Should you hire a Graphic Designer or DIY on Canva?

by | Nov 1, 2022 | Graphic Design

In the technological world of today, where so much of our communication exists in a digital format, it’s never been more important to harness the power of visual design to capture your audience’s attention.

You may be feeling overwhelmed with the sheer number of graphics you need to create! Like many people, you’re likely at a crossroads about how to approach the task at hand. Do you hire a graphic designer, or do you DIY it with Canva? Firstly, let’s break it down into the differences.


Canva is a graphic design web-based app which gives non-designers the opportunity to create graphic pieces themselves, without the required skills of a professional Graphic Designer. A Canva user can use drag and drop design templates, and insert fonts, shapes, icons and colours to suit their individual requirements.

Graphic Designer

Professional Graphic Designers work directly with their clients to produce customised, bespoke graphic design materials using the Adobe Creative Suite. These creative programs require years of practice, coupled with a natural creative talent which is developed over the course of their career.

When you’re about to embark on a creative project, it may not always be clear which is the best course of action to take. Here are some important points to consider before you hire a graphic designer:

Benefits of Canva

  • The app has a large variety of ready-made templates that a user can customise for their intended purpose
The membership cost is affordable, at approximately $18.00 per month per user
  • Users have access to a large variety of icons and images
There is a central portal that allows multiple staff members to access the same account
There is central cloud storage, and you can easily access your account from any computer

Limitations of Canva

You may see that your design isn’t unique because the same template or generic design has been overused by many people
You can only use the elements that are available in Canva, and only customise the existing elements within the parameters
Unlike Adobe Creative Suite, there is no source file so that means you can’t edit, share or export your design without your Canva account.
  • You can’t access your design as a raw file to make advanced edits
There is no local file storage so if the Canva website is down, you will need to wait to access your designs or make changes
  • There are limits to your designing possibilities because the technology is not as advanced as professional software
The photo editing features are only suitable for basic edits

Benefits of a Graphic Designer

A professional graphic designer creates a bespoke, one-of-a-kind design that is unique to your brand
They produce considered design choices to suit the market, based on their expertise and understanding of your brand (it’s not just about making things look “pretty”  – it’s about incorporating knowledge of design trends, elements, colours, structures and even psychology to make your brand stand out)
You have access to the graphic designer’s advice, so you’ll have the assurance that your graphics are on-brand, communicate your core message effectively, and most importantly, resonate with your intended audience
There is no time requirement on your part to learn a new program, saving you potentially hundreds of hours in trial and error, so you can focus your time on running your business
  • You have the complete flexibility to work with a professional and create anything you require – whether it’s a simple pull-up banner or a detailed 30-page booklet – the sky is the limit. Your professional graphic designer has all the tools, resources and skills to make your dreams a reality.

Constraints of a Graphic Designer

Finding the right graphic designer can be difficult – you need to consider their portfolio, client reviews and communication style to determine the best fit for your business
  • Cost of investment; because creative, compelling and converting design is worth its weight in gold! Remember, you get what you pay for, and investing in graphic design can be the difference between launching a brand to crickets, and magnetising your ideal audience to know, trust and connect with your brand.

Now that you understand the pros and cons of your options, let’s understand their suitability to your graphic design needs:

When to use Canva

When you have minimal budget and turnaround time
When you need a standalone graphic piece that isn’t required to fit within a brand style
When you want to enhance dull content pieces such as reports
  • When you want to access pre-existing icons, graphics or images to fulfil basic graphic designing needs

When to use a Graphic Designer

When you require a logo design
When you require an overall brand style guide
When you require the design to be consistent with your brand style
When the creative piece must engage with the intended audience and produce effective marketing/communication results
When you require unique designs with high-technicality and variable options
When you need to create heavy-duty graphics on a large project requiring sophisticated technology

There is no doubt that Canva is a great DIY-design tool that provides a cost-effective option for businesses.

However, it is not a replacement for a professional graphic designer.

When you need someone who understands your brand identity and individuality in order to deliver unique, innovative and strategic design solutions to make you stand out in the marketplace, you should hire a graphic designer.

After all, the visuals and graphics are the face of your brand, and it’s a first impression that’s worth investing in.

We hope this guide will help you make the right decision for your next creative project. If you’re weighing up your options and need further advice, feel free to get in touch with us for an evaluation of your needs and our recommendation for your next steps!

By Christie Davis

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