Picmonkey and Canva are photo editing and graphic design tools. Although they exhibit many similarities, they also have distinct differences.  I will describe these differences so that you will have a better understanding of which one to choose for your individual projects and needs.  I use both of these platforms frequently. However, I choose Canva for most of my designs.  PicMonkey recently updated its platform with new features which I have included in my analysis.

Canva Graphic Design Tool

  • Folders – Newly created graphic designs are saved within Canva.  Folders can be added to organize all of your designs.  Also, you can delete designs that you don’t need any more just by clicking on the arrow on the picture and choose “move to trash.”  It will still be saved in the downloads folder on your computer. This is important if you ever want to go back and change a design.  The designs are available to in Canva to go back to and update.  However, when you upload a previous design from your computer, it cannot be changed.  Things can be added, but not changed or deleted.  
  • Design Types – There are many design types to choose from, including categories such as social media posts, documents, blogging, and eBooks.  Each design type is the preferred dimensions.  This way, you don’t have to memorize or look up the correct pixel size that you need.  Of course, you can also use custom dimensions.  

Canva for Work (paid version)

  • Brand kit – When first signing up for Canva for Work, you will be prompted to set up your brand kit with your colors, logos, and fonts.  You can upload up to ten of your own special fonts.  You set the fonts and sizes for heading, subheading, and body text. The Brand Kit is a big time saver.  When you create a new graphic design, your brand colors and fonts are right there to choose.   
  • Unlimited folders –   The free version gives you three folders, Canva for Work allows unlimited folders.  
  •  Magic Resize – Creating the same design for different social media platforms is easy with Magic Resize.  Once a design is created, click on File to change the dimensions.  This will give you the perfect size for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Before this feature was available, I would have to do each design again from scratch.  Also if you decided to use different dimensions, this tool comes in handy.  
  • Custom Templates – Design your own template with your brand colors and fonts to use again.  
  • Organize photos into folders – Your designs can be organized within folders in Canva.  Three folders can be added to the free version and unlimited for the paid.  Both with free and paid the new designs will be saved to ‘All your designs’.  Folders just make it easier to find a specific design. 
  • Transparent background – Upon downloading, Canva gives you the option for transparent background.


Picmonkey Graphic Design Tool

  • Transparency background – Great tool for cutout pictures and logos.
  • Eraser – Eraser allows you to make cutout pictures by erasing the background.  What is erased becomes white.  To create a cutout, however, click the transparent option for background setting.  These cutouts can then be inserted into other designs where you can place it on top of other backgrounds or pictures.  
  • Folders Picmonkey allows creations to be saved to any folder on the computer.  Additionally, you can name it anything that you choose.  Canva only allows me to download it, and then I have to take extra steps to find it in my download folder with the name that they pick (first couple words on the picture), and then move and rename it to the folder where I want to store it. 
  • Eyedropper – Click the eyedropper when choosing a color to obtain the hex code from another part of the picture to use.  This is perfect to color coordinate text or overlays with your photo.  
  • Layers palette – This feature is new and is very useful when you are adding a lot of layers to the graphic design.  I add a picture as a background, then add an overlay, then text on top of that.  With the layers palette, it is easy to arrange them in the right order.  
  • Fonts – Download fonts to your computer, and they will automatically appear in PicMonkey.

Picmonkey Royale

  • Touch up – Faces in photos can be enhanced with this tool.  Make up can be added, hair highlights added, spray tan, and many more features.  A few comes with the free version such as teeth whitening and weight loss.  I actually don’t find these very useful.  It takes a lot of precision and it looks fake.  
  • Extra options – In each area of PicMonkey there are extra choices for Royale members.  A crown next to the option designates that it is only available for people who upgraded to the Royale subscription. 


I choose which graphic design platform to use depending on the project I need it for.  

Canva:  I find the myriad design types to choose from very useful.  Everything is right there so I don’t have to search the Internet for the perfect dimensions for a Blog Title.  Canva has already done that for me.  It does frustrate me that Canva doesn’t allow me to name my design and save it to a specific folder that I want on my computer.  

PicMonkey:  I use the eyedropper all the time.  To compensate for it not being offered in Canva, I downloaded the ColorZilla Chrome extension.  I go straight to PicMonkey when I want to create a cutout picture since Canva does not have Eraser.  

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