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Digital Storytelling Sampler

Peruse a sampling of digital storytelling tools, discussed and reviewed by Libraries staff

What is Adobe Creative Cloud Express?

Formerly known as Adobe Spark, Adobe Creative Cloud Express is a design tool for creating professional looking graphics, web pages, or videos. Creative Cloud Express offers thousands of templates, fonts, logos, and other design assets to help creators develop and share their work & stories. 

Create content through the browser-based version or through mobile app (iOS and Android). Creative Cloud Express also includes the following:

  • Adobe Spark Video (iOS only): Create a professional looking video by uploading your own photos, video, and music or by using stock available in-app
  • Adobe Spark Page (iOS only): Design and publish interactive web pages and presentations
  • Photoshop Express (iOS and Android): A scaled-down version of Adobe Photoshop to help you quickly edit and share photos 
  • Adobe Premiere Rush (iOS and Android, desktop): A scaled-down version of Adobe Premiere, but more features than Spark Video, to help you quickly edit and publish videos

Adobe Creative Cloud Express can be accessed through your OHIO credentials.

Before you begin


Graphics: Short, descriptive, engaging text suitable for social media, advertising, flyers, and other promotional-type material. 

Web Page: Suitable for longer prose and exhibit-style text typical of a webpage or adapt your page into a presentation. 

Video: Record narration over your video or slideshow.


Upload your own images and graphics or choose from stock from Adobe. 

If not using your own media or stock media through Adobe, consider copyright.  

Consider templates and ability or the extent to which you can modify within them.


Graphics: Suitable for creating professional looking (info)graphics for data visualization needs. In fact, don't miss their page on Data Visualization Tips for Infographics

Web Page & Video: Suitable for plugging in your (info)graphics to develop fuller text & video narratives around your data.



Graphics: Create digital covers, banners, advertisements, and posts meant for social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.  Creative Cloud Express can also be used to create brochures, flyers, posters, and more. 

Web Page: Create a dynamic webpage or presentation to share a digital story. Pages can be put into presentation mode to eliminate scrolling when presenting. 

Video: Pick a template with the same narrative structure you are looking for (e.g. "Promote an Idea," "Tell What Happened," "Teach a Lesson'," etc.) or create a video from scratch.

Quick Actions: Need to change your structure or file? Quick actions give you the tools to quickly resize, merge, crop and change the side of videos and convert both video and images to different formats (GIF, MP4, JPG, PNG). You can also convert Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or image files to PDF.


Adobe Creative Cloud Express key features

How could a Creative Cloud Express Web Page fit into digital storytelling? 

Digital storytellers can create a cohesive narrative through development of a single, vertical scrolling page. Content is added in sections which flow together in page mode but adapt to click ahead when put into presentation mode. 

Screenshot of Adobe Creative Cloud Express webpage template prompting creators to Add a Title, Add a Subtitle, and additional contentWeb Page themes

  • Chose from thirteen themes, which cannot be modified, but create your own by adding a brand theme. 
  • Creating a brand theme involves uploading a logo (optional) and picking a color and font. Give your new brand a name and you are good to go! If you need a logo, try out the Logo Maker

What can be added to a Web Page

  • Photo: Add photos by uploading your own, searching in-app for Creative-Commons license photos, or connecting in-app to your Creative Cloud, Lightroom, Dropbox, Google Photos or Google Drive.
  • Text: Standard, basic text editor to add your narrative.
  • Button: Link out to other content and sources. (Note: Linking out to other URLs opens pages in new windows so creating a complex "site" made from several Creative Cloud Express pages may not provide the experience you want.) 
  • Video: Embed videos from YouTube, Vimeo, or Creative Cloud Express Video.
  • Photo grid: All the features of adding a singular photo (above), but add several photographs at once to display in a grid. Creative Cloud Express will automatically adjust sizes and placement, but creators are given the option of moving images on the grid or choosing whether images appear as "small" or "large."
  • Glideshow: A dynamic feature which allows creators to layer images and text. Add photos (similar as above) to the background of the page and layer text of the images in a floating text box on the left side. 
  • Split Layout: Add text on one side, an image on the other. Easily reverse the layout if it's not working for you.


