AI Design Tools: Canva vs The Adobe Express App

In this blog, we’re about to pit 2 of the most talked-of names in the graphic design world against each other. It’s the Canva vs the Adobe Express app battle. But it’s no ordinary battle. Both of these industry giants have come up with striking AI features, rendering them both now as significant AI design tools. And we’re about to take a deep dive into each of these tools to find out which one emerges as the one with the best AI features. 

First, let’s take an eagle’s eye view of these 2 tools. 

General Information

Canva and the Adobe Express app are both accessible, web-based AI design tools designed to empower users of all graphic design skill levels in crafting visually appealing designs. With a user-friendly interface, these platforms offer the flexibility to create a diverse array of assets, both digital and print. 

Where to access

One of the most important parts of considering AI design tools is how you can access them. Here’s a comparison.

CanvaThe Adobe Express App
Web Browser (Primary Access)
Desktop App
Mobile App

All of these access points require an active internet connection.

Pricing

Both Canva and the Adobe Express app have free plans that still offer decent material which is one of the reasons that they’re so popularly used. 

Canva
Adobe Express App

For more details about the plans see here 

Size of the current userbase

The popularity of an AI design tool lets you know how good it is. The more people that are using it, the more you know that it has a good offering. Both tools have significant user bases. 

Even though Adobe has yet to reveal any such solid data on the user base of the Adobe Express app, we do know from statistics that the number of Creative Cloud users is set to reach 29.5 million by 2024.  

On the other hand, Canva has been around for nearly a decade and so would have a larger user base for obvious reasons. About 170 million people are using Canva according to the company’s estimate. 

Reviews

Reviews from different users across the globe help you make better choices. Let’s look at some reviews for both apps. 

Canva

Here’s Canva’s ratings on Google Play for their mobile app:

Adobe Express App

Here’s the ratings for the mobile app:

Let’s now move ahead to break down and compare the different AI features in these 2 tools.

AI Features – Canva App

Canva has its very own AI features collectively included in the Canva Magic Studio. Let’s look at each of the features within. 

1. Magic Media

Canva, instead of creating its own generative AI model, has opted to integrate some of the best technologies from others who are pioneering in the AI field. 

Magic Media allows two very important actions:

1. Text-to-image

Canva uses Stable Diffusion a deep learning text-to-image model developed by Stability AI. The integration of this model into Canva allows users to simply type in a prompt to generate the images they need. 

We gave it a try and here’s how it went:

Prompt: A Christmas tree with gold baubles and white tinsel with a hint of a snow effect on the branches.

Style: Flimic

Orientation: Portrait

We got 4 different images as seen below.

While the angles of the images are similar and there aren’t a lot of differences, we must still commend the quality of the final outputs because these aren’t real-life images. 

Note: You get 50 credits for a free account beyond which you’d have to switch to a paid account. 

2. Text-to-video

Similar to Canva’s integration with Stable Diffusion for image generation, Canva integrates with Runway a leader in the text-to-video technology creation. And this technology is now accessible for Canva users by simply inputting the right prompt. 

The feature is still in its Beta phase so there is a bit of lag and broken element issues. But here’s a look at the feature from their demo video:

Source

Note: The tool is available in the free account but with only 50 credits.

2. Magic Eraser

Removing unwanted elements from a photo, an image or even a design can be one of those things that designers find utterly time-wasting. In such cases, Canva’s Magic Eraser is such a time saver. 

Here’s a glimpse at an example:

This feature is only available on paid plans. 

3. Magic Edit

Replacing objects, changing textures or patterns for example can be a very daunting task that requires mastering sophisticated design tools like Photoshop. But with Canva’s new AI tool, you can make those edits in mere seconds. 

For those who want a glimpse into this tool, Canva provides a tutorial:

Here’s what we got after following the instructions:

This feature is available in the free version. 

