fbpx
Search
Close this search box.

Canva vs Figma 2024: Who Should Use Which Tool?

canva vs figma

Table of Contents

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. i.e., if you sign up for their paid programs, I will get a commission, at no cost to you. Please rest assured that I only recommend software/ products I genuinely believe in, and trust to be good for you.

Canva and Figma are excellent for creating designs, prototyping, collaborating, and more. However, the similarities end there.

Although both Figma and Canva are design tools, their audience and use cases are completely different, making them almost non-comparable.

This in-depth comparison of Canva vs Figma will help you choose the most suitable one for your design needs.

Canva Overview: A Graphic Design Powerhouse

Canva is a drag-and-drop graphic design platform with built-in templates to help you create visually appealing content, such as flyers, social media graphics, logos, and presentations. It is the go-to platform for quick and simple design projects.

Canva overview

Besides the various graphic design features Canva offers, it allows you to do much more. You can edit photos, buy domain names, design websites, and collaborate with team members on a project.

Canva’s simple and user-friendly interface makes it a favorite design platform for graphic design beginners, professionals, and small business owners with absolutely zero design experience.

Who is Canva best suited for?

Anyone can use Canva, from graphic designers to small business owners, students, photo editors, etc. It’s essential for getting any graphic or photo editing work done quickly and with minimal effort.

Businesses use Canva for their branding; it helps them build a strong and consistent brand image. Here’s a quick overview of who should use Canva:

  • Marketers who need to create branded designs regularly
  • Small business owners who want to establish a strong brand presence without hefty design costs
  • Educators creating engaging content for students
  • Casual designers seeking a reliable tool for everyday creative tasks

Read more about Canva basics in my post: What is Canva?

Key features

  • Drag-and-drop editor: Simplifies the design process, making it accessible and efficient.
  • Customizable templates: Canva has600k+ templates across various categories and occasions.
  • Extensive asset library: Canva has 100M+ assets, including stock images, icons, and elements
  • Collaboration: Share designs with your team, gather feedback and make live revisions
  • Video editing: Canva’s video tools let you remove video backgrounds, trim clips, apply filters and add text or music to your videos

Applications and uses

With Canva, you can create a wide range of visual content, including:

  • Social media posts: Eye-catching graphics for platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Marketing flyers and posters: Promotional materials for events, products, or services.
  • Business presentations: Professional slides for reports, pitches, and meetings.
  • Email headers and newsletters: Visually appealing designs for digital marketing campaigns.
  • Personal invitations: Customized invitations for weddings, parties, and events.
  • Infographics: Informative and engaging visuals to simplify complex information.

In a nutshell:

Canva is great for quickly creating a lot of marketing or business material and visual content, especially using premade templates. Anyone can use this tool, but you can’t do a lot of heavy design work like you can do with Illustrator.

Canva has some advanced features like AI tools (Magic Studio), which also helps you mak your visual content more aesthetic. You can also post your content directly from Canva on social media.

I use Canva almost daily, for professional and personal reasons, to quickly create designs on the go. When needed, I also share the designs with my team, and they make changes.

Figma Overview

figma overview

Figma is a cloud-based vector editing and prototyping tool widely used by UI/UX (user interface and user experience) designers, product managers, developers, etc. It creates, collaborates, and shares digital designs and prototypes for websites, mobile apps, and other digital products and experiences.

Figma has a straightforward interface, making it easy for anyone to create on the platform, no matter their experience level. You can easily access Figma’s pre-made assets (templates) to get ideas for your project or make a few tweaks to get exactly what you want.

Who is Figma best suited for?

Figma best suits UX/UI designers, product managers, developers, design educators, and students. It’s also a valuable tool for small businesses with limited budgets, as it provides awesome design and collaboration features they can leverage for improved productivity.

  • UI/UX Designers focusing on crafting intuitive user interfaces
  • Product teams collaborating on the next big app or web service
  • Developers seeking a seamless handoff from design to development

Key features

Figma offers real-time collaboration, vector editing, cloud access, prototyping, version history, etc. There’s also the FigJam, which is a Figma product that offers a digital collaborative whiteboard for teams to discover, explore, and execute ideas.

