Adobe Spark. This is incredible.
I recently updated all my Adobe Creative Cloud apps and something caught my eye. A little black and yellow icon for the web-based service ‘Spark’.
Usually, I’m not too fussed about web apps, or even anything outside of Lightroom and Photoshop but I thought what would be the harm in having a quick look.
Oh. My. Goodness.
Adobe Spark is not a new service, in fact, in my frenzied research on the program I found out that I had been missing out on this for over a year now (that will teach me to be dismissive of new things, right?!) It was released in May 2016.
It has recently had a big promotional push, which is probably why I am finally catching up. However, in my research, I have found it quite difficult to find a clear description of what the service is, how much it costs, and what it can do for the user. So I’m writing it down here to try and get things straight.
Adobe spark is a free web-based ‘storytelling’ service. It consists of web applications and mobile apps and can be tied to the Creative Cloud.
Spark itself is broken down into three design apps:
Spark Page – Allows you to design web pages. Based around the idea of stories, It helps guide users create web-pages about anything they like. Travel stories, presentations, newsletters… so many possibilities!
Spark Post – Allows you to design Social media imagery for a multitude of platforms including Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and more. (this can also be used for blog banners)
Spark Video – a no-nonsense video creator that includes access to motion graphics, effects, and music. The focus is on Narration based videos and there are many guides included that can act as storyboards to help guide the user to create a video ‘in minutes’.
How much does it cost?
Adobe Spark web and mobile apps are FREE!
If you have an existing paid subscription to a part of the Creative Cloud, you get a few more features but for the most part, it is free. I subscribe to the Photography Plan which gives me access to Photoshop and Lightroom software, a hosted online Portfolio for my photography, and now integration to Spark. (at this time, this is around) £9 a month
The premium features are really good. they allow you to set up your ‘Brand’ which consists of uploading your logo, selecting your ‘brand colour palette’ (which it can auto-detect from your logo if you wish) and your brand fonts.
Once this is all set up, you can press the ‘Brandify’ button on any template or creation and it will add all these elements. so worth exploring on a free trial if you are interested.
Is it easy to use?
Spark is very easy to use. Every aspect of your design is easy to adjust to create whatever you wish. I think the only difficulties with Spark I have encountered are having to relax your brain a little bit if you are already a user of the other Adobe Creative Suite products.
The Spark apps are nowhere close to the familiar userface of PhAfterop, After effects, Illustrator et al. Spark apps are designed to be user friendly and easy for anyone to pick up. So if you go in expecting it to have Photoshop style tools, you might be in for a shock.
Can I use it to make images for my Blog?
Yes! This, for me, is the best bit. I have been reading up recently about the importance of being active on Pinterest and promoting your blog through this channel. The thing that has confused me is that you can’t really continually pin or even tweet the same image over and over again. Yes, you may reach new viewers, but your existing ones (and you) will get veeeeeery bored.
So, enter Spark Post. With a few clicks, you are able to generate multiple varying designs with the same goal in mind. For example see the following four Pinterest banners, all created within seconds of each other:
Great, huh? in a few more clicks you can make Instagram posts (if you like to post that kind of thing) and they can make for a very effective image tweet:
As you can see, there are also image sizes that are perfect for blog banner images so it is indeed a win-win-win!
To round up…
You can probably tell, I’m very excited about this. Hopefully, others are too, because I really think this is a tool that can help ANYONE that wants to improve their online imagery or even just speed up the creation process.
Go have a play here, and let me know what you think about it!
Thank you so much for reading.
Love, Beccy May
Ps. this post may read like an advert or affiliate deal, but I have no way near enough viewers to be bothered with that! I’m just writing about Spark as I thought it was very exciting and I have spare time to do so. In the future, this may change, and if it does I will update this text to make clear my intentions. But for now, no profit was gained from this or any post I have written!