4. Magic Grab

What this AI tool essentially does is help turn any static image into an editable image. If you need to move elements on an image around this tool will be your best bet. It cuts short the time that you would otherwise spend doing heavy photo manipulations. 

The demo video below will show this tool in action:

Source

A bonus feature related to this called “Grab Text” can help do the same with texts on static images. Although it’s quite useful, the edited text would be based on a similar font from Canva’s font library so it wouldn’t be an exact match. 

These features only come in the paid plans. 

5. Magic Expand

Magic Expand comes in handy when you want to extend your image past its original borders instead of just resizing it. 

This feature works well with most images. However, when it comes to real-life photography, the results can vary. If the background of the photograph is blurred you could get a better result.

Here are some examples:

This particular feature is only available on paid accounts. 

6. Magic Morph

This particular feature allows users to use a text prompt to morph ordinary elements into extraordinary elements. It can create and change the textures and patterns of an object or text. 

Here’s an example:

Before

After giving a prompt to morph it to cotton yarn

Magic Morph is available on paid plans only. 

7. Magic Write

Numerous AI writing tools exist, yet integrating their content into Canva requires some manual labor. 

Magic Write is an AI text generator integrated within Canva. With it, you can effortlessly generate both long- and short-form written content for your social media posts, blog articles, and presentations directly within the platform. 

Additionally, Magic Write offers built-in features for brands, allowing Canva for Teams users to establish a brand voice. This feature ensures a unified and cohesive style across multiple team members’ creations.

Magic Write is available on free accounts for up to 50 queries. Any more than that will require a Canva Pro account. 

8. Magic Design

Canva’s most unique feature is the option to pick from a vast array of templates. Now, with Magic Design the process is even more simplified. Users can use this AI feature to type in a text prompt or image of what exactly they need and the model will bring up more targeted results. This would save you so much time.  

You will get 8 automatically generated templates which can be further edited if needed and resized. 

Magic Design can create templates for thumbnails, social media videos, infographics, and even presentations.

Here’s a glimpse at the tool in action:

Source

Magic Design is available to all users for free. 

9. Magic Animate

While Canva has long featured animations, the introduction of Magic Animate has elevated the experience to new heights by incorporating AI capabilities. With Magic Animate, animations are automatically applied to each object, ensuring a seamless and cohesive flow. 

The tool offers a variety of animation styles to choose from, along with basic controls such as speed and positioning, providing users with enhanced flexibility and creative possibilities.

Here’s an example:

Source

Magic Animate is not available for free use. 

10. Magic Switch

Magic Switch is a truly magical AI feature that we know you will love. Gone are the days when you have to manually resize your designs trying to translate the same effect and look to a different size. 

With Canva’s magic Switch AI feature, you can get the resizing of your design done swiftly and simply. Observe.

Source

With Magic Switch you can transform your design from any type into a blog post, an email, and in some cases even into a poem!

You can also use this feature to translate the text in your design into another language. 

However, it’s not available for use by those on the free plan. 

11. Beat Sync

Syncing beats with videos is a painstakingly difficult and tiresome task. However, the finished product would be amazing. It can help keep viewers engaged because a well-synced video has a certain finesse to it. 

Now with Canva’s AI feature, Beat Sync you can achieve this without absolutely no hassle. Canva’s feature can now help turn out professional and polished work in half the time. 

Here’s a tutorial by a user who has used it to sync Instagram Reels with music:

Here’s the demo that was created during the launch of this feature:

Surprisingly this feature is available for those using the free plan. 

12. Translate

Canva Translate presents a convenient solution for translating your content into a multitude of languages. There are exactly 134 language options to be precise. 

Despite the existence of other AI translation tools, the distinctive advantage lies in the seamless integration of translation capabilities directly within the Canva platform. 

With this AI tool you can auto-translate your designs without the hassle. It even maintains the design whether you’re translating between LTR to RTL languages and vice versa. 

This AI feature is free for users for up to 50 uses. For example, you can translate up to 50 pages with a free account and as many as 500 a month for those on paid subscriptions. 

