This week, Adobe is launching a new unified web and mobile product called Creative Cloud Express (CCX). This offering brings together a new level of simplicity and practicality with guided tools that make it easy to achieve beautiful results in just a few clicks. With this product, the company aims to allow everyone to participate in the Creator Economy – and be able to rapidly create impactful visual and multimedia content, no matter what your abilities.
Creative Cloud Express – also known as Adobe Express – is the natural evolution of Adobe Spark, in the stated goal of “Creativity for All“… Adobe Express has all the same easy-to-use features of Spark, and plus many new capabilities to quickly and easily create standout graphics, documents, videos and more, whenever and wherever you need them.
What is Creative Cloud Express?
Adobe Express is not a traditional desktop application. It’s a web and mobile app that you can run and use from anywhere. It’s a task-based, content-first experience that brings together Spark Post, Adobe Fonts, Adobe Stock images, on-trend templates, illustrations, icons, backgrounds, and features powered by Photoshop, Premiere and Acrobat.
With Creative Cloud Express, you can drag-and-drop your way to quickly create social graphics, flyers, posters, logos, short videos, animations, infographics, ads, and more. Browse professionally-designed templates, edit your images, videos, and documents with Quick Actions, or produce marketing assets for diverse media platforms. Customize your designs with simple-to-apply effects, filters, and textures that can be used together and layered.
See what you can do with Creative Cloud Express.
Is Creative Cloud Express free?
Adobe Express is free for anyone to use, and is built on a “freemium” model. Most of the functions and much of the content is no charge to use for all of your projects, for commercial use or otherwise. This starter version of CC Express is available today in 15 languages at express.adobe.com and in the Microsoft Store, Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
Free CC Express users get access to up to 1 million Adobe Stock images and other assets, thousands of templates, dozens of fonts, basic editing and photo effects, and 2 GB of online cloud storage. It’s free to use, forever:
No credit card is required to access and download the free version of Adobe Express. All that you need is a free Adobe ID, if you don’t already have one.
What does the Premium version include?
The premium version of Creative Cloud Express includes everything the free version does, plus: access to more than 175 million royalty-free Adobe Stock photos, 22,000+ Adobe Fonts, premium templates and design assets, custom branding, more editing features, integration with Creative Cloud Libraries, Adobe Portfolio, 100 GB of cloud storage, and additional applications like Photoshop Express and Premiere Rush (the full versions).
You also get the new Content Scheduler to take control of your social media posts all from one place. Plan content, find the right time to post for the most engagement, schedule and preview posts, and then publish to multiple platforms in one click.
Here are all the differences between the Free and Premium versions of CC Express.
You can start with the free version of CCX and if desired, unlock all the premium features if you need or want them. Either way, it’s easy to get started.
How much does Adobe Express Premium cost?
The upgrade to Express Premium is $9.99 per month or $99 per year, which is the same as what Adobe Spark Premium cost.
By comparison, this is lower than the entry price of Canva Pro, which is arguably Adobe’s biggest competitor in this space.
It’s also the same as what Premiere Rush premium used to cost by itself. The full version of Adobe Express now includes the full version of Rush.
As an introduction for everyone who would like to try it out, Adobe is currently offering a 30-day free trial of the premium product:
Is the Premium version a good deal?
There are a couple of additions that we are surprised to see in the Express Premium version. The first is access to the entire diverse, royalty-free Adobe Stock photo collection from within the Creative Cloud Express app. This gives you use (inside Express) of 175 million standard Adobe Stock images, which normally cost quite a bit more to license.
The second surprise is the inclusion of Photoshop Express (PSX) Premium, which usually runs $4.99/month by itself – as well as Premiere Rush Premium for fast, multi-platform video creation, which previously cost $9.99/month on its own. All of that comes with Express Premium.
So, there is a lot of value that the company is building in to the $9.99/month price point of Creative Cloud Express. And for folks who don’t want or need to get into the full desktop versions of Creative Cloud apps, the Express edition is free and intuitive to try to quickly create the content you need.
Do existing Creative Cloud subscribers get Adobe Express?
In most cases, yes. The premium version of Creative Cloud Express is included with Creative Cloud Single-App plans over $20/month and in the Creative Cloud “All Apps” plan. So these subscribers automatically receive access to all the premium features and content of Creative Cloud Express, Premiere Rush, and Photoshop Express.
Note that this does not extend to the Photography or Lightroom plans, which run $9.99/month by themselves. However, older Photography subscribers who previously had access to Spark Premium may request that Adobe reinstate Express premium in their plans at no extra cost.
What’s the Difference Between CC and CC Express?
The major distinction is that paid Creative Cloud members also receive access to the full desktop versions of flagship Adobe tools, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Pro, Animate, Premiere Pro, and After Effects – whereas Creative Cloud Express customers do not.
Free Stock! Download 1,000,000+ premium assets from the new Adobe Stock Free Collection
What is Adobe Express for Education?
Formerly Adobe Spark for Education, this program offers Creative Cloud Express (the full Premium version, custom tuned for the classroom) completely free for K-12 schools and districts.
