Adobe Express and Canva are both excellent online graphic design tools with sophisticated features, user-friendly interfaces, and competitive pricing.
Canva and Adobe Express can both be used by anyone with limited design skills and budget, to create multiple kinds of graphic designs including flyers, logos, social media graphics, and more.
Adobe Express vs Canva – Summary
The biggest differences between Adobe Express and Canva are in terms of design features, suitability for business needs, and user-friendliness.
Canva offers plenty more premade templates and is more beginner and user-friendly, while Adobe Express has slightly more advanced features and may suit those with some design knowledge.
Budget-wise, Canva is better for small businesses and collaborations whereas Adobe Express is better single users or big businesses.
Now let’s get into the details.
I’ve got to say at the start, this is a tough one.
I do a lot of software comparisons, but these two are extremely neck-to-neck, so I have taken special care with this one.
Read through this post thoroughly if you want a detailed comparison and know which tool is better for which purposes.
Canva revolutionized the world of design when it was launched in 2012 to help those with zero design skills create multiple types of graphic designs.
Canva’s prebuilt templates, access to millions of stock images and graphic elements, and drag-and-drop interface have helped individuals, freelancers, businesses, and students meet their graphic design needs without paying high fees for an external designer.
Since its launch, Canva has come a long way by consistently adding multiple features to make designing for individuals and businesses much more efficient. Read a complete Canva overview.
Adobe Express Overview
Adobe Express is the short name for Adobe Creative Cloud Express.
It was initially called Adobe Spark (launched in 2016) and also offers templates and drag-and-drop features to help non-designers create multiple types of graphic designs.
The Adobe Creative Cloud Suite includes Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Adobe Premiere, and a few more of the best design tools in the industry.
Adobe Express combines some of the basic features of the above best Adobe tools, in an easy-to-use online app, in a sort of express version. That’s why it’s called Creative Cloud Express.
Adobe Spark was rebranded as Adobe Express in 2021. While Adobe Spark was also an online design tool, with the new extra features in Adobe Creative Cloud Express, it has become a very close competitor of Canva.
How Adobe Express and Canva work
Adobe Express and Canva are both web-based design tools that enable users to design graphics, either with templates or from scratch, and download or share directly from the design platform.
While Canva offers a downloadable desktop version, Adobe Express is only accessible online. However, both tools also offer mobile apps you can use to create designs on the go.
Both tools offer extensive templates, design elements, and collaboration features to make your design process easy and productive.
Once you’re on the design page of Adobe Express or Canva, you have a beautiful design background that allows you to create designs from scratch or draw inspiration from templates. Then you can add finishing touches to your design with the drag-and-drop elements, and when you’re done, save it to your desktop or share it directly to other platforms.
Similarities between Adobe Express and Canva
The basic premise of both Adobe Express and Canva is the same:
Help people with limited design experience and budgets create beautiful and professional graphic designs for both their personal and professional needs.
Here are some of the features and principles they have in common:
- Library: Both tools have an extensive library of templates, stock photos, videos, and graphics
- Interface: Both tools have easy-to-use interfaces and lets you easily customize templates to create stunning designs
- Platform: Both tools are available only online and work on any internet browser.
- Apps: Both tools have a desktop and mobile app.
- Sharing and collaboration: Both tools let you share designs with your teams and maintain brand controls
- Pricing: Both tools have free versions. The premium versions are priced similarly, between $8-$10 per month, and offer many more features and stock content.
- Free trial: Both tools offer 30-day free trials.
Whew! With so much in common, the biggest question is what are the differences, if any?
There are some minor differences, and I will also share my opinion and experience about each aspect. I will also share my recommendation of who should use which app.
Adobe Express vs Canva – Detailed Comparison
The features of Adobe Express and Canva are so similar, that it is difficult to identify a clear winner for most of the aspects. It is merely a difference of which tool suits your needs and skills better.
In the following detailed comparison, I will sometimes instead share my opinion, experience, and recommendation.
P.S. These comparisons cater to both Adobe Express Premium vs Canva Pro as well as the free versions of both tools. Read the details for specific information about each feature.
