Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) is Adobe’s user-friendly, mass-oriented app suite for simple graphic design and content creation. It has an image editor, a website builder, and a video-making tool (the latter two still operating as Spark Page and Spark Video, but soon to be rebranded into Express), all capable of creating simple but beautiful and impactful content that doesn’t require previous design skills or investing time in learning its ways.
With both a free and a paid version available, online and on mobile apps, Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) is the perfect match for small businesses, new commercial projects, freelance professionals, bloggers, and design enthusiasts.
Today we are reviewing Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) from head to toe to give you a complete look at everything it can do for you.
See a video presentation of Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark):
Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) Quick Roundup
No time to read? Here's a “TL;DR” with the salient points in Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark)’s offer:
- It's a suite of apps for creating simple graphic and video projects
- Very user-friendly – No design skills needed!
- Integrates Adobe Stock images and Unsplash free photos
- Free for all (branded by Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark))
- Paid version available (non-branded + premium features) ideal for brands and businesses
- Web-based + iOS and Android apps
- Mobile friendly
- Ideal for simple yet professional-looking designs
If you loved how this sounds and want to try this creation tool right away, be our guest, and head over to Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) right now.
For an in-depth look into Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) and its capabilities, keep reading!
Saving tip: Check our list of Adobe discount codes to get great deals on all kinds of Adobe products!
Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) Pros & Cons
If you want to go straight down to business, here are the main pros and cons to know about using Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark):
- It’s both web-based and mobile
- It assists with single-page website design
- It lets you create videos
- It’s incredibly easy to use
- It includes high-resolution, free images from Unsplash, as well as paid, high-quality stock photos from Adobe Stock
- Android access is limited to the graphics creator tool
- In the free version, all pages and videos have Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) branding
- Pages have no e-commerce functionality
- Videos are only 30 seconds long
This is just a quick overview of the best and the worst in Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark)’s offer. For a detailed look at all you can (and can’t) do with this application, read ahead!
What is Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark)? What Does it Do?
In a nutshell, Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) is an app suite for online and mobile design that lets you create simple web pages, social graphics, videos, and presentations.
On the web, everything is available in one place. Yet, on iOS and Android, Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) unfolds into three, each a standalone app each dedicated to one design task: Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) Page, Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) Post, and Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) Video –Each task has its own iOS app on the app store, but only Post is available for Android so far.
What is distinctive in the Spark apps is that they are much more user-friendly than most Adobe tools. Unlike their most popular and specialized counterparts like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, or Dreamweaver, Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark)’s learning curve is so gentle that is almost flat, so you can just grab your iPhone or iPad and start creating engaging, relevant visual content almost as soon as you download it, even if you’re not design-savvy.
Another highlight is that it integrates stock image libraries to simplify your life. You can search, find, and add images to your projects directly in the app, choosing Adobe Stock’s paid stock photos or free images from Unsplash. Still, it supports uploading your own pictures, graphics, and fonts, which you can do thanks to its integration with useful resources like Creative Cloud, Adobe Lightroom, Dropbox, and more easily.
Finally, it’s a mobile-friendly tool that you can use online or install the dedicated apps on your Apple mobile devices or Android smartphone or tablet (Android has limited access). Equally important, projects created with Spark are also optimized for mobile view.
For this reason, it is very popular amongst small business owners, entrepreneurs, bloggers and publishers, social media influencers, and other non-graphic designers, creative people who need stunning but relatively simple visuals for their projects and don't have the time to learn a new skill.
Let’s have a look at what each segment of Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) can do!
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Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark Post)
With Creative Cloud Express, you can create simple yet powerful graphics for various purposes: social media images (like a Facebook banner, an image post, an Instagram story, etc.), infographics, posters, flyers, invitations, etc.
You can choose from an array of templates and preset dimensions that make the process much more comfortable, as you simply select a layout, the medium it’ll be published in, images, and enter your text, and you’re done. They have templates for various purposes (business, travel, food, etc.) and all the popular uses (Facebook and Instagram story or post, for example).
Going with a theme and medium is ideal because you don't have to worry about image resize and ideal dimensions for each platform. All is adjusted automatically to look great on the selected placement.
If you wish to build up your graphic from scratch, you can, too. You start with a clean layout that you customize step by step with size, images, font, copy, and branding elements to create your own unique vision.
What’s left is to download the final design, or use the hyperlink provided by Adobe Creative Cloud Express, and you’ll be ready to publish it. You may also print your design if you wish.
Adobe Spark Page (Soon to be rebranded into Creative Cloud Express)
Page –inspired by Adobe Slate, a previous Adobe product– is intended to design a simple, one-page, scrolling-style web page (or as Spark calls it, a web story). These are to mimic magazine pages, with that visually impactful layout they are known for.
You need to know right away that this isn’t a traditional website builder and will not serve you if you are looking to create complex multi-page sites. It doesn't include any e-commerce feature, so you would not create your e-shop with this tool.
But it’s perfect to create single-page, functional designs like pitch pages, product pages, portfolios, reports, wedding websites (or similar events websites), and more.
The best part of Spark Page is that no web design skills are required, and the tool is very intuitive, practically guiding you every step of the way.
Again, here you will find pre-designed themes that you can easily personalize and have a web page ready in minutes. But if you don't find a theme you like, you can also create your site from the ground up. You start with the basic, entering a title, subtitle, and header image. You can then go creative, adding a photo grid or photo slide/slideshow, copy, buttons, videos, animated image transitions, and split one image into subsections. You can use the preview function to see what your site will look like at all stages of creation.
