Canva vs PicMonkey: Full Comparison Guide for 2021

Canva vs PicMonkey: Full Comparison Guide for 2021

Heleana Tiburca

Written by:
Heleana Tiburca

You’re trying to decide whether to choose Canva or PicMonkey. I’m here to guide you through that decision process and equip you with all the right information so you can find the best design tool to use in 2021.

In this comparison guide of Canva vs PicMonkey, we’ll showcase the two products and tell you the pros and cons of each design tool.

So, let’s dive right in.


Jump to the Section You Want

What is Canva?

What is PicMonkey?

Canva: Advantages & Disadvantages

PicMonkey: Advantages & Disadvantages

Comparison Point #1: Features

Comparison Point #2: Templates

Comparison Point #3: Cost

Comparison Point #5: Educational Resources

Comparison Point #6: Photo & Image Editing

Comparison Point #7: Integrations


What is Canva?

presentation apps - Canva

Canva is an online graphic design tool with lots of templates that can be used and modified to create social media posts, YouTube thumbnails, resumes, documents, presentations, posters, logos and other types of visual content.

Canva has three different pricing options: a free plan that's available for all to use, a paid plan called Canva Pro, and another paid plan called Canva Enterprise.

They also have two more plans for non-profits and educators that offer the Pro version of the app, free of charge.

Canva was founded in 2012 and has a lot to offer its users, from editing their pictures to animating social media posts to creating a company logo.

You can use one of their templates or create your design from scratch.

You can do all of this from your computer via their website, or you can download their mobile app and do it all from your phone.


What is PicMonkey?

PicMonkey logo against a light background

PicMonkey is an online photo-editing and design tool that lets you create engaging social media posts, unique logos, Facebook and Etsy covers, and more. You can add text to your images, and edit your pictures in professional and unique ways.

You can start your design from scratch or you can choose from a multitude of their templates.

Their website launched in 2012 with a basic free 7-day trial plan, a pro plan and a team plan.

Then, in 2016, they launched the first version of their PicMonkey mobile app, where users could easily create all their designs from the comfort of their phone.

You can create and download your designs from the mobile app for free, without access to premium features.

PicMonkey created their design tool with all types of designers in mind, from novice to pro, to give each person the opportunity to edit their pictures and create stunning graphic designs.


Canva: Advantages & Disadvantages

Now that we’ve covered the basics of what Canva is and some of its uses, let’s get into the fine details and functionality of the tool.


Advantage #1: It’s Easy to Use

One of the greatest advantages of Canva is that everything is pretty straightforward and the software has a fairly gradual learning curve.

As soon as you sign up, you’re met with a quick product tour that briefly shows you how to use the tool. This helps users get around pretty easily, especially when they use it the first few times.

They also have some “Get started videos” on the homepage for people just getting familiar with an online graphic design tool.

If you’re a small business owner or blogger looking to create designs for social media that look professional but you don’t have the time to invest in learning Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, you could use a tool like Canva to accomplish that.

Canva has a drag-and-drop editor, so you can scroll through their templates and graphics, click on what you like and drag it on to your design.


Advantage #2: Templates for Everything

Templates are the holy grail for self-taught, beginner graphic designers and luckily enough, Canva is full of them.

This design platform has more templates than you’ll probably ever need and they update them frequently so that they’re always in style and never out-of-date.

These design templates include presentations and infographics that can help marketers explain things better to their team, and scroll-stopping designs that can help bloggers engage their audience on social media and other platforms.

With thousands upon thousands of templates, you’ll find something for pretty much every occasion.

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  • Add and alter icons, colors, fonts, images and more
  • Personalize anything to fit your brand image and content needs

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Advantage #3: Very Collaborative

If you want to use Canva for work, their team collaboration is going to be very helpful for you.

In fact, when working remotely or with multiple people on a single project, a team collaboration design tool is vital.

You can invite team members to view your design, see their comments in real-time, set which elements your team can edit and stay on brand with template locking.

You can also set up a design workflow and begin the design process in minutes instead of days.


Disadvantage #1: Mobile App Can Be Buggy

Yes, Canva does have a mobile app that you can work from and you would think that it would be a big advantage, but in my experience, the UX isn’t that great.

There are lots of little bugs and it’s very not easy to use. The work bar disappears frequently and overall, it can be a pretty frustrating experience.


Disadvantage #2: No Color Picker

Another huge disadvantage for Canva is the fact that it doesn’t offer a color picker.

