Why I Left Adobe And Haven’t Looked Back At All
Adobe software has a long and storied history in the industry of design. They started back in 1982 with two former Xerox PARC employees who wanted to design software independently. Their first contract was Apple Computer. Fast forward to today and Adobe is the leader in creative software development, widely considered the industry standard. Adobe is known for their main products: Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, and InDesign. While they make many other products, these are the main programs that are you used throughout the creative industry.
A Not So Unique Adobe Experience
I joined Adobe as a college student with their Creative Cloud program (which was new at the time). I was amazed that for only 20 dollars a month, I could have every single piece of professional software that the entire industry used. I quickly downloaded everything I could. However, I was very confused from the beginning about how to use the software. Numerous tutorial courses from Lynda.com and lots of Googling, I was finally very comfortable with the software. Unlike intuitive software that is built around the user, the user experience is more of a hurdle that you have to overcome. Plus, you have to use it often in order to not forget some of the tips, tricks, and hotkeys.
After years of using the software and getting very comfortable, I noticed that the cost was steadily increasing. I was expecting this since I was not a student anymore but I began to wonder if it was really worth it. If you are an individual just needing one license, you are looking at around 720 dollars a year, which when it comes to software is fairly expensive. However, since it was the industry standard, I stuck with it.
I began to run into problems with the software and had to talk to their support team multiple times. If you haven’t experienced Adobe support, it is a special experience. They like to try to fix it by taking control of your computer, and they try to do the normal uninstall, reinstall. When that doesn’t work (which it didn’t for me) they suggest that it is something wrong with my system (there wasn’t). To reference one problem I had, their Adobe Color program would not sync with Illustrator (which is a huge problem if you use color palettes). After three hours, they concluded they would get back to me. Shocker, they didn’t. After a huge amount of frustration and wondering what my money is going to, I began to look elsewhere. What I found would change the way I look at software for professionals.
Jumping Ship From Adobe
I primarily used Illustrator, Premiere, and InDesign in my workflow. Premiere was easily replaced by Final Cut Pro X (300 dollars once and free updates forever). The other two programs required looking for a replacement with some Google research. But it didn’t take me long to find the answers I was looking for. There is an emerging company that is taking the design world by storm with their design and photo software. A little company out of Europe called Affinity has been developing incredibly innovative products. Their flagship products Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo are consistently leading apps in the App Store and are also winners of design awards. The best part: they are 50 dollars each and free updates forever. This software is also so intuitive that you can not only make the jump easily from Adobe, but a lot of the features make designing so much easier which saves time and money. While they do not have an InDesign competitor yet, it is on the product roadmap as they are looking to release their latest program, Affinity Publisher in late 2017. However, there is a fairly easy workaround to hold you over from InDesign where you can load your InDesign files through Affinity Designer. While Designer lacks some of the advanced features of InDesign, if you are just using it for basic graphical layouts and pamphlets, it will be a nearly seamless transition.
Never Looking Back
Since moving on from Adobe, I haven’t looked back even for a second. The hardest part about leaving Adobe behind was actually clearing out all of the files from the computer, which there were A LOT. Adobe likes to embed themselves deep into your computer, placing files in all sorts of places. So, if you decide to jump ship as well, make sure you clear everything out.
Adobe offers incredibly powerful products to give you the ability to create just about anything that you can imagine. However, as technology advances, the barrier to creating powerful software has lowered, allowing competitors to enter the space. These new competitors have decided to build their products around their users, allowing designers and creators to just create rather than learn software and google questions. While Adobe is definitely the biggest in the industry, it doesn’t always make you the best. Do not let a high cost software prevent you from creating digital masterpieces. Part of designing and creating is allowing users the freedom to do so. By utilizing some new software that are great alternatives, companies like Affinity and Apple have given users the ability to dream and turn it into a reality.