Adobe moving to subscription pricing 5/7/13

By Chris Johnson

Yesterday, Adobe announced that their Creative Suite of software was no more, and it will be replaced by Creative Cloud. Creative Cloud is basically the same set of applications, but instead of buying them once, you pay $50 a month for access.

Depending on how often you upgrade and which version you buy, this new subscription pricing could be a very good deal. However, that’s not the case for me.

I was buying the Design Standard edition1 every other year. The Design Standard upgrade costs approximately $700. So, if I used it for 24 months it would come to about $30 per month. Under this new scheme of $50 a month2, I’d be paying about $480 more over a two year period.

For now, I’m going to stick with my perfectly good copies of CS6 while weaning myself off using Adobe products. I’m trying to use Acorn for photo editing and bitmap graphics, and Sketch for UI design and vector graphics.

The biggest hurdle to switching is having to work with other designers who will almost certainly be using Adobe software. Photoshop and Illustrator files are the Word and Excel files of the design world and they aren’t supported well outside of Adobe’s own software. It’s hard to imagine a future where that’s not the case, but maybe Creative Cloud will push significant numbers of people to explore alternatives.

  1. I really only use Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

  2. Some customers qualify for a reduced subscription price of $30 per month for the first year.