These are two great tools available for doing quick and easy graphic design; in some ways they’re very similar, but they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Both of them are free at the basic level and offer additional choices for money.
Adobe Spark (spark.adobe.com)
We’re looking at the “Post” option, as opposed to their “Page” and “Video” offerings. Here’s a gallery of examples. This is a great place to start if you don’t have any experience with graphic design, especially for social media posts.
- It doesn’t require a lot of experience
- It’s easy to cycle through different styles and color options
- You can quickly re-size a graphic for different social media dimensions
- You can only add one image to each post, as the background
- It works best for simple layouts without a lot of information
- It lacks fine-grained controls to let you control all the specific elements
Canva is more of a full-featured graphic editor, closer to something like Photoshop or InDesign. It’s still fairly easy to use, but the greater amount of control that it provides requires a greater awareness of what you’re doing. Here’s a gallery of examples.
- Greater control over fonts, text placement, and graphic elements
- Works better for information heavy designs (infographics, flyers with a lot of details, etc)
- Wide range of document templates, including custom image dimensions
- Allows for multiple images in each document
- Requires somewhat more skill and experience
- You can’t cycle through different styles. If you want to try a different look, you have to change specific settings, or create a new layout.
- Resizing your document for different social media dimensions is a premium feature