Without a doubt, Adobe is the undisputed 400lb gorilla in the room when it comes to Creative apps. In addition to a handful of consumer products, almost all its software for Macs and Windows can be found in Creative Cloud (CC) on a subscription basis.
By subscription, we mean you don’t actually own the software you’re paying for each month. And if by any chance you miss a payment, you will lose access to those apps.
While this may seem like a downer, this scheme has some advantages to subscribers. For one, you’re guaranteed the latest version of Adobe’s many apps. And mind you, the company doesn’t rest with their updates and fixes — they do those a lot. So that’s more value for your money.
In a nutshell, CC is Adobe’s design to make its wide range of programs available as a single service in which you pay a monthly fee instead of it being a one-time purchase. As for the fee, it depends on the number of apps you use.
Creative Cloud also includes some additional services to make your workflow more creative, like its extensive font library, portfolio website that you can easily customize, and a cloud storage of 100 GB.
Adobe Creative Cloud Price
Before anything else, here’s a brief explanation of how Adobe prices things.
CC is advertised as $52.99 per month, but this is only the offer price if you purchase the annual plan. If you don’t cancel within the 14-day refund period, you have no choice but to pay the remaining annual fee if you want to free yourself of the burden of paying monthly.
Like most online subscription services, there is a month-by-month fee that you can cancel at any time but it will cost $77.49 each month. However, you also have the option to buy the apps individually for $20.00 per month on an annual plan or $31.49 each month if it’s a month-by-month basis. If you’re a teacher or a student, you get some neat discounts!
Here are the options and prices for individuals:
- Single apps: Depending on the software you purchase, single-app plans range from $5 to $21 monthly. You gain access to Adobe Fonts and 100 GB of cloud storage.
- Photography Plan: This option, which you can pay for $10 each month or $120 for a whole year, gives photographers access to Photoshop, Lightroom, and 20 GB of cloud storage. There’s also a $20-plan per month that comes with a 1 TB of cloud storage.
- All apps: You get access to the entire line of CC apps, including Adobe XD, Illustrator, After Effects, and Premiere Pro for $53 per month or $600 for a whole year.
If you own a business and need features like collaborative video editing and workflow management, Adobe has some great business plans. If you’re a creative professional, meanwhile, whose work requires one or more Adobe programs, individual plans should work for you.
Regardless of the plan you choose, it’s safe to say that Creative Cloud is on the hefty side of the budget. And again, you can’t buy a one-time license outright — it’s a monthly or yearly commitment.
Adobe Creative Cloud Inclusions
In addition to Adobe’s reliable image- and video-editing services, CC subscribers also get to access services and apps that are relatively new. The inclusion of these apps is a great opportunity to learn new skills.
Here are some of Adobe’s newer services:
- XD: This is a User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) design platform for mobile and web and perfect for those who have used Photoshop and Illustrator before to design interfaces.
- Spark: This is a collection of apps designed to produce content for both web and mobile quickly and easily. For example, Spark Post lets you create graphics for social media. Spark Page allows you to make responsive web pages. Spark Video can be used to create short video stories.
- Fonts: A lot of CC plans include access to Adobe’s stunning library of fonts, which you can use in every program.
- Portfolio: This lets you easily create beautiful websites and showcase your work, particularly those you’ve designed using the Adobe software suite.
- Premiere Rush: This an alternative to Premiere Pro, which can be used by content creators to easily edit their videos. It includes a streamlined interface with selected features and can be opened in Premiere Pro in case you need some editing done later.
While you may not need everything in Creative Cloud, it’s just satisfying to have a wide range of options. After all, you can always install or uninstall each Adobe program individually. And you might as well try other Adobe rights you haven’t before. You can always explore using better tools for your new UX design or animation.
For example, if you have used Canva before then you already know how to use Spark. In this program, you can create attractive social media posts, posters, and get images for your next web design.
The decision lies on you, really. These days, free alternatives on the web can provide enough resources, but there are times Adobe would make the better choice. It all depends on your specific needs.
Is Adobe Creative Cloud Worth It?
There’s a valid argument to fight for here — it’s way expensive to pay for a long-term subscription instead of paying for a permanent license, which is a one-time payment. However, if we take in the fact that you are provided with regular fixes and updates, along with access to new Creative Cloud features, and cloud services, CC is clearly a great value service.
Should the time arrives you no longer need any of the apps, you can simply end your subscription and look for more suitable alternatives within Adobe or other service providers.
Teachers and students can look into Adobe’s special pricing. Simply provide a university email address to qualify for an all-access plan of $20 per month on your first year, and then $30 on your second year onward.
You can always try Adobe Creative Cloud for free before committing to a long-time subscription. This is the opportunity for you to gauge whether it works for you or not.