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Canva vs PicMonkey

Written by: Connie Bazet  | August 5, 2021

When it comes to choosing an editing tool, Canva and PicMonkey are probably at the top of your list.

They have launched almost at the same time a few years ago and became extremely popular and functional since.

They can both magically turn you into a graphic designer without having to download any kind of software or go through a whole bunch of annoying tutorials. 

Even if you have no idea what you’re doing!

They make perfect allies for influencers, small business owners, or anyone who needs professional-looking results but lacks the time and experience. 

Both tools can successfully achieve similar results and they are constantly adding features that kind of match the ones that the other platform has.

Differences Between Canva And PicMonkey

Even though they are similar, they serve slightly different purposes. 

The first thing you’ll notice about PicMonkey is that its photo editor is way superior to Canva’s, although Canva has more and better design tools. 

PicMonkey is aimed at everyday photo-editing. It covers all your basic edits plus filters and overlays, including a few special tricks specially designed for correcting or enhancing photos of people. 

You can also read our full review on PicMonkey here.

Canva, on the other hand, focuses on producing graphics that are suitable for a range of digital and print applications. You can create images for social media and blogs, infographics, special document layouts, letterheads, business cards, posters, etc. 

Tough choice here, I know. It will depend on what’s more important to you. 

Check out our full review on Canva here.

Let’s dive into the details. We will analyze and compare four different aspects of these tools so that you can choose the one that suits your needs better. 

The Photo Editor

Most users will agree that PicMonkey seems to be the clear winner here. 

Both interfaces are similar. Editing features are located on the left side, and there’s a top bar with other options like sharing, downloading, and resizing the design. They are both clean, straightforward, and user-friendly. 

PicMonkey’s might be a bit harder to use, but that’s only because its functionalities are more complex. 

Its photo editing tools are quite sophisticated without being too technical, but you still have to understand what you’re doing. It definitely takes a while to get the hang of it. 

Luckily, PicMonkey offers several tutorials to help you achieve your desired results. 

Okay, but what about Canva? 

Well, it is true that Canva’s photo editor is rather limited and only offers the basic adjustments. 

But at least it’s free! 

Canva’s got your back and deserves some credit for that as well.

You can easily do a quick edit without having to start a free trial or commit in any way. No payments, no watermarks.  

Besides, PicMonkey’s editor is a bit slower and lags sometimes, which can be pretty annoying. Canva also allows you to design multiple pieces on a single page, whereas you must start a new page for each design on PicMonkey. 

This proves that even though PicMonkey’s photo editor is superior, Canva seems to be more practical, and offers smarter solutions. 

The Apps and Integrations

One single tool is never good enough, that’s what integrations are for. They are third-party tools that come in handy when the main platform could use a little support. 

PicMonkey features some useful integrations like social media apps and Google Drive. Given the nature of this tool, I would say that is the bare minimum. 

But Canva did quite an impressive job here. It integrates with pretty much every app you can possibly need. You can go ahead and explore their app directory, but here’s a little summary: 

  • Storage services such as Dropbox. 
  • Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
  • Email marketing tools like Mailchimp
  • Editing extensions (see “Enhance Your Images” section in their directory).

And the list goes on and on. 

The Features

When looking for an editing tool, the features are the first thing you need to analyze. Does this tool offer what you’re looking for? Does it suit your needs? If it doesn’t, there’s no reason to consider it. It is just not gonna be worth the investment. 

Canva and PicMonkey offer pretty much the same features. You will, in fact, be able to achieve similar results using both tools. 

However, you may need features that are only present in either one or the other. It’s on you to decide which ones you appreciate the most. 

Features Canva Has But PicMonkey Doesn’t

Instant Animation

Canva allows you to animate your designs in one click. You can then download your creation as a GIF or video. You can make your visuals pop, slide, fade, and more. 

There are 14 different animation styles. Curious? Check out this video tutorial. 

Content Planner

This one is a must for influencers and social media entrepreneurs. You can schedule your designs to be posted on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter, among other platforms. 

Select a design or create a new one, and assign a day and time. Canva will take it from there. This will save you a lot of time!

Canva Print

We all have to admit this is genius. Now you can not only create designs but also have them printed and delivered to your doorstep in one click. 

Birthday invitations, flyers, posters, and even T-shirts. You can bring any creation to life. According to them, their prints are top quality and sustainable.

They even offer free delivery! 

Features PicMonkey Has But Canva Doesn’t

Full-featured Photo Editing

As we’ve seen earlier in the article, this is the main difference between both tools. 

PicMonkey offers features like cosmetic touch-ups (skin smoother, teeth whitening, lip tint, etc.) 

Then you also have advanced options like dodge and burn, levels, curves, and color changer. 

Let’s not forget the filters here. PicMonkey has a neverending selection of effects and textures that you can apply to the whole photo or to some sections, with a special brush. 

