Have you ever found yourself staring at a screen full of jumbled text and images and wondering how graphic designers manage to make their work look so good? Creating designs can be challenging, and unfortunately, it’s something most of us find ourselves having to do at some point.
So when you get landed with designing the invitations to your sister’s graduation party, how do you make something beautiful without getting a graphic design degree of your own?
Tools like Adobe Spark Post and Canva can help you put together a gorgeous design in seconds. These tools are designed for anyone to use and have all the powerful functionality you need to get the perfect design.
Read on to learn more about Adobe Spark Post and Canva and decide which is the right tool for you.
What Is Adobe Spark Post?
Adobe Spark Post is a fantastic tool to create graphics for just about any application you need to. From social media posts to advertisements to flyers, you can create amazing designs that will grab your viewers’ eyes.
And the best part is you can do it without any graphic design experience whatsoever.
Adobe Spark Post has thousands of templates for you to choose from, so all you have to do is drop your content in and go. You’ll have access to Adobe’s stock photo library to choose an image that works for you, and there are dozens of fonts for you to choose from.
What Is Canva?
Canva is another tool that puts graphic design features at your fingertips.
They have pre-sized templates for ads, flyers, posts, web pages, invitations, and more. And if they don’t have something to suit your needs, you can always create a custom-sized project.
Canva also provides a wide stock photo library, tons of font options, and gorgeous templates for your perusal. You can customize any template with drag and drop features and resize design elements at the touch of a button. You can also collaborate with people to create the best bridal shower menu or Facebook ad anyone has ever seen.
Both Canva and Adobe Spark Post offer amazing professionally designed templates for you to use as a base for your designs. These come in all styles, color schemes, sizes, and shapes that you can imagine. Some are customized for certain platforms, and others are a one-size-fits-all design.
The way the two platforms handle template selection varies a bit.
With Canva, you start with the mood you want for your piece – summer, love, nostalgia, and relaxed could all be good options – and they pull up templates that fit that style. But with Adobe, you start with the type of content you’re wanting to create and then browse through all the different templates available for that content.
Once you’ve selected your template, you’ll need to drop in your text. This could be as simple as an inspirational quote to go on your Pinterest board or Instagram feed. Or it could be the full menu for the formal tea you’re planning for your cousin’s baby shower.
Adobe Spark offers a variety of different fonts for you to choose from, including the entire collection of Adobe Fonts available to subscribers. You can also divide your text into primary and secondary fonts that have entirely different styling.
Canva provides a list of themed fonts for you to choose from, and paid users can even upload custom fonts if they like.
Image Sourcing Options
A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, and you don’t have room for a thousand words on your Facebook ad. So being able to choose the right picture is critical. You need something that will convey the emotion you want your viewers to get from the graphic, as well as communicate the message of your design.
If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, you’ll have access to the full range of Adobe stock photos.
Canva also has some solid image sourcing options that draw from free image sites. And both options allow you to upload and style your own photos to fit your design needs.
Resizing and Manipulation
Once you have everything in place, you may need to resize your images and text to fit with the proportions of your template. You might also need to play with how lines of text fall and how far apart each one is.
Both Adobe Spark and Canva make it easy to manipulate your text and images as needed.
Both apps allow you to resize text by dragging the corner of it, a feature that’s much more flexible than changing font size numbers. You can resize and move images by dragging them around in the design space. You can even rotate certain elements of a design to fit in the space you need.
Although Spark and Canva’s templates provide you with a general format for your content, it may not fit exactly with what you need. And both of these tools have amazing features that allow you to play around with the formatting.
Adobe Spark has a smart image replace feature that will match your current formatting to any new image you drop in. You can even search for images that match your current template with a simple “Replace Image” button. Spark will also let you blur, crop, or straighten your images, all from within the app.
Canva doesn’t have the automatic image replacement option, but swapping images out is still a simple matter of drag and drop.
Sometimes, you may not know what layout you want for a content piece until you’ve tried a few on for size.
Spark and Canva both have different layout options that you can play with within each template. Spark will even auto-suggest some templates that may work well for you.