Color pickers are incredibly helpful when you’re trying to quickly find a corresponding color from one of your pictures to match your design.

If you do want a color picker, you’ll have to add an extension to your browser, which is just an extra step that you shouldn’t have to take.


Disadvantage #3: No Photo Retouching Options

The third and final disadvantage of Canva is the fact that you can’t touch up your images.

If you’re looking for some basic fixes, like changing the exposure or the sharpness of the overall image, that’s something you can do.

You could even apply some simple color overlays to your images, but in the chance that you’re looking to modify an image on a deeper level, that’s something that you won’t be able to accomplish with Canva.


PicMonkey: Advantages & Disadvantages

Now let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of PicMonkey.


Advantage #1: Photo Retouching

You can think of PicMonkey as your personal, easy-to-use version of photoshop.

This online photo editing tool is for “non-designers'', or novice graphic designers, who want to create stunning designs without having to spend endless hours on design courses.

It’s the perfect online photo editor with tons of photo retouching options. From their background remover to airbrushing and skin touch up, it’s a pretty amazing photo editing tool.

You can upload your own photos to edit, or you can choose from some of their stock photos. Then, you can download them to your device as a JPG image or a high-quality PNG file.


Advantage #2: Draw Function

Another great feature PicMonkey has is the draw function for mobile and desktop. This function is great to have for creating YouTube thumbnails that need to stand out.

Similar to Photoshop, it has a drawing brush with an auto-smoothing function. This way, all the things you trace look smooth and professional.

This increases efficiency incredibly because you don’t need to have a perfect, steady surgeon’s hand in order to get clean, smooth lines around the design elements you want to highlight.


Advantage #3: Color Picker

Another great feature of PicMonkey is the color picker. This enables you to always have cohesive and matching colors without leaving the page or adding an extension to your browser.

Choose a color on your image and then add it to your color library so that everything matches and stays on brand.


Advantage #4: Great Mobile App

Finally, PicMonkey’s mobile app completely knocks Canva’s out of the park.

With 0 notable bugs, you can quickly customize any of their design templates in the drag-and-drop editor, add some clipart or graphic design elements to your new and improved design, and download it to your phone.

Then, you’ll be ready to upload your design to any social media platform!


Disadvantage #1: No Free Desktop Version

This has got to be the biggest disadvantage that PicMonkey has.

If you want to work on your designs from your computer, you can kiss at least $7.99/month from your wallet goodbye.

This can be frustrating if you don’t know because you can spend hours customizing a business card, and when you’re finally ready to download your hard work, you simply can’t.

Unless you pay the monthly fee, or if you’re lucky enough to have not used your 7-day trial yet, the only way you can use their design platform for free is via the mobile app.


Disadvantage #2: Not as Many Templates as Canva

I’m not here to say that PicMonkey doesn’t have many templates. Because they do.

But the thing is, there aren’t as many for you to choose from as there are on Canva.

Although they do have some amazing templates and their visual content can be awesome at times, it’s just great to be able to select from a huge variety of templates when you need to.


Disadvantage #3: Steeper Learning Curve

Unfortunately, PicMonkey is not as user-friendly and easy to use as Canva.

The dashboard and workspace are a bit less organized and more cluttered than their competitors. The workspace is also not as self-explanatory and open as Canva’s.

Because there are more photo-editing options, it will take longer for you to get the hang of using the tool, but once you get to know the workspace, you should be good to go.



As far as Canva and PicMonkey go, they both have great and unique features to offer.

But what it really comes down to when choosing what design program you should use, you have to know exactly what it is you’re looking for.

Let’s look at some more editing features from the two and compare them so you can get a clearer vision of what will best suit your needs.


Common Features of Canva & PicMonkey

Before we get into all the minute and unique details of each graphic design tool, I think it’s worth noting a few common features of the two apps. This way you can get a quick bird’s eye view of each of them.

Both Canva and PicMonkey can help you accomplish or have the following:

  • Mobile app
  • Photo editing
  • Background remover
  • Lots of templates
  • Photo resizing
  • Add your own custom fonts
  • Free stock photos
  • Cloud storage
  • Real-time team collaboration
  • Free and Pro versions

While the two graphic design tools are similar in some aspects, let’s dive into the main features that differentiate Canva and PicMonkey from one another.


Canva Feature #1: Textured Overlays

Canva allows you to choose from their large selection of textured backgrounds to give more personality to your designs.

