If you are not a designer, creating high-quality graphics for social media and blog posts can be a challenge. That’s where tools with ready-made templates come helpful.
At first, Crello looked quite similar to Canva. But on closer inspection, you can see that there are a few differences. In this article, we will take a detailed look at the plans, features, and usefulness of Crello.
Top Features to Consider Crello
These are some of the top features that makes designing with Crello quite simple.
- Ready-made templates
- Free, premium, and stock photo library
- Videos and Animations
- Manage designs with your team
- Upload custom fonts
- Icons library
- File uploads
Although the premium version allows setting up teams, one thing I found missing is the brand kit. So there is no way to save your brand assets like color palettes.
How to Get Started with Crello
Signing up with Crello with your email address is a straightforward process. Since they offer a 14-day free trial, you can try the software before paying. However, to start the trial, you have to provide your payment method, either credit card or PayPal.
After logging in, you will reach the Home page, where you can start with a blank canvas or search for a pre-built template. There are different sizes available for different purposes like Facebook posts, Instagram Stories, YouTube Channel Art, Blog Header, etc.
Here I am going to select the Facebook Post size, which will open up the design canvas.
The Design Interface
On the left side, you can see the menu, which includes the following main items:
- My Files
Templates: Basic Usage
To quickly show you how to use this interface, I will make a graphic for the topic ‘best Woocommerce themes for 2020’. So, the next step is to search for any related templates.
Click on the Templates button on the top left, and then search for the word ‘eCommerce’, which shows the relevant results, including both free and premium. Since I am within the trial period, I have access to the premium templates too. But for now, I am selecting one of the free templates.
Click on a template, which will load it on the canvas on the right.
Next, we have to modify it to suit our needs. For example, I want to change the title. So, click on that element, which will open the settings panel for that on the left. Also, on the top, you can see more options for that layer, like color, opacity, layers, animation, etc.
We can change any of the elements on the template. Suppose I want a different graphic on the right side.
- Delete the unwanted element
- Go to the Objects tab, and search for by keyword/category
- Click on the graphic you want to insert, then drag it to reposition
Let me add one more icon, a computer screen.
Here is the final design:
It’s not that great, but I hope it could give you a basic idea about the minimum that you can achieve with Crello.
Crello has a nice collection of templates. However, sometimes you may not be able to find the right template for a specific keyword. In such a case, what I would do is, pick some suitable template from the whole library based on its layout and color combination. Then change the text and objects to match my need.
Here I select a random template from the library, which has no connection with the topic ‘eCommerce’.
After a few tweaks, here is the final output. In fact, it looks better than the previous design.
Once you finish the editing, click on the ‘Download‘ button on the top right corner, which will open a lightbox. From there, select an appropriate file format to export the design to your computer.
However, I felt a few bugs here and there. For example, the text gets clipped off while changing the dimension of the layer/element. Also, the editor is sluggish while dragging elements inside the canvas.
Apart from these minor problems, I haven’t found any major issues so far.
That’s the basics of using templates & objects to create a design. Next, we can look at the other features.
Like the objects you have seen above, you can also search for photos in Crello. For that, go to the Photos section, where you will find three tabs:
- Premium: Available for premium users.
- Stock: You’ve to buy these photos individually, even if you have a premium subscription.
- Free: These photos are available for all users.
Overall, Crello has a great collection of photos. However, the free photos collection is not that extensive.
For example, I searched for the word ‘server’, I mean the system server you see in a web hosting company. These were the results:
As expected, the quality and relevance were highest with the Stock sets, while Premium was OK. But in the free category, there were no relevant results. Instead, it showed some photos of some food being served.
Next, you can find Videos, under two categories:
- Normal videos
- Background videos – mainly patterns that work as backgrounds for your designs.
Click on one of the videos, and it will download it into the editor. Later, you can export it as an MP4 or GIF file. It’s quite useful to create video ads and posts.
You can also find videos based on categories. Again, as in the case of free photos, relevance is the issue. When I searched for videos in the ‘Nature & Wildlife’ category, I got some pet videos, not real wildlife.
Similarly, under the Travel & Vacations category, I got a few packing videos, instead of traveling or travel destinations.
Under the Animations section, you can find short gif-like animations. These are great to make your designs feel dynamic. Unlike the Videos and Objects collection, the Animations collections look a little more premium. For example, here I replaced the above picture with this animation.
It looks better than the previous two versions.
When using animations inside your canvas, you will see MP4 and GIF formats at the top of the export options. However, you can also save it as normal JPEG or PNG as well, as I did above.
So, in my opinion, the quality of designs along with the ability to save them as still images can partly overcome the shortcomings in the icons and video collections.
Crello supports three types of backgrounds:
When you set a background, it sets as the bottom layer, which is visible through the transparent areas in your design.
Out of these three types, photos are stock offerings that you have to purchase by paying an extra $0.99 per image. However, under the Patterns category, you can get some free offerings too. See the one below:
Most of the time, you might need to adjust the opacity to blend the background with your design.
Lastly, there is also a Color option, which allows setting a solid color as the background.
Text & Fonts
For texts, you can set the usual things, like font family, size, alignment, etc. In addition to these, Crello also offers a few text styles. Masking is one of them that I quite liked. It allows setting a photo or a video as the text color, instead of a solid color.
You can select the mask image from Photos, Videos, or Background sections. However, when I checked, the background pattern doesn’t seem to work. Maybe it’s a bug.
Except a few, most of the fonts are free fonts from the Google Fonts library. If you want to use a premium or custom font, you can do that too. Crello allows uploading custom font files in TTF or OTF formats.
To do that, got the My Fonts tab and click the Upload Fonts button to upload your font files. Here I am going to upload a font file I have downloaded from FontSquirrel:
- My Fonts > Upload Fonts
After that, it will be available for selection when you click on any text element:
Like custom fonts, you can also import your images and videos into Crello.
- Image files should be in PNG, JPEG, or JPG formats – max. files size is 50MB
- Video files should be in MP4 or MOV formats – max files size is 200MB
Go to the My Files section and click on the Upload Image or Video button to upload your files.
The uploaded files will appear below. To organize the files into folders, click on the Manage Files button, which will open a lightbox. There you can create new folders and drag-and-drop files into the folders.
Crello Review: Pricing
Crello offers two plans:
- Free, and
- Pro – pricing starts at $7.99/mo (billed yearly) or $9.99/mo (month-to-month billing)
The good part with the free plan is, you can upload your images and fonts, along with access to 10k+ templates. However, you won’t get access to any of the animations, which is the main drawback I’ve felt with the free plan.
Pros & Cons
- Variety of templates
- Good quality animations and backgrounds
- Pricing is cheaper than others
- Ability to upload custom fonts, even in the free versions
- Object & video collection could be better
- no integration with free stock photo sites like Pixabay, Unsplash, or Pexels
- No brand kit to save custom color palettes.
Conclusion: Can It Replace Canva?
Overall, I had a good experience with Crello. It gave a more pleasant experience than Canva.
- So, will I replace Canva with Crello?
For now, I won’t. The reason is, Canva’s Elements and free photo library is currently more diverse than Crello. But if Crello can come up with more, it can truly rival Canva. Another reason is the lack of a Brand color kit. So, every time you want to set an element’s color, you have to enter the hex code manually. It’s not a big issue, but a color palette could improve the useability way more.
On the other hand, Crello is much cheaper. So, if your design needs are lower, it might suit you better. Another possibility is, use the free versions of multiple tools, and upgrade one of them only if you have more design requirements. That way, you can get the best of all tools, without paying a lot.
What are your thoughts? Have you used Crello? Mention your experience in the comments.