Here are the features that Figma is best known for.

  • Vector tools: Precise tools for detailed vector graphics
  • Cloud storage and version History: Projects are saved in the cloud with access to version history
  • Real-time collaboration: Work together on designs from anywhere
  • Prototyping: Create interactive models of your designs
  • Comments: Leave and receive feedback directly on designs

Applications and uses

Figma’s versatile features make it suitable for a wide range of real-world applications, including:

  • Website layouts: Design layouts for any website
  • Mobile app interfaces: Create user interfaces for mobile apps
  • Interactive prototypes: Test designs with interactive prototypes
  • Team collaboration: Work on projects together in real-time
  • Stakeholder feedback: Easily collect feedback directly on designs
  • Brand guides: Develop consistent brand and style guides
  • User flows: Map out navigation paths for apps and websites

In a nutshell:

Figms is a type of great for creating prototypes and UX designs, like you can do with Illustrator.

Canva has some advanced features like AI tools (Magic Studio), which also helps you mak your visual content more aesthetic. You can also post your content directly from Canva on social media.

I use Canva almost daily, for professional and personal reasons, to quickly create designs on the go. When needed, I also share the designs with my team, and they make changes.

Canva vs Figma: Summary

If you are a designer or professional who needs to create visually appealing graphics quickly, such as social media posts, marketing materials, and simple web graphics, go for Canva.

Figma, on the other hand, specializes in UI/UX design and prototyping, offering advanced features for real-time collaboration and detailed design work, making it ideal for product teams and designers creating websites and mobile apps.

Therefore, the choice between Canva and Figma depends on your design needs, expertise level, and collaboration level you need.

A more detailed comparison of both platforms will help you make an informed decision.

Canva vs Figma: Detailed Comparison

Canva and Figma offer many features that enable you to create simple and sophisticated designs, get input or assistance from team members, and create designs that mirror your thought process.

Let’s look at how their features compare and help you figure out which tool is more suitable for your specific design needs.

Design Tools and Functionality

Canva has a suite of design tools you can use to develop simple graphic and web designs in no time. With Canva’s vast template library of over 250,000 templates, you can make over 100 different designs, including flyers, social media posts, letters, presentations, and more. There’s also a wide range of shapes, icons, stickers, backgrounds, effects, and filters you can use to customize your designs.

You can also upload and manipulate images on Canva and access a library of stock photos and illustrations. Canva’s layer management is one of the key design functions the tool offers, as it enables you to arrange elements in front or behind other objects in your design.

Canva Design Tools

While Canva offers drag-and-drop features with thousands of templates to help you make designs faster, Figma presents you with tools that give you design autonomy. The Figma design tools include frames, pens, pencils, and other elements you need to design from scratch.

Figma has a wider range of drawing and design tools than Canva, making it more suitable for professionals who love creating their designs from scratch and watching their ideas shape into products through prototypes.

Figma Design Tools

Collaboration and Sharing

Collaboration is a vital feature of both Canva and Figma. You can create designs on either of the platforms and have your team members view, make, or suggest changes in real-time, ensuring the seamless and timely execution of tasks.

The Canva collaboration feature is available on the Canva for Teams plan. You can create designs and invite team members to make contributions, giving them access to view, comment on, or edit the designs. You can equally assign tasks to your team members right there in your design document.

Figma has a more sophisticated collaboration feature than Canva. In addition to offering all the collaboration features Canva offers, Figma offers audio conversations among teams and more dedicated and sophisticated design handoff features.

Instead of commenting on design sheets, collaborators can use the audio chat feature to discuss the progress of a project and make changes in real-time. Once a project is completed, the Figma design handoff features ensure a seamless handover to the project developers without compromising any design aspect.

User Interface and Usability

Both Canva and Figma offer simple, intuitive user interfaces, making it easy for beginners to navigate the platforms.
Canva’s interface is simple and beginner-friendly. Once you land on the home page, you can easily locate the key features you need for your designs.