PicMonkey’s photo editor is basically Photoshop for dummies. Of course, it can’t replace a professional editing tool but it is pretty decent and requires zero experience. 

Simultaneous Co-Editing

Even though Canva allows you to share a design and have others edit it as a team, you can’t do it at the same time. 

With PicMonkey you can work together with other people simultaneously. Multiple team members can create together on the same files, at the same time, from different places. 

This can be a game-changer if you need to cooperate with others on a project. It makes teamwork much more effective, as you don’t have to wait until the other person is done making their edits to intervene. 

The Pricing

The first thing to consider here is that Canva has a pretty functional free version that requires no financial commitment of any kind, while PicMonkey only offers a 7-day trial period or a free mobile app. 

So if you’re not willing to invest money in an editing tool, you will have to stick to Canva’s free version or start looking for alternatives. 

Now, which one is more convenient?

They both offer 3 similar plans. 

Canva’s first plan is the free version of this tool. This comes in handy for people who are not ready to commit or who only need to make a spontaneous design every now and then. 

PicMonkey’s Basic plan is the cheapest, at $7.99 monthly or $72 annually. If we’re being honest here, no one goes for the basic. The Pro subscription is way superior, without being that much more expensive. 

Needless to say, PicMonkey’s Basic subscription can’t possibly compete against Canva’s 100% free version. 

But Canva also has a Pro plan, with pretty much the same features as PicMonkey’s. And what’s more, for the exact same price. Both subscriptions are $12.99 monthly and $119.99 annually. 

Canva Pro Free Trial Start > Canva Pro Pricing Analyzed: Is Canva Pro Worth It? Find Out!

Last but not least, the Business plan. 

PicMonkey’s Team plan works as a package for 3 or more users. It costs $33.99 monthly ($11.33 per user) and $300 annually. 

Canva’s Enterprise subscription costs $30 per person per month, although the price changes depending on how many users you need. 

Another thing to consider is that Canva offers a 30-day free trial period while PicMonkey only lets you try its paid plans for a week. 

If you base your decision solely on the price, I’d say Canva Pro is better for individuals while PicMonkey Team seems to be the best option for companies or small businesses. 

Pros & Cons: Canva vs. PicMonkey

Canva

What I like 

  • It has a jaw-dropping template library with thousands of incredible options. You certainly won’t be disappointed. 
  • Extremely user-friendly drag-and-drop editor. This tool is beyond intuitive. The first time you use it feels like you’ve been using it for years. 
  • Easy to ass and layer photos and other elements. No need to struggle with the size and format.  
  • Super responsive. You can add and make instant changes. No glitching, no waiting a few seconds. Canva is fast and effective. 
  • It suggests color palettes based on the elements in your design. You can choose whatever palette you want and it will be automatically applied to your project.
  • The free version is perfect for individuals or spontaneous projects. You can perfectly make good use of this tool without paying a cent. 

What I don’t like

  • Poor photo editor. It only includes essential features like cropping, adding filters, and adjusting brightness, contrast, and tint. The basics. 
  • Sometimes it’s hard to do things like resizing an element without messing up the whole design. This is solved by learning how to group and layer elements in the correct way, but it’s still kind of tricky. 
  • Many of the coolest features are only available for paid subscribers. A good example of this is the background remover, which is a must if you need to work on a logo.  

PicMonkey

What I like 

  • When it comes to editing pictures, Picmonkey is the clear winner. Its editor is much more sophisticated. It features more and better functionalities. 
  • You can add your own fonts.
  • Great selection of stock images.
  • Picmonkey's color choosing tool is more sophisticated. It lets you introduce a hex code for the specific color you want or select the color from the elements in your design.
  • It allows you to check the dimensions of all elements separately and resize them.
  • It has a draw function. You can use an auto-smoothing brush to trace lines around the elements that you want to highlight. 

What I don’t like

  • Picmonkey's drag and drop editor is not very smart. You have to struggle with it to get the image in the right place and size, like when you want to include a picture in a Word doc and it messes up everything around it.
  • Picmonkey is a bit slower. If you type quickly it might miss some characters. Plus, there's a little bit of a click delay.
  • It offers a free trial, but you will eventually have to pay. There is no free desktop version. 
  • It is not as user-friendly as its competitors. It might take you a while to really get the hang of it. 

Final Thoughts

Choose Canva If…

  • You need to create cool graphics, social media posts, work presentations, and other visuals. 
  • You’re not willing to invest money in an editing tool. 
  • You want to have your creations printed and sent to you. 

Choose PicMonkey If…

  • You want to edit and enhance photos but don’t have access to professional software. 
  • You need to work on a project as a team.
  • You like to make edits on the go and need a mobile version. 

There is no right answer here. Hopefully, this analysis helped you decide what would work best for you. 

There’s no need to settle for one or the other, though.

Most people like to use them in tandem because they make great complements. 

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