In fact, in just a short time, Adobe Express has already become the top creativity tool for education, reaching over 43 million K-12 students and teachers globally.
Learn more and apply here, and get your school up and running to create powerful graphics, videos, and presentations quickly with the Express tools.
Is Adobe Express free for non-profits?
As a matter of fact, yes! The company has just announced Adobe Express for Nonprofits, which “provides the premium version of Adobe Express for free to the over 10 million nonprofits worldwide to help changemakers around the world quickly and easily make standout content.”
And if you need more than what Adobe Express provides, then TechSoup remains an excellent option to buy discounted Creative Cloud full subscriptions for charities, nonprofits, libraries, and foundations.
What does the future hold for Adobe Express?
Adobe has an ambitious product roadmap in store for 2022 and beyond, which includes support for multipage graphic capabilities, creating social videos, expanded PDF capabilities, connection with Adobe’s other apps, Adobe Express for Enterprise and Teams, and more. Stay tuned; it should be interesting!
In a nutshell: Adobe executive quote
“Everyone has a story to tell and it’s our mission to empower everyone to express their ideas,” said Scott Belsky, chief product officer and executive vice president, Creative Cloud, Adobe. “In this unique time, where millions of people are building personal and professional brands and 40% of U.S. consumers are paying creators directly for their work through online platforms, we’re excited to launch Creative Cloud Express as a simple, template-based tool that unifies the creation, collaboration and sharing process so anyone can create with ease.”
For more information and answers, see the Adobe Express FAQ – or check out the complete CC Express User Guide.
You can also ask a question in the comments below.
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8 thoughts on “What's the Difference Between Creative Cloud and Adobe Express?”
I would like to check on what programs, features and limitations people have with the Adobe Photography Plan, as there is quite a bit of visible confusion over what we get. Maybe a dedicated page on your website that lists all the features and programs (trial or full) we get with the Adobe Photography Plan would be great.
I have the Photography Plan. So, I am able to access the premium features of CC Express like the royalty-free Adobe Stock photos. However, I do not get 100GB storage and I am left with the 20GB that comes with the Photography Plan.
Similarly, previously, only the starter version of Premiere Rush was available with the Photography Plan that included max 3 exports. Adobe recently changed that and allowed full premium access to Rush for Photography Plan users. However, this is very confusing as for some items Photography Plan users get full access whereas for others they don’t.
So I would like to know the following for Photography Plan users:
1) Features, access and limitations of CC Express
2) Features, access and limitations of Premiere Rush
3) Features, access and limitations on all other Creative Cloud items
It would be great if there is an updated dedicated page listing what is available only to Photography Plan users.
Thanks for your comments, and great idea! You’re right; it can be confusing…
But guess what, we’ve already put together the pages you mention. Here they are – they’ll tell you what’s included (tools & services) and for which subscribers:
What’s the Difference Between the Adobe Photography, Photoshop and Lightroom Plans?
Premiere Rush Free Download: What’s Included in the Starter Plan vs. Paid Plan?
Hope that helps!
By the way, Photography bundle subscribers do not get the premium features of CC Express with their subscriptions… Only Creative Cloud plans over $20/month do.
However, older Photography subscribers who previously had access to Spark Premium may request that Adobe reinstate CCX premium in their plans at no extra cost.
Either way, you can still access and use quite a few royalty-free Adobe Stock photos (within CCX or anywhere), because they are actually free for everyone:
Adobe Stock for Free: Download 1,000,000 High-Quality Stock Images
Just wanted to clarify, based on your comment.
Can I use my CCE projects as illustrations for my book?
Hi Salvacion, thanks for your question. See here for the answer:
What Are the Licensing and Rules of Usage for Adobe Express?
I would like some clarification on the use of adobe stock images and or graphic elements relating to the License usage.
I want to create art/layouts from Adobe Express to be used for online Print On Demand products such as T-shirts, mugs, and bags…
My layouts will consist of text quotes created by me or found online (creative commons) and graphic images and or photo images in one layout.
As a Premium Member, do I have the rights to use the graphics and fonts From Adobe Express?
Can I use Adobe Express Stock images to create art for t-shirts, mugs and other print-on-demand products for sale?
Hi Ismael, thanks for your questions.
Generally, commercial use of what you design in Adobe Express should be ok, including for things like flyers or on social media. That’s primarily what Creative Cloud Express is intended for.
The graphics don’t have any specific issues with licensing that we are aware of. The only factor would be the licensing terms of any Stock assets you might use in your design, because for creating merchandise-on-demand, the terms appear different.
Here is more information for when you use Adobe Stock assets, which may help answer your questions.
We are not experts and you should check with Adobe for further clarity, but it sounds like your use case might need an Extended license. With an Extended license, a Stock image can be used on merchandise for sale.
According to this FAQ, Stock assets used within Adobe Express come instead with a Limited license.
However, you can purchase an Extended license for any asset you wish directly on the Adobe Stock website.
Hope that helps clarify.
PS – Here also is a FAQ for Adobe Fonts… We suggest reading that carefully as well, and confirm with Adobe about it all.