As designers and geeks, we of the Liquid 11 design team are always eager to get our hands on the latest and greatest software to both help improve our work and to simply have some fun with. Therefore, when the chance came to upgrade our version of Adobe Creative Suite six months ago we decided that rather than just opting for the latest version of the creative suite we would instead move on to Adobe’s Creative Cloud which is a subscription based service that would always keep us up to date with the latest products and features from Adobe.

Now with Adobe dropping the single package option in favour of their subscription based Creative Cloud, we though you might like to know just how we are getting on with it and whether its worth sticking with Adobe or searching for alternate products in the future. After six months here are some of the things we think are worth knowing.


Creative Cloud

You’re always up to date

As previously mentioned the key item in the pro column for this new subscription based service is the fact that the software available to us are always the latest versions that are available. This means that we get to use all of the latest features and benefit from the most recent bug fixes the instant they are available. The simple interface for installing and updating the Adobe CC products (I can only comment on the Mac version)  makes it obvious when one of your services is out of date and need to be updated and this can be achieved with just a simple click of a single button.

The installation process is painless and doesn’t require anything more than that single click so it is incredibly convenient to keep up to date.


Is it worth the price?

Depending on what subscription you go for you will still probably be paying about £600 to £700 a year per seat using this service. For a single designer and part of a dedicated business this isn’t so big a hit to be constantly up to date and when compared to the two year release model of previous versions of Adobe Creative suite it is about the same price you would be paying for the packages anyway. It becomes more expensive however, when you have more than one computer that needs to have this software installed or if you are only using it for casual use.

This has always been the case though for this software and when compared to other industry standard software that is available this price isn’t all that bad. Obviously there are cheaper and sometimes completely free alternatives to these products but in most cases they simply aren’t in the same league as these products. Dreamweaver may have plenty of alternatives that are completely free to use that are possibly as good as or even better. But for software like Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects, the cheaper alternatives are simply not up to the task of taking them on.

But the thing to remember is that the subscription price covers not just one product from Adobe but all of them. The design team at Liquid 11 find ourselves using more Adobe products than ever before simply because of the number of products that they produce. We now use everything from Edge Code for live website editing to Adobe Premier Pro for our video editing. There are a whole range of software that we had used alternate versions before but now we have moved over to the Adobe Creative Cloud software simply because it is there to try and included in the price we had originally paid for our more frequently used software that we were already used to.

So over all this price tag really is quite reasonable.



Additional Cloud Based Services

Also included in the price tag are cloud storage for your files, access to Adobe Fonts and also their version of a designer social network which is called Behance. Behance allows you to share and showcase your designs to other members of the Behance community and on the surface seems like a really good way to share your work and get it noticed.

A quick word of warning about these services though. After a quick perusal of their Terms and conditions we have found that after you upload a project to Behance you have in effect signed over rights to Adobe. It is still your work to do with as you will but you have agreed to give them the right to use your work as they see fit. This isn’t always going to be a problem for most people but it is certainly something to think about.


Overall Verdict

If you are already an Adobe user and you are wondering whether to upgrade to Adobe Creative Cloud then the simple answer is, do it. You aren’t going to regret your decision because it simply like upgrading your existing software just with a load of added extras thrown in for good measure. You will never have to buy the software again or worry about discs becoming damaged or software becoming corrupted as all products can be downloaded or updated whenever needed.

The only reason not to sign up for this service is if you have never used the Creative Suite before and are not sure if its for you. But even then Adobe has you covered because you can simply try their trial versions and check out all of the software for yourself before your buy.