Dashboard and interface
The dashboards of Canva and Adobe Express look very similar as well. If you have not used the tools before, you might get confused about which one is which.
Here are the common elements between the dashboards of the two tools (refer to the images below):
- CTA to create a new project
- Access your own projects
- Browse template
- Access your brand kit
- Schedule your content for social media
- Popular templates
What I like about the Canva dashboard:
Search content: The Canva search feature lets you search for both templates and for your own designs within your projects.
Design Spotlight: A quick overview of the most popular templates and links to create the most popular types of designs.
Business menu: Directly access multiple features used for businesses, templates for different industries and departments, as well as landing pages for efficient design creation.
What I like about the Adobe Express dashboard:
Quick functions: You can access some key functions directly from the homepage by the type of design (image, video, QR code, and PDF).
Both the dashboards are user and beginner-friendly, so I would recommend them both even if you are using a graphic design tool for the first time.
Adobe Express vs Canva for dashboard and interface: Canva
Both tools have excellent interfaces with minor differences in how the features and links are presented. It is really a question of personal preference, which interface you prefer.
From experience, I have seen that Canva’s quick access to a business menu and the option to search within my own designs are more beneficial than the quick access to key functions provided by Adobe Express.
So for me, it’s Canva, but I would totally get it if you said you prefer Adobe.
Like the dashboard interface, the design interface of Canva and Adobe Express are also very similar.
However, there are a few key differences.
When you are creating or editing a design, you have a very similar menu on the left for both design tools that include:
- Templates (called Design in Canva)
- Uploads (Library in Adobe Express)
Besides these basic options, there are different items in the Canva and the Adobe menu and the design interface
The Canva design menu is limited to only the left side of the screen. Besides the common elements in the menu, as I described above, it has some additional items.
In Canva, the elements option in the menu includes all the design elements you can use on Canva, including photos, shapes, graphics, audio, etc.
I really like this organization of the menu because it becomes very easy to search the Canva library for all the design elements I may need within a certain design.
You can access all your designs from this menu, and even add folders and organize your designs.
So if you need to copy an element from a recently used design, you can quickly access it here instead of going back to your homepage.
You can access any designs you have starred to have quick access.
You can access any of the apps Canva integrates with to find an element to add to your design.
For example, you may want to access some images from your colleagues through Slack or from other business software like Hubspot. You can do that from here instead of opening the apps separately.
The Adobe Express design menu is on both sides of the screen.
The left menu has fewer items than Canva, and a big difference is that in terms of design elements, you have shapes and design assets separately. This makes it a bit difficult to search for the perfect graphics.
You also have an extra menu on the right where you can change the color palette, animation, layout, and design of the whole project, not just an element.
You don’t have this option in Canva.
When you click on an element within the design on Canva, you see editing options at the top of the screen. For example, for a text, you can change the font, size, color, and sentence case.
You can also add effects and animation, change the position and transparency, add a link, or even lock the element.
Besides the element editing options, you also have the top menu where you can change the file name, share the design, resize, or undo/ redo an action.
In Adobe Express, when you select a specific element within the design, you also see an editing menu, but instead of the top, it is on the right.
For example, when you select a text, you can also change the font, size, alignment, etc.
What I like here are the extras compared to Canva.
For example, you can add a shadow, an outline, or a shape for text. You also get interesting font recommendations to try out different styles of text.
The menu will change depending on what kind of item you are editing, like text or background, or image.
A very helpful feature in Adobe Express is the possibility to select every element easily through the layers at the bottom of the screen.
On Canva, if you have many elements in your design, sometimes it can be tricky to select each element separately and easily.
Adobe makes it very easy, though you may take some time to get the hang of it.
These design options in Adobe Express are simplified versions of the ones you find in Photoshop and Illustrator.
Adobe Express vs Canva for design interface: Canva for beginners and Adobe Express if you need advanced design options.
Canva and Adobe Express both have very intuitive and detailed design interfaces.
The clean and simple interface of Canva is very beginner-friendly. You can quickly create or edit a design without being overwhelmed by too many menus and options.
Being able to access all your other designs and apps from the left menu is also extremely convenient when you are creating designs very often and don’t want to move back and forth between designs.