One important thing to keep in mind is Adobe hosts these simple sites on Adobe servers, and so far, it is not possible to use custom hosting nor custom domains. When the project is finished, you are given the page’s URL, which has a spark.adobe.com/page domain.
Adobe Spark Video (Soon to be rebranded into Creative Cloud Express)
Spark Video stems from the Adobe Voice app and is meant to produce short animated videos and presentations.
The maximum length of Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) video clips is 30 seconds. Now, this is quite limiting for some motion imagery purposes. Still, these short videos are more than enough for the use they are intended: clips to promote your business or present your idea on a fast-paced platform like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Like Post and Page, this intends to help you create a visual story, and the process gets started when you enter a title for your video. From here, you can opt to use a story template and simply customize the content, or start from scratch. If you choose the latter, the layout lets you work segment by segment, and you have clear buttons to add videos, images, text, transitions, voice-over, music, icons, and more. You can also select the video display to be widescreen or square (ideal for Instagram).
Once you’re done, you can download your finished video to upload further wherever you want or share it via a hyperlink from Adobe Spark.
Is Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) free – For Real?
Yes, it is real! Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) is free for all, and forever, all you have to do is sign up for a new account (no credit card details required), and you’re set to start designing right away.
The free version gives you access to all three segments of the tool and a selection of templates, and the ability to upload your own images as well. But there is one big condition: all final projects in Page and Video include the Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) logo (check our Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) Alternatives), and it is not removable.
If you want your final design to be fully customized to your business and not display Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) branding, you’ll need to pay. There is no way around that.
Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) Pricing – How Much Does it Cost? What’s Included?
If you don’t mind that your website or your video display the Spark logo, and if the available design elements are enough for what you need, by all means, enjoy Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) for free.
If, however, you want a completely professional finish that looks unique to your business and brand, then the paid version of Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) is for you. The good news? It’s reasonably affordable, and it comes with a lot of premium features.
The subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) gets rid of the watermarking on final designs, but it also adds:
- Premium templates
- Team members access for collaboration
- One-tap personalization to add your logo, brand colors, and more custom details to your designs in one move
- Premium fonts + the ability to upload your own custom fonts
- Create branded templates that are ready to use
- Have more than one brand design setting and switch between them as you need
All this can be yours for $9.99 per month, or $99.99 per year. If you're in the US, you can get it with a 20% discount for a limited time, for $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year.
Plus, a current deal lets you get the first month of a paid membership for free! You still need to put in your credit card details, and you will be billed once the first 30 days are up.
If you have the creative needs to justify it, it’s certainly a low-cost investment for the additional visual power and workflow easiness you get.
An important note is that you can get Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) without having an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, although you can also get it as part of the cloud-based platform, too, if you want.
The Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) subscription is suitable for anyone wanting the extra oomph, but it definitely makes more sense for businesses that value branding materials and creative collaboration.
Is Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) Easy to Use?
Yes, very! We said in the beginning that ease of use is one of the highlights of the tool. Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) is very user-friendly, and its concept is aimed at non-designers, people who know their way around computers but don’t really have a lot of knowledge on how a design software works, what to edit first and how to do it.
How easy is it? Let's sum up.
- Templates – Their preset designs are as easy to use as they come. Once you select a design you like, all you must do is pick images and enter text in the already arranged layout. This is not only a huge time saver but also eliminates the effort of thinking of good design composition, as you can rest assured these professional designs are spot-on.
- Intuitive layout – In the case that you don’t want or don’t find a template you like, you can still design freely on Spark. Instead of complex (although certainly efficient) features that would take some time to figure out and get a hold of –like Photoshop, for example–Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) focuses on very straightforward, in-your-face functionality with customizable fields and lineups of buttons with very clear labels. The whole design layout is rather intuitive, and it guides users from one step to the other without much instruction needed.
- Autosave – It might seem minor, but the fact that Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) saves all changes you make automatically and constantly rids you of the task of remembering to save your progress and protects you in the case of accidents.
- Support – Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) includes a whole FAQ-styled support section that solves most issues that might come up when using the tools. For paid members, they also include live chat and phone support.
This feature set combined makes it very unlikely that you'd need a tutorial or guideline to use Spark; however, you can find many of both resources online should you need them.
Which One Is Better: Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) Or Canva?
That’s a tough one. While the similarities between Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) and Canva are more obvious –they’re both user-friendly design tools for non-designers–inclining for one over the other will depend more on your needs and preferences, as there are things one can do that the other can’t.
With Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark), you can create single-page, Adobe-hosted websites. With Canva, you can maybe design one, but that’s as far as you get.
Canva lets you share your finished visuals on any social media platform directly. In Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark), you have to download the design and upload it to a social network manually, or otherwise share via a hyperlink.
And those are just some examples of their differences. There are other minor ones, such as Canva adding design filters for images, something missing in Spark.
In general lines, we feel Canva is a better fit for creatives focusing on graphics, and Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) is more suitable for those centered on interactive designs.
We have a full Canva Pro review you can use to compare functionality.
And if you’re interested, we also have a long list of 19 websites like Canva (you’ll see Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) is the number one on this list).
Is Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) Good?
In our opinion, yes, it is. Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) is a great tool to handle the design of simple but very necessary (and effective) marketing and promotion materials that would otherwise be very complicated for the average person to do.
Therefore, it is ideal for eager DIY business owners and creatives, and for anyone who can’t afford a professional graphic designer and still needs professional materials to promote their business.
Now it’s time for you to judge yourself!
Head over to Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark), sign up, and let us know how you like it!