Canva & co.: the five most popular online design and publishing tools

What are online design and publishing tools?

Online design and publishing tools are generally applications that can be used directly on the vendor’s website or as software on your own device.

Their main purpose is to allow both experienced graphic designers and amateurs to create professional designs. Users of these tools have full control over layout size, spacing, width and height as well as the overall design.

The tools are usually very user-friendly and intuitive, so anyone can use them to create the right graphics, brochures or documents for their own business after just a short period of familiarisation.


Which is the best tool for me?

There are numerous online design and publishing tools to choose from. Companies have to understand their own needs first if they’re to make the right selection. The more professional and elaborate the design should be, the greater the quality required of the tool and the more features it should offer.

If you’re a small business or freelancer looking for a tool for your own designs, generally it makes more sense to go for a user-friendly and easy-to-use option with fewer features.


The five most popular online design and publishing tools

To make your choice easier, we’ve summarised below the five most popular online design and publishing tools.

1. Canva

Canva is one of the most popular online design tools, especially for beginners or anyone who wants to create designs quickly and without fuss. It is a browser-based software. Although there is an app, the full features can only be accessed via the desktop version.

Users of Canva can choose from a large selection of templates and the user interface is easy to use. While there is a free version, all features and templates are only available in the Canva Pro version on payment of a subscription.


2. Adobe Creative Cloud Express

Users of Adobe Creative Cloud Express can produce professional designs in a flash. If you’re already familiar with other Adobe applications, then you’ll find this tool especially easy to use.

The free basic version comes with numerous templates, different elements and stock photos. If you’d also like access to over 175 million royalty-free photos, however, you’ll have to pay for the premium version.

3. Pixlr

If you’re looking for an especially quick and simple photo-editing tool, then it’s worth taking a closer look at Pixlr. Its many features can be used to adjust and retouch images, remove backgrounds, add filters or elements and more.

You can choose between two different versions: Pixlr X is recommended for beginners and Pixlr E for advanced users. The main difference is in terms of the features and the option to create simple or complex graphics.

4. Infogram

Infogram is an online design tool that can be used to create reports, diagrams, infographics and more. All of the many different templates can be adapted to suit your specific company or brand.

The tool is especially useful when working in teams. With Infogram, all team members can access projects together as well as retrieve and, if necessary, restore older versions.

5. Vectornator

Vectornator is very similar to Canva in terms of functionality. However, it is completely free software, without any hidden charges. All versions, whether desktop or app, can be used at no cost.

Despite this, Vectornator is still one of the most professional tools on the market. Users can access numerous templates to produce suitable designs for a website or social media. There’s also an interface with Unsplash, providing access to a huge selection of free images.


Conclusion: the right tool for you depends on your expectations

None of the online design and publishing tools shown here are the best fit for everyone. Rather, it depends which features are especially important to your company and whether you’re already familiar with using them. Canva, for example, is a good free tool for beginners and inexperienced users who are looking to get started. The subscription version of the Adobe tool, meanwhile, offers more features and a greater selection of design possibilities.


About the author

BASIC thinking is an online magazine and one of the widest-reaching tech portals in German-speaking countries. The editorial team posts daily on social media, marketing and business topics. This article was written by Christina Widner of BASIC thinking GmbH and BASIC thinking International.

The world is becoming ever more digitalised. Many companies are therefore reinforcing their online presence and increasingly producing graphics, documents or online brochures. In this article, we present the five most popular online design and publishing tools that can be used to create professional designs.


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