There are extremely complicated image editing tools, and then there are super easy to use tools that can make image editing a walk in the park.With the growing demand for graphics, especially on social media, brands are forced to hire graphic designers. But what if we told you, you could create expert level images with minimum effort, and save money?
That was our motive when we decided to battle out the best photo editing tools available right now. We tested them out through rigorous parameters, and at the end of it, the winner was rather predictable – DesignBold.
DesignBold clearly stood out because of its 40 million stock photo library, thousands of pre-made layouts, and easy-to-use interface.Read on to see our complete analysis.
Read on to see our complete analysis.
USING CLOUD-BASED PHOTO EDITING TOOLS
Why Use Graphics For Social Media
It has been proven that 80% of the people remember what they see, whereas, only 20% of them will remember what they read.
Images have become an integral part of content marketing in the last few years. While brands want to share more relevant content, they also make sure that the images they share with their customers are just as relevant.
With rich cards available both on Facebook and Twitter, just copying/pasting a link is not enough. The link should be able to lure in users and compel them to click on it.
Imagine this – You see two, almost identical links to delicious cake recipes. While one just has a headline and description, the other has a yummy cake picture. Which one would you click?
Get my point?
Your graphic design can and will play a major role in deciding how the audience perceives your products. While some brands like to piggyback on the trending topics, long-term success on social media can only be achieved by being unique and making your brand stand out.
One of the best ways of doing that is by offering a customized experience to any visitor that discovers your brand’s social media channels and for that, you need custom graphics and illustrations.
Graphics can create a social identity for your brand which makes users easily identify your brand and remember it.
For instance, Oreo gets creative on their social media pages by posting the most hilarious situations with their famous biscuits in it.
Charmin, a toilet paper and tissues brand, uses their signature bear and trending hashtags to create engaging graphics.
Why Use Cloud-Based Photo Editing Tools For Graphic Needs
When we talk about photo editing, there is a lot that comes under the umbrella. It could be a standard crop and resize, filters and effects, adding texts or more advanced editing.
But up until a few years ago, we knew that whatever photo editing we wanted to do, we had to download a software for it.
And the issue wasn’t downloading the software; it was the system requirements that it had. Even after installation, you might have had to take a walk around the house while waiting for the program to start.
All that changed with the boom in web and mobile apps. Users can now edit photos online and achieve great results. Even Photoshop, which has been a desktop application for a long time, finally decided to move to the cloud and it now offers subscription services.
The main advantage of using a cloud-based photo editing tool is – There is no waiting time for installation, you can just log on to the website, and you are ready to go.
Key Criteria For Choosing The Right Photo Editing Tool
There are many cloud-based photo editing tools available right now, and choosing the perfect one will depend highly on your requirements, but most importantly, it will depend on your photo editing expertise.
If you are a graphic designer with a good knowledge of photo editing concepts, most of the tools will seem easy to you.
But if you are someone with zero to low graphic designing knowledge, choosing a photo editing tool that can make the entire process quick and easy can get a bit confusing. In fact, you might even think about hiring a graphic designer for that. Here’s a tip – Don’t hire a graphic designer.
There are expert tools available which can help you create the most advanced looking graphics with the least amount of time.
Here are some questions you should be answering before picking out a photo editing tool –
- Do you need pre-made layouts and templates?
- Do stock photos matter?
- Pre-cropped dimensions for each social media platform are needed?
- Do you want to share edited designs?
- Collaborating with other team members is a need?
Once you have listed down the answers, it’s time to search for a photo editing tool which fits the criteria.
Lucky for you, we are going to compare four of the major photo editing tools to help you make the right decision.
PHOTOSHOP VS CANVA VS PIKTOCHART VS DESIGNBOLD — THE EPIC BATTLE
The one software which started it all, Photoshop is a vast and powerful software. While it is the holy grail of most graphic designers and photographers, many users have stayed away from Photoshop because of its complicated interface, and difficult to understand concepts.
Until 2013, users had to pay a one-time fee of $700 to obtain the license for the software. But after the introduction of Creative Cloud, Photoshop moved on to the cloud with a subscription fee of $10 per month, instead of a complete license fee.
- Supports both 2D and 3D image designs (Though 3D designing can only be done if the system has a graphic card)
- Plethora of features for any kind of image editing needs
- New Creative Cloud lets users save everything on the cloud
- Every design tool is available on Web and mobile app
- Interface can be complicated for anyone new to Photoshop
- Acing Photoshop in one go is next to impossible, a lot of tutorials and training might be needed
- Direct sharing to social media is difficult
- After Photoshop moved to Creative Cloud, there are monthly subscription fees with no perpetual license, and Creative Cloud only has a 20GB storage
- High system requirements
Canva is a web based design app made with the aim to make graphic designing easier for people. While Canva does seem to deliver on that, its interface can seem clunky to some.
In fact, it seems more of as a simulation of Adobe Illustrator than a Photoshop competitor because of the limited photo editing features. Though the web app does have a variety of features to stack images and texts together.
