Canva vs Photoshop: Which Design Tool is Best For Entrepreneurs

It's the fight of the night: Canva vs Photoshop

As the crowds gather and roar, the mic lowers from the ceiling and the announcer starts his speech:

"In the blue corner, we have the all-round drag-and-drop graphic design heavyweight, Canva. With 15 Million monthly active users, it's the unbeaten champion amongst DIY graphic design tools for startups. And in the red corner, we have Photoshop. Some of the biggest graphic design agencies in the world are using Photoshop and the software is pretty much industry standard."

Looks like it's going to be a good fight.

As the ref draws both boxers into the middle, the bell rings & the fight is on!

But wait a minute, let's stop right here.

So, maybe we can solve this like adults! Ultimately, fighting just causes black eyes and headaches the next morning.

Let's try.

What is the best graphic design tool for entrepreneurs — Canva vs Photoshop?

As Entrepreneurs, we want to get sh!t done. In addition, we hustle harder, have a zillion ideas, and disrupt entire industries.

Design Buffs gives you your own dedicated graphic design professional for a flat monthly fee

Okay, a little over the top but ultimately we want to build our business in a smart way.

And we know already that awesome marketing design can increase your bottom line.

So the question is: which online graphic design tool caters best to startup founders & entrepreneurs?

Let's take a look, shall we?

Round 1: What Can I Make With Canva vs Photoshop

What can I make with Canva?

Canva is a free online based graphic design tool offering a simple and easy to use solution for creating eye-catching graphic designs and visuals.

What type of designs can you create?

There are many different use cases, but below are the most popular ones:

  • Social media graphics
  • eBook covers
  • YouTube video art
  • Restaurant Menus
  • Business Cards
  • Blog headers
  • Event Invitations

Heck, you can even use Canva to repurpose blog posts into engaging visuals.

Besides, in Canva, you can select from a wide range of ready-made templates and pick graphic design assets like images, illustrations & icons to best match your brand.

But there's more: You don't need a design degree to start using Canva. Canva allows everyone to be creative, even though they might not.

Let's take a look at Photoshop now.

What can I do with Photoshop?

First, you can do everything that Canva can do plus more. In addition, designers all around the world use Photoshop to create:

  • Mockups
  • Flyers
  • Display & Banner Ads
  • Badges
  • Infographics
  • Style Guides
  • Website Banners
  • Logos
  • Postcards
  • Newsletter Layouts

Plus, one thing that Canva can't help you with is photo manipulation. Photo editing is huge when it comes to your website & marketing assets.

People are opting in for Photoshop because the software has every imaginable feature under the sun allowing designers to edit, re-touch, create & draw.

For example, here are a few things Photoshop can do that Canva can't:

  • Masking
  • Selection
  • Basic Layer Adjustments
  • Layer Styles
  • Blending Modes
  • Unique filters or effects
  • Batch Processing
  • Actions

...and that's just to name a few.

But then again, the question is: Do you need all of those features and functions?

Ultimately, you simply want to get stuff done and create decent looking marketing assets, right?

Let's finish up round one, shall we?


This first round was a hard one, but the fact that you can do so much more with Photoshop and it has much more professional features, Photoshop wins here. Both design tools are great for entrepreneurs and startups alike. It simply depends on your expectations.

Round 2: Ease of Use - Canva vs Photoshop

Is Canva easy to use?

If you remember Microsoft Paint, that was super easy, wasn't it? Canva is even easier, you might also want to check Placeit and keep these tools as shortcuts to design.

With Canva you simply select one of the many templates, customise the colors, look & feel and imagery and then drag and drop elements to your canvas.

Canva vs Photoshop Ease of Use
Canva vs Photoshop: Canva is super easy to use & learn

Even someone who's never used a design program in their life can probably pick it up in a short amount of time.

Everything within Canva is drag and drop, and text can be edited much like boxes in every other graphic design tool.

What about Photoshop — is it difficult to learn Photoshop?

The learning curve can be steep for professional graphic design programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign.

Using design tools like these can often feel like using a sledgehammer to swat a fly.

However, professional graphic designers and trained Joe Averages can easily navigate their way around Photoshop. Like everything, once you've learned the basics and practise regularly, you'll become more efficient and will get more stuff done.

Who wins this round?

For round 2, Canva clearly wins. The web-based platform is easy to use and quick to learn. You don't need to spend months learning every functionality. On the downside, you might not have full flexibility, but in terms of ease-of-use Canva wins.

Round 3: Uniqueness of Designs — Canva vs Photoshop

How unique are Canva designs?

Good question, and the answer is - it depends. As more people are using Canva's templates and pre-made designs, more people are also able to recognize it online.

Additionally, online services and tools like Canva simply get a little repetitive with their templates and if everyone is using the same design set or template over and over again, it sucks.

How unique are Photoshop designs?

Adobe Photoshop offers a huge range of tools that help in the creation of compelling designs that are unique. Furthermore, Adobe continuously adds new tools & features which enhance the creative capability of the designer and help them flex their creative muscles optimally.

In addition, Photoshop allows you to take ordinary images and make them look stunning.

You simply can't take the liberty of posting shabby looking pictures and risk your reputation as a brand.

Photoshop allows designers to create far more unique designs and offer you a plethora of tools to turn boring looking graphics into spectacular ones.

The flexibility of the tool allows you to create designs that stand out from the crowd and this in itself is a huge benefit.

Round 4: Pricing & Cost - Canva vs Photoshop

This one will be a straightforward one.

How much does it cost to use Canva?

Canva has a free plan which includes limited features, and free templates, logos, fonts, photos, and graphics. You can purchase premium graphics on a pay-as-you-go basis.

The premium plans are also pretty straightforward and they offer monthly and yearly plans. The monthly plan costs US$12.95 per user per month. The annual plan costsUS$ 9.95 per team member per month.

How much is Photoshop?

For an individual user (and most small business owners and startups would fall within this category), the best subscription value is the Creative Cloud Photography plan. This includes Photoshop & Lightroom, and 20 gigs of cloud storage for US$9.99 per month

(Note: Here at Design Buffs, our team uses the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite to get full access to all apps. The price for that is US$ 52.99 per month.)


Photoshop seems to be the cheaper option, especially if you consider that there are no limitations in terms of features and functions. But again, Canva has a free plan which Photoshop doesn't have. Therefore, this round will be a draw.

Wrapping Up: Which one should I use now - Canva vs Photoshop?

It's a 3:2 points decision for Photoshop. Very close!

Canva scored very high on ease-of-use and produced decent looking graphics very quickly. But then again, you risk your designs looking like a million others, risking a bad reputation for your brand.

Photoshop takes a little longer to learn and years to master. But, you can literally design whatever creative vision comes to mind.

Both solutions require a human to actually create the designs and no matter how easy the tool is, you still need to understand the basics of graphic design in order to create marketing & design assets that rock.

The third option for you is to use a dedicated graphic design service, leaving you time to focus on growing your business.


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