Hey “Real Designer” – it’s time to add Canva to your toolbox.
The Canva Experiment
Let’s back up… to somewhere around 2017. I was working mostly in branding, and I was T.I.R.E.D of explaining why you shouldn’t use a logo that was designed in Canva. (Which is still true – do not design logos in Canva.)
It was a basic app that couldn’t do most things your average branding or marketing professional actually needed. It was new, and it was limited. But it was still super popular, and so often used wrong.
So I had a bad feeling about the app for years. (Me and every other designer at that point!)
It wasn’t until I went through and culled my old blog last year, where I found my screed against using Canva for logos. (Gonna die on this hill, it’s fine, I’m comfy here.)
I wasn’t sure what to do with that post (spoiler: I scrapped it), so I decided I needed to check out what it’s like to use Canva in 2022.
It does a lot of things right these days.
Last year right before the holidays I changed banks, and in the midst of all of that hullabaloo I forgot to update my Adobe subscription with my new card, so obviously it lapsed.
I’ve been busy rebuilding my entire business from the ground up, and most of my current work is done in browser or in code, so I decided to see how long I could go without Adobe, using only Canva Pro.
And I’m here to report that it was actually NOT very long.
But that’s not the point, because what I learned was that Canva is playing with the big kids now.
The Curse of Legacy Apps
Being a modern app rather than a very, VERY old legacy suite, it definitely understands modern design workflows better. Which means you design faster and get results faster.
Adobe is obviously far more versatile, and is absolutely still required for a lot of things.
But even Adobe has jumped on the Canva bandwagon.
They built one app to compete, killed it when it didn’t, and then redesigned the thing to work even more like Canva.
No doubt, it’s definitely making waves and disrupting the former monolithic Adobe.
Canva vs. Adobe: The Results
Things Canva does better
- Social media graphics (they have all the different sizes ready to go for each platform, no more googling best cover image size for Facebook every two months.)
- Featured images for blogs (The branding tools that Canva Pro offers makes featured images a snap to brand.)
- Presentations – Design AND record your presentation without juggling 3 different apps)
- Templates for clients to use (It’s much easier to show your clients how to modify their templates from inside Canva.)
Things Adobe does better
- Logos (💀)
- Website Layouts (There are a million ways to prototype, and Adobe has several solid options. I still use Illustrator, personally.)
- Workbooks (Between stylesheets and interactive docs InDesign wins here.)
- Most video editing (Canva has a few tools for minor editing but for the most part video is best left to Adobe.)
This list is by no means exhaustive (obviously) but it should give you an idea of which tasks are better suited to which app.
The biggest lesson here when it comes to deciding between Canva vs. Adobe is that Adobe is still the professional standard for designing everything substantial about a brand and that’s not changing anytime soon.
But once you have that strong visual identity established, it’s time to move to using Canva for creating supporting designs.
Your streamlined workflow will thank you.