Canva vs Figma: Ultimate Design Tool Showdown 2024

Canva vs Figma, which one is truly the ultimate design tool as of 2023? I won’t delay revealing the verdict any longer.

The overall winner of this race is Canva. You can do almost anything with it especially saving lots of time to quickly publish, ship, or start something.

As for Figma, by the time you master it, your competition will be waa…ay ahead.

I know they are used for different stages of design and require different levels of expertise. For that, both are winners in their own categories. But since this is a showdown, there is a winner and a loser.

So, are you ready to discover the major differences between Canva vs Figma? This is going to be long as I’ve so much to say about both design platforms. Let’s get started with this ultimate showdown.

canva vs figma

The Scoreboard Between Canva And Figma

Mastering any software or tool depends on various factors, including an individual’s prior experience, the complexity of the software, the quality of available learning resources, and the amount of dedicated practice time.

When comparing Figma vs Canva, they each cater to somewhat different purposes and have different complexities. Here’s a summary:

Canva Scoreboard

Canva is primarily aimed at non-designers or those with limited design experience. It’s intuitive and user-friendly.

canva homepage screenshot – Canva vs Figma
  1. Learning Curve: Easy 10/10
  2. Time to Master: Minimum 3 hours
  3. Resources: Tutorials and guides

Figma Scoreboard

Figma is a professional design tool tailored for UI/UX designers, and it comes with more advanced features compared to Canva.

figma homepage screenshot – Canva vs Figma
  1. Learning Curve: Advanced 4/10
  2. Time to Master: Minimum 3 weeks
  3. Resources: Community, tutorials, courses, and forums.

Detailed Comparison

1. Interface & User Experience

The interface of a design tool is like a restaurant’s ambiance; its layout and intuitiveness shape user satisfaction, much like menu placement affects a diner’s experience. Here’s how I see the interface and user experience between these two programs:

Canva Interface

canva design canvas interface

Visual Simplicity: Stepping into Canva feels like entering a brightly lit cafe, where everything is neatly arranged and clearly labeled. The platform is primarily designed with non-designers in mind.

The layout is straightforward, with a sidebar containing design elements, and a workspace that allows users to see their creations in real-time.

Intuitive Drag-and-Drop: Canva’s primary strength lies in its drag-and-drop functionality. It’s akin to picking up a piece of fruit from a buffet and placing it on your plate, without any mess.

Users can choose from a plethora of design elements and simply drag them onto their canvas.

Templates Galore: For those unsure about starting from scratch, Canva offers numerous templates. It’s like having a recipe book at your fingertips, allowing you to tweak the recipe as per your taste.

Figma Interface

Figma canvas interface

Robust and Comprehensive: If Canva is a cafe, Figma is a gourmet kitchen. Equipped with tools for every design need, it offers precision and control. The interface is grid-like, catering to those who love organized workspaces.

Toolbars and Panels: Unlike Canva’s simplistic approach, Figma provides detailed toolbars and panels.

This is reminiscent of a chef having specific tools for each culinary task. The properties panel changes dynamically based on what you’ve selected, allowing for in-depth editing.

Zoom and Navigate: Figma’s infinite canvas can be both exhilarating and daunting. It offers a bird’s-eye view of the design, much like surveying a banquet table filled with delicacies.

Users can zoom in to work on intricate details and zoom out to see the bigger picture.

Prototyping Mode: Unique to Figma, the prototyping mode lets designers create interactive designs.

It’s the magic of seeing your raw ingredients transform into a gourmet dish, as static designs come alive with transitions and interactions.

Comparative Overview

Choosing between Figma vs Canva based on interface and user experience depends largely on the user’s needs and familiarity with design tools.

Canva, with its welcoming and straightforward design, is perfect for those who want to create beautiful designs quickly without a steep learning curve. It’s the best bet for someone looking to whip up a quick meal.

Figma, on the other hand, offers a deep dive into the world of design. It’s suited for those who want to experiment, explore, and craft detailed designs. The comprehensive toolset might be overwhelming for some, but for the seasoned designer, it’s a playground.

2. Functionality & Features

Exploring Canva and Figma’s features is like navigating a craftsman’s workshop; each tool, unique in function, contributes to crafting a digital masterpiece. Here’s my take:

Canva Features

start designing with canva templates

Templates: If ever there was an equivalent of a ready-made kit in the design world, it would be Canva’s templates.

From social media banners to business cards, presentations to infographics, Canva offers thousands of pre-designed templates that users can customize as per their requirements.

Elements and Graphics: Imagine having a treasure trove of embellishments at your fingertips. Canva’s extensive library boasts of icons, shapes, illustrations, and even animated elements, enabling users to spruce up their designs.

