Canva vs. Adobe Spark: Which Is The Best Online Software for Creating Social Media Graphics in 2021

By Kristin Herman November 19, 2020
Canva vs Adobe Spark

Today I’m going to show you a complete guide to Canva vs Adobe Spark.

So if you want to choose the best online graphic design tool for creating professional social media graphics, then this post is for you.

Ready?

Let’s dive right in.

Creating graphics for your social media profiles and content is one of the most important processes you’ll go through.

You’ll want clean, smart, and professional-looking graphics that grab the attention of your audience, sends a message, and presents your business or company in the way you want it to be presented.

However, you’re always going to want to stick to a budget and try and make the whole process as affordable as possible, especially if you’re a small business with limited funds.

Graphic design, after all, can be costly.

That being said, there are plenty of affordable options out there, some of the most commonly used being two platforms known as Canva and Adobe Spark.

Both platforms are completely free to sign up, use, and create graphics on, with premium options available, but which is best?

More importantly, which platform is best for you?

Well, to take the hard work out of choosing, here’s the only versus guide you’ll ever need.

Introducing  Adobe Spark

Let’s kick things off with a bang by detailing Adobe Spark.

You’ve probably heard of Adobe before, the powerhouse company behind applications like Photoshop and Illustrator that are hailed as being the most professional graphic design applications in the world.

However, these are premium solutions that cost a lot of money and require a steep learning curve.

This is why Adobe Spark exists.

Spark is an online and mobile graphic design app that requires no downloads to your computer and helps make professional photo editing and design as easy as possible.

You can create graphics, web pages design, and even edit and create videos, all directly within the Spark suite.

What makes Spark so great is the fact that it comes with built-in AI and machine learning functions.

This means that typically tedious design processes and techniques have been made effortless, ultimately saving you time and helping your final product look better than ever.

We’ll dive into what Spark has in comparison to Canva in a little while.

Enter: Canva

Canva is also a web-based application that has mobile apps available for both Apple and Android devices, but it’s commonly used just by logging onto the website via your web browser.

There are an absolute ton of tasks you can complete using Canva that are built into its core.

You can design book covers, create resumes, brochures, invitations, Instagram posts, Facebook and Twitter banners, logos, and so on.

Canva hails itself as being used by professional companies and small businesses and individuals alike, and it seems the whole niche of Canva is to try and make everything as easy as possible to use.

All the content you create can be easily shared directly to your social media pages, cloud storage accounts, or downloaded to your computer, making it super easy to create content and then put it wherever you want.

So, which of these platforms is best for you?

Let’s find out.

Adobe Spark for Telling Brand Stories

Spark prides itself as being the only application you’ll need when it comes to telling your brand’s story, whether you’re working on a campaign or sending a specific message.

All you need to do is create a free account by logging onto the website, and you’ll have a wide variety of options to get started.

There are plenty of templates to choose from that are designed to fit whatever kind of project you’re working on, or you can start from scratch.

You can even choose the social media platform you want to create for and see a list of templates specifically for that platform, making everything nice and easy.

You can then add whatever kind of content you want, whether you’re adding text, icons, your brand logo, or photos.

You can add your own photos by uploading them directly, or you can use any of the stock photos from the Adobe Stock Photo Library.

A really great feature is if you either change your mind and want to change the platform you’re creating content for, or you want to post or two different platforms, there’s an easy resize tool which will automatically resize your content to the perfect dimensions, literally with the click of a button.

You can tweak your layout any way you want from several default layouts, color themes, and designs, all that come together to help your content look professional and be unique.

So, just as a lowdown;

  • Create content for any social platform.
  • Switch dimensions of content to suit any platform at the click of a button.
  • Upload your own content.
  • Use content from the Adobe Photo Library.
  • Sign up and get started for free with dozens of templates to use

Canva for Creating Literally Any Kind of Content

To use Canva, it’s much like using Spark.

Download the app or create a free account from your computer directly from your web browser.

You can start your designs from scratch or use any of the templates, and trust me; there are literally hundreds.

It really doesn’t matter what kind of content you’re creating or what platforms you’re designing for, Canva offers dozens of templates in endless different styles for you to get started, and this is where Canva really shines.

You can add colors, backgrounds, texts, and even built-in frameworks like grids, frames, and shapes. All of this comes together so you can really make your design your own.

