Adobe Spark is a new app from Adobe that allows users to create template based social media graphics (Spark Post), web stories (Spark Page) and animated videos (Spark Video) using a simple online interface (read our review of Spark Post here).
The Spark Page module is designed to allow users to create online magazine style web pages. The templates and layout options available are very modern and are designed to present your work in an elegant and engaging way that focuses on visual content.
Adobe Spark is free, but you will need an Adobe ID, Google or Facebook login. Currently, there are only browser and iOS based versions – no Android.
To get started, click on Page which will bring you to a screen asking you to add a title and a sub-title. You can also add your lead photo here.
Next you can add photos, text, links, video, a photo grid or glideshow. Each element is pretty self explanatory except for photo grid and glideshow.
A photo grid will add a collage of photos from a selection of images that you upload. Your images are automatically arranged into a nice grid layout. You can edit the grid by rearranging the order of images, making images full page or adding and deleting images from the grid.
The specific grid layouts you can achieve are somewhat limited by the aspect ratios of the individual photos selected, but its a really easy way to present a good looking photo collage with a lot less work than creating a custom Photoshop layout or using a dedicated photo collage app like BlogStomp.
Adding a glideshow is a similar process – you upload a set of photos and then you can add or delete images or change the order they appear in your glideshow.
The glideshow presentation is designed to be a modern animated magazine style slideshow that really brings your photography to life. You can add text captions and one really cool feature is the ability to add zoom points to focus the viewer’s attention on specific parts of an image.
I am really impressed with how slick the finished glideshow looks – it is a great way to present your work in a way that keeps your viewer’s attention.
Once you are finished with your page, you can change the theme if you like. I just stuck with the default theme since I think it has a nice clean look that suits the photos I was using.
Finally, you can share your new page on Facebook, Twitter, email or direct link. Here is how it looks on Twitter – you can’t get ride of the Adobe branding (this is a free product after all).
Adobe Spark Page Review
Overall, I love the look of the pages you can create with Adobe Spark Page. They’re dead easy to create and are a much more effective and dynamic way to present a visual story rather than using a traditional blog or web page.
However, the major problem I have with Spark Pages is integrating them with my existing online infrastructure.
They’re great to share via social media (Facebook and Twitter at least) and through email via a direct link – but those links direct your viewers to Adobe – on a platform you don’t control – so Adobe benefits from all of the Google juice and you’re relying on Adobe to maintain your work.
You can download an embed code, so you can embed your Adobe Spark Pages directly on your website or blog – similar to how you would embed a Youtube video – however to actually see the pages viewers still have to click on a link that leads to Adobe.
Here is how an Adobe Spark Page look when embedded in a website (click to see my finished page).
Keeping in mind that Adobe Spark Page is free, it is understandable that Adobe would want to direct traffic to their own infrastructure – but I would gladly pay for a WordPress plugin or a way to download the source code to embed the actual pages into my own website.
As much as I love the look and presentation of the pages you can create with Adobe Spark Page I personally can’t see using them very often.
I think it is critical for photographers to maintain a funnel that focuses web traffic from all sources to their own websites – which is lost if you start using Adobe Spark Page versus a traditional blog or webpage.
What Do You Think?
Try Adobe Spark Page yourself and let us know what you think!
Do you like the presentation?
Did you find it easy to put together a page?
What do you think of the sharing and web integration options?
Leave a comment below and let us know!