Canva, Illustrator or Photoshop?

I recently joined a little online club for creative entrepreneurs called the Sunday Society. Every month we get a challenge to work on and April 2017 is all about photography. Specifically, teaching yourself to take great photos one step at a time.

I love this because I can make it work with very little equipment and DIY almost anything I need along the way.

But there are some things I can’t do without.

For example I have very little light in my tiny apartment so I'll need to create a lightbox, make reflectors out of white cardboard and linen and I'll still make it work. But I can't do anything without a decent camera.

And I don't mean something fancy —a smartphone camera will do nicely, these things are great if you know how to use them. I mean I-broke-my-iPhone-so-I’m-using-my-2006-phone camera (yep, that happened).

My point is,

you can start small and grow as you learn, but you cannot start without the absolute basic tools and supplies.

There are no bad or good graphic design apps out there. Each has a purpose and can be used for different things.

Canva is a free online graphic design tool that "provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts" you can drag-and-drop to create designs for print or web use.

There is a paid plan, that allows you to upload your fonts and access all images and templates.

With all the tutorials available out there, the premade designs and the drag-and-drop feature this app is great for absolute beginners.

It is also limiting if you want to create something that is uniquely yours.

Illustrator is a graphic design software used to create vector graphics you can scale without losing quality. It is favoured for designing logos, workbooks, print materials, patterns and other scalable graphics.

Photoshop is popular for editing photos, but also for working with watercolour graphics and brushes, using premade clipart to assemble designs, or simply for painting.

Both Illustrator and Photoshop don't have drag-and-drop functions or built-in graphic libraries. They are also not free — each costs $19.99 per month. 

Here is a little side by side comparison of the tree apps:

CANVA

  • FREE

  • DRAG-AND-DROP

  • ONLINE (YOU CAN USE IT ON THE GO) + IPAD APP

  • PREMADE TEMPLATES

  • CREATE SIMPLE BLOG OR SOCIAL MEDIA GRAPHICS

  • HARDER TO CREATE CUSTOM DESIGNS

  • LIMITED PHOTO RETOUCHING

  • NO CUSTOM FONTS ON THE FREE PLAN

ILLUSTRATOR

  • $19.99 / MONTH

  • NO DRAG-AND-DROP

  • INSTALLED ON YOUR COMPUTER (NO INTERNET CONNECTION NEEDED TO WORK)

  • SCALABLE VECTOR GRAPHICS

  • TRACE LETTERING

  • CREATE PDF WORKBOOKS

  • CREATE BLOG GRAPHICS

  • BUY OR MAKE YOUR OWN TEMPLATES

  • USE THE FONTS INSTALLED ON YOUR COMPUTER

PHOTOSHOP

  • $19.99 / MONTH

  • NO DRAG-AND-DROP

  • INSTALLED ON YOUR COMPUTER (NO INTERNET CONNECTION NEEDED TO WORK)

  • RETOUCH PHOTOS AND ARTWORK

  • USE WATERCOLOUR BRUSHES & CLIPART

  • PAINT

  • CREATE BLOG GRAPHICS

  • BUY OR MAKE YOUR OWN TEMPLATES

  • USE THE FONTS INSTALLED ON YOUR COMPUTER

 

SO CANVA, PHOTOSHOP OR ILLUSTRATOR?

Which graphic design app is best for your business?

The answer is all of them.

If you are serious about your business (of course you are!), you need to focus your time and efforts mastering the tools that will give you the limitless freedom to create one-of-a-kind visuals for your brand.

So your business, your decision.

If you want to DIY things like a pro, you need test different tools and pick what works best for you.

Be proactive about it.

Do whatever you need to do to create a consistent, magnificent images that are in tune with your brand design and business values. 

 

THE BEST TOOLS FOR MY BUSINESS

I really like Canva, Pixlr and even Google Slides for odd little jobs here and there. But I use Illustrator and Photoshop for everything I create. 

And this is what I works best for me.

If you are eager to DIY your brand and learn new things, start learning Adobe Illustrator it will serve you for life. Use Photoshop for your blog images and to edit your slightly too dark photos to vibrancy. Design your workbooks in Illustrator. Whip up your own social media templates in Illustrator and upload them to Canva to use on the go.

Learn and grow, test, experiment and learn and grow...

Being a beginner is not an excuse - invest your time in mastering the tools that will set your creative genius free for life.

Stay curious, keep learning and know that you've got this, you can do everything you want to do if you keep working, be patient with yourself and the progress you're making, and have as much fun as possible.

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE GRAPHIC DESIGN APP?

Have you tried all three? Are you scared to try any of the apps and why? I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Thank you so much for reading, my dear. Keep working on your dream business and may the creative force be with you!

♥ Lin