Canva has a large number of stock images, icons, fonts, layouts, grids, and illustrations. Following a freemium model, Canva has premium elements which can be bought for $1 each, and a Canva for Work subscription that introduces bonus features like stacking designs into different folders, collaborating and uploading images.
- Web-based app with no installation
- Relatively easy to use
- Wide range of elements that can be added to pictures
- Designed images can be shared directly
- Interface is clunky
- While Canva does have some free photos, searching them separately with a keyword is not possible
- Editing features are restricted
- Loading designs take longer than expected
Piktochart mainly markets itself as an online tool to design infographics, and that’s what it really is. Apart from infographics, users can also design posters, reports, and presentation. But, there is no way to design social media graphics on Piktochart or any other custom dimension graphics for that matter.
In fact, everything seems very limited on Piktochart, starting with templates. There are hardly 9 free templates on the web app, which means, you would either have to create your own infographic from scratch or end up with an infographic that looks like everything else out there, and you will lose that uniqueness.
There are other templates available, but they can only be used by Pro users.
- Creating infographics is quick
- A huge variety of photo frames is available
- Country maps can be added and edited
- Videos can be embedded
- Scrolling through and searching icons and images is difficult
- No way to design custom dimension or social media images
- Templates are limited
- Creating infographics from scratch is difficult and time-consuming
DesignBold is a photo editor and designer which has been created to make graphic designing easy for any newbie.
With over 40 million stock photos and layouts for almost any use, DesignBold will definitely leave you impressed. Graphics can also be directly created on DesignBold by uploading images, adding texts, borders, and illustrations.
DesignBold takes things up a notch through the community they have created. Users can follow each other and share their creations. Any designs created on DesignBold and shared publically can be seen on its stream for inspiration.
Overall, this web app leaves nothing to be desired.
- 40 million stock photos
- 40+ categories of template designs
- 5000+ pre-made layout
- Several filters to edit and transform images
- Custom fonts cannot be uploaded
Let’s discuss the different aspects of each of these photo editing tools together.
While Canva, Piktochart, and DesignBold are web apps which do not require any installation, and thus have no specific requirements. All they need is a compatible web browser.Photoshop, on the other hand, has some specific system requirements for both Windows and Mac, with 8GB RAM recommended for both operating systems, which is definitely on the high end, since most home users opt to have a lower RAM.
Photoshop, on the other hand, has some specific system requirements for both Windows and Mac, with 8GB RAM recommended for both operating systems, which is definitely on the high end, since most home users opt to have a lower RAM.
Apart from that, the display needs to be at least 1024 x 768 with 16-bit color. Check here for exact requirements.
All in all, you would have to cross check your system’s requirements against Photoshop’s minimum requirements before purchasing a subscription.
Winner – Canva, Piktochart, and DesignBold
Photoshop is known for its complicated interface, with so many small windows apart from the main one, editing pictures on it can be a struggle for anyone new to it.
While there is no denying that Photoshop is a powerful tool, the sheer amount of features can be confusing.
Though Photoshop has undergone a facelift with every new version, the basic interface still looks very much the same, and there have not been any major changes to it.
Canva has an easy-to-navigate interface with previous designs listed at the bottom and some templates on top.
Other templates can be seen by clicking on the ‘More’ button present on the corner. By clicking on each template, users can discover pre-made layouts. One big issue is – loading takes long even with a fast internet speed.
As soon as a user logs into Piktochart, he is taken to the pre-made layout page, and as mentioned before, the layouts are awfully limited. The biggest issue with Piktochart is not being able to see the entire infographic/report together; there is always a need for scrolling down which can be a disadvantage while designing since users won’t be able to envision the whole thing together.
There is a preview option, but that too requires scrolling to view the entire infographic.
DesignBold definitely has one of the neatest interfaces with easy-to-navigate tabs on the edit page. Vectors, Photos, and Free Photos can be searched through keywords. Designs can be edited, locked/ made public or deleted.
Winner – DesignBold
Photoshop being a developer’s tool has no templates available, though, there are many templates available online as PSD files. But, downloading PSD files from an unverified source always presents a risk of viruses and corruption.Canva, on the other hand, does have a large category for pre-made layouts. But as you visit different categories, you will notice a lot of layouts getting repeating with just different dimensions.
Canva, on the other hand, does have a large category for pre-made layouts. But as you visit different categories, you will notice a lot of layouts getting repeating with just different dimensions.Even with so many templates, it is annoying that users have no way to search these templates with a keyword, all they can do is
Even with so many templates, it is annoying that users have no way to search these templates with a keyword, all they can do is scroll, which of course, is incredibly time-consuming.
As mentioned, Piktochart has limited layouts for free users which will obviously leave you with a lack of choices. You could pick one of the free layouts, but that will make your infographic look similar to all the other infographics created through Piktochart.
