How Adobe Creative Cloud Affects Me

Adobe have just announced that they will no longer be selling boxed versions of their Creative Suite products. They will be replacing them with a subscription-only service and that seems to be the end of the matter…

At the beginning of May 2013, Adobe announced that it is retiring development on it’s Creative Suite of applications. CS6 will be the last of the boxed versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver and the rest of the apps that creatives use on a daily basis.

Adobe have been trialling their Creative Cloud Service for about a year now, offering access to their entire suite of products on a monthly subscription-basis. In practise, this is great for Companies with no concerns about paying whatever fees Adobe decide they want to charge. (Rest assured, once they have you over a barrel the price WILL continue to rise.) However, they have just announced that subscription-only will be the way forward and naturally, there has been a justifiable backlash from the design community.

There is an online petition against the Adobe’s Creative Cloud Subscription Model here, which is already at 15,000 supporters.

For me personally, moving over to a service which I pay for monthly seems pointless. I recently upgraded to CS6 only due to the massive overhaul Photoshop was given. I have the web and design premium edition and out of that I am using Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign on a daily basis. Fireworks has occasional outings, Dreamweaver less often, only for clients who use Contribute to administer their sites, but Flash has been opened ONCE in about 6 months. This means that I’m using half the products in the Suite, so paying for ALL of them every month makes no sense. Yes, they offer subscriptions for individual products, but then that costs more.

I mentioned the overhaul that Photoshop got in CS6, but that is unusual. The products are offering less must-have new features with each version and I use Espresso for building websites these days, and swapped After Effects for Apple’s Motion years ago.

As a self-employed designer, I like to buy my tools outright, so I have them available when I need them. Renting (that’s what subscription is) means that if my business takes a knock then I’m in trouble and can’t afford to pay to use my essential tools. (That is an unlikely extreme but some start-ups may face this situation when cashflow is an issue.) And, I believe that once the attractive JOIN NOW period is over, Adobe will hike up the prices, leaving subscribers in a position where they have little choice but to pay whatever Adobe want to charge.

I’m going to finish this rant on a positive; the benefit of NOT moving over to a subscription service is familiarity. That may well have the longer-term effect of designers getting to know their tools better (many a good tune played on an old fiddle) and developing their own ways of become more creative as they rely less on one-click filters or solutions.

I’ve spent enough on Adobe products over the years and will continue to use what I have every day. The Adobe Creative Cloud subscription model is not the best thing for individual designers, but it might just be the best thing for their creativity!

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