Picmonkey vs Photoshop: Comparing Two Really Awesome Tools
Let’s compare two highly popular graphic design tools…Picmonkey vs Photoshop….Who wins? Which one is right for you and YOUR needs? As a crafter, you can always benefit from the application of graphic tools….Whether you’re working on greeting cards, invites, or some of the projects here that involve paper or cardstock….it’s going to make things a little easier.
I got a nice surprise in the mail over the holidays…a beautiful handmade card from my first cousin (who works for a well-known greeting card company) It’s definitely unique…and as I could see it involved use of her home computer. Let’s be honest, stuff like pens, markers, and paint are great, but messy.
Ink can smear and paint can run. Enter the alternative – graphic tools!
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If you like the idea of incorporating graphics into your crafting, these 2 are my favorite tools and the ones I use the most often.
How and Why I Use Both Tools
Photoshop has been around since Hector was a pup – way back in the day I used to take classes in graphics. We were expected to hit the ground running with Photoshop, and I was having to learn a lot in short order, At the time, this was the GWB years and we were working with version CS2 – which it is way beyond at this point.
(That was back in 2005, by the way…)
I have been using both Picmonkey and Photoshop for my “side hustle” on Etsy… In case you’re curious, I have my own line of coffee mugs. I create png file designs that can be uploaded and later printed on the mugs. A really cool drop-shipping company takes care of the rest.
But I digress a little….I have found that both tools work great in different ways; Sometimes, though, when I want to get a little more creative with my designs, I find that I can dive into the extensive library on Picmonkey and get premade designs to supplement my work as well as lots of unique fonts 🙂
Comparing The Two
I found that there are some special advantages to working with Picmonkey for my designs. They are, in no order:
- It is a web-based graphic tool,and Cloud-based; I have nothing to download or register.
- Versatility of fonts (you can find everything from fancy-pants to Halloween-ish)
- Many backgrounds and cute add-on graphics.
- Many pre-designed templates to choose from.
Picmonkey is my go-to tool for all my infographics right here on this blog – as well as my tool of choice for editing all my pictures and adding embellishments to them. I’ve been a subscriber for about a year, and a happy one too! Prior to, I was using some other free venues, some good and some with limitations (or annoying ads).
Photoshop, on the other hand, is a software program you have to install; which may mean registering it. I actually own Photoshop Elements (version 6, I believe) which is a little bit more lightweight and easier to learn. It came included in a bundle package with my drawing tablet.
Which is Best For Social Media Images?
As a blogger, images that look good on social media are a must. One thing I always hated was having to look up the recommended measurements for all the different social media platforms, and on top of it, things like banners and empty spaces (like where your icon or avatar will go and block what is directly behind it).
If you want to skip all that guesswork, Picmonkey has multitudes of templates with all of the bigwigs pre-sized, so you never have to worry about the possibility of something you spent precious time on getting chopped off in one place or being too small or too big. been there, done that!
Templates to Save Time
You have a wide range of templates on Picmonkey to choose from, with every season and occasion, so regardless of the nature of your project, you will have dozens to contend with, and modify from a pre-designed, professional looking design.
There are business card sized (which would be great for this project), postcard, invitation, and the standard A4 letter size which I think is the biggest – so when the time comes to print out your designs you’ll know exactly what to expect them to look like first.
Picmonkey Has Been Updated and the New Features ROCK!
I first started using Picmonkey back in 2016 after the advice of some of my blogging buddies; I pretty much used the freebie plan…then you had two other subscription tiers, known as “Premium” and “Supremium”
This past September, I found myself getting panicky because Picmonkey was suddenly crashing on me (I kept getting this message to cancel Shockwave or some nonsense) but a week later I discovered that the site had gotten a complete makeover, with all these brand new features, including new designs, new fonts, and automatic file saving – Yay, no more lost work!
Now I can really take it up a notch and not worry about all my work getting lost!
File Types Supported
Picmonkey supports file types jpeg (best for photos) and .png (best for vector graphics) and if you choose one of two subscription plans you can also have access to pdf. You can also choose an image quality setting so you can stay on top of the issue of keeping the file size smaller but not compromising on image quality.
I always choose the “Medium” setting – just right for my needs 👍
Photoshop has lots of different file types that it supports, in addition to the ones above I mentioned, like tiff,eps, etc.
👍I Can Save and Organize My Work Like a BOSS on Picmonkey!
