Not all graphic design software options are the same, and with all of the many different options out there, it can be tough to pinpoint which is right for you or your business. If you don’t have the beefiest graphic design desktop, a web-based graphics solution might be best for you, as it puts less strain on your PC.
Two of the most-used web-based platforms for graphic design are Canva and Adobe Spark (as well as many other similar Adobe products). And, with these two being the best options for smaller businesses and social media marketers, we wanted to provide a breakdown of the differences between Canva vs Adobe Spark, as well as the pros and cons of each so that you can make the best decision.
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1. Canva ProPrice: $9.99Pros:
- The interface is easy to use and very intuitive. The design tools are simple and effective.
- The free account offers enough functionality for it to be useful to create fully-functional design projects.
- The Pro Version allows you to schedule the upload of your design to up to 7 social media platforms.
- Many professional designers find the templates very similar and hard to customize to their taste. Some even called it too simplistic.
- Some users have complained of the available images looking too similar and making them feel like their customization is limited.
- Photo editing tools are quite limited.
Canva is a powerful web-based platform that allows anyone to design anything and publish them on any platform. Canva uses drag-and-drop functionality to create professional-looking graphics in easy and simple steps. The platform’s beauty lies in the availability of templates for almost any type of design, ranging from business cards to posters and videos for social media.
Canva, for the most part, is a free web-based platform that is used to create beautiful and functional graphics with an easy-to-use interface, a great collection of templates, and an intuitive workflow. The platform is specially designed for people with no background in design to enable them to create functional graphics easily in very little time. Of course, professionals also use it to create quick mock-ups and templates as well.
The process of using Canva is simple and similar to the setup process to most web-based platforms nowadays; all you need to do is sign up with an email address, and BOOM! You are ready to start creating your own graphics.
The first-time usage process is quite intuitive, you are prompted to choose the type of graphic you want to make, and various visual templates are offered to you.
Once you have decided on the type of graphic that you want and chosen the template that you like the most (you could choose to start from scratch, too), the customization begins. Canva works with a drag and drop system that makes it add and remove graphics and text. The texts in whatever design project you are working on can be edited in a textbox.
What is the difference between free and paying users on Canva?
Very simply, while most of Canva’s functionality is available to free users, the paid version offers more functionality and access to a huge library of images and allows more team members.
The free version of Canva provides access to limited templates and allows only a team of 10 collaborative members on the platform (for a particular account). Canva allows you to use other images that you have or use from the hundreds of thousands of free photos and graphics. If you prefer to use an image on Canva, you can get any image for $1. A free Canva account gives you access to 50GB of cloud storage.
The paid version of Canva is called a PRO account. Canva’s PRO account provides access to the same graphic content to members of your team. On top of that, you have access to Canva’s library of over 75 million stock images, videos, and audio files free to use. Canva’s PRO account offers extra functionality that can speed up your workflow, such as resizing your designs for various platforms, using custom fonts and colors, and saving a template for future use. Every PRO user is granted up to 100GB of cloud storage on Canva and can schedule social media content to 7 platforms.
A PRO user also gets access to high-priority support.
Canva’s PRO membership cost: $9.99 per month per user when billed annually. PRO membership costs $12.99 when billed monthly.
When various people were asked about their experiences on CANVA, they all agreed that the platform was much easier to use than most other professional design software, and it suited their needs perfectly. A teacher, for instance, said it was really easy for her to create simple visuals that aided her teachings to the kids in her class. On the other hand, a professional designer used to creating things from scratch did not enjoy Canva as much. He, however, admitted that the platform did not consume as much processing power as Photoshop does.
Therefore, my verdict is this: while Canva is simple and intuitive to use and quite powerful in its own regard, it is easy for professional graphic creators to get bored with it. However, for people looking to make quick graphics that look clean and beautiful, Canva works perfectly. Also, Canva continues to grow its template collection and functionality to include a wider range of visuals. For instance, Canva recently introduced visual templates for ebooks, resumes, and more.
Canva is definitely a valuable resource for small businesses and users with little to no background in graphics that need to churn out clean and functional visuals as quickly as possible.
2. Adobe SparkPrice: $9.99Pros:
- You can easily and quickly create stunning graphics with no experience in graphics design.
- Since Adobe owns the platform, the platform gives you access to stunning images and video templates for creating your own content.
- The platform can also be used to build web projects quickly, as well as videos and static visuals.
- The free version of Adobe Spark adds a watermark to your content.
- Everything created on the platform is 100% hosted by Adobe, especially if you build a one-page website. This limits the level of control that you have over your content.
- It is more tailored towards building for social media and websites than other general-purpose graphics creations.