On the left side of the screen is a navigation menu that displays the design categories available on Canva. When you click on one, it brings up more options. For example, when you click on “templates,” it expands into categories like business, social media, education, video, print products, marketing, and many more. The side menu also shows Canva Magic Studio, which is a new feature on the platform that enables you to leverage AI-powered tools to make your designs better. There’s also a search bar at the top of the home page to search for specific templates, elements, or design assets within the Canva library.

Similarly, Figma has an intuitive interface. Logging into Figma takes you to the dashboard, where you can access shared projects, drafts, and recent files by the left bar and design templates at the center of the home screen. At the top of the screen, there’s a toolbar that provides you access to key functions on the Figma platform, such as the Figma Design file and FigJam board features.

Plugins and Apps

Plugins are external tools or programs embedded into software to help users improve their productivity. Both Canva and Figma have a suite of plugins that can enhance your design skills, making it easier to create designs that represent your brand and resonate with your target audience.

Canva offers a great selection of plugins that enhance the design experience. The plugin suite covers various tools you’d need for an effective design process, from design essentials to productivity, sharing, publishing, and even AI-powered tools.

Here are some of the key Canva plugins:

  • Imagen: Enables you to turn your texts into photorealistic AI images.
  • Murf AI: Helps you add voiceovers to your designs.
  • Google Drive: Add your Google Drive photos to your designs.
  • Embed: Add video, music, and other online media to your designs.
  • Mockups: Create product mockups for your projects.
  • Pexels: Add free photos from Pexels to your designs.
  • FlippingBook: Create dynamic flipbooks from your designs.
  • CreatEcards: Create invitation cards and send them as an e-card.

Figma also has a large plugin library you can leverage to make your designs on the platform stand out. It’s a much more robust library than Canva’s because anyone on Figma can create a plugin and make it accessible to others through the Figma community.

Here are some of the plugins available to you on Figma:

  • Themer: Create and switch themes between published styles from your team library.
  • Content Reel: Design layouts by pulling text strings, images, and icons from one palette.
  • Map Maker: Create and insert a customized map into any shape layer
  • Figmotion: Enables you to animate objects within a frame
  • Iconify: Add icons and emojis to your designs.
  • Unsplash: Add beautiful stock photos from Unsplash to your designs.
  • Remove BG: This enables you to remove the background of images with just a single click.
  • Figma to Code: Convert your Figma designs into codes for production or prototyping.
  • Autoflow: Draw flows, diagrams, and graphics with ease.

From the detailed assessment, you can already see that Figma is a much more sophisticated tool than Canva. However, they also have distinct use cases and can be used interchangeably.

But if you must settle for one, other information like their pros and cons, pricing, and alternatives will be helpful.

Before we get to that, here are other posts you might find useful:

How to Group Effectively in Canva

How to Wrap Text in Canva

Canva vs Figma: Pros and Cons

Canva’s pros and cons

Pros

  • Offers over 250,000 templates.
  • A vast library of stock photos, illustrations, and other visual elements.
  • User-friendly and intuitive interface.
  • Enhances collaboration among teams.
  • Beginner-friendly.
  • Offers a variety of plugins and apps.

Cons

  • Limited design customization features.
  • Key features aren’t available in the free version.
  • Not ideal for complex designs.

Canva pros and cons

Figma’s pros and cons

Pros

  • Real-time collaboration.
  • Robust vector-based tools suitable for complex designs.
  • A vast library of plugins and apps.
  • Version control.
  • Cloud storage.

Cons

  • Steep learning curve.
  • Limited templates compared to Canva.
  • Limited free plan.

Figma pros and cons

Canva vs Figma: Pricing

Pricing is another important comparison factor between Canva and Figma. Here are the pricing plans for both platforms:

Canva pricing

Canva has three pricing plans:

Canva pricing plans

  • Canva Free: Available for free, forever.
  • Canva Pro: Costs $14.99 per month and $119.99 per year.
  • Canva for Teams: Costs $149.90 for the first five persons.

There’s also a 30-day free trial on the two paid plans Canva offers. Here’s a more detailed review of Canva pricing. Also check out my post on the Canva Pro lifetime deal.

