Figma vs. Canva: Choosing the Best Platform for General Marketing Design

By Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder
Published: Nov 2, 2023
Compare Figma vs Canva features for marketing design including vector tools, collaboration, prototyping and pricing to determine the best platform for your needs and budget.

Introduction

Figma and Canva are two of the most popular design platforms used by marketers today. With Canva’s simplicity and Figma’s advanced capabilities, it can be tough deciding which one is the right fit for your marketing team’s needs. This overview compares Figma and Canva’s key features, strengths and limitations to provide guidance on when each platform excels.

Factors like budget, design complexity, brand control and collaboration will steer the decision. Canva offers ease of use with its drag-and-drop editor and pre-made templates, while Figma provides more sophisticated vector design tools. Figma enables real-time multi-user collaboration, but Canva offers more affordable pricing plans. There’s no definitive winner – the ideal platform depends on the specific use case and goals.

Figma Overview

Figma is a robust design platform built for scalable needs with advanced functionality. Its vector design tools rival Adobe products but at a fraction of the cost. Figma’s use of flexible vector networks instead of static raster images gives designers more control and capabilities when crafting illustrations, icons, diagrams, and other intricate visual assets.

Figma’s real-time multiplayer collaboration environment empowers marketing teams to iterate on designs together in real-time. The ability to create interactive prototypes directly in Figma makes previewing and testing flows a breeze without reliance on engineering resources. Figma’s vast component library enables consistency across projects to strengthen brand identity.

Canva Overview

Canva is a user-friendly graphic design tool known for its drag-and-drop editor and plethora of professionally designed templates. With its huge library of layouts, fonts, illustrations and stock photography built-in, anyone can quickly create polished visuals regardless of skill level.

Canva streamlines graphic design with point-and-click simplicity using pre-made templates and assets. Ready-made templates enable users to customize and brand assets fast without starting from scratch. For solopreneurs, small teams and non-designers, Canva provides an affordable way to produce quality graphics with minimal effort compared to hiring a designer.

Key Feature Comparison

Now let’s dive deeper into the platforms’ capabilities for design, collaboration, prototyping, pricing and ease of use.

Design Capabilities

Figma equips designers with advanced tools like vector networks, Boolean operations, path editing and layer blending modes. Designers enjoy total control over illustrations, layouts, typography and more.

Conversely, Canva trades control for speed and simplicity with its drag-and-drop editor. While Canva lacks robust vector tools, its great library of templates, fonts, photos and illustrations allow anyone to create quality graphics quickly without design expertise.

Collaboration

A key advantage of Figma is real-time, multi-user collaboration supporting unlimited users. Designers can simultaneously inspect and modify files, enabling remote teams to iterate and provide feedback seamlessly.

In comparison, Canva’s collaboration capabilities are limited to separate team plans with only 3-5 editor seats. While suitable for personal projects, Canva falls short for extensive team collaboration at scale.

Prototyping

With Figma, designers can preview interactions by building prototypes right in the platform. Clicking through functional flows enables testing without coding, allowing designers to easily validate concepts before development.

Unfortunately, Canva does not offer prototyping functionality. Teams relying on Canva cannot test responsive behavior or micro-interactions beyond static mockups. This forces reliance on developers for interactive previews.

Pricing

Figma uses a flat-rate pricing model, charging $12 per editor/month on Professional plans. This keeps things simple as you scale your team.

In contrast, Canva pricing is tied to core features. The Pro plan starts at $9.99/month but can nickel-and-dime certain advanced functionality. For solopreneurs, Canva provides affordability, while Figma offers greater value at scale.

Learning Curve

Due to its expansive feature set, Figma does have a steeper learning curve. However, investing the time pays dividends for those seeking fine-grained control and scalable workflows.

As a beginner-focused platform, Canva is lightweight and intuitive enough for non-designers to jump in. But Canva’s simplicity comes at the cost of creative liberties.

Use Case Examples

Now let’s explore some common scenarios where one platform outshines the other.

Figma Use Cases

Figma excels for projects like:

  • Building complex, interactive website and app prototypes for clients like Google, Uber and Airbnb
  • Crafting strict visual brand guidelines and assets to govern brand identity for premium fashion labels
  • Enabling seamless collaboration for dispersed marketing teams at leading enterprises
  • Designing intricate data visualizations and diagrams to communicate insights
  • Producing high-fidelity marketing deliverables aligned with luxury brands

Canva Use Cases

Alternatively, Canva fits needs such as:

  • Creating quick social posts, ads and stories on a tight deadline for SMBs
  • Building a simple landing page for an MVP or small business without a designer
  • Designing basic flyers, posters and print collateral on a budget
  • Empowering non-designers to produce custom graphics without reliance on a designer
  • Adding a polish to personal blogs and portfolios quickly as a solopreneur

Key Takeaways on Platform Choice

The ideal platform depends largely on your goals, budget and team structure. For extensive design systems and pixel-perfect control, Figma can’t be beat. But for lightweight graphics and ease of use, Canva is a great fit. Often, both serve a useful role – Figma for complex assets and Canva for quick deliverables.

As you evaluate your specific needs, remember that Floowi provides top-notch offshore designers skilled in both Figma and Canva who can deliver exceptional results on either platform. By partnering with Floowi, you gain affordable access to marketing talent able to master Figma, Canva or any other design tool required to hit the mark for your brand.

The choice between Figma and Canva comes down to aligning their respective strengths and limitations with your use cases, collaboration needs and budget constraints. With this breakdown of their key distinctions, you’re equipped to determine the ideal platform for your general marketing design and unlock your team’s creative potential.

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Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder

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