Adobe Spark is a web-based platform that allows the creation of various graphics content with ease. Adobe spark is a template-dependent platform that allows any template to be customized to suit the needs of the user. Adobe Spark is a powerful platform that allows the creation of designs and video content without any design background.
Adobe Spark is a web-based platform just like Canva, and its main purpose is to allow anyone without a graphics background or with little knowledge of graphics to create stunning graphics. You don’t need to download anything to get started with Adobe Spark. All you have to do is log in and get started. Adobe Spark allows you to sync your design process across various devices and lets you create and edit them on the fly.
By signing up for Adobe Spark, you gain access to various mobile apps that lets you create beautiful Spark media designs easily and quickly. Adobe Spark was originally created to make the creation of high-quality magazine-style web visuals. The idea was to create software that made it easy to create single-page creations that can easily be used as standalone websites. However, Adobe Sparks also comes with graphics creation tools and tools for creating animated videos.
On Adobe Spark’s homepage, it says, “create impactful social graphics, web pages, and short videos in minutes with Adobe Spark.” This statement does a good job of summarizing what you can do with Adobe Spark.
The major difference between Adobe Spark and Canva is that Adobe Spark is specifically tailored towards creatives in the various fields that need a quick way to make beautiful visuals for websites and social media platforms. Therefore, Adobe Spark is especially useful in small business journalism, portfolio creation, web stories, simple website creation, and more.
Adobe Spark is especially great for creating graphic content for projects that don’t require more than a single page of dynamic graphics. Therefore, Adobe Spark is used for creating landing pages, product pages and catalogs, photo galleries, wedding stories, and more.
There are three sections of Adobe Spark dedicated to different types of content creation.
Adobe Spark Post is dedicated to creating beautiful static graphics in a few seconds; this includes blog post images, social media posts, Facebook ads, and banners.
Adobe Spark Video allows you to create stunning and eye-catching videos in just a few minutes. This part of the platform gives you access to a combination of text, animations, videos, images, and effects. Adobe Spark provides basic video templates that you can build upon when creating your own videos to ensure the ease-of-use.
Adobe Spark Page is useful for building single-page websites. This section of the platform allows you to build a one-page website with a combination of other visual elements such as videos, animations, photos, texts, and more.
Adobe Spark comes with a free version that they call a starter plan, and it allows the user to use various templates to create their own graphics. However, there is Adobe branding watermarked on every content created on the free version that cannot be removed.
If what you require your design for is slightly professional or is for your brand, then the free version of Adobe Spark might not be ideal for you. By upgrading to a paid Creative Cloud account, you have access to more functionalities and the ability to remove the Adobe Spark branding.
There are two paid versions of Adobe Spark, the TEAM version and the INDIVIDUAL version.
By upgrading to the paid plans, you get features such as:
- Every feature included in the free plan.
- The ability to change the Adobe Spark logo to that of your brand.
- Create your own branding on the platform and add your branding to the graphics, web pages, and videos created with Adobe Spark.
- Font and color customization.
- Create personalized branding templates.
- Access to a huge library of templates and design elements.
- The ability to create and edit your brand elements on one portal.
- Dedicated email support.
- Forum access.
- Ownership of user licenses (top-tier plans).
Verdict: Adobe Spark is a powerful platform with tons of features to create graphics tailored for social media platforms and other creative endeavors. However, for most of the population that needs a more generalized graphics platform, Adobe Spark might feel a little lackluster. This is not to say it is not useful, but it might take some getting used to at first. Instead of making this tool your main platform for building your online presence, you can make it a supplementary tool for building additional visual content for your brand.
Adobe Spark is quite easy to use for beginners and pros alike in terms of ease of use. You also don’t need an Adobe account to use the platform; you can simply sign up with your Google or Facebook account.
Which Application is the easiest to use?
While both Adobe Spark and Canva are useful for anyone looking to create content quickly without any professional graphics background, and both are quite effective at it, honestly. Canva, however, has a slight edge.
Canva is a more organized app that works better for general-purpose content creation and editing, and its interface is quite intuitive. Many might argue that the clean interface of Adobe Spark makes it a bit intimidating and feel like it's more tailored towards people in the creative cloud ecosystem.
Canva is easier to use than Adobe Spark.
Are there other alternatives available?
There are several other alternatives to Adobe Spark and Canva. Some of them include:
- Design Wizard
Are Canva graphics royalty-free?
The free images provided on Canva are provided with the same licenses provided with their paid images. You are free to use them with your choice of license. However, the free images license has the least restrictions.
You are allowed to export the images as many times as you need and in as many designs as you like, as long as your use complies with the terms of the images' licenses.
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