So far, the new changes have been great – all my text and images line up perfectly with this built in grid feature that aligns and centers elements (it didn’t do that before). I also use the Hub feature, and here’s something really cool – I can create different sections for different project types.
I have created one “Collection” for my Etsy shop designs and one for my blog images here, as you can see right here:
The Collage Feature
I really dig the collage feature….It’s been under construction for awhile but as of the time of writing (1/3/19) I see that the collage layout is back in business (Yay!) I had been missing that one…it’s one of my favorite templates; lately I haven’t been creating any image collages due to it still being under way.
Now you do have the option to be able to switch on back to the “old” version…I have done, a few times, as it was easier to access the Collage feature, unfortunately, it crashed.
Besides, since I am able to access multitudes of templates I don’t sweat it about the Collage thingy now. I like the approach of having a bunch of little pictures in a group, but sometimes I like to change things up….starting from a pre-designed template sized just for the social media platform of choice, saves me a lot of time especially on those days I feel creatively “blocked”.
All I really have to do is switch out the default picture with one of mine, change the text to reflect my post title, and bada-bing – I am set!
It makes creating image combos a snap, because I don’t have to worry about whether or not this image or that one has to be sized down to fit within the frame.
Yes, for awhile I used to do all of this kind of work in Photoshop (and to some extent, Corel Draw and paint) but unless I created a one-time template that I could modify later, it kind of slowed me down. I was forever having to merge stuff, decide how much to crunch it down to conserve file size, save, etc.
👉 A Few Quirks To Keep in Mind:)
One thing I ran into the other day, I found it tricky to select certain layers and merge them together without disturbing another layer you want to modify again, over in the Picmonkey image editor…Either it’s not present or I haven’t discovered it yet.
When I work in Photoshop, I just tick off the layers I want to merge and hit “merge” from the drop-down menu.
The second quirky thing now, since the update, I keep getting longer phrase strings with missing letters….I sometimes have to go back in and retype. I think that due to the new Autosave feature Picmonkey has now, maybe it is due to file caching or something??
I find that I have to counteract this by breaking down long sentences by creating a new text layer for each of them, as you can see in the work above.
How Much Does Picmonkey Cost?
OK, you’re going to love this part…..It’s a drop in the bucket to get access to all the great features I’ve described above. The plan I am subscribed to (Basic) is $5.99 a month. The Pro plan is $9.99 and the Team plan is $24.99 (at the time of writing) It’s best to choose the annual subscription as it’ll give you the best deal.
With the Basic plan, I have access to 1 GB of storage with the Hub feature…That’s more than I need as I delete some of my stuff periodically. The other two plans – Pro and Team, have the one biggest difference in that you will get Unlimited storage with the Hub.
With the Pro plan you also get the addition of email support, the ability to upload your own fonts, and the option to export pdf files. Three additional benefits…There’s scads of fonts so I didn’t need that option, so the Basic plan suits me just fine. The Team plan main advantage is that you will get discounts for groups of 3 or more.
Cost To Use or Own Photoshop
My Photoshop program was included as a bonus item along with my drawing tablet…..so naturally I had to do some research on what it costs. Photoshop’s latest edition can be a one-time cost if you’re looking to have your own software for your personal use (which can be a little steep – especially for the latest edition)
Or as my late husband once discovered, you can choose a membership that is about $20 per month, and Cloud-based storage.
Best way to get started is to choose a Creative Cloud membership plan from the proprietary company site (Adobe) to make sure you get a clean copy that wasn’t registered previously.
You can get Photoshop as part of a single-app plan
The best way to acquire a less expensive copy to call your own is to (apologies) be on the lookout for an older version. Below is an older package deal my husband bought awhile back (and I do believe it is the version I first studied under.)
If you are a professional photographer…Photoshop is what you need as the more sophisticated tools that involve rendering, detailed touch ups, are necessary. Plus when you go to print your finished work, you want to have control over how well it looks when printed, and the other big advantage is the wide range of file types as well.
Now I’m a blogger, I take most of my pictures using my Smartphone to support my work here….I mainly only care that they look good, clean, and interesting,and not blurry, but I don’t do much to change them other than crunching down the file size so when uploaded they don’t slow down load times, and I do want to embellish my pictures with cool headlines and such, but I don’t need to do anything super-sophisticated.
If you have a similar story, I think Picmonkey will be a lot more up your alley.
So all in all, if you love scrapbooking, paper crafts, card-making, or need a fun, mimimal-learning curve way to create images and infographics, Picmonkey is your best bet. Good luck to you and let me know what you find!