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Adobe Spark vs Canva: Which Design Tool Is Better for You

by Parth Shah
adobe spark vs canva

Gone are the days when creatives used to rely on Photoshop for every design-related requirement. Now we have specific apps for each use case. Among them, the graphic design trend is getting traction among general consumers. Australia-based Canva is currently leading the popularity charts. Adobe isn’t far behind either. The company is offering Adobe Spark as a Creative Cloud subscription. If you are getting confused between the two then let’s explore all the differences between Adobe Spark and Canva.

Adobe Spark vs Canva

The comparison will be based on UI, features, templates, editing capabilities, sharing, price, mobile app experience, and more. Let’s get started. 

1. Cross-Platform Availability

It’s a tie here. Both Canva and Adobe Spark are web-based. Meaning they are easily accessible on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Mobile availability isn’t an issue either as both the apps are available on Android and iOS. 

There is a slight difference though. You can install Adobe Spark as a PWA (Progressive Web App) on Windows and Mac. No such option is available for Canva. 

2. User Interface

User interface plays a huge role in any design software. If a user is having a hard time finding relevant menus and options then he/she will quickly move to a rival service. 

Canva has nailed the fundamentals.  Every menu, option, and editing element is neatly organized. On the home, you will find Canva recommendations as well as your recent designs to start a project. 

canva home UI

Surprisingly, Adobe Spark has a clean and minimal UI, something that you don’t often see with other Adobe software. Adobe Spark straight away asks you to choose from social media covers and templates. Though I don’t understand articles integration on the homepage. It’s unnecessary and doesn’t add any value to the workflow. 

adobe spark home

3. Templates

Templates play a huge role in any graphics design tool. Once again, Canva beats Adobe Spark to the punch. Canva offers more than 4,20,000 templates to choose from. In comparison, Adobe Spark has around 37,000 templates which is too low comparatively.

canva templates gallery

Leaving quantity aside, let’s talk about template quality. Even here, I found Canva’s collection to be better than Adobe’s. There is a template for every use case and they are neatly divided into relevant categories. 

spark templates

I found Adobe Spark’s approach to be sloppy. Adobe could have done a better job with categorization and overall template quality.  

4. Editing Features

Let’s get one thing out there. Canva’s UI is smoother and more intuitive. Adobe Spark can be clunky and doesn’t load as fast. Both editors can create the same final result, but Canva gets you there quicker.

Canva has a visual drag-and-drop page editor which lets you drag and drop elements in your designs easily and quickly. 

canva editing

As for Adobe Spark, the editing functions are on the right side of the page editor while the real-time editing preview is on the left side of the page.

Its interface is also clean and you can easily drag and drop elements, text, or media files to your designs.

One thing I don’t like about Adobe Spark’s editor is that it’s slightly slower and lags while editing my designs. Also, I found Canva to have better fonts selection compared to Adobe Spark. 

You can use Adobe Fonts packages like Bungee, Acumin and Fira Sans. However, you have to activate the packages before you can use them.

spark editing

Both the tools are full of editing features such as stickers, elements, logos, animation options, backgrounds, and more.

However, when it comes to styling, Canva focuses more on text styles rather than on secondary or primary fonts. So, if your card says Merry Christmas, you can just pick a text style from the library that fits the theme, instead of hunting for the perfect font.

5. Social Integration

Canva supports integrations with popular social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube), file hosting service (DropBox, Google Drive), music hosting platforms (SoundCloud, Spotify), free-to-use stock media files websites (Pixabay, Pexels), email marketing services (Mailchimp), CRM services (HubSpot) and much more.  It’s pretty well-connected.

canva social integration

Canva also has a printing service available known as Canva Print which allows you to print your designs and order them if you want while Adobe Spark doesn’t offer this service. 

Adobe Spark only supports integrations with cloud storage services such as DropBox and Google Drive.

6. Sharing and Folder Organization

The folder organization in Canva is a pro feature. If you have the pro version of Canva, not only can you arrange the purchased photos in a folder but can also create other folders to organize your work.

That means you do not have to scroll through the home page to locate your Instagram posts or Facebook cover images. That feature is a productivity hack for power users.

adobe spark invite

Canva and Adobe both allow real-time colloboration with other team members as well. It’s like Google Docs for design.

7. A Word on Mobile Apps

Both Canva and Adobe Spark offer mobile apps on iOS and Android. In my testing, I found Canva to have a better app compared to Adobe Spark. Adobe has a sluggish performance and I had a hard time getting the job done on the small screen compared to Canva.

8. Pricing

Both tools are free but there are limitations to the free plan. To avoid those limitations, you have to have to pay for both Canva and Adobe Spark. 

Canva offers three plans which range from $9.95 – $30 per month, one is the Pro plan and the other one is the Enterprise plan. Canva Pro costs $9.95 per month (when billed annually) or $12.95 monthly.

Adobe Spark has only one plan, and it costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 annually. Adobe Spark also comes with Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription which costs $52.99 per month. 

Wrap Up: Adobe Spark vs Canva

This is a classic case of one focused company (Canva) aimed to deliver the best possible graphics design experience versus a huge corporation (Adobe) offering a product to make the overall Creative Cloud subscription attractive. Beginners should stick with Canva as it offers more value for money compared to Adobe Spark. Spark isn’t that worth it when you pay for a standalone version. However, if you are already paying for Adobe Creative suite then it’s a no-brainer compared to Canva.

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