Not only can you choose from their specially designated textured overlays for your design, but you can also choose from their insane library of stock photos.

Place the stock photo over your design and edit the opacity of it to create a dreamy textured overlay.

All of their stock photos are from Pexels and Pixabay.

PicMonkey also has this overlay functionality and gets their stock images from Unsplash and iStock.


Canva Feature #2: Video Editor

Canva has released a video editing software where you can create videos within the app and download them without a watermark.

You can upload your own videos or choose from their stock videos, add music, trim and add filters to your clips, and then download the video to your phone or upload it directly to your favorite social media platform.

This video editor makes Canva stand out, since PicMonkey does not offer such a thing.


Canva Feature #3: Add Stickers and Clipart

One thing I really appreciate about Canva’s clipart is that they have custom-looking designs for everyone. Whatever your branding may be, Canva most likely has icons and clipart that will match it perfectly.

Choose from thousands of different stickers, drag and drop them on your design, customize the colors and resize them to fit your liking.

But just remember, not all stickers are free and you don’t want to have a watermark on your design if you haven’t upgraded to a Pro account!


PicMonkey Feature #1: Layer Management Toolbar

Because PicMonkey is more of a photo editor than anything else, it has a lot of cool features for this, like their layer management toolbar, for example.

This reminds me a lot of Photoshop, and Canva doesn’t offer anything like this.

You can see every layer you created in your design, and remove any layer you want without the risk of losing any of your other edits.

So, let’s say you made an edit at the very beginning of your photo, and have done loads of things since then.

But now, you’ve realized you don’t like the way the design preview came out, and you don’t want to ruin any of the work you did after that by just undo-ing every single one of your edits.

Simply click and delete the layer you don’t want, and that’s it! Like magic.

The ease of use for photo-editing in PicMonkey is undeniable.


PicMonkey Feature #2: Add Videos to Your Design

Although PicMonkey doesn’t have a video editor of their own, it doesn’t mean that you can’t edit videos at all in their software.

What you can do instead is add videos to your social media graphics to make them stand out. Upload your own video footage, or choose from their selection of stock videos.

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PicMonkey Feature #3: Unlimited Cloud Storage

If you’re looking for unlimited storage at a low price, then PicMonkey takes the lead in the Canva vs PicMonkey battle.

You can get unlimited storage as soon as you upgrade to a Pro account. And as marketers and designers, we definitely need that unlimited storage.

If you want unlimited storage in Canva, you’ll have to upgrade to an enterprise account. If you upgrade to a Pro account, you’ll only get up to 100GB of cloud storage.



Still wondering who is going to win the battle of PicMonkey vs Canva?

Well, when it comes to the template side of Canva vs PicMonkey, I’m going to have to give the crown to Canva.

Canva has over 420,000+ templates to choose from, whereas PicMonkey simply claims on their own website that they have 1000s of templates.

Of course, if you’re an experienced graphic designer, and you feel like you have the editing capabilities of a superhero, this might not be a problem.

But if you’re a blogger or small business owner looking for a user-friendly design tool that has endless templates for social media graphics, a huge library full of free stock photos, and easy customization of other types of visual content, then Canva is a better choice.


Canva Templates

Because there is such an abundance of templates, there’s going to be something that suits everyone’s individual needs.

From modern to classic, take any template you want and make it your own by simply changing the photo background or by adding your own fonts.

You can also resize any of the templates to suit the requirements of the social media platform you will be posting on.


PicMonkey Templates

I’m not going to lie, PicMonkey also has some very spicy templates, but… it’s just not enough for me.

I always love to have a wide variety to choose from, and just a few thousand isn’t going to cut it for me. Especially if I’m blogging from my computer and I have to go Pro to use all of them.



Alright, now let’s discuss the cost of each design tool and how you can get the most bang for your buck.


Canva Pricing

Canva has three main pricing options: Free, Pro, and Enterprise. Now, let’s see which one may best suit your needs.


Canva Free - US$0.00

With the free version, you’ll have access to 250,000+ free templates, 100+ design types (social media posts, presentations, and more), and thousands of free photos and graphics.

You can also invite members to your team, collaborate and comment in real-time, and you get 5GB of cloud storage.

You can get around pretty well by using the free version, but it can become a bit restricting, as most of the nice parts of Canva that you’ll want to use will require you to upgrade to a Canva Pro account.


