Using AI to Automatically Optimize Posts with Adobe Spark: Adobe Sensei Customer Spotlight

Port of Longview social media graphic optimized by AI in Adobe Spark. The image is right-heavy which leads to left-aligned text layout.

Adobe Spark is an incredible tool for making stunning social graphics, webpages, and videos. One of its key advantages is how quickly you can produce assets like these, thanks to really intelligent workflows that take the manual tedium out of quick design.

When the Port of Longview, in Washington State, wanted to up its game in terms of its web and social media presence, Communications Coordinator Dan Polacek started looking around for the best solutions to help him produce visually appealing assets at scale. Fast forward several years, and the Port’s social media campaigns have won awards and received recognition far and wide. Dan credits Adobe Spark, and the features, powered by Adobe Sensei, our AI and ML technology, for much of this success.

“Everything we see on social media is so succinct, engaging, and dynamic. You see so much more of that these days, and we definitely wanted to be a part of that,” said Dan. “Spark is such a great tool for that. Just 20 seconds and under it’s pretty amazing what you can do.” Part of this has to do with Spark Post’s Content Aware Layout and Auto Crop & Zoom features, which put Adobe Sensei to work to make it easy (and quick) to iterate while creating and quickly visualize your content in different layouts.

Automating layouts for creative iteration with AI in Spark Post

In Spark Post, users have the ability to create posts for different social media platforms, and with the click of a button, automatically change the layout of text, imagery, and other elements across different formats. Users can leverage this Content Aware Layout feature, powered by Adobe Sensei, by having the “Move Content with Layout” toggle selected in the “Layout” tab. This allows you to explore new ways to present your content, while ensuring that layouts make sense in terms of understandability and aesthetic appeal.

Port of Longview social media graphic optimized by AI in Adobe Spark. The image is left-heavy which leads to right-aligned text layout.

For Dan and the Port of Longview, once the brand’s custom colors, logos, and assets were uploaded to Spark, it became easy to play and experiment with creative ways to convey their messages via social media. He uses Spark to ‘recommend’ layouts of text and imagery based on the orientation selected. Dan says this has also often inspired him and his team, with the Content Aware Layout feature giving them new ideas for how they should present the assets behind their ideas and campaigns.

“By enabling ‘Move Content with Layout,’ we are often pleasantly surprised at just how the AI baked into Spark can come up with layouts we never considered,” said Dan.

“As a graphic designer, it’s incredibly cool how the AI in Spark uses basic graphic design principles and somehow knows” the best places for all the content within the space. Spark’s AI also recommends layouts based on the orientation of the picture sizes we’re using, which not only saves time, but gives us great ideas for printed pieces that we create. We’re endlessly inspired by the choices it gives us!”

Headshot of Dan Polacek, communications coordinator for the Port of Longview.

Dan Polacek, communications coordinator for the Port of Longview.

Quickly adjusting scale, auto-placing text for optimal effect

There are two other pain points that Adobe Sensei-powered technology, inside Spark, is now solving for the Port of Longview. The first is a question of scale: how do you easily scale individuals images and pieces of text, inside your social media post, to make sure the layout is as visually appealing as possible and in-line with your branding. The Scale Slider, within Spark, helps users achieve this.

“Gone are my days of scaling, masking, and making one correction after another in Photoshop for our social media posts. Spark’s ability to not only scale, but to add filters and other quick adjustments on the fly, removes what has traditionally been a very tedious, time-consuming process,” said Dan.

Port of Longview social media graphic optimized by AI in Adobe Spark. The image is top-heavy which leads to lower-left-aligned text layout.

Laying out text, inside image-rich social media posts, can be tricky as well; you never want to compromise the impact of your visuals on social media, but you also want to tell your story effectively (and, often, a bit of text goes a long way for messaging purposes). If you don’t have time for trial-and-error layout, Spark is able to auto-place text for you, paying lots of attention to visual hierarchy.

“Even if we decide to drop in a new image, or add another element, the text ‘magically’ appears in the most logical spot. It gets you as close to perfect as possible, streamlining your workflow and freeing up more time for other projects. This means you don’t have to be a graphic designer, or even have a design background, to generate eye catching graphics,” Dan added.

Streamlined workflows result in improved content velocity

Reflecting on his current workflow and his past ways of working, Dan says it used to take up to two days to create a social media post that was optimized for all platforms. Considering the Port publishes roughly 12 social media posts per month, that meant a considerable time commitment on production tasks. Now, Dan says he’s able to create an original post, optimized for all necessary platforms, within two hours — this has freed him up to concentrate his creative energy in other ways.

“When your workflow is streamlined, you’re able to accomplish so much more during a day,” he added. “It’s just really been a game changer for us here at the port.”