On the other hand, Adobe Express offers some extra design features compared to Canva. These features are inspired by Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator which can help you take your design to the next level.
These design options are not particularly beginner-friendly, but if you are not completely new to design, you will appreciate these features without being overwhelmed.
Canva has 60+ categories of templates while Adobe Express offers only 20.
For example, let’s take social media. On Canva you have templates for Tiktok videos, Linkedin video ads, and Twitter posts, which you don’t have on Adobe.
Besides, I like how all the templates are neatly categorized under different objectives and need in Canva, like Business, Social Media, Marketing, and Education.
I also like the grouping of templates by topics in Canva based on the trending topics.
In Adobe Express the template categories are a bit cluttered.
Adobe Express vs Canva for templates: Canva
If you are okay with working without templates and creating designs from scratch, Adobe Express might be the better choice for you.
However, it is so much easier to just use templates to make sure you have the correct size, and just replace elements within the template to get a new brand design.
Especially if you are a design newbie or have to create a lot of designs, like social media content, then templates really make your work so much faster.
With Canva free, you get access to over 1 million stock images, videos, and graphic elements, and with Canva Pro you get over 100 million.
The Adobe Express free version only gives you access to 800,000 images.
The premium version of Adobe Express includes access to 175 million images, which is almost double of Canva. The Creative Cloud Express images also include images from the Adobe Stock library.
Remember that Canva’s stock of 100 million also includes other elements, not just stock photos!
However, there are a few points to remember:
- Unlike the premium photos of Pexels and Pixabay that are included in Canva Pro, premium photos from Adobe Stock are not included in your Adobe Express premium plan.
- Almost all stock content of Canva can be used for all designs and even for commercial use, with only a few exceptions. Plenty of stock photos on Adobe Express have certain usage limitations, especially if you use them through the free plan of Adobe Express. Adobe Stock photos also cannot be used for print material like clothes and merchandising.
Adobe Express vs Canva for stock images: Canva
The access to 175 million photos with Adobe Express is impressive, but since the usage rights of every image have to be checked before applying it, I find it adds to the stress and hassle.
After all, these tools are meant to make design quick and easy. Canva may provide only 100 million stock content (which is also not just photos), but at least I have more peace of mind when quickly choosing and applying them to my designs.
Besides, I can choose the premium photos of Pexels and Pixabay through Canva, knowing that not everyone who uses Pexels has access to it.
The Canva graphic elements include:
- Lines and shapes
The Adobe Express Design Assets include:
- Graphic groups
In my opinion, the graphic elements in Adobe are much more artistic and illustration-based compared to Canva.
I prefer the Canva elements because I find them to be more modern and dynamic.
The options in shapes and graphics of Adobe Express are also not as extensive as Canva.
Adobe Express vs Canva for graphic elements: Canva
I find the Canva library of graphics to be much more extensive, dynamic, and modern compared to Adobe Express.
Design sizes and resizing
Canva offers templates in many more design sizes than Adobe Express, as we saw above.
This makes it very easy to start any kind of design quickly, as you are simply editing a template instead of searching for the right sizes of a design and starting from scratch.
Both tools also offer magic resizing with one click.
Adobe Express stands out for one reason.
You can add multiple pages of different sizes within the same project.
You can also resize each page within a file to a different size.
You don’t have this feature in Canva. In Canva, all the pages within a file will be of the same size. If you resize one page, all the pages will get resized to the same dimensions automatically.
So for example, let’s say you have a campaign called ‘5 Business Tips for Small Online Brands’.
You have to create posts for multiple social media channels for the same campaign.
So you start by creating one Facebook post. Now you can simply make 5 duplicates of the same page.
Resize one page as an Instagram story, one as an Instagram post, one as a LinkedIn post, and so on. All the pages stay within the same file.
See an example below from Adobe Express.
When you download the file, you get all your social media posts in one folder.
I have so wished Canva could have this feature, but unfortunately, it doesn’t (yet)! You have to create separate files for separate design sizes.
The good thing is at least that Canva gives you an option to ‘Copy & Resize’, so you have the option to save the original size as well.
