Every day, people post millions of pictures on social media platforms. Needless to say, Gen Z and millennials edit the pictures. They use apps like Canva to make their pictures perfect. A DIY graphic design tool has become a favorite among users. If you are planning to get an app developed, then a graphic app like Canva is your best bet.

Where do you start and how to go about it? We suggest you partner with mobile application development services. They are the experts and will guide you through every phase of the project.

Starting from the necessary features to monetization models, you can ask your team anything.

For people, who like to research a little beforehand, this blog is for you. Know the basics of creating apps similar to Canva.

What is the Canva Photo Editing App & Why is it Successful?

The primary reason for the popularity of Canva is that both professionals and beginners can use it. The app comes with a simple drag-and-drop tool.

When you plan to build a graphic app like Canva, make sure that it is user-friendly. A user can get professional-looking designs for every purpose.

Canva is also a great tool for people who have no inclination for graphics. As the Canva app has a collection of more than 1 million photographs, graphics, and fonts, anyone can create brilliant graphics on the go.

Moreover, it is not necessary to choose from the given templates. The Canva photo editor app allows users to build a custom design for their branding or other campaigns.

The reasons for the popularity of Canva are as follows:

  • Users can create beautiful designs on the move
  • Users can choose from more than 3 million images
  • The app is free to use. The only price to pay is when they choose more than one premium image
  • Canva app for Android has something for everyone
  • Share and publish the creations

Monetization Models for Programs like Canva

The ultimate aim for creating any mobile app is to earn something out of it. This doesn’t change in the case of tools similar to Canva.

Here are some ways to monetize the app!

☛ The Pro Version

For your graphic app like Canva, you can also create a premium version. The premium version will have some additional features that the free one doesn’t.

Just like Canva, you can offer a free trial period of 30 days. Once the users love your premium features, they will be ready to pay for them later.

☛ The Enterprise Version

The enterprise version of the app will be for businesses. They can use the platform to fulfill their professional design needs. For the enterprise version, you can charge a monthly subscription fee. Generally, the cost per user is $30.

☛ App for Printing

Not all design is done for publishing on online platforms. Sometimes brands need items with their logos or tagline for promotions in events, etc. That is where the app will be useful.

The app for printing will allow users to print their designs on things like business cards, t-shirts, flyers, postcards, invitations, etc. The cost will depend on the article, quantity, and country of residence.

☛ Offer Courses

Now, this is one model that not everyone will choose. But it is great if your website like Canva offers online and offline courses. The courses can be related to branding, social media, and design.

Initially, you can keep the online courses free but charge for offline courses. As the popularity of courses increases with time, you can charge for online courses too.

Feature List of Graphic App like Canva

  • Drag & Drop Editor
  • Photo Editing
  • Resize Designs
  • Branded Templates
  • Transparent Backgrounds
  • Photo Filters
  • Multiple Documents Types
  • Color codes Thoughts & Ideas
  • Blog & Websites Posts
  • Cards & Invitations
  • Business Logos
  • Custom Templates
  • Customizable Branding
  • Social Media Graphics
  • Icons, Shapes & Elements
  • Share Photo folders
  • Library of Fonts
  • Sharing feature via email, messaging apps, texts

Technology Stack for Graphic App like Canva

  • Mobile SDK – Android or iOS
  • Reak-time Analytics – Big Data, Google Analytics, Hadoop
  • Location Tracking – Google Maps & Apple Maps
  • Payment Integration – E-wallets, E-banking, PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, Net banking
  • Notifications – Push.IO, Twilio, Amazon SNS, Map, AdPushup
  • Cloud Storage – Google Cloud Storage, Amazon Cloud Storage
  • Databases – Cassandra, MySQL, MongoDB, HBase
  • Messaging – Twilio, Firebase
  • QR Codes Scanning – ZBar Bar Code Reader

Primary Factors Involved in The Development of Apps like Canva for Android/iPhone

#1. Development Team

It is necessary that you hire an expert iPhone application development company or Android company. The success of your app like the Canva image editor depends a great deal on the skills of developers.

So, test their technical knowledge and experience before partnering with them. The development team you choose will contribute to the final cost of your project.

#2. Location of the Development Team

This may seem a trivial matter initially but it’s not. The location will especially matter if you are working on a tight budget. For instance, a USA-based company will cost you much more than a company from India.

The cost will differ on the basis of the country/state/city of your development team.

#3. Mobile Platform

The final cost to build an app like Canva will vary as per the platform. It is on you to research well, consult the developers for each scenario, and make a decision.

Apps like Canva for iPhone may cost you less than an Android app. Choose the platform keeping in mind your target audience and the cost factor.

When you can’t decide between the two, there is always an option for cross-platform app development.

#4. UI/UX Design

It depends on you to choose the layout of your application. The team of designers can give you design options as per the features. The design team will even make some recommendations to make the overall appearance better.

But the final call will be yours. Keep in mind that the higher the complexity of the design, the higher the cost of apps like Canva photo editor online.

#5. Third-Party API

When you use third-party APIs the development cost increases. However, the use of a third-party API will improve the user experience. So, it is on you to include APIs which you think are absolutely necessary.

#6. Technology

It is better if you use the latest technology in your app development project. It will ensure that the app runs seamlessly.

Apart from the basic technologies, you may also want to use chatbots, push notifications with OTP, or cloud solutions. All these extra choices will add to the total cost.

#7. Testing

Testing an app is essential to make sure that there are no errors and that it is bug-free. The overall experience of your team of Quality Analysts will also have an impact on the total cost.

Other Graphic Design Apps like Canva

Yes, Canva is hands down the best in the market. But there is also an alternative to Canva. Following are some of the competitors of Canva. You may want to research them also a bit to make your app stand out.

☛ Stencil

Stencil focuses on marketing rather than making graphic design easy for everyone. Marketing too focuses more on social media images. It will allow you to create social media images as fast as possible. Even though Stencil has a free plan, you may need a paid plan to really boost your social media tools.

☛ Snappa

It is a complete design tool like Canva. Snappa will make it easy for an average person to design. You can quickly create images on the available dimensions or pre-built templates. You can also schedule the images to post on social media without ever leaving the app.

☛ Design Bold

Again something similar to Canva. But not entirely similar. There are a few differences here. Design Bold has wider options for stock photos. Also, it offers a completely new set of templates to choose from. Design Bold also has both free and paid options.

☛ Crello

It is a better alternative to Canva. The app appears to be flexible and has a good set of templates. A great feature is that Crello enables you to create animated content or Instagram video stories.

☛ Fotor

It is no surprise that Fotor is also like Canva. If you find Canva user-friendly then you will be comfortable using Fotor too. You can either create your page from scratch or select from a pre-made template.

What is the Cost to Develop Graphic App like Canva?

The basic cost to develop a graphic design app like Canva comes to $14,200. Of course, there are variables to this cost. The factors affecting the cost of development have been discussed above in the section ‘Primary factors involved in the development of apps like Canva’.

Consult the Android app development services or iPhone development services to discuss the various aspects involved. It is better if you choose a technology partner that provides end to end services as they will take care of everything.


Last but not the least, make sure that your app is able to solve the problem of your target audience. Only then it will become successful.

Do you want a graphic design app that is not just another alternative to Canva? Contact our experienced developers on [email protected] and make it a reality.

graphic app like canva