In a continuing effort to bring you innovative new tools to help you design and create both in the office and on the go, Adobe has just released Adobe Spark. This is a new suite of tools that allow users to create and share visual content from both the web and mobile devices. On the web, there is the Adobe Spark web service where you can house all of your projects. On the app side, there is the re-branding of three applications; Adobe Post has become Spark Post, Adobe Voice is now Spark Video, and Adobe Slate has become Spark Page.
The goal of the Spark suite is to give small businesses, marketing people, students, bloggers, and just about anyone else with a penchant to create stories a platform to do so that is easy and intuitive to use. You do not have to be a designer or a pro graphic artist to put together visual productions that look professional.
To me the game changer here is the web server. It gives you the ability to create your story from a desktop, laptop, tablet, or any device that can connect to the web. The apps, at least at this point, are iOS based. With the web, you can create your vision and everything will sync to the Spark apps.
When you go to the web page, as long as you have an Adobe account, the service and the apps are free (there is some Adobe branding on the output). You are prompted to create either a post, a page, or a video. The post options lets you create social media posts and graphics, great for announcements, invitations, and inspirational quotes to name just a few possibilities. You begin with some text and you can choose a theme, add a photo, add some filtering, change the font and more. Once you are done, you can save, share, and download as well as other options.
The next option is to create a page. A page is a web story. This is great for communicating with people, creating a photo journal, recapping an event, creating a catalog, building a portfolio, etc. Here you can build a one-page site (that page can be as long as you like) containing things like links, photos, videos, text, and a slideshow that glides down as you scroll down the page. The video is limited to web video, not cloud, nor can you upload any video, although you can use Spark Video.
Finally, the video option begins with some text and then gives you a number of options for the type of video you want to make: Promote an Idea, Tell What Happened, A Hero’s Journey, Show and Tell, Personal Growth, Teach a Lesson, An Invitation, Make Up My Own, or, if you want, you can just Start from Scratch. Here you record your narration and add photos and text to slides. There is clip art available as well; a story board that will help you structure your video; a panel on the right that provides backgrounds you can use; and music available. You can also upload your own soundtrack.
The three areas described above correspond to the three mobile applications: Post, Page, and Video. They sync and let you capture photos and video to bring everything together. There seems to me some room for growth here in that more could be done with video and cloud integration, but I think that Adobe has made huge steps with the Web Service capabilities of Spark. For that reason, and the fact that it is free to use, I highly recommend Adobe Spark.