In Adobe Express, you have to manually keep a backup copy before resizign your document.
Adobe Express vs Canva for design sizes and resizing: Adobe Express
I appreciate the Copy and Resize option of Canva.
However, if I had the chance to create multiple pages of different sizes within the same project design, I wouldn’t need to keep a separate copy of the design. In this aspect, I prefer Adobe Express.
If you are creating designs for a business, you need to ensure consistency in your brand imagery across all materials. That is essential to creating your brand story.
It is even more important to have brand controls when you are collaborating on designs with team members or partners so everyone is on the same page.
That’s why you need brand kits.
The Canva Brand Kit and the Adobe Express Brands option are available only in the premium plans and both let you create a brand kit with the essential items:
- Brand design color palette
- Brand fonts
Then you can simply add them across all your designs.
You can also use your own custom fonts in the paid versions of both Canva and Adobe Express.
What I like about the Adobe Express Brand Kit
It is very easy to apply the Adobe Express Brand Kit to existing templates. Simply click on ‘Design’ and ‘Apply Brand’.
See below for an example. The first page is the original template.
I created duplicate pages and clicked Apply Brand on different pages to get multiple unique design options.
However, when it comes to creating a design from scratch, the Canva brand kit is better for me, at least for text.
What I like about the Canva Brand Kit
In the Canva brand kit, when you design a project from scratch and add elements like text, you can choose the style of text you want: heading, subheading, or text.
And these are all fonts you set up in the Brand Kit.
Adobe Express does not offer you options to add fonts from your brand kit. You can add some text and change it later.
You can create up to 100 Brand Kits in Canva Pro and up to 300 in Canva for Teams.
There are no limits specified for the number of brand kits in Adobe Express.
Adobe Express vs Canva for branding: Both
I like how easy it is to apply the brand styles across designs in Adobe Express, and also equally love how you can add texts directly in your brand font on Canva.
Adobe Express and Canva are design tools, not really image editing tools like Photoshop.
That being said, both tools provide some basic image editing options which may come in handy when creating your designs:
Some special image editing options include:
- Background Remover
- Copy image style
Both tools offer high-quality background removal features.
You can take any image of a human, animal, object, etc., and in one click, remove the background.
Adobe Express also offers an Invert Cutout option where you can remove the foreground object and keep the background.
Besides, Adobe offers this feature even in its free version, so Adobe Express definitely takes the round in this one!
Copy image style
Canva has a feature that lets you copy the style of one image to another. Imagine it to be like the Paint Formatting options in Microsoft Office for Word and Excel.
See below an example where I have applied the style of the Image 1 background to the Image 2 Background. The result is Image 3.
Adobe Express does not have this feature.
Adobe Express vs Canva for image editing: Both
I am torn on this one. The Background Remover of both tools is of very high-quality.
I really like the Invert Cutout option of Adobe CCE and the copy image style option of Canva equally. Which one would be your favorite tool in this aspect?
Let’s be clear on one thing.
Canva and Adobe Express are not high-quality video creation or editing tools.
Their forte lies in graphic design, and you can add simple animations to make or edit simple videos with images, video clips, text, and music.
So I will compare them below based on these criteria.
In Canva, to create a video, I simply click on ‘Create a design’, choose the kind of video I would like, choose a template, edit and customize it with the Canva Video Editor, and it’d done.
Here are some types of video templates on Canva that you can customize:
Adobe Express does not offer any premade videos.
Once you choose to create a video, you are presented with options for story templates.
The story templates give you an outline of how you should structure your story.
For example, I chose the ‘hero template’ and it gave me a suggestion of what to include in the different slides:
Slide 1: Setup
Slide 2: Call to Adventure
Slide 3: Challenge
Slide 4: Climax
Slide 5: Resolution
There is no existing footage, audio clips, or text in the Adobe Express Video Editor. You have to create everything yourself with your own images, videos, and text.
For me, this is one of the biggest drawbacks of Adobe Express when it comes to business videos.
Maybe for educational or lifestyle design purposes, Adobe Express works fine, but for beginners or those with no idea where to start with videos, Canva might be a safer bet.