If you need to upload your own imagery, you can do so, and it will stay in your library until you decide you don’t want or need it anymore.

If you don’t have content, then you can access the near-infinite library of content that connects free stock sources like Pexels, Pixabay, and more, giving you millions of images to use for free.

When you’re happy with your design, you can export it to your social media pages directly to your Dropbox account or download it to your computer, so it’s ready to go wherever you want to use it.

As a rundown, Canva will allow you to;

  • Sign up and get started for free.
  • Choose from thousands of templates.
  • Use millions of images and free content.
  • Add any kind of content you want, including shapes and text.
  • Export your images wherever you want. However, you want

So, What’s the Difference?

Right now, you probably think that Canva and Spark are somewhat similar applications in their own right, and you’re right.

The two are very similar, which I know isn’t very helpful, but allow me to share the differences.

In true Adobe style, Spark seems to be the more professional of the two applications.

There are fewer templates and less guidance, and the whole thing relies on your having some experience with graphic design.

You already need an eye to know what looks good and what you want to achieve, then Spark just provides you with the powerful, AI-driven tools that will help you achieve it.

It’s this that makes Spark ideal for businesses and designers who are looking to create high-quality graphics, BUT already have some idea on what they want to create, but just need the means to create it.

If you haven’t used an Adobe product before, then you may feel like there’s a bit of a learning curve to understand how some of the more advanced features work, which can feel a bit off-putting if you don’t want to invest too much time into it.

On the other hand, Canva is a much more beginner-friendly option. Everything you need is on Canva, ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Sure, you can do a lot with Canva if you’re starting from scratch, but what makes this such an effective service is being able to create high-quality posts in seconds, simply by choosing a template you like and then changing the imagery and text to suit your brand.

There are no complicated processes since most of the features are drag-and-drop, and all kinds of imagery and content are supported, so you don’t need to worry about compatibility.

Canva is a very pick-up and put-down application that anybody can use easily.

A Note on Pricing

While both Spark and Canva are 100% completely free to use for however long you want and no matter how much content you want to make, there are lots of premium options available.

Adobe Spark has an individual price plan that starts at $9.99 per month or a team license that costs $19.99 per month.

With these plans, you’ll be able to;

  • Invite others into your design process using the collaboration tools.
  • Choose from a large premium content library for content.
  • Create premium branded templates for you only.
  • Add in your own logo and fonts with a single click.
  • Switch between editor projects using file organizer.
  • Share assets to your Creative Cloud account.
  • Remove the Adobe Spark watermark.
  • Access all Adobe premium fonts and templates

I see that penultimate point as being the most important. Adobe Spark on the free plan will always put a watermark on your content until you pay to have it removed.

If you want to be a professional business with professional content, then I feel like you have to pay for the premium package.

With Canva, it’s free to get started with, but Pro accounts start at $9.95 per month, with business plans for multiple people starting at $30.00 per month.

With these premium plans, you’ll be able to access things like;

  • Creating your own brand kit for personalized templates.
  • Easy magic resize for changing your content’s platform.
  • 420,000+ premium design templates.
  • 75+ million premium stock content.
  • Upload your own fonts and logos.
  • 100GB of cloud storage.
  • Social media scheduling integrations and features

Conclusion

When it comes to the crunch when choosing the best online graphic designing tools, I really believe that Canva is the better option if you’re just looking for a platform that can help you create high-quality content and then get it out there.

If you’re not willing to spend a lot of time on learning the creation process, but you’re more focused on producing the content, then Canva is best for you.

However, if you want to learn the creative process and you want more control over how your content looks and want to get better at producing high-quality content, as well as having a beginner-friendly insight into the Adobe Creative Suite, perhaps if you’re interested in using Photoshop later, then Spark would be best.

With its powerful tools and AI-core, then there’s a ton of potential to be had here, and if you take the time to learn how to use it, it will save you a lot of creative time in the long term.

At the end of the day, both products are great; it’s just a case of deciding how much time you’re willing to spend learning the product and how far you want to take your creative endeavors.

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Kristin Herman

Kristin Herman is a marketing writer at Academized. She aims to help businesses find the best solutions for them, no matter what task they’re working on or what they’re trying to achieve.

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