Stock Images: No more hunting for the perfect image on the internet! Canva’s in-built library of high-quality stock photos is a blessing, especially for those without access to professional photo libraries.

Text and Typography: Crafting the perfect message is made easy with Canva’s diverse text tools. Users can play with fonts, sizes, and even some basic typography effects to get their message across effectively.

Brand Kit: For businesses, consistency is key. Canva’s Brand Kit allows companies to save their logos, colors, and fonts, ensuring that every design aligns with their brand identity.

Figma Features

figma features

Vector Editing: Much like a sculptor’s precision tools, Figma offers robust vector editing capabilities. This allows designers to create and manipulate shapes, icons, and illustrations with utmost precision.

Prototyping: Beyond static designs, Figma enables designers to bring their creations to life. With the prototyping feature, one can create interactive UI designs, complete with transitions and user flows.

Design Components: Think of this as reusable building blocks. Whether it’s a button, a navigation bar, or an entire section of a webpage, designers can create components in Figma which can be reused across different designs or pages.

Collaborative Design: Imagine multiple craftsmen working on a single masterpiece, in harmony. Figma’s real-time collaboration allows multiple designers to work on the same design simultaneously, viewing changes as they happen.

Extensions and Plugins: The world of Figma is ever-expanding, thanks to its community-driven plugins. From content generators to design lint, automation tools to accessibility checkers, there’s a plugin for almost every need.

Comparative Overview

While Canva is the go-to tool for rapid, template-based designs, Figma caters to detailed project-based designs where collaboration and precision are paramount.

It’s akin to the difference between crafting a DIY project from a ready kit and creating a bespoke piece from scratch. Both have their unique strengths; the choice rests on the creator’s needs.

3. Pricing & Plans

Discussing pricing and plans of any software solution is a bit like comparing the menus of two restaurants. Each offers a unique set of dishes (or features) at various price points, catering to different palates (or needs). Let’s compare the pricing between Canva and Figma:

Canva Pricing

canva pricing and plans

Free Plan: Think of this as the basic appetizer. Canva’s free version provides access to thousands of templates, and a limited suite of design elements, and allows users to collaborate with teams. It’s great for individuals and small businesses with minimal design needs.

Pro Plan: Moving up to the main course, the Pro Plan offers a broader array of features.

Priced at around $12.99/month, this subscription unlocks millions of stock photos, premium templates, the magic resize tool, and the ability to save brand colors and logos.

It’s tailored for businesses and professionals who need more than just the basics.

Enterprise Plan: The gourmet option of the lot, priced at $30/user/month, the Enterprise plan is designed for larger organizations. It includes everything in the Pro plan, along with team controls, advanced collaboration features, and dedicated support.

Figma Pricing

Figma pricing and plans

Starter (Free) Plan: Figma’s starter plan, akin to a sampler plate, allows individuals to test the waters. It offers access to up to three projects with unlimited draft files and allows for two editors. This plan also includes basic prototyping and design components.

Professional Plan: Taking it up a notch, the Professional Plan, priced at $15/editor/month, unlocks the full potential of Figma for design teams. It offers unlimited projects, premium collaboration features, and advanced sharing options. It’s ideal for growing teams with ongoing design projects.

Organization Plan: Tailored for large enterprises, this plan, at $45/editor/month, caters to extensive organizational needs. It includes everything from the Professional plan and adds user groups, advanced security, and organization-wide design systems.

Comparative Overview

While both Canva and Figma offer free plans to get users started, their pricing structures cater to different audiences.

Canva’s tiered plans, with their focus on templates and stock resources, target individuals, professionals, and businesses looking for quick and aesthetic design solutions. The pricing is more linear, and the jump between plans mainly unlocks more resources and collaboration features.

Figma, on the other hand, scales its pricing with the depth of features and collaboration tools. It’s more suited for professional designers, teams, and organizations that require a detailed design process, collaborative features, and advanced prototyping capabilities.

4. Learning Curve

The learning curve of software is like comparing bike riding to unicycling: both are tools, but one might be simpler.

Canva Learning Curve

canva learning school

Beginner-Friendly: Picking up Canva is much like learning to ride a bicycle with training wheels.

Most individuals, even without a background in design, can start creating within minutes of their first login.

The intuitive drag-and-drop interface, clear icons, and well-labeled options make navigation straightforward.

Guided Tutorials: For those who wish for a more structured approach, Canva offers quick tutorials. It’s like having an instructor guiding you as you take your first pedal strokes.