Figma pricing

Figma has four pricing plans:

figma pricing plans

  • Starter: Available for free, forever
  • Professional: Costs $15 per editor per month and an extra $5 per editor per month for FigJam.
  • Organization: Costs $45 per editor per month and an extra $5 per editor per month for FigJam. It’s only available for yearly billing.
  • Enterprise: Costs $75 per editor per month and an extra $5 per editor per month for FigJam. It’s also only available for yearly billing.

Figma also offers a 30-day free trial on all its paid plans.

Alternatives to Canva and Figma

Here are some notable alternatives to Canva and Figma:

1. Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is one of the best Canva and Figma alternatives. It includes a suite of design tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Adobe XD that you can use to create different kinds of designs, from graphics to UI/UX and prototyping.

The vast template library and super intuitive and beginner-friendly interface it offers make it ideal for small business owners looking to save on the cost of hiring professional designers.

Here’s a detailed Canva vs Adobe Express article you’d find resourceful.

2. CorelDRAW

This is another creative design suite worthy of mention alongside Canva and Figma. CorelDRAW is suitable for editing vector graphics, illustrations, and other kinds of designs. It offers similar customization features as Figma and may not be ideal for someone without design experience.

3. Sketch

Sketch is a macOS and web-based application suitable for UI/UX designs, interface prototyping, and vector-based graphic design. It’s an ideal Canva and Figma alternative as it offers design, collaboration, prototyping, and handoff features. The offline Sketch application is only available to macOS users. However, it also has a web app that works across all major operating systems.

Read these posts on Canva vs other design tools:

What are the similarities between Canva and Figma?

Canva and Figma are built for different kinds of design work; however, they have a lot of similarities. Here are some of them:

  • Both are web-based applications.
  • Supports vector graphics.
  • Integrates seamlessly with other tools.
  • Supports collaboration among teams.
  • Have vast template libraries.
  • Offer basic image editing features.

Which is suitable for non-designers: Canva or Figma?

Canva is more suitable for non-designers. Its vast template library, illustrations, and elements enable people without prior design experience to create simple designs.

That also makes Canva a more suitable design tool for small businesses lacking the resources to hire professional designers.

Which is better, Canva or Figma? – Conclusion

Canva and Figma are top-level design tools suitable for all forms of design work. They’re also excellent prototyping, collaboration, and branding tools. However, deciding which is better depends on your specific design needs and budget.
If you’re a small business owner, you probably don’t need advanced customizable designs, and as such, Canva looks to be a better fit for you.

Similarly, if you’re a blogger, content marketer, SEO writer, or agency, your design needs aren’t too complex and can easily be handled on Canva, and perfectly too.

Figma is more of a design tool for large enterprises with dedicated media teams working with complex brand kits.

However, if you aren’t sure which one to choose, you can take advantage of the 30-day free trial offered by both tools and then decide afterward.

FAQ: Canva vs Figma 2023

Figma is mainly used by designers and developers to create digital interfaces like websites and apps. Canva is a user-friendly platform to create simple but beautiful visuals. Canva is often used by non-designers and small business owners to create social media graphics and marketing materials.

Yes, you can import your Canva designs into Figma. Instead of recreating your Canva designs on Figma from scratch, you can simply import them into Figma and edit them further to achieve the desired result.

Professionals use Figma more than Canva. The platform is built to help professional designers who love to leave their mark on their designs. Its customization features enable professionals to create designs that portray their innate ideas and resonate with their audience.

Yes, both Canva and Figma offer free trials that allow users to explore their basic features before committing to a paid subscription.

No, Figma serves a slightly different purpose from Canva. While both are awesome platforms for visual designs, their focus and design approach are different. Canva is built with non-designers in mind, while Figma is more suitable for professionals who love to design from scratch.

Liked this post? Share it!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Don't leave without a try!

Get a 30-day free trial of Canva Pro

Pro

30-Day Free Trial

Get a 30-day free trial of Canva Pro

30-day free trial
for Canva Pro

Access all of Canva’s premium features & stock content for free