Canva also offers quite a few options in transitions between clips.
The latest one is the Canva Match and Move, to create smooth animations for identical objects between frames.
Adobe does not offer transition options, which may affect the smoothness of your video.
The latest Canva video features like the Video Background Remover also give Canva an edge over Adobe Creative Cloud Express.
Adobe Express vs Canva for videos: Canva
The Adobe Express video editor is really quite basic.
The Canva Video Editor is a better tool for creating simple videos because of a few core features:
- Premade videos that you can customize
- Stock video footage
- Transition options between slides or clips
- Video background remover
Social media posting
Both on Adobe Express and Canva, you can schedule your designs to be posted on social media platforms.
The social media included in both apps are:
Additionally, with the Canva Content Planner, you can also post content on four extra platforms:
- Facebook Groups
- LinkedIn pages
But if you don’t have a preference for the extra social media platforms offered by Canva, any of the above tools could work equally well.
Both Canva and Adobe let you create simple and responsive one-page websites.
While these are not advanced branded websites with a proper website platform, if you want a simple website and only know how to use Canva or Express, you can get the job done quite decently.
The biggest difference between the web page design of the two tools is in hosting.
With the Canva website builder, you have the option to host the website with a custom domain, whereas with Express, you can only host it on the Adobe server (with an URL like https://express.adobe.com/page/s7mT8HKljy7r/), or embed the page on an existing site.
Adobe Express vs Canva for website builder: Canva as it lets you create a custom domain.
File export formats
Canva lets you export files into multiple formats:
- PDF Standard
- PDF Print
- MP4 Video
On Adobe Express, you can export a file only into PNG, JPG, and PDF.
Adobe Express vs Canva for file export formats: Canva
The possibility to download files in multiple formats like MP4, SVG, and GIF, gives an extra edge to Canva.
Desktop and Mobile Apps
Adobe Express and Canva both offer a downloadable version of their tool on Windows and mobile (ioS, Android).
The Canva desktop app has a much higher rating (4.8) on the Microsoft Store than Adobe Express one (2.8).
The biggest difference that I have noticed is the speed. The Canva app works just like your Canva account through the browser. But the Adobe app can be very slow.
The mobile apps for both Canva and Adobe are on par.
Integrations with other apps
Adobe Express lets you integrate with all other Adobe apps, including for 3D
Canva integrates with 117 apps, including many ‘business apps’ so to speak, like Hubspot, Powerpoint, Slack, Mailchimp, and lots more.
Canva divides its apps into four categories depending on how it connects to design creation/ editing/ publishing:
- Import media
- Discover content
- Photo editing
- Share and publish
Adobe Express vs Canva for integrations: Canva
I prefer Canva for the more diversified platforms it integrates with. If you just need apps for design then Adobe Express would work great for you.
But if you want to use your designs for business purposes then it’s really convenient to do that straight from Canva.
Canva and Adobe Express are both online tools that offer storage space in both their free and premium versions within the accounts, i.e., on the cloud.
This is important as the tools are web-based, and all your designs are saved online, so the more space you have, the more designs you can create and save in your account.
The free version of both tools offer GB of cloud storage.
The premium version of Adobe Express, on the other hand, offers 100 GB storage, but Canva Pro offers a whopping 1 TB (1000 GB)!
Adobe Express vs Canva for storage: Canva
Canva provides 10x more storage than Adobe Express, and thus takes the cake for storage.
Folders and organization
Both in Canva and Adobe Express, you can manage and save your work in different folders within the cloud itself.
However, a big difference is that while Canva offers you unlimited folders and subfolders only in the Pro version, Adobe CCE offers you that in the free version as well.
Adobe Express vs Canva for folders: Adobe Express
Adobe Creative Cloud Express makes it easy for free users also to organize their work in multiple folders. It is a better tool in that aspect.
In both Canva and Adobe Express, you can invite others to access, view, and edit your design with a link.
However, when you want to collaborate on designs, Canva takes it to a completely new level.
The first thing you have to remember is that Canva lets you collaborate only with its Canva for Teams subscription.
Here are a few collaboration features that Canva offers but Adobe Express doesn’t.
