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If you haven’t already heard, graphic design is my jam. Ever since high school, I’ve loved Photoshop and InDesign, and I’ve been investing in the programs since college. (Read: lots of $$.)
So, when Adobe unveiled Adobe Creative Cloud, I was… uncertain. An internet-based subscription? I don’t want to have to be connected to the internet to use my favorite programs. I prefer to stick to my $400 investment (thanks, student discount!) every year for the most up-to-day version, thank you very much.
Oh, past Caitlin. You were such a naive, beautiful, powerful musk-ox.
Turns out Adobe Creative Cloud is like… the best thing ever. My life has been changed for the better. So, why is Adobe Creative Cloud worth the $50/mo investment? Let me tell you…
How Adobe Creative Cloud works
First, let’s talk about the basics. How the heck does Adobe Creative Cloud work? What does it cost?
Well, it’s $50/mo for the entire suite. Otherwise, you could do Photoshop and Lightroom for $10/mo or any one program (other than Photoshop and Lightroom) for $20/mo.
If you buy the entire suite, you first download the Adobe Creative Cloud Installer, which is your hub for all of the Adobe Programs. As long as you have an internet connection, you can download as many of the Adobe programs as you’d like (keeping in mind that they can take up a lot of space and memory on your computer). And, as long as you’re connected to the internet, you use the Installer to update any programs as necessary.
You don’t need to be connected to the internet to use the programs after you’ve downloaded them. You won’t be able to install updates if they’re available, but you can do whatever graphic design projects you need, even if you don’t aren’t connected to the internet.
You’ll save a ton of money creating your own graphics
I’ve talked before about how much money doing your own graphic design can save you. Here’s the gist of it: if you want to create your own graphics but don’t do it yourself, you’re going to have to shell out a ton of money for a designer to do it for you.
For example, when I create content upgrades for clients, I charge a minimum of $25 per page. So say you want to do one content upgrade per week, and they’re one page each, that’s easily $100/mo.
Conversely, you could invest in a subscription to Adobe for $50/mo and you’re already saving yourself a ton of money. Heck, you could even invest in a course to learn the programs better and still be saving money.
You’ve got a ton of design freedom
Have you ever tried to create a resume or content upgrades in Microsoft Word? It’s the biggest pain in the ass.
With some of the Adobe Creative Cloud programs, though, you’re getting a ton of design freedom. Everything is customizable and mobile, so you can move it wherever you want. No more having to create tables in tables in tables when trying to line things up in Word.
Plus, in InDesign, you can create interactive elements. For example, all of my content upgrades have checkboxes, fill-in-the-blank forms, and/or hyperlinks built right into the PDFs. I’m able to add these elements right in InDesign with a few clicks of a button. It not only helps everything look good, but it also helps my audience avoid printing mountains of worksheets. Yay for the environment!
Plenty of the Adobe Creative Cloud programs are vector-based rather than raster-based
Okay, so this probably wasn’t the first thing you thought of when you heard “benefits of Adobe Creative Cloud.” But trust me, it’s worth its weight in gold. (Do programs have a weight? You get what I mean.)
To understand the importance of this benefit, you have to know the difference between vector-based images and raster-based images. Basically, vector-based images are created using math (don’t worry, the programs do the math for you–you just draw), meaning they can increase or decrease in size without losing any quality. The edges are crisp no matter what size you create it.
Raster-based images, on the other hand, are created with pixels. Think photographs. You know how when you zoom in, you just start seeing squares rather than any sort of image? That’s because it’s raster-based. Which is no bueno when you’re trying to take a 500px by 500px image and make it a 24″ poster.
Don’t get me wrong, raster-based technology can be great for photographs, but that’s not what you want to happen with, say, your logo. You want it to be high quality no matter what size you need. And luckily, a ton of Adobe Creative Cloud programs can do that for you.
There are so many free or low-cost graphics and templates available
One of my favorite things about Adobe Creative Cloud is how many free graphics you can get for it. I’m signed up for Creative Market’s email list, and every Monday they send out six free graphics. Yep. Six. And these aren’t just any graphics; they’re high-quality, designed-by-professionals, vector-based graphics.
Some might be typefaces, which can be used with almost any program. Others may be WordPress themes, which can (obviously) be used on any WordPress.org site.
But often, at least two of the six are vector-based graphics or Photoshop files that need Adobe Creative Cloud to be opened and utilized. And when you have access to these graphics, wonderful things happen.
I’ve seriously got a giant folder on my computer (last time I checked, it was 36GB) full of free graphics I’ve gotten from sites like Creative Market. So, if that doesn’t convince you that investing in Adobe Creative Cloud will actually save you money, I don’t know what will.
You’re getting more than 20 different apps for one monthly cost, and they’re always up to date
Back when I was in college, I was investing in Adobe Creative Suite every year. I would either get the basic bundle of Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator for $200 or the full suite with all of the design apps for $400. Mind you, that was with a student discount. These programs would have been $300 each if I weren’t a college student at the time.
But here’s the thing. I would buy a bundle (say, Adobe Creative Suite 5), and then a year later the next version (Adobe Creative Suite 6) would come out, and I’d buy that. So it was $400 every year, and in between purchases I wasn’t getting any sort of updates.
With the Adobe Creative Cloud monthly plan, I’m paying $600 per year, but it’s divided into monthly payments of $50. No student discount required. That’s much more manageable than a lump payment once per year.
Oh, and every time Adobe updates any of the software, I get a notification and I’m able to download it right away. I don’t have to wait an entire year (or sometimes more) to get a new feature; it’s installed automatically whenever Adobe unveils it.
Oh, and don’t forget to actually learn how to use these programs. Adobe InDesign is my favorite, and now you can easily learn how to use it to grow your blog or business.
So. Many. Free. Fonts.
One of those apps that I absolutely love is Adobe Typekit. It’s got a collection of (what feels like) infinite fonts at your disposal. You just have to look through the Typekit catalog (on your internet browser) and add it to your Typekit library. Then, as soon as you open up any of your Adobe Creative Cloud programs, it’s immediately available for you to use.
This includes a ton of fonts that you have to pay to use in programs like Microsoft Word and Pages.
When you pay for the All Apps version of Adobe Creative Cloud, you get access to more than 1,000 fonts and can sync up to 100 at a time with Adobe Creative Cloud. The graphic designer in me rejoices just thinking about it.
You can grow your skill set like crazy
So, we talked about how there are more than 20 different programs that you have at your disposal if you purchase the All Apps version of Adobe Creative Cloud. Pretty awesome, right? Now think about how much of an asset you’ll be to your company and / or a future employer if you learned the basics of just three of those. Or even five.
Spoiler: you’d be a huge asset.
Not only would this help your career, but it could also help you get to a higher pay grade because you know some seemingly complicated programs (another spoiler: they aren’t actually that complicated). There Adobe Creative Cloud goes again, paying for itself in the long run.
I will recommend, however, that you invest in a course or two at the beginning so you can really start to wrap your head around how the programs work. They can be intimidating if you don’t have someone showing you how best to use them.
If you time it right, you can get it at a discount
So, the All Apps version of Adobe Creative Cloud is $50/mo. Ouch, right? Well, not necessarily.
Depending on how you time it, you can get a pretty good discount on it. For example, I got my most recent subscription for $40/mo for the entire year thanks to a Black Friday deal.
So, you might not even have to spend the full amount!
Depending on the amount of time and determination you have, Adobe Creative Cloud is so worth the investment.
So, what will you make first?