Most of us love visuals. Easy to create if you have graphic artist skills or at least an eye for design. But what if you don’t, and you’re also busy, very busy. That’s what this Stencil Review is all about.
Where do you find time to create stunning images for blog posts and social media campaigns? With tools, glorious tools.
There’s one you probably already know and that’s Canva. If not you should definitely check it out.
But seriously, is there life after Canva? Could there be anything better and you do even need to consider the possibility?
YES! Nothing is perfect so you should always be on the look out for what else is available.
This brings me to Stencil. I’ve been using this nifty lightweight tool for a little while now and I like it more and more. In this Stencil Review, I’ll show you how you also can create fast and easy images like a pro.
While I still love and use Canva, Stencil offers two features which definitely make it worth using. More about this further on.
Stencil – Quick Facts Profile
Price: Free Starter $0, Pro $9 per month paid annually, Unlimited $12 per month paid annually – Get Started
Owners: Adam Rotman and Oliver Nassar
Overall Rank: 98 out of 100
Stencil is described as the fastest, easiest and most efficient way to create visuals for your content, especially for social media sharing.
You can use their in-page app or you can install any of the Internet browser extensions available and create amazing images wherever you’re working on the web.
Who is Stencil For?
Stencil is for anybody who wants to create images for social media posts, blogs, website images, ads, social media headers and more.
It’s definitely for you if you’re busy and need to create visuals fast and easily.
You don’t have to have any design skills so it’s suitable for beginners to advanced users.
The Good & The Bad
- It’s lightning fast and easy to use which saves you time.
- There’s a free account level which is free forever. Try the free version and only upgrade if you need to.
- You can save all your photos in one place as favorites so you’ll never have to search for them again.
- All photos and images can be used for personal or commercial use without any attribution required.
- You can see live previews of your images before you share them on social media, so you’ll always know the image looks great beforehand.
- It’s designed with social sharing in mind so you can share directly from the app to your networks.
- Integrated with Buffer so you can schedule the sharing of images directly.
- You’ll never have to pay any extra for images and icons.
- You can’t optimize image sizes for blog posts from within the app but this is easy to do once you’ve downloaded your image. I recommend using an online tool like TinyPNG or my favorite, RIOT which is a free downloadable program for desktops.
- You can’t use Stencil on a mobile phone (not yet anyway) but then again do you really want to be doing image design work on your phone?
- You can’t share directly to Instagram because it’s against Instagram’s terms but you can text your image from Stencil to your mobile phone where you can share it via the Instagram app.
- The best account options are not free. Either $9 per month or $12 per month paid annually.
Stencil is so ridiculously easy to use that there’s no need for an extensive library of training. It’s as simple as choose a size, add a background and add some text. Check out the video below to see what I mean.
You get access to a very adequate knowledge base of articles where you will be able to find out how to get started with creating your images. As always there are plenty of additional user videos on YouTube.
Frankly I’m a stickler when it comes to support. I would rather not use your product if your support is lacking.
This is one of the areas that Stencil pride themselves on. They say they are there to help and I can vouch for that.
They have a dedicated customer support staffer, Anna Garmin. I’ve only needed their help once but it was fast, friendly and spot on. What more could you ask for?
There’s also a very handy form that you can complete right within the application to get the help you need.
Stencil vs Canva
- Stencil is built for speed and efficiency. It’s faster because it’s more lightweight. Having the Internet browser add-ons means you can work directly on any page which saves a lot of time.
- Since the application was built with social media sharing in mind, it’s been customized to make this easy and fast within the program and you can schedule releases using Buffer.
- Stencil’s pricing is all-inclusive. This has to be one of my favorite pluses. Nothing frustrates me more when using Canva than when the icon or image I want has to be purchased. Even if you have a premium Canva account ($12.95 pr month) you still have to pay for additional images.
Stencil vs Photoshop
- Stencil is lightweight and easy to use. There’s almost zero learning curve and you don’t need any design skills to get started.
- There’s no heavy software to download.
- All inclusive pricing so once again there is no added costs if you’re using one of the paid levels.
There are plenty of very happy customers. Here’s a small sample.
Using The Stencil Chrome Extension
Watch the video below to see how to use the Chrome extension.
See below for the different pricing levels. Please also note that there is a full 7-day money back guarantee if you’re not happy with your purchase.
Do you use Stencil? What do you most like about it? If Stencil is new to you which features are most enticing? What other image creation tools do you use? Do you think you might give Stencil a try? Why or why not?
I love Stencil and regard it as one of my most important tools. If you don’t have the money to spend on this now, then don’t buy it until you do, but since you can check it out for free, you can do that right now.