- Share folders with team members (on Adobe you can share only files)
- Streamline design and approval workflows
- Set different permission levels of design access for different team members (on Adobe Express everyone gets full access)
- Manage and publish your designs with apps like Slack, Hubspot, Mailchimp, and more
- Provide feedback and comments on designs
- Track team progress with insights
- Get 1 TB space for every team member
- Brainstorm with your team members in real time with Canva Whiteboards
- Collaborate with team members with streamlined workflows
Adobe Express vs Canva for collaboration: Canva
With Adobe Express you can only share files between team members. Canva’s collaboration features with Canva for Teams could almost make it a project management app.
Ease of use
Canva and Adobe Express are both very user-friendly tools.
However, with the extra templates, simple design interface, and intuitive collaboration options, Canva is much more beginner-friendly.
If you don’t have much design experience, you might be wondering how much help you can get if you are stuck when creating your designs.
A live chat with a human/ a tweet is the new phone call, and Adobe Express offers these along with traditional phone call support.
The support in Canva is a bit conservative and limited only to email.
Learning and tutorials
Both Adobe and Canva have an extensive set of resources on their websites and on YouTube to help you create and edit designs with relative ease.
In my experience, Canva has more video tutorials from users and affiliate marketers, which makes it extremely easy to design almost anything.
Besides, Canva has large online communities like on Facebook, where you can also learn more tips and tricks and ask for help with troubleshooting.
Adobe Express vs Canva – Pricing
Adobe Express and Canva are both freemium tools that have free and quite affordable paid versions.
Canva has three tiers of pricing.
- Canva free: You can get Canva for free forever but it includes some limited features compared to the paid version.
- Canva Pro: Canva Pro costs $12.99 per month and includes access to all of Canva’s premium content and features for one user.
- Canva for Teams: Canva for Teams starts at $14.99 per month and includes access to all of Canva’s features for up to 5 users.
Get the details in my full post on the Canva Pro pricing.
You can also get a 16% discount on Canva forever, every year, with the Canva Pro lifetime deal.
Adobe Express Pricing
Adobe Express has two levels of pricing.
- Adobe Express Free: Limited access to Adobe Express features forever, at zero cost.
- Adobe Express Premium: Complete access to all features of Adobe Express for one user and costs $9.99 per month. The Premium membership also includes access to Adobe Photoshop Express and Adobe Premiere Rush.
You can also get a 16% discount on Adobe Express by signing up for an annual subscription.
If you want to create access to multiple users like your team members, for Adobe Express, you have to buy separate licenses.
An Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps license that includes access to sophisticated design tools like Photoshop. Illustrator, and Premiere, costs around $55 – $80 per month and also include access to Adobe Express.
In terms of pricing, Adobe Express is cheaper for a single user but Canva is much cheaper if you want access for multiple users.
Adobe Express vs Canva – Free trial
I hardly ever sign up for an online tool without a free trial or refund option.
So needless to say, a free trial is one of the first things I looked for in both Canva and Adobe Express.
The good news is, both tools offer a 30-day free trial.
You need to enter your credit card details to activate the free trial.
If you decide not to sign up, just remember to cancel your subscription before your trial period is over and you won’t be charged.
Should you use Adobe Express or Canva?
The graphic design tool you should use depends on a few key criteria:
- Your design skills and experience
- The extent of design options you want
- Template library size
- Control of collaborative designs
- Integrations with other apps
- Design objectives, for example, if it’s for a business
Adobe Express and Canva offer multiple account languages to enable you to choose which language your account will be displayed in. This is crucial for users who are more comfortable working in their language than a preset one, which might deepen the tool’s learning curve.
It’s also essential for businesses looking to explore a multilingual market, as it enables them to create designs that resonate better with their audience.
Adobe Express supports 45 languages for translating text in files and templates. However, the Starter Plan only supports 15 languages.
Canva, on the other hand, supports over 100 languages, making it the better option between the two if you’re choosing based on the languages they support.
Adobe Express vs Canva for languages: Canva
Userbase size for Adobe Express and Canva
Both Adobe Express and Canva have many users, mainly because of their ease of use, flexibility, functionality, and affordability.
