all your images, videos, and audio and use them on all your designs easily.
  • Presentation mode – Showcase your work with your team in meetings in a clear way with the presentation mode.

Design the right image with accurate dimensions without guesswork. Canva allows the creation of custom designs based on pixels, inches, millimeters, and centimeters.

Canva home

Canva editor includes many features and editing tools.

Canva editor

Some of the key features of the Canva editor are:

  • Font combinations
  • Elements (lines, shapes, stickers, etc.)
  • Text effects (Shadow, Glitch, Neon, etc.)
  • Animations
  • Color palettes, font sets, and combinations (change the entire design click of a button with different colors and fonts)
  • Notes (add a description of the design)
  • Presentation mode

Use the Canva Apps feature to ease your workflow. Ex: Add a QR code to your graphic without a QR code creator.

Canva apps
Canva Apps

Stencil vs Canva: Pricing

Stencil has got a free plan and two paid subscription plans.

Stencil Pricing
  • Free – $0 – Save up to 10 images/month, upload up to 50 images, keep up to favorites and create up to 10 collections
  • Pro – $9/month – Save up to 50 images/month, access to all royalty-free images, icons & graphics, templates, Google fonts, and font uploads, logo/watermarks, etc.,
  • Unlimited – $12/month – All pro features and unlimited saves, uploads, collections, favorites, and 100 Instagram SMS/month

Canva offers a generous free plan with 250,000+ free templates, team members, a real-time collaboration tool, and 5GB storage. Its paid plans give you many more features, including 100+ million premium stock photos, videos, audio, graphics, 610,000+ templates, background remover, and access to Canva social media composer.

Canva pricing
  • Free – $0 – 250,000+ templates, thousands of free photos, icons, and graphics, team members, a collaboration tool, 5GB storage
  • Pro – $6.49/month – 100+ million stock photos, audios, icons, graphics, and videos, Save designs as templates, up to 100 brand kits, magic resize tool, 100 GB cloud storage, schedule social media posts up to 8 platforms.
  • Enterprise – $30/month – Everything in the Pro plus team access permissions, Single-sign Opt-in (SSO), unlimited storage

When comparing prices between Stencil and Canva, Stencil’s paid plans are more expensive than Canva. Stencil Pro costs $9 monthly but only $6.49/mo for Canva Pro with 5 team members. Canva also offers exclusive tools such as background remover, which Stencil does not.

Stencil vs Canva: Differences

Here are the differences between these online graphic designing tools.

  • Canva’s editor includes more options – Stencil’s editor has a few graphic filters and text appearance settings. But, Canva offers much more such as text effects (ex: outline, neon, and glitch effects), and with color and text combinations, you can make many variations of the same image.
  • Canva offers most features relatively – When comparing Canva versus Stencil, Canva definitely ahead in features. From brand kits, folders to organize uploads, etc., to graphic editor options such as element locking, background remover, and real-time collaboration, Canva offers much more features.
  • Stencil provides a ‘Grid’ tool to check your image adheres with Facebook ads – Easily create Facebook-ads-friendly images.
  • Canva lets you create more design types – Although Stencil lets you create custom sizes and make the necessary graphic you want, Canva makes it so easier with its extensive high-quality templates library. For example, you can create a newsletter in Canva by selecting a pre-existing template.
  • Multiple export options are available in Canva – Export your design in seven different ways: JPG, PNG, PDF standard (best for documents and emailing), PDF Print, SVG, MP4 video, and GIF. Stencil has got only two options: PNG and JPEG. So, with Canva, you can create animated graphics, videos, and printable documents.
  • Scheduling posts for social media platforms are available in Canva – Stencil lets you share graphics, but, Canva lets you schedule up to 8 platforms. Plus, only Canva provides a social media calendar.
  • Only Stencil provides browser addons – Canva does not have browser extensions.
  • Stencil has a WordPress plugin – Although Canva has a WordPress plugin, it has not been updated for more than six years. It tells you Canva abandoned WordPress plugin maintenance. On the other hand, Stencil’s WordPress plugin is updated regularly, and it’s one of the easiest-to-use graphic editing WordPress plugins.
  • Canva provides mobile apps – Sync your designs and work on any device.
Browser ExtensionsExtensive libraries of templates, graphics, icons, videos, and audio
Add Logo/watermark to designsBackground remover
WordPress pluginBrand kits
Text and color combinations
Mobile apps
Real-time collaboration and team member functionalities

Final thoughts on Canva vs Stencil review

From a macro perspective, Canva wins over Stencil in terms of features, extensive content it offers for users, and value for money.

However, most of my high CTR (Click-through rate) thumbnails of Youtube videos are made on Stencil. One of the awesome things I want to mention in the Stencil vs Canva review is that Stencil’s account interface is the editor and dashboard. No going back and forth between multiple pages like in Canva to import/upload fonts, create your designs, etc.,

Stencil app dashboard

If you are looking for quality graphic designing tools for your professional work that supports team members, go with Canva.

But a simple design tool for small work is what you were looking for; Stencil is one of the most user-friendly graphic design apps compared with others, such as PromoRepublic, Pixteller, Vista Create, and RelayThat.

So, which is your favorite online graphic tool? Stencil or Canva?


Leave a Comment