Canva versus Photoshop CC: Which program should you use for content creation?

When I started my education in Media Production, Adobe Photoshop was the go-to software for most assignment. We would spend countless hours learning what each tool could do and how to use the software for optimal performance. Luckily, we were offered all the Adobe programs for free as a part of our program. Ten years later, and my content creation has evolved, so has the programs I use.

If you are already in the space of digital marketing, content creation, or business, then you’ve most likely used or heard of both Canva and Photoshop as content marketing tools. If so, then you’ve probably also been wondering which of the two programs you should invest your time, money, and effort into to optimise your business strategy and content creation. Fear not, I am here to give you the rundown on the differences between Canva and Photoshop.

Photoshop CC 101

Screenshot of Photoshop CC 2021 interface for content creation

Thirty-four years after being developed, Abobe Creative is now an industry-standard program within several fields, including marketing. Adobe Photoshop lets you edit and manipulate photos, create digital art, graphic design, and animations. With Photoshop, your imagination might be the only thing stopping you. 

What is Canva Pro?

Canva Pro interface, previous graphic design work from the science behind emoji marketing

Canva is a drag-and-drop tool used to create graphic designs and videos. They provide pre-made templates for any graphic design and video format you can think of, including social media posts, logos, ad videos, and eBooks. With Canva Pro, you access 420 000+ templates and 75+ million stock images, graphics, audio, and videos. 



Photoshop comes in different forms for different prices. Adobe Photoshop CC comes to £19.97 per month as a single app for desktop and tablet. However, if you are looking to only work with images, then Photoshop Elements is an option as a one-time purchase for £86.56. However, the best price for Photoshop CC comes in Adobe’s Photography package for £9.98 per month, which includes Photoshop CC and the photo editing software Lightroom. Adobe’s Photography plan is ideal if you use a lot of images that need detailed retouching in addition to graphics. But, keep in mind that all plans are one-year plans, and cancellation before the 12 months will result in a cancellation fee. Included in the prices is access to Adobe Stock files, fonts, and Adobe Sparks.

Adobe also provides different bundles at discounted prices for business, students and teachers, and schools and universities.


Canva provides three standard plans; Free, Pro, and Enterprise. The free version gives you access to a limited amount of templates, stock photos, graphics and videos. While the free version might keep you happy for some time, I found that it is worth upgrading to Pro for features like transparent background, resizing templates, and access to more photos, graphics, videos and music. Canva Pro comes at the price of £11.99 per month. The third standard plan is Enterprise at £24 per month and provides more branding features and collaboration between several people. Canva Pro is perfect if you deal with stock images/videos and frequently focus on graphics as you won’t be able to do much editing of your own pictures.

Additionally, Canva Pro is available at no cost for Non-profits and all K12 teachers and their students.

Learning curve


Photoshop requires time and effort to master and, the learning curve is steep. With the numerous different editing options and elements, you won’t get optimal usage if you are not willing to read and watch tutorials and try and fail. Furthermore, you have to consider if your work needs such a powerful tool as Photoshop, as simple graphics might not justify investing time and money into Photoshop.


Canva pro is an easy click-and-drag tool that most beginners will be able to navigate without much trouble. The number of editing options is limited, which reduces the risk of feeling overwhelmed as a beginner. Canva is also essentially based on pre-made templates that are customisable to make them fit your branding easily.

Editing abilities


If it’s the editing choices you want, then Photoshop is definitively the one for you. Photoshop is a dream for photography in terms of colour correction, highlights, shadows, blurring, selection, layering, effects, and removing unwanted elements. In terms of graphic design Photoshop lets you manipulate and edit shapes, fonts, and pattern almost entirely how you would like.

One of my main reasons for using Photoshop is digital art because Photoshop allows you to use several brushes to paint digitally, in addition to the pen tool. Photoshop has its standard brushes, which you can add to by finding additional brushes to download for free or purchase.

Photoshop CC 2021 software outline of cartoon painting of black woman's headPhotoshop CC 2021 software work in progress cartoon painting of black woman's head on a blue background


As stated several times, if photography is an essential part of your content creation, Canva might not be for you. Canva does offer some photo editing abilities, but they are limited, and several free apps offer the same editing tools.

Canva offers the ability to change element transparency, resize graphics, remove backgrounds from images, smart mock-ups, and a range of creative font effects. Because Canva is for beginners, complete editing isn’t a priority as the range of templates, graphics, and manageable customisation makes creating well-designed content easy.

Screenshot of Canva Pro photo editing elementsScreenshot of Canva text effects

Which content creation tool should you use?

In most cases, trial and error is the way to go if you want to find the perfect content creation tool for your strategy. I have moved entirely to Canva Pro for my social media and blog content and use Photoshop for photography and digital art.

If you have little to no experience in content creation, Canva would be my first recommendation to gain new skills with the software without much effort. I’d also recommend it for those who have less time to spend on your content creation and want to focus on graphics using stock images and videos.

Photoshop CC is perfect for those already knowledgeable in design or those who want to become more advanced. If you are looking for more customisation features, Photoshop CC is for you. Finally, if you take photos yourself and rely on those in your content, Photoshop is a strong recommendation.

If you do end up trying out Canva, then I’ve got a Pinterest Board filled with essential and helpful tips on making your content stand out! Have a look, and pin this article for future reference!

Published by Elise Olsen

Media and research devotee turned marketing enthusiast! I strive to give small business owners and bloggers all the research-based content needed to optimise your online marketing and social media strategy for growth!

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