Featuring content from Ohio University Libraries' Digital Archives, the following two exhibits showcase how Adobe Creative Cloud Express can be used to blend together both text and image for engaging, dynamic storytelling. 

The Life and Times of Barnett Hook
A digital exhibit exploring the Barnett Hook Collection, and the life of its namesake.

Framing Time: The Photographic Legacy of Peter Goss, 1966-1970
A digital exhibit exploring the photographs of alumnus Peter Goss, focusing on his time photographing the Athens area.

How could a Creative Cloud Express Video fit into digital storytelling?

Adobe Creative Cloud Express Video guides creators at all levels in turning their stories into a digital video. If you've never created a video before, Creative Cloud Express Video might be a good tool to try. Featuring prompts and templates that might match a similar narrative to yours, Creative Cloud Express guides creators through storytelling development.

Screenshot of Adobe Creative Cloud Express video template for "Promote an Idea"

Video templates

Creative Cloud Express Video gives you the option to use on of their templates or start from scratch. With several templates to choose from, creators can pick a template based on narrative such as "Tell What Happened," "A Hero's Journey," "An Invitation" or "Teach a Lesson." 

If you pick a template, Creative Cloud Express will guide you frame-by-frame with questions it thinks are relative to the narrative you've picked and in relation to where you are at in the video. For example, Creative Cloud Express might prompt you to talk a little bit about yourself, discuss why you think your topic is important, and then engage your audience with next steps after they've watched the video. 

Creative Cloud Express will also prompt you to keep the video (and any narration you record!) short and succinct, so you show or say what you need to and not more!

Video features

  • Layout: Choose the layout of each frame in your video. Do you want it to be full screen (full image) or a split screen?  Does it need a caption or is it a title and text frame?
  • Theme: Pick from nine themes to find a font and color that matches your style. Otherwise, you can create your own branded theme by uploading or creating a logo with Logo Maker (you can also skip adding a logo), color, and font. 
  • Resize: Change your video from widescreen to square (or vice versa)
  • Music: Add your own music to the background of your video or choose from an assortment of music provided by Adobe from categories such as happy, playful, relaxed, rousing, thoughtful, and warm. Don't want music? Turn it off! 

What can be added to a Video

  • Video: Upload your own video recording.
  • Text: Add text which will appear to your viewers over your image or background.
  • Photo: Add photos by uploading your own, searching in-app for Creative-Commons license photos, or connecting in-app to your Creative Cloud, Lightroom, Dropbox, Google Photos or Google Drive.
  • Icon: Search and choose a Creative Common licensed icon in-app
  • Narration: Record narration for each frame by simply clicking and holding a microphone button (note: audio recordings cannot be uploaded separately)

How could a Creative Cloud Express graphic fit into digital storytelling? 

Creative Cloud Express provides an array of templates for social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Creators can use Creative Cloud Express to create social media ads, promotions, and header cover graphics or for print such as posters, flyers, and business cards. 

Graphics created with Creative Cloud Express can help with sharing & promotion of your digital storytelling project. If you are interested in data visualization, you might also check it out for its infographic designs. Read more from Creative Cloud Express about Data Visualization Tips for Infographics.

Partial screenshot of Adobe Creative Cloud Express "All Templates" webpage including category list and template examples for Flyers, Instagram posts, and Instagram stories

Posts, graphics, and infographics features

When you make a post or graphic with Adobe Creative Cloud Express, you can choose from a cohesive template, build your own from numerous available features, or both. Below are some of the features offered:

  • Text: There are numerous categories for all different types of text (social, logos, seasonal, headlines, paragraphs, phrases, lists, and so on) to search and pick from
  • Photos: Upload your own photo or search Adobe stock
  • Icons: Search and pick an icon
  • Design Assets: Includes categories such as effect groups illustrations, brushes, frames, elements, textures, and overlays
  • Backgrounds: Choose whether you want your background to automatically fill the space or if you want to move freely and adjust
  • Logos: Add your logo or use Adobe's Logo Maker 
  • Libraries: Build your own library of templates and features to save and reuse

Screenshot of editing an infographic template in Adobe Creative Cloud ExpressAn infographic template, "The Appalachians," available in Adobe Creative Cloud Express with examples of stock photos available for use.