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Every 'Cloud' Has a Silver Lining

(September 2013) posted on Thu Aug 29, 2013

The benefits of the transition to Adobe Creative Cloud.

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By Craig Miller

As you probably know, Adobe Creative Suite (CS) is no more. Adobe recently announced that it is replacing it with Adobe Creative Cloud (or “CC”). You can no longer buy CS or any of its component programs – you can only rent.

When we started Pictographics nearly two decades ago, we had no choice but to buy multiple copies of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as well as Adobe PageMaker, Quark XPress, CorelDraw, FreeHand, and others. Customers would supply print files that spanned all of those formats, and if you didn't have the latest version of each, it might mean turning jobs away. In order to be competitive you had to own them all. For a startup company like ours, the cost of buying the programs as well as updating them every 18 months was shocking. But, owning every serious content-creation program was the price of doing business in the mid-1990s

In recent times, though, the landscape has changed dramatically. All we’ve needed is the latest version of Creative Suite (CS) and we could accept virtually every print file that came our way.

Many CS users who have been quite content with the program are decidedly unhappy about Adobe’s decision to move CS to the Cloud, finding it arbitrary and capricious. In fact, as I write this, more than 15,000 angry users have signed a petition asking Adobe to reverse course and enable them to buy Creative Suite 7.

Rather than look at the glass half empty, however, I decided to take a step back and evaluate this change as business owners and heavy Adobe users. I came across more than a few positives in the situation; here’s what I like about the transition.

Finding the good
On the cost-of-doing-business front, we see a silver lining to this cloud. In the past, you could choose various flavors of CS depending on how many applications you wanted to have access to. We usually had at least one Premium Collection that contained all of the applications, at a cost of about $2000; nearly everyone else in the shop had the most basic collection. The pain was when one of our designers using the basic software needed one of the Premium applications.