Adobe Express had over 24 million users as of 2022 and is likely to reach 30 million now. Canva, on the other hand, has over 125 million users worldwide.
Both are excellent tools with amazing features and will continue to evolve to meet people’s design demands. Therefore, they’re likely to amass more users in the coming years as people look to simple, online design platforms for their design needs.
Alternatives to Adobe Express and Canva
There are quite a few tools you can compare to Adobe Express and Canva. However, if you’re looking for something remotely similar, here are some online graphic design tools you’d love:
- Design Wizard
Adobe Express vs. Canva: Pros and Cons
All software tools have their strengths and limitations. Understanding this will help you choose the software that meets your design needs and enhances your strengths while limiting your flaws.
Adobe Express Pros and Cons
- Over 20 template categories
- Ease of use
- Integrates with the Adobe ecosystem
- Provides access to a wide range of Adobe fonts.
- Limited advanced design features compared to what’s obtainable in Adobe Photoshop
- Highly limited free plan
- Canva Pros and Cons
- Internet dependence
- File export limitations
Canva Pros and Cons
- Extensive template library featuring over 60 categories
- User-friendly interface
- Impressive collaboration features
- Brand management features
- AI-enhanced features
- Watermark on the free version
- Internet dependence
- Limited advanced features compared to what’s obtainable in professional design tools like Adobe Photoshop
Why should you choose Adobe Express over Canva?
While Canva may be the better tool overall, Adobe Express has a few advantages over it. Here are some of them:
- More affordable to single users than Canva
- No watermark on the free version
- Offers phone and live chat support, while Canva offers only email support
- Offers more font options than Canva
Why Canva is a better design tool for small businesses
While we see that Adobe Express and Canva are very similar as design tools, Canva offers an extra set of features for small businesses to bring their brand identities and attributes to life.
Canva offers thousands of presentation templates in 16:9 and 4:3, for mobile and desktop.
While Canva may not have advanced presentation features like Powerpoint, it still provides a huge library of multi-slide presentation templates with animations and other features.
Read my full comparison to decide which is a better presentation tool for you: Is Canva better than Powerpoint?
Canva Whiteboards was launched in 2022 and is an excellent feature for working in teams. It lets you brainstorm and collaborate with your team members in real time.
Charts and Graphs
Canva offers plenty of templates for charts and tables. And I am not talking about just graphics, but real charts with real data, that look fantastic.
Canva also has a pretty cool graph maker that helps you create beautiful data visualization graphics in a few simple steps, even if you have no design experience.
Canva Docs, also launched in 2022, lets you create visual-based documents with videos images, graphs, and charts.
Canva’s Smartmockups is an integration of Canva and the SmartMockups app that lets you see how your designs will look in a specific context.
For example, you can use the feature to quickly create a mockup of your design on a book cover, a phone screen, a mug, or a greeting card.
Adobe Express has a mockup tool but it is not included in Adobe Express Creative Cloud.
Canva has a print feature that prints and delivers your designs to your doorstep.
It is a great feature, but it can be a bit expensive for regular business products like business cards compared to the prices of regular print houses.
If you need a few mugs or T-shirts, on the other hand, the prices can be quite competitive.
Canva Magic Studio
Canva Magic Studio is a suite of AI-powered design tools you can use to facilitate your design process. Just as the name implies, you can do a lot of magic with the tools in Canva Magic Studio. Here are some of them:
Canva Magic Write: This tool helps you generate text with ease. It leverages AI to understand your brand voice and create text that resonates with your target audience.
Canva Magic Design: This tool enables you to bring your imagination to life. You only need to describe what you want in a few words, and the Magic Design tool will craft stunning presentations, videos, or social media posts for you.
Canva Magic Media: Like the Magic Design tool, this tool lets you transform words into images and videos. You only need to describe the image or video you want and watch it come to life.
Canva Magic Edit: This tool alone rivals the entire image editing tool of Adobe Express. It enables you to edit your photos to suit your needs. You can brush over an item to change its texture, color or design. You can turn a cotton blouse to a professional suit jacket or a leather handbag to fur.
