Who would have thought that the design giant Adobe will create their own Canva? It is easy to see why the simple-to-use and user friendly ebook cover design tool Canva is so successful, and it is actually not that big a surprise that Adobe – usually known for endless options, hidden settings and taking years to master – decided to join the flow introducing Adobe Spark.
Read on to learn how to design a beautiful ebook cover with this easy to use tool on your computer, tablet, or straight from your mobile, and compare Adobe Spark to Canva.
If you are a newbie to cover design, we recommend that you also check out our cover design masterpost to help you avoid common mistakes.
(Article was updated on May 22, 2018.)
Adobe Spark: what is it?
Adobe Spark is a powerful Creative Cloud tool priced from free to £10 a month – it is already obvious from the pricing that this one tool is not aimed at professional designers but students, marketers, bloggers and small businesses (including writers and publishers) for their smaller scale design needs.
The suite contains of Page for web stories, Video for graphic videos and Post for any kind of graphic material you would normally use PhotoShop for.
Platform: iOS (Spark app), cloud using any browser
Uploading your own images: yes
Stock images: access to Adobe Stock and free images (around 90 million pictures)
Pricing: free (with Adobe logo), 10 GBP per month
Design an ebook cover using Adobe Spark
It is the best to start from the book cover landing page : just log in with social media (Google or Facebook) or Adobe ID to get started.
(All images are screenshots from Adobe Spark)
Click the image and then ‘Replace’ to change it: you can upload a picture straight from your device, Google Photos, Creative Cloud or Dropbox. You can also search for images that are licenced as creative commons (it uses the database of Pixabay and Unsplash ).
Although I clicked ‘replace’, it added the new image ‘above’ the old one, kind of as a split screen. I had to delete the old picture to be left with only one background image. The image itself can be scaled and rotated (click ‘adjust’) or simply dragged to the right position. There are also some filters to choose from in the sidebar.
To change the pink little thing at the top, just click it and move the green ball at ‘style suggestions’. Pick one that is closest to your expectations: you can modify it later using the settings options below. Double click it to modify the text.
And just do the same for the rest of the title and the author’s name! You can freely move everything around, choose from a great range of amazing fonts and setting options.
I think I’m ready (I’m an awful designer, as you can tell). When finishing, you can generate a link for sharing or download it as a 1706*2560 pixels jpg. Great! In only 20 minutes I have created a book cover that looks kind of acceptable. If I can do it, anyone with some taste can.
And here comes the catch: covers designed using the free version will have the Adobe Spark logo on them. Luckily enough, the monthly fee is only £10 a month, and you can cancel any time: so the main question is whether it is worth 10 pounds for you every month you need to design something.
Canva: the basics
We have already written about Canva, probably the most popular book cover design app in our article on 3D book covers . Let’s just recap what it can do!
Platform: cloud using any browser
Uploading your own images: yes
Stock photos: 1,5 million (free or 1 USD)
Pricing: free with optional in app purchases, 12.95 USD per month premium
Differences between Canva and Adobe Spark
Unlike in Spark, in Canva it is fairly simple to find book covers straight from the main page. Therefore, there is no need to find a workaround and go through the landing page. The size will be, however, slightly smaller: 1410*2250 pixels – it is still accepted by stores, both as a separately uploaded and an embedded book cover.
I also like the fact that Canva starts with a blank page, while Spark prompts you to use a template and modify it: I can already feel my creativity flowing just by looking at an empty sheet! You can, however, choose from countless layouts if that’s your thing.
When it comes to settings, the number of options is definitely smaller. Additionally it also doesn’t help that you have to pay for uploading images or to use anything nice from their database. Well, nothing is free, is it?
Probably due to the decreased customization, Canva is ridiculously easy to use. Within only ten minutes I can already see some results on my ebook cover.
Would you switch from Canva to Spark for ebook cover design? Are you using them both? Or are you rather paying somebody for cover design instead of creating something as disastrous as my book cover? Share your experience in the comments.