That covers our look at Canva’s AI features, now it’s time to move ahead to the AI features of the Adobe Express app.

AI Features – Adobe Express App

1. Text-to-Image

The Adobe Express app is powered by Adobe Firefly. Previously Adobe Firefly was the stand-alone app that offered AI generative features. But now some of those features can be found within the Adobe Express app. And one very important feature is the text-to-image feature. 

Just like any other AI image generator, indexing the prompt and styles sets you up for generating the desired image.

For comparison purposes, we used the same prompt as we did for the Canva text-to-image feature. Let’s take a look at the one we generated:

Prompt: A Christmas tree with gold baubles and white tinsel with a hint of a snow effect on the branches.

Style: Photo

The results look quite similar. 

2. Text Effects

This particular AI feature on the Adobe Express App can come in handy when you want to change up the entire texture of your typography. It can be very useful if your brand wants to experiment with more depth in your various designs. 

Let’s take a look at a few ways that this can look like:

This feature is almost identical to the Magic Morph AI feature available on Canva. Although the Adobe Express app’s feature comes in a free account unlike Canva’s.

3. Background Removal (Generative fill)

The Adobe Express app’s background feature not only allows background removals but the generative fill powered by AI helps you replace the background to a desired one. You can even add certain objects to the background or remove them which would’ve taken hours before. 

To observe the tool in action let’s change the background of this stock image:

This is what we got when we asked the model to replace it with an oceanside setting. 

With a bit more finishing it could really be something.

The Adobe Express app’s background removal and generative fill AI feature is currently available for free use, unlike Canva’s Magic Erase AI feature. Although Canva’s Magic edit feature is currently available in the free plan. 

4. Smart Font and Color Recommendations

Adobe currently has 20,000+ fonts available and a vast array of color palettes available. With all that’s going on it’s not easy making a proper selection from these huge collections. Especially when good font pairings matter in designs. For that reason, this particular AI feature will come as such a convenience.

Smart fonts feature

While you’re working on the design, the Adobe Express app’s AI takes cues from your design like what type of design it is, the aesthetic, and the type of copy, and then recommends fonts that perfectly align.

Smart colors feature

The smart color recommendation feature works by combining the technologies of Adobe Color and Adobe’s “Sensei AI”.This combined model doesn’t just recommend colors, but does so with an awareness of context. There’s even the option to apply entire color palettes to the design without having to manually do so. 

These features in the Adobe Express app don’t seem to be available on Canva at the moment. 

5. Text-to-template (Beta)

Much like Canva’s Magic Design feature, the Adobe Express app’s text-to-template feature allows you to create a custom template by indexing a prompt. 

We gave it a go and here’s how it went:

Prompt: Party invitation for graduating music school.

Only one of the results came as a free template. Others were in the premium bundle. 

Since it’s still in its Beta phase, there’s much room for improvement and is not as advanced as Canva’s feature. 

Canva vs The Adobe Express App – Verdict

There you have it. A breakdown of the various AI features of these AI design tools. Now to answer the burning question: who offers better AI features?

It’s really is a difficult question. Canva has been around for longer so they have rolled out more features than the Adobe Express app. Adobe is also trying to catch up to Canva and they would in the years to come. We’d just have to wait and see. But for now, Canva has better and a more variety of AI features than the Adobe Express app as you can see from the number of features itself. 

There are also other AI design tools although not as comprehensive as these vying for attention further saturating the market. 

According to statistics a whopping 83% of businesses claim to AI being a top priority for their business processes. And for good reason. 

This is reason enough for you to incorporate these AI design tools into your work process. And if you ever feel that working with these AI design tools is still challenging with your busy schedules you can always hire designers to collaborate with you. 

Check out unlimited graphic design services like Design Pickle, Flocksy, and KIMP as they offer such services. They can be great alternatives to using Canva and the Adobe Express app on your own. 

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