If you’re toying with the idea of using Canva for your graphic design work, you may be wondering if Canva is a raster or vector image creation tool.
To give you the long answer short, it’s both. With Canva, you can export the same design as both a raster and a vector image depending on your needs.
This makes Canva different from the tools in Adobe’s Creative Suite, where Adobe Photoshop is for rasters and Adobe Illustrators is for vectors. This also makes it different from most web-based graphic design tools out there, which work with raster images.
Raster vs. Vector Images
Before we get to the down and dirty details, let’s take a minute to understand the difference between raster and vector images.
On the one hand, a raster image is an image that’s broken up into pixels—tiny, colored squares on a grid that together make up the object on the image.
On the other hand, a vector image is an image that’s encoded in a mathematical formula—basically, an equation that tells the computer what object to render on the screen when opening the file.
This is important because vector images can be scaled up and down without quality loss, whereas raster images tend to lose quality and become blurry when upscaled or downscaled.
What Image Formats Does Canva Support?
Downloading Your Designs From Canva
Depending on the type of design you’ve created in Canva, you can download that design as a .JPG, .PNG, .SVG image file, .MP4 movie file, or .PDF and .PPTX document.
|File Format||Format Description|
|.GIF||Animated raster image|
Uploading Design Elements Into Canva
If you’ve purchased design elements from marketplaces like Etsy and Creative Market, or you’ve created design elements of your own in other graphics design apps, you can upload those into Canva.
|File Format||Format Description|
|GIF||Animated raster image|
|HEIC/HEIF||Mobile device photos|
You can also upload audio files and fonts to Canva, but that’s outside the scope of this article.
Does Canva Offer Vector Files?
Yes, Canva has support for vector files, but only SVG vector files. So you can upload design elements to Canva and download your Canva designs in SVG format, but not in AI or EPS format.
Keep in mind that Canva’s editing capabilities for vector files are limited compared to those of Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, and other vector image creation tools.
If you need the advanced image editing capabilities that these tools can offer, you will probably have to stick to them, at least for the time being.
Does Canva Offer Raster Files?
Yes, Canva has support for raster files. You can upload the most common raster file formats into Canva, including JPG/JPEG, PNG, GIF, and WebP.
You can also tap into Canva’s vast library of hundreds of thousands of raster design elements (like shapes, objects, illustrations, cutouts, etc.) and stock photos, which you can conveniently insert into your designs with drag and drop.
Canva excels at helping you create graphics for your brand, blog, and social media presence. It has a lot of image effects and some image editing and retouching capabilities, but don’t expect to be able to deep-dive into a raster image as you can in Adobe Photoshop or GIMP.
Canva can work with raster images (JPG, PNG, HEIF/HEIC, GIF, WebP) and vector images (SVG). However, of the vector images, it only supports .SVG and not .AI or .EPS files.