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Canva Vs Illustrator: Who wins in 2023 for marketers & Social Media Managers?
1. Canva’s Highlights
Canva is an excellent tool for creating simple designs. It is template-based, and you don't need any special skills or training to get started. Plus, it has a free version. Canva is a good option for creating images for blogs, social media posts, presentations, or anything digital that doesn't require high resolution.
2. Illustrator’s Highlights
Illustrator, on the other hand, is a more complex tool. It's used for creating detailed vector graphics and is the industry standard for professional designers. It's more expensive than Canva, but it's worth it if you need high-quality graphics for your work.
Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s check in more detail the main differences between these two.
3. Types of Images
The image types are extremely important for social media posts and marketing efforts in general. Do you need visuals for a regular post, or for a product showcase, or a flyer? Do you need to do some editing? The answers to these and similar questions will determine whether your choice would be Canva or Illustrator.
Images on Canva
The most significant difference between the two platforms is that with Canva, you can only create raster images, while with Illustrator, you can also create vector images.
What are raster images?
They are images consisting of pixels.
The good thing is that it makes them smaller, which is great for digital output.
However, when it comes to zooming in on them, they turn pixelated and look blurry. Therefore, we wouldn’t advise printing raster images because the result won’t be very satisfying.
Images on Illustrator
On the other hand, vector images never become pixelated or blurry due to their constant high resolution. In addition, these images are edit-friendly.
Depending on your business needs, both are useful. If you only need a digital format and smaller visuals where zooming in won’t be necessary, you’re good to go with Canva.
On the other hand, if you want to highlight a product’s features, for example, or need to print your design, Illustrator will be better for that.
The next difference is closely related to the type of images.
4. File Formats
Even though both Canva and Illustrator have great features respectively, it can be frustrating if you can’t export your project in the format you need. This alone can be a determining factor which platform you’ll choose.
Although both Canva and Illustrator support png, jpeg, pdf, and gif, Illustrator allows more than 20 file options such as
Canva, on the other hand, has fewer options, and it doesn’t have some editing pdf options that Illustrator has. There are also differences between the free and paid version. The latter allows you to save files as SVG.
Again, depending on your project, one will work better than the other. For more basic file formats, Canva has you covered, while for a bigger variety of format options your choice should be Illustrator.
5. Editing Features
No matter how basic a design tool is, it needs to have some editing features. These features let you add the element of uniqueness to your design. They allow you to tailor and modify design according to your business needs.
Moreover, they help you visually connect your product or service with your brand.
When we compare editing features, it becomes much easier to realize that Canva is designed for, let’s say, beginners, for people with no or minimal design skills.
You can choose from pre-existing templates, videos, photos, graphic elements, and audio. To help you customize your designs, Canva offers features like one-click background removers, brand kits, magic resizing, and animation tools ( only in paid option).
Canva’s interface is really intuitive and user-friendly, where everything functions on a drag-and-drop principle. Having such a great range of visuals you can choose from without thinking about the size, dimensions, etc., is a true blessing for non-designers.
Of course, this vast library of templates and other visuals that are ready to use comes at a price. There aren’t that many editing options, and it is harder to create a more unique and outstanding design. This doesn’t mean you can’t add your own touch using graphics from the Element option, but it will only get you so far.
In combination with limited editing options and raster images, Canva might not be the best choice if you want to design your logo, for example.
Illustrator, on the other hand, has a wide range of features and tools that help you add that personal touch. Its editing tools are much more advanced, and your creativity level seems to be the only limit.
In Illustrator, you start from scratch, which makes it not a great choice for beginners. It takes a more significant learning curve. Since you start from scratch, there are pen tools, paintbrush tools, rulers and guides, color capture, shape tools, blend tools, etc., that you can use for freehand drawing.
Furthermore, you can create logos and marketing materials because there are more possibilities regarding the font and text.
With Illustrator, besides using fonts installed on your computer, you can install thousands of fonts from an Adobe platform, Typekit. Illustrator made sure you don’t run out of inspiration for your designs.
By now, it is already apparent, but we must mention the following distinction between Canva and Illustrator.
6. Learning Curve
When we speak about the learning curve, whether you are a design newbie or more experienced graphic designer will definitively play a huge part here in deciding which one to use.
Canva definitely has an advantage here. Same as with every tool, you’ll need some time to get to know the platform, but you really don’t need to have any design skill whatsoever. Canva’s drag-and-drop editor and an enormous templates library make it easy to master the platform quicker. Thus, the learning curve isn’t steep.
Illustrator has a steeper learning curve, and you’ll need quite some practice before you master it. In that respect, it is designed more for professional graphic designers.
If for any reason you don’t have time or aren’t interested in learning how to use more complex design tools, Illustrator probably won’t be your cup of tea. However, if you already have some graphic design knowledge or you’re willing to give it a try, you can then play both with Canva and Illustrator and see what works better for you.
And of course, last but not least is another crucial aspect: pricing.
It is a bit hard to make a fair comparison here since Illustrator offers more tools. Hence it is more expensive.
Canva has three options:
Free with more than 250 000 templates and more than 100 design types
Pro offering more than 600 000 templates and stock photos. It costs $12.99.
Enterprise for a minimum of 25 people and includes logos and a brand kit. It costs $30.00 per person.
Illustrator has a 7-day free trial. After the trial expires, the plan comes at $20.99 and includes
100GB of cloud storage
Creative Cloud Libraries
Access to the latest features
This applies to an individual plan. For businesses, there is the Creative Cloud All Apps option for $52.99, and it includes Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and Acrobat Pro, topped with a management console and instant asset syncing across devices.
So let’s wrap it up!
8. Wrapping It Up
A lot has been said about these two platforms. Perhaps the best way to sum it up is to see them in a table.
9. Where does Glorify Fit In?
Glorify is a design tool specially tailored for eCommerce store owners and people with no design skills who see the importance of social media for their businesses and want to start creating converting and engaging posts. In this aspect, Glorify resembles Canva.
However, the part where it differs is related to the editing features. This part is what makes Glorify quite impressive: you have more advanced tools than in Canva and no need for design skills.
Some of the features that Glorify has are
Infinite canvases where you can prepare marketing materials, organize assets, craft a brand identity, etc.
Template bundles to help you stay consistent on all social media platforms,
Product Highlights, and so much more.
When it comes to pricing, there are three plans:
Free Forever - for up to three users, one workspace, five projects, ten background remover uses/month, and ten premium stock/month.
Pro Annual - $29.99/month for five users. You get five workspaces, unlimited projects, unlimited downloads, unlimited guests, 100 premium stock/month, and 100 background remover uses/month.
Business Annual - $74.99/month for ten users with unlimited workspaces, projects, downloads, guests, background remover uses, and premium stock.
All three tools do their job great. It all boils down to what your business needs now, your business goals, and how you want to achieve them.
If you don’t have design skills and your business will benefit from simpler yet colorful designs, Canva is your thing.
If, on the other hand, you have design experience and love getting creative and doing things from scratch, then Adobe Illustrator will work for you.
However, If you’re looking for a tool that takes the best from these two worlds, start your free trial on Glorify and see it for yourself.