Okay, so at least one (and not necessarily the latest) edition of the Adobe Creative Suite might actually be installed on EVERY designer’s computer. But what if you’re only just starting to work as a freelancer or you want to do some photo editing, designing or sketching on the side just for fun? Or you’ve got a CS edition but it’s missing an application that you’d like to start using? Or you’re suspicious of huge monopolizing corporations dictating the conditions under which you’re allowed to use their products, while taking your money in handfulls. Well, if you never ever owned a CS version, Adobe wants you to pay more than 700 (with a previous licence over 400) Euros a year for the priviledge of subscribing to a Creative Cloud licence, while the previously as bundles available CS Suites are no longer officially on offer. Even those – although definitely cheaper in the long run and still pretty much state of the art – are traded like precious gold bars on eBay and Co. Though honestly, if I have to spend close to 1000 Euros, I don’t really like the idea of using an old unsupported software bundle, do you?
Fortunaltey, the world is apparently full of talented programming designers, who are in favour of contributing to similarly usable open source software or making great designer software at a very affordable price. And thanks to some fine blog writers with a knack for unearthing these treasures, you can find great and even some free alternatives to each and every one of the world-dominating and admittedly arse-kicking Adobe apps. Thanks goes out to – amongst others – mac.appstorm.net.
So, whoever needs to substitute Photoshop and/or Illustrator should have a look at Pixelmator, available from the Mac App Store for under 30 Euros, even as an iPad version. While Handbrake is a pretty good and free alternative for the Media Encoder.
The question remains, if all these great designing tools can really replace Adobe’s apps. At least in a full-time professional work environment, it will probably continue to be impossible to not work with Adobe products. Nobody, including me, wants to deal with converted documents and formatting issues, especially if the project is a team effort… However, a bit of competition for Adobe and the occasional gem for the odd creative project on the side can’t hurt, ey!