Canva Pro - US$12.99/month

Canva Pro has everything the Free plan does and you can create 1 Brand Kit and upload your own fonts and logos.

You get one-click design Magic Resize, access to 420,000+ templates, and 75+ million premium stock photos, videos, audio and graphics.

You can also save designs as templates for your team to use, get 100GB of cloud storage, use their background remover, and schedule social media content to 7 platforms.


Canva Enterprise - US$30.00/month per person

Canva Enterprise has everything that comes with Pro, plus the ability to establish your brand’s visual identity with logos, colors and fonts across multiple Brand Kits.

You can control your team’s access to apps, graphics, colors, logos and fonts with brand controls, control team uploads into Canva, create workflows to get approval on your designs, set which elements your team can edit and stay on-brand with template locking.

Plus, you get unlimited storage, single sign-on (SSO) and 24/7 enterprise-level support.


PicMonkey Cost

Picmonkey has four different pricing plans.


Free on Mobile - $0.00

As I mentioned earlier, if you like to work from a laptop or desktop to create your designs and you’re looking for a free tool, unfortunately, PicMonkey isn’t for you.

The only free version you can access is via the mobile app. You won’t have access to premium features, but at least you can use it a bit to see if it’s a good fit for you.


PicMonkey Basic - $7.99/month

In this version of PicMonkey, you’ll have access to a number of templates, lots of photo editing options and 1GB of cloud storage. Additionally, you can download your images as a JPG or PNG file, add videos, choose from their collection of fonts, and add filters and icons to your photos.

The Basic plan is good for those who are beginner designers and want to get the hang of photo-editing and graphic design.


PicMonkey Pro - $12.99/month

PicMonkey pro has everything the free version has to offer, plus unlimited cloud storage. You can also download your designs as JPG, PNG or PDF files in this plan.

You can instantly reformat to multiple sizes with their Smart Resize feature, upload your fonts, colors and other design elements to your Brand Kit, add animation, remove backgrounds, get access to all stock photos, upload your own fonts and get priority email support.


PicMonkey Team - $33.99

With the Team plan, you’ll have access to everything that was mentioned in the Pro version, plus you’ll be eligible for a discount when you have 3 or more users, and you’ll get team seats and permission management options.


Best Bang for Your Buck

If you’re looking for more of a photo editing tool, then the basic plan from PicMonkey could be the best one for you.

But if you’re looking to make more graphic designs, social media posts and online ads, then you could go for the Free or Pro version of Canva and really come out on top.

So, it’s all up to you to choose the app that best suits your design needs.


Educational Resources

Humans were created to constantly learn and evolve. So, what do these two apps have to offer when it comes to educational resources?



As soon as you land on Canva’s Homepage, you’ll see a learning tab, filled to the brim with educational resources for everyone from marketers to nonprofits to educators to designers to students.

If you’re looking to up your skills in personal branding and design, or if you want a tutorial on any part of their design tool, they’ve got you covered.

I’d give their educational resources an A+.



PicMonkey seems to be falling short in the educational resource area.

When it comes to their learning page, they only have tutorials on how you can make the most of their product. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re looking for self-development courses, you will most likely be disappointed.


Photo & Image Editing

Want to become a master at photo and image editing? Let’s see which product would be best in helping you accomplish that.



Canva has some tools and features you can use to edit your photos. You can do things such as add a textured background, do basic color grading, crop and rotate your images, liquify elements in your image and remove the background of an image.

But if you want to make huge modifications to your photos, Canva isn’t going to cut it.



Now this is where PicMonkey absolutely takes the cake.

Primarily known as a photo editing tool, PicMonkey has everything you need to spice up your image and make it look like it was professionally designed.

With PicMonkey you can apply filters to your image and customize them to your liking. You can also airbrush skin, and use their color-changer effect to change the colors of elements in a photo.

You can also whiten teeth, add digital makeup, use their blemish fix tool and change people’s eye color.

The opportunities you have to edit an image are pretty endless with PicMonkey.



When a tool is lacking in something, it’s always nice when it has integration capabilities.

Let’s dive into the integrations both apps have to offer.



Canva has quite a load of third-party integrations and apps that will help you improve your designs. Here are the tools it integrates with.

  • Pexels + Pixabay

Pexels and Pixabay are already integrated within the app. You can choose from millions of stock images when you click on the Photos tab in the toolbar.

  • Embeds

If you are looking to embed media in your design, all you need to do is copy and paste the link and click “add to design”, and it’ll show right up.