DesignBold has a plethora of layouts divided by both social media platforms and occasions. If these categories weren’t enough, users can also search layouts through keywords by using the search box on top and selecting a layout from the drop down menu.
The search results can then be filtered down according to their type. With so many templates, there would never be a need to waste time in designing from scratch.
Winner – Design Cloud
Adobe has its own stock image collection where users can find millions of images, but just like Photoshop, the stock images on Adobe are expensive too. Most of the standard licensed images cost $7.99 each or users can take a $29.99 membership which gets them 10 images ‘free’ every month.
But even with the membership, the stock images turn out to be overly expensive.
Canva does have a huge library of free images which can be found under the Elements tab, but there is no way to search free pictures with a keyword.
The search box on top returns both free and premium images in the search results, with each premium image costing $1 and they need to be edited and downloaded within 24 hours of purchase.
Sadly, Piktochart has no collection of stock photos, whatsoever.
Coming to DesignBold, it has a collection of over 40 million premium and free stock photos, which can each be searched individually making it easier to find photos according to budget.
Premium images can be bought from DesignBold, and they cost approximately $0.8 per image.
Winner – DesignBold
Photoshop’s speed strongly depends on the user’s system configuration. If the configuration is higher than the recommend system settings by Adobe, then obviously, the software will work well, but if the system’s configuration is lower, then the user will face issues while using Photoshop. Basically, to use Photoshop, you would have to buy Photoshop and upgrade your system as well.
Basically, to use Photoshop, you would have to buy Photoshop and upgrade your system as well.Canva, Piktochart, and DesignBold are all web apps, which means ideally the speed only depends on the internet speed. But in reality,
Canva, Piktochart, and DesignBold are all web apps, which means ideally the speed only depends on the internet speed. But in reality, Canva turned out to be a little slower in loading. While the loading time is not too long, it could definitely be better. Both Piktochart and DesignBold have no noticeable lagging time.
Both Piktochart and DesignBold have no noticeable lagging time.
Winner – Piktochart and DesignBold
Creating Graphics for Social Media
Designing social media images on Photoshop is time-consuming because firstly the user would have to search the optimum image dimension, and then find stock photos right for the purpose. And finally, find the right font. All in all, it would take close to an hour to design one simple social media post. Not to forget, how difficult it is to drag and drop text boxes over images and edit them.Canva makes it easy to design social media posts with the right dimensions, layouts and stock images, which cuts down the designing time. The only issue is – Social media layouts cannot be searched.
Canva makes it easy to design social media posts with the right dimensions, layouts and stock images, which cuts down the designing time. The only issue is – Social media layouts cannot be searched.
Piktochart can only design infographics and reports, and with no provision to design custom dimension graphics, there is also no way to design social media posts for any platform.
DesignBold can help users design images for a variety of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and even Tumblr.
With hundreds of pre-made layouts and stock images, it becomes super easy and quick to create social media posts on DesignBold.
Not to mention, the images can be directly shared, downloaded, or saved to Dropbox.
Winner – DesignBold
Photoshop supports a maximum file size of 300,000 x 300,000 pixels, with a 2GB file size limit for PSD files. With Photoshop Creative Cloud, all the data is saved in the cloud as well. A 2GB storage is available for free users, while paid users get 20 GB storage space.
There is no way to buy extra storage, and users would ultimately have to delete files.
Piktochart allows free users a storage space of 40 MB, regardless of the number of images. After the limit has been crossed, users can either delete images or upgrade to the Pro version.
Canva and DesignBold do not have a limitation on the number of images that can be uploaded, each of them has a specific file size limit, as mentioned below: Canva – 25 MB
Canva – 25 MBPiktochart – 2 MB
Piktochart – 2 MBDesignBold – 10 MB
DesignBold – 10 MB
Winner – Photoshop
Plans and Pricing
Photoshop with its extensive features now works through a subscription model that costs $9.99 per month, which comes up to around $120 per year. This price figure only includes the software along with 20 GB space on the Creative Cloud, all the stock images need to be bought as an extra.
Canva works on a freemium model, which means that the tool is free-to-use, but certain components like icons and premium images need to be bought in-app. All the premium elements on the web app cost $1.
The web app also has a paid membership plan called Canva for Work that costs $12.95 monthly which allows business users to save brand kits, upload custom fonts, resize designs for all social media platforms and organize design into folders.
Piktochart also works through a similar model. While the free users get only a handful of templates to use, Pro users get over 400 templates.
DesignBold provides all its features to users for free. In fact, the users are only charged when they use premium images from the huge stock library that the web app has. Each premium image costs $0.8, making this photo editing tool the most affordable on the list.
Winner – DesignBold
Comparing all these photo editing tools together, DesignBold clearly stood out as the winner because of its 40 million stock photos, pre-made layouts for social media platforms, access to an entire community of designers, and easy interface.
While Photoshop, Canva, and Piktochart did shine in their own ways, they failed to be a complete solution for all graphic designing needs, unlike DesignBold.
Have you used DesignBold?