As little as dip your toe into graphic design and you're sure to be aware of Adobe's design software, the Creative Cloud. It covers every type of design, from illustration and photo editing to animation and website design. The Adobe Creative Cloud has long been the standard for the design industry, but if you're new to the field you may be wondering exactly what this Adobe CC is all about and if it lives up to the cost.
In this post, I'll walk you through the key factors to consider when it comes to this graphic design option.
Adobe CC puts a full range of graphic design tools at your fingertips. Here's my rundown of the included apps and what they can do:
Photoshop - Photoshop is Adobe's solution for enhancing photographs, web and mobile images, video and more with powerful editing tools.
Lightroom - Also for photo editing, Lightroom creates instructions for the edits you've made and leaves the original image unchanged.
Illustrator - Made for vector-like logos, icons, typography and more complex digital illustrations, this application offers "pixel-perfect accuracy."
InDesign - The app of choice for documents, InDesign lets you design and publish eBooks, print materials and interactive documents.
Premiere Pro - Video editor Premiere Pro uses its 25 years of experience to help filmmakers and video creators efficiently edit everything from virtual reality to 8K footage.
After Effects - If motion graphics and visual effects are more your style, After Effects lets you create these visual elements for film, television and web.
Adobe Creative Cloud's more than twenty unique apps also cover 2D and 3D animation, audio recording and editing, copywriting and much more. Not to mention, Adobe's mobile apps let you apply its powerful features for design work on the go.
Now that I've let you know all that Adobe CC provides for your graphic design needs, you're most likely wondering what the cost will be for using this advanced design software. While a Creative Cloud subscription can get expensive, Adobe does offer several different plans so that you can choose the option that best suits your personal needs.
Individuals can choose from the Photography Plan ($9.99 per month or $119.88 a year, prepaid), which includes Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC, a single app subscription which starts at $19.99 per month on an annual plan, an All Apps subscription for $49.99 per month or an All Apps + Adobe Stock subscription which includes 10 Adobe Stock images for $79.98 a month. For business teams, Adobe CC is $29.99 per user per month for a single app or $69.99 per user per month for access to all of the apps. There are also discounted licensing options for students, teachers and universities.
You don't have to be in the design field long to realize that Adobe Creative Cloud is the big name in the industry, which makes it important for any aspiring designers and creatives to learn. There's good reason for its prominence in the field of design, including Adobe's experience in the industry and the advanced nature of its tools. While modern technology has provided competitors that come close to offering the tools that Adobe CC provides, it still remains the go-to solution for all design needs and the standard for professional designers and creators.
Cost Comparison: Hire or DIY
If you need graphic design work done for your business, you may be reconsidering a do-it-yourself method as a less expensive option after looking at the cost of a Creative Cloud subscription. In reality, hiring a professional graphic designer for various design elements such as logos, marketing materials and even your website design can cost you even more in the long run. According to a HOW Magazine survey, the average hourly rate charged by graphic designers is around $65-$75, but can range for $20 all the way up to $350. Something relatively basic, like a logo design or a simple brochure could cost anywhere from $150 to $5,000.
More advanced design needs, extensive revisions and printing will add even more to the amount that you pay. Over the course of a few months or even a year's worth of design materials, your cost to hire a designer or design firm will quickly outpace the cost of an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Plus, creating your own designs puts you in control of both the timeline and the design process.
Don't Be Scared of The Learning Curve
As I and anyone who has used any of the Adobe CC apps will tell you, these tools are not known to be the easiest to use when you are first starting out. The learning curve is basically a trademark of the software titles, but once you get over that initial fear, the wealth of powerful design tools at your command are worth that extra effort! In order to help you master the Creative Cloud more quickly, you can take advantage of the abundance of Adobe courses available on the internet, starting with my tutorials on Illustrator and Photoshop. Most of these lessons and tutorials teach specific techniques, so you can learn exactly what you need to, when you need it.
Whether you're a new blogger or a startup founder looking to build your brand through design, I would say Adobe Creative Cloud is definitely worth the investment. Its powerful range of graphic design tools are truly unprecedented, while subscription plans and available online courses make it much more accessible to everyone. If you're trying to decide between Adobe's products and an alternative solution, I believe it's an investment you can't afford not to make!