Limited Advanced Features: Simplicity comes at the cost of limited advanced design features. However, this also means there are fewer complexities for users to grapple with, making the learning process swift and smooth.

Figma Learning Curve

figma resources

Feature-Rich Interface: Approaching Figma is like taking on the unicycle. It offers a lot more flexibility and functionality, but that comes with a steeper learning curve.

With its myriad of tools, panels, and options, Figma can be initially overwhelming for newcomers, especially those unfamiliar with design software.

Community and Official Tutorials: To aid in the learning process, Figma offers a range of official tutorials, and there’s an active community that contributes learning materials regularly.

It’s equivalent to joining a unicycling club, where seasoned riders help novices balance and maneuver.

Collaborative Learning: One of Figma’s unique strengths is real-time collaboration. This feature not only aids in design but also in learning.

New users can work alongside experienced designers, learning in real-time, much like learning to ride in a group where you can mimic more experienced riders.

Comparative Overview

Canva’s design and interface are geared towards simplicity and accessibility. Its learning curve is gentle, allowing users to quickly feel a sense of accomplishment.

This makes it a go-to for individuals and businesses who want to create visually appealing content without the intricacies of advanced design.

Figma, with its detailed design and prototyping tools, requires a more significant investment in time and learning. However, this investment yields a deeper understanding and greater control over the design process.

It’s ideal for those looking to delve deep into design, be it UI/UX design, web design, or detailed graphic projects.

5. Collaboration Abilities

Both Canva and Figma include collaboration features but at different levels. This is due to their functions being built for different purposes. Discover the various collaboration abilities between Canva and Figma here:

Canva Collaboration Features

canva collaboration and comments

Team Sharing: Canva offers an environment where multiple users can work together on a design. It’s akin to gathering your team in a conference room, each with their input.

With a simple link, team members can access and edit a design, and changes are reflected in real-time.

Feedback and Comments: Just as one might leave notes on a shared bulletin board, Canva allows users to drop comments on a design. This is invaluable for receiving feedback or for guiding a team member on changes.

Design Sharing: Sharing your designs outside your immediate team is as easy as sharing a flyer in the town square. With customizable share settings, Canva designs can be made viewable to anyone with a link or specifically invited members.

Brand Kit: Canva’s Brand Kit is a central repository, much like a community resource center. It allows teams to save and share brand colors, fonts, and logos, ensuring consistent branding across designs.

Figma Collaboration Abilities

figma collaboration

Real-time Co-designing: Figma takes collaboration a notch higher. Imagine a workshop where multiple craftsmen work simultaneously on a piece. In Figma, multiple designers can work on the same design in real-time, each represented by a different cursor, making team-based projects seamless.

Version History: Much like a recorded timeline of a community’s history, Figma keeps track of all changes made to a design. This allows teams to revisit earlier versions or understand the evolution of a design over time.

Interactive Prototyping: Collaboration isn’t just about creation; it’s also about feedback. With Figma’s prototyping tools, designers can create interactive mock-ups of their designs, allowing those involved to experience and comment on user flows and transitions.

Plugins and Extensions: Figma’s community-driven plugins are like town-fair stalls, each offering a unique tool or feature. This ecosystem allows teams to expand Figma’s capabilities, integrating tools that aid in team collaboration.

Comparative Overview

Canva’s collaboration features are straightforward and accessible, making it easy even for non-designers to jump in, contribute, or provide feedback. It’s ideal for businesses where diverse teams, not necessarily all design-focused, need to collaborate on visuals.

Figma, on the other hand, leans into deep collaborative design. Its features are tailored for design professionals, ensuring that multiple designers can work in tandem without a hitch, keeping track of intricate design details and changes.

6. Support & Community

Support in products like Canva and Figma is like a city’s helpful roads and friendly neighborhoods. Roads guide and help you, while neighborhoods let people share and learn together.

Canva Support & Community

canva help centre

Help Center: Acting as Canva’s main information highway, their Help Center is stocked with articles, guides, and tutorials. Whether you’re facing a roadblock or just need to understand a feature, this comprehensive resource acts as your map.

Ticket-Based Support: If you find yourself stranded, Canva’s support team is just a ‘help ticket’ away. Much like city helplines, they’re there to assist users with specific issues.

Community Forums: Canva community forums are bustling with users sharing ideas, seeking feedback, and helping one another. It’s a warm and welcoming space for both newcomers and veterans.

Design School: Canva’s Design School offers courses, tutorials, and webinars – think of it as a local community college, helping inhabitants hone their skills and embrace their creative side.

Figma Support & Community

figma community

Help Center: Figma’s Help Center, akin to Canva’s, acts as the central hub for all informational needs. Detailed articles, guides, and FAQs ensure that users have a smooth journey while exploring Figma’s landscapes.