Once you pick a template you like, Spark will automatically fit your content into the new layout. Canva has grids that you can use to make a quick collage, but it doesn’t have the same fun auto-shifting features Spark does.
When you’re putting together all these amazing graphics, you need to be able to keep the elements of each one organized. Good folder organization is key to being able to find your content when you go back for it later. This is also important if you want to reuse images you’ve purchased for future designs.
When you download content from Adobe Spark, it goes into your private computer files, which you can organize as you see fit.
The free version of Canva doesn’t come with any sort of file organization. But if you pay for the pro version, you can create and arrange folders as needed in the app.
Many times when you’re working with a graphic design tool, the company you’re working with likes to make sure they get their advertisement in on your work.
In most cases, this will take the shape of a small watermark in one of the corners of your design. But this can interfere with your own branding and leave you advertising for a company you don’t want to.
Canva doesn’t put any watermark on any of its exports or images, so you’ll have just the clean graphic you created.
Spark does place a small watermark on some of its graphics, but you can remove it. You have to click through Adobe’s price page for the image before that watermark will get removed.
Sometimes you may want to collaborate with someone on one of the graphics you’re creating. Maybe you want to check your designs with a branding consultant to get something that will work with your company’s image. Or maybe you and some friends are planning a birthday party for a friend and need to coordinate on the invitations.
Canva makes collaborating on your designs simple. You can send a preview for someone to comment on, or you can give that person full design power, all with the click of a button.
Likewise, you can invite other people to view or edit your project all from within Adobe Spark’s app.
Once you get your design finished, you’re going to need to download it so you can share it on social media, upload it to your website, or print it off. Depending on what you’re planning on doing with the files, you may need different file formats.
Both Adobe Spark and Canva have you covered with different download options.
Spark allows you to download a design as a JPG, PDF, or PNG file, depending on what you need. Choosing which option you want is as simple as ticking a box when you start the download process.
Canva offers all these same options, as well as a PDF print option that optimizes your files for printing.
Whether you’re trying to run a business, finish a school presentation, or plan an event, having good time management is crucial. You can’t afford to spend hours slaving over a design, which is probably why you turned to these tools in the first place. Your design tool needs to be able to keep pace with you, not leave you waiting on designs to load.
As long as you have a good internet connection, Canva edits are instantaneous.
In general, Adobe Spark changes take a tiny bit longer to show up. This delay is usually less than five seconds, however, so it shouldn’t disrupt your time management too much.
Both Adobe Spark and Canva are easy to use on a desktop, but these days, who has time to sit down at a computer? Ours is a world on the go, and you need a tool that can move with you.
Both Canva and Adobe Spark offer mobile apps for their platforms. The Canva app is available for iPhone, iPad, Android phones, and Android tablets. Spark has covered the iOS suite of devices for years and in June 2018 launched the beta of their Android app/
Cost of Each
Aside from all the features, a major factor in your decision between Canva and Spark will be the price.
Canva has a free option that gives you limited functionality. But if you want access to all the bells, whistles, and images, you’ll need to pay $12.95 a month, or about $120 a year.
If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud license, you may already have access to Spark without realizing it. But if you don’t have a license, you’re looking at just $10 a month for the premium version that will give you access to everything. You can also use a free version that comes with limited template and image options but still allows you to create designs from scratch.
Which One Is Right for You?
So when it comes right down to it, which design tool is the best one for you? Canva has some fantastic features, great ease of use, and easy collaboration and sharing. But in the end, we’ll have to recommend Adobe Spark to people looking to create beautiful, effortless designs.
Adobe Spark offers a little more functionality and power than Canva does. Their premium price is lower, and many interested customers may already have an Adobe Creative Cloud license. And it’s hard to argue with the undisputed reputation Adobe has built as the number-one company for all design tools.
Start Creating Beautiful Designs
Creating beautiful designs should be easy, and with the right tool, it can be. Adobe Spark Post is a powerful, accessible tool that puts professional design skills in your hands, no matter what your level of training is. Go experience the app for yourself and discover the beauty of a well-done design.
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