Canva Magic Animate: You can add life to your designs with this tool. It enables you to seamlessly apply animations and transitions to your designs to make them more engaging and dynamic.
Other tools contained in the Canva Magic Studio are the Magic Morph, Magic Grab, Magic Expand, Magic Eraser and Magic Switch. You can explore these tools to learn how they can help you automate your small business design needs.
Canva for Teams
As I mentioned before, Canva has fantastic features for collaboration.
All of these features that are great for businesses are not available with Adobe Express. This makes Canva a much better design tool for small businesses and teams.
In fact, according to Canva, around 85% of Fortune 500 companies including L’Oreal and Salesforce also use Canva.
Who should choose Canva and why
Canva is a fantastic tool if:
- You have never used any design tool
- You are completely new to design
- You are creating designs for a business
- You want to customize brand controls with different team members
Canva makes designing any kind of graphic extremely simple and quick, and the designing options are just enough to help you, not overwhelm you.
Plus, its extensive library of templates provides easy starting points for all kinds of designs, and you barely ever have to create anything from scratch if you don’t want to.
Canva’s integration with other apps for business as well as its feature of charts, presentations, mockups, custom prints, and whiteboards, make it a better design tool choice for small businesses.
You can also set different controls for different team members on design edits, which ensures brand consistency.
Here are some reasons to choose Canva:
- 3x more templates than Adobe Express
- 10x more storage than Adobe
- More brand controls and better collaboration
- No limits on stock content and fonts, all are available for commercial use
- More options in file export types
- You can create designs for printing on Canva. Adobe Express only lets you create designs for online use
- Available in more languages (100, compared to 15 in Adobe)
- Cheaper than Adobe Express for up to 5 team members ($14.99 per month, compared to $50 per month on Adobe Express)
Who should choose Adobe Express and why
You should choose Adobe Express if:
- You have ever used or still use an Adobe design tool like Photoshop or Illustrator
- You have some design experience
- You work with people or teams that design on Adobe and share designs with you
- You want access to express versions of Photoshop and Premiere
If you have any design experience and you will welcome the extra design options of Adobe Express and not be overwhelmed by them.
You will also love that you can use Photoshop Express and Premiere Rush without having to pay the full price for Adobe Creative Cloud.
Besides, if you work with teams that upload their designs in the Creative Cloud and you need to access them and use them in your designs, you should also use Adobe Express as it integrates better with All Adobe apps and libraries.
It’s like if you use an iPad, it is better to have an iPhone so that they connect and sync more easily.
Here are some reasons why you should choose Adobe Express:
- The Background Remover is available in the free version
- Multiple folders and subfolders are available in the free version. Only 2 folders are available in Canva free.
- Access to high-quality Adobe Stock photos
- Immediate support with live chat, phone, or Twitter, whereas on Canva it is by email and can take some time
- 6x more font options than Canva
- PDFs can be exported in an unflattened version,
- Access to Adobe Photoshop Express and Adobe Premiere Rush
- Integrates well with the libraries in the Creative Cloud
Adobe Express vs Canva – Conclusion
There you go with the comparison of Canva vs Creative Cloud Express!
Here is a quick summary:
175 million images
100 million including graphic elements and videos
Upload your own font
100 in Canva Pro and 300 in Canva for Teams
Slightly more beginner-friendly
Ease of use
Slightly more complex
Slightly more user-friendly
Integrations with apps
Mostly Adobe apps
Diverse apps, including many for business
Limited features and control
More features and control
1 TB (1000 GB)
Unlimited folders & subfolders
Desktop & Mobile app
Suitable for business needs
Price per month for annual subscriptions
Get a 30-day free trial
Canva is the more universal and more user-friendly tool that lets anyone create multiple types of designs quickly and easily. It is also a better design tool to use for businesses and for small teams who need to collaborate on designs.
Adobe Express gives you slightly more advanced design editing options and access to other Adobe design apps. It is a better tool for single users and those with some design experience.
Which one is the design tool you would choose? Have you used Canva or Adobe Creative Cloud Express before? What were your experiences? Would love to hear your comments!