27
Oct

Create an Ebook Cover with Spark and Canva: Which is Better?

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 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.

Read on to learn how to design beautiful book covers with this easy to use tool on your computer, tablet of straight from your mobile, and compare Spark to Canva.

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

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 your social media or Adobe ID to get started.

ebook cover with spark

(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 ).

ebook cover with Spark

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.

ebook cover design with spark

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.

ebook cover design with spark

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.

ebook cover design with spark

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 only whether it is worth 10 pounds for you every month you need to design something.

Comparing Spark to Canva

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

Pricing: free with in app purchases, 12.95 USD per month premium

ebook cover design with canva
(All images are screenshots from Canva)

Unlike in Spark, in Canva it is fairly simple to find book covers straight from the main page, there is no need to work around it and go through the landing page. The size will be, however, slightly smaller: 1410*2250 pixels – it is still accepted by stores.

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.

ebook cover design with canva

When it comes to settings, the number of options is definitely smaller; it also doesn’t help that you have to pay for uploading images or to use anything half decent 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.

Summary

Would you switch from Canva to Spark? 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.

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  • Katrina

    Excellent article. I know for my part we don’t use templates because, when used too much, all of the covers end up looking alike. This can keep your book from standing apart. I’m lucky that i make my own covers and actually got into ebook publishing by making covers for other authors. When you’re someone who can’t afford someone like me or don’t have my skills, though, this sort of things can be a good thing.

    • Excellent point, Katrina! You are right about templates.

  • Hi, very useful article! We try to make our covers by ourselves to reduce the costs. However I am aware that some of them can be really improved, so we will hire an illustrator to give a shot!
    Cheers 🙂

    • You are right to do so, my example really shows that even the most intuitive design tool can’t give me the missing aesthetic taste 😀

  • Harvey Stanbrough

    Neither. I use Serif PagePlus x9, an extremely intuitive desktop publishing design program. It costs a very small amount but you own it. See examples of my covers at http://harveystanbrough.com/ under the Fiction tab.