  • Social Media Platforms

If you want to skip a few extra steps and save time when posting to social media, why not do it directly from the app? Connect your social media accounts to Canva and hit the share button, directly within the design tool.

  • Cloud Storage

If you’re looking to import and export media from cloud services, you’re in luck! Canva is integrated with cloud storage tools like Dropbox and Google Drive, which makes your life that much easier.

These are just a few of the many integrations Canva has to offer, but you can also use a ton of other third-party tools such as MailChimp, Box, Smartmockups, Bitmoji, Pixton, HubSpot, Flickr, PhotoMosh and many others.



PicMonkey comes in a bit shy when it comes to integrations. The app doesn’t support as many integrations as Canva does, but here are the third-party tools that PicMonkey integrates with.

  • Google Drive + Google Photos

This is a pretty important one. Since PicMonkey integrates with Google Drive and Google Photos, you’ll be able to seamlessly upload your images into the graphic design platform.

  • Social Media Platforms

You can upload your designs that you worked so hard on directly to Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter all within the app. There’s no need to download them unnecessarily onto your computer just to take up space.

  • Buffer

This is useful if you’re creating lots of social media posts and want to upload them directly into Buffer to schedule them out.

Skip the manual process of downloading from PicMonkey and uploading your design to Buffer, and do it directly within the design tool.


Is Canva Better Than PicMonkey?

Since you’ve stuck along this far, you’ve probably come to realize that although the two tools are considered graphic design tools, they both have very different purposes.

If you’re into graphic designing, Canva is probably going to be the best choice for you.

And if you’re more into photo-editing, PicMonkey is definitely the better choice for you.

Overall, I would say that Canva comes in much hotter than PicMonkey does, just because of all the templates, stickers and clipart, and free graphic design elements it has to offer.

Not to mention they have a much better educational resource center and their own video editor.

But then again, PicMonkey has lots of similarities to Photoshop, in the sense that you can change the colors within an image, you can clear up blemishes, whiten teeth, airbrush skin and do many other really cool things that Canva can’t offer you.

So, as I said, it all comes down to what you’re really looking for, whether that be a graphic design tool or a photo editing tool.

I think you now have all the information you need to make the decision that’ll work best for you!

But what if I told you there is another tool out there that combines positive aspects of both Canva and PicMonkey?

Create any type of social media graphic with Visme!

  • Choose from dozens of professionally designed templates
  • Add and alter icons, colors, fonts, images and more
  • Personalize anything to fit your brand image and content needs

Sign up. It's free.


Looking for an Online Design Software?

If you are looking for a complete graphic design tool that combines both tools’ strengths, then what you’re really looking for is Visme.

With this tool, you can create stunning social graphics, infographics and more.

Visme offers more than 3,500 templates across 40+ categories, from Facebook posts, Instagram stories and animated charts to promo videos, presentations, reports and more.

Some other exclusive features that Visme has to offer you are:

  • Free photos and graphics: Access a vast library of free images, videos, icons and shapes, as well as animated illustrations, characters, gestures, special effects and more.
  • Embed options: Add online content like GIFs, surveys, quizzes and more into your Visme projects, or share your designs online by generating an embed code.
  • Brand Kit: Upload your company's brand elements, such as logos, fonts and color palettes, and save them to use in all future designs.
  • Interactivity: Make your visual content more engaging by adding animations and interactive links, hover effects, pop ups, voice overs, YouTube videos and more.
  • Team collaboration: Work with your designers and team members to create perfect visuals with the help of collaboration features like commenting and advanced annotation.
  • Integrations: One of the best features of Visme is the ability to integrate with dozens of popular apps and tools, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, GIPHY, Typeform, Maps and more.
  • Amazing Educational Resources: Finally, I personally think Visme has the best educational resources out there.

If you’re looking to up your graphic designs by a million, then definitely check out our YouTube channel where we teach you the best graphic design techniques, step by step, so that you can become your best self by using Visme.

Or, navigate over to our blog — the Visual Learning Center — to explore how-to articles, design inspiration posts and helpful design guides.

Are you ready to take your visual content to the next level?

Sign up for a free Visme account today and end the Canva vs. PicMonkey debate for good.

Disclaimer: Information is accurate as of April 2021.


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    About the Author

    I’m Heleana and I’m a content creator here at Visme. My passion is to help people find the information they’re looking for in the most fun and enjoyable way possible. Let’s make information beautiful.

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