The subscription includes automatic updates at no extra charge. So, you always have the latest version. And you get access to a number of extra services like guided tutorials and Adobe fonts.
There are around 20 different tools you can choose from. These cover graphic design, photo editing, publishing, web design, animation and other skills.
Rather than buy packages on a package-by-package basis, you can also choose to buy an Adobe Creative Cloud license. This gives you access to ALL 20 of the Adobe Creative solutions for around $80 a month as an individual.
This includes other programs beyond graphic design packages such as Adobe Animate, Adobe Dreamweaver (for websites) and Adobe XD (for experience design).
The subscription nature of the Adobe package means you essentially never “own” the software. You have to keep paying for it to be able to access and change the base files created within Adobe software. So, while you will can always view the jpgs, png and pdfs you create, you need to keep paying the subscription to be able to go in and edit them.
Also, the monthly payments are essentially locked in a year in advance. There are quite punitive exit fees if you decide to pull out of the agreement early.
It’s for these reasons, that alternatives to Adobe are also popular. The biggest competitor is the Affinity suite of tools. With Photo, Designer and Publisher, they offer software that provides a viable alternative to Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Each program comes with a one-off AUD$80 up-front cost. But then the software is “yours” to own forever.
For specific needs, you can also look at open source and free software like GIMP for photography and Inkscape for Illustrations.
And then there is canva.com. On this platform, you can take templated designs and edit key elements like fonts and colours to create your own customised designs. You use Canva either as a free tool with limited useability. Or you use the Pro version with enhanced features for a small monthly charge.