Interactive Webinars: Regular webinars by Figma act like town hall meetings, introducing users to new features, best practices, and design insights. They not only educate but also foster a sense of community engagement.

Community Platform: Figma’s community platform stands out as a bustling city square. Here, designers share their creations, plugins, templates, and more. It’s a space of mutual learning, inspiration, and celebration of design.

Figma Plugins and Extensions: Developers and designers alike create and share tools to extend Figma’s functionality, adding to the rich tapestry of the Figma ecosystem.

Comparative Overview

Canva’s support and community tools, with their intuitive design and user-friendly resources, are perfect for individuals and businesses looking for quick solutions and a platform to share and learn basic to intermediate design skills.

Figma, on the other hand, with its deeper engagement via webinars and the community platform, resonates with design professionals and enthusiasts who are eager to dive deep, share intricacies of their craft, and continually evolve in the dynamic world of design.

7. Accessibility & Platform Support

As much as possible, being able to create great designs on the go on different devices is ideal. Let’s see how Canva and Figma perform in this aspect.

Canva Accessibility & Platform Support

Web-Based Application: Canva’s primary strength lies in its cloud-based nature. This means you can access it from any device with a web browser, much like a universal key that opens various doors.

Mobile Applications: Canva extends its reach with dedicated apps for both Android and iOS devices. It’s like having a keychain with various keys, ensuring you always have the right one for the device in your hand.

Desktop Application: Canva also offers a Windows and Mac desktop application, catering to those who prefer working on larger screens with more processing power.

Intuitive Interface: Accessibility is not just about platform support. Canva’s interface is designed to be user-friendly, ensuring even first-time users can navigate and design with ease.

Figma Accessibility & Platform Support

Web-Based Solution: Figma, like Canva, is a cloud-based tool accessible from any modern web browser. This makes it a versatile choice for teams or individuals using diverse tech setups.

Desktop Applications: Figma offers dedicated desktop applications for both Windows and Mac, ensuring smoother performance and integration with local resources.

No Dedicated Mobile App: While Figma doesn’t have a mobile design app like Canva, it does support mobile viewing and interaction of prototypes.

Universal Design and Collaboration: One of Figma’s standout features is its real-time collaborative design, accessible from any platform. It’s the equivalent of a master key that not only grants access but also lets multiple users work in tandem, irrespective of their entry point.

Comparative Overview

Canva’s widespread platform support, from the web to mobile to desktop, ensures users can design wherever they are, making it a great tool for those on the go or those working across various devices.

Its intuitive interface further boosts its accessibility, especially for non-professionals.

Figma, while slightly more constrained in platform diversity (given its lack of a dedicated mobile design app), compensates with its universal design and collaboration capabilities.

It’s particularly potent for professional design teams that need to collaborate in real-time, irrespective of their geographical or technological disparities.


Figma Vs Canva: How Is Figma Different From Canva?

Figma and Canva cater to somewhat different audiences. Figma is a professional UI/UX design tool with functionalities that allow detailed interface design, prototyping, and collaboration.

Canva, on the other hand, is a graphic design tool aimed at simplifying design for everyone, from beginners to professionals, with pre-made templates and the Canva Editor, an easy-to-use interface.

Does Figma Have Elements Like Canva?

While Figma doesn’t offer ready-made design templates in the same way Canva does, it does provide components. These are reusable design elements that designers can create or import, making it easier to maintain consistent designs.

However, for users looking for pre-designed graphics, icons, and layouts like those found in Canva, they may need to rely on external libraries or plugins with Figma.

Do Professionals Use Canva?

Yes, professionals do use Canva, especially for quick designs, presentations, and social media graphics. Its vast library of templates, images, and design elements make it convenient for generating visuals in a short amount of time.

However, for more intricate and bespoke designs, professionals might lean towards other software.

Should Graphic Designers Use Figma?

For graphic designers involved in UI/UX design, website design, or app interfaces, Figma is an excellent tool. It offers powerful collaboration features and vector design capabilities.

However, if a graphic designer focuses mainly on print design or detailed illustrations, there might be other software better suited for those needs.

What Are The Cons Of Using Figma?

While Figma is praised for its collaboration capabilities and cloud-based design, there are some cons:

  1. Even with a downloaded app, you will have to sign in to Figma on the browser. You can’t use Figma offline.
  2. Being browser-based, there can be performance issues, especially with large design files.
  3. It might not be as feature-rich as some established desktop design applications in terms of advanced illustration or print design.
  4. Transitioning from other design tools to Figma might involve a learning curve.

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