We all know about Adobe, but what is Adobe Creative Cloud and is it worth paying for? Adobe Creative Cloud is a set of more than 20 desktop and mobile apps designed for creativity, design, UI, UX, and video work.
Adobe Creative Cloud is also packed with other features, such as font packs, online storage and backup.
There are different bundles available for Adobe Creative Cloud, so whether it’s worth it for you will come down to your own needs and whether there are suitable enough free alternatives in the market.
The Full Adobe Creative Cloud Package – 20+ Apps For $52.99/month
Let’s take a closer look at the full Adobe Creative Cloud package first, which costs $52.99 per month and features more than 20 apps, alongside other features.
Before we get into each app and their functionality, Adobe’s pricing needs to be explained further. Whilst advertised as $52.99 per month, this is the offer price if you take out an annual plan. This means that if you do not cancel during the 14 day refund period, the only way to get out of paying monthly is to pay the remaining annual fee.
There is a month by month fee that can be cancelled at any time, similar to most other online subscription services. However, this costs $79.49 per month. Thankfully you can buy individual apps for $20.99/month on an annual plan or $31.49 monthly on a month-by-month basis. There are also savings for students and teachers.
Ultimately though, Adobe Creative Cloud is on the expensive side of things and unlike the past, there’s no way to just outright buy a one-time license for their software.
So, what apps are included in Adobe Creative Cloud?
Photography & Design
The following photography and design apps are included in the full Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.
- Photoshop – Create graphics, photo, and art.
- Illustrator – Create illustrations and vector art.
- Adobe XD – Design and prototype website/app UX.
- Dimension – Create realistic 3D images and product branding.
- InDesign – Page design and layout for print.
- InCopy – Allow copy editing in tandem with InDesign.
- Spark – Create custom graphics and web pages quickly.
- Animate – Create interactive vector animations for video or games.
- Dreamweaver – Create responsive website designs.
In some cases, there will be apps in this list that are crucial for your work, but if you just need general graphic design and editing then Photoshop can do most tasks here with some practice. There are also some free alternatives to Photoshop such as GIMP or Paint.NET.
Even so, Photoshop can’t be beaten in many ways. Adobe has worked on the app for two decades, so they’ve really refined themselves in the industry.
Photoshop isn’t a necessity – you can get the basics with other apps for free, However, many would argue Photoshop is the number one option. Photoshop also has the largest support for official and community tutorials.
Animate shares a similar story, being one of the best options for vector animation work, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t free alternatives that can be used for basic work.
The other apps in the bundle may be worth considering, for example if you need better tools for animation, or UX design. Even then, there are always free alternatives too. For example, Canva is a great free alternative to Spark, which can be used to create eye catching posters, social posts, images for web design, and much more. Google Web Designer could be a great free web design alternative to Dreamweaver.
Ultimately it’s a case by case basis with Adobe’s photography and design apps. Sometimes you can get by with a free alternative, and sometimes Adobe really is the best choice. It will depend on your specific needs but with how the annual commitment can work with Adobe, it’s always worth trying the free alternatives first before committing to a full Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.
Video & Audio
Adobe Creative Cloud also comes with a number of great tools for video and audio editing. Here is a brief overview of what’s available.
- Premiere Pro – Professional level video and film editing.
- Premiere Rush – Fast video editing and sharing tool.
- After Effects – Create great visual effects for video.
- Audition – Audio recording and mixing.
Let’s first start with Premiere Pro – it’s one of the most well known video editing tools in the industry. Perfect for everything from clipping together a YouTube video to creating fully fledged films. Fortunately this is a very competitive market, which means you can find free video editing alternatives.
There are also other great paid video editing suites such as Sony Vegas Pro.
Sony Vegas Pro can be purchased with a one-time license which can be appealing to some.
To many, it’s the inclusion of After Effects that makes it worth sticking to Adobe Creative Cloud. After Effects is the most powerful tool out there for creating great visual effects and learning After Effects can take your video production to the next level. If After Effects already costs $20.99 per month on an annual plan, throwing in Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and every other app for a grand total of $52.99 suddenly doesn’t seem so far fetched.
The Extra Functionality
Besides the apps and their individual functionality, subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud gives you access to more features. For example, you get 100GB cloud storage which is perfect for both backing up your creative work and making it easier to collaborate with others in real time.
Adobe Fonts allows you to get free access and commercial usage to thousands of fonts, all of which can be used across all Creative Cloud apps. You also have tools for showcasing your creative work through Adobe Behance and you can save and collaborate on assets such as brushes, materials, and designs through Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries.
Is Adobe Creative Cloud Worth the Price?
Adobe Creative Cloud can be worth the price, but is it worth it for you? That all comes down to your individual needs. In most cases, a free Photoshop and free Premiere Pro alternative could suffice, but sometimes the individual apps will be far superior.
We would suggest starting with free alternatives first, and if you can’t get access to the features you need, consider paying for Adobe Creative Cloud after.