Ah Quitting Adobe Creative Cloud, challenge or relief?

TL;DR – I don’t miss using Adobe Products.

I’ve been a professional designer for over 15 years and for 14 out of those years I’ve been a dedicated Adobe supporter but a while back I decided that quitting Adobe Creative Cloud was the best way forward for me. First, a bit of history.

I’ve worked on huge licensing brands such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, designed exhibition stands for Microsoft and create websites for small and large businesses – all done in Adobe CC. I learned to code via Dreamweaver. I’ve designed countless catalogues in InDesign. There wasn’t any other way…

But there is now!

Over the last couple of years my workflow with primarily Sketch and InVision, I still use both products today and at the end of last year I realised I was paying Adobe nearly £60 a month to open their apps once or twice a month.

So I quit.

It’s not been perfect, but here are the things I miss and how I got around them.


1.  Opening Photoshop / Illustrator files

This may seem an obvious first point, but the first thing you notice when you go cold turkey with Adobe is how many PSD files and .ai files you get sent.

Thankfully the solution was easy, I picked up Affinity Designer (Illustrator alternative) and Affinity Photo (Photoshop alternative) and you know what? for £50 each they’re bloody brilliant. Both apps will open your PSD’s and .ai’s no problem however worth mentioning on more complex files you can find rendering issues.

Both apps can’t really compete with Adobe but they are getting very close.

I’ve used Affinity Designer more than Photo, mainly due to the icon work I do but both are seriously worth looking into. If you use Photoshop and Illustrator everyday I would stick with Adobe, you can’t go wrong (but you can go broke, did I mention I think Adobe CC is expensive depending on your usage?)

2.  Editing Vectors 

Because I use Sketch to do all my design work on occasions I really miss Adobe Illustrator. Sketch doesn’t always handle drawing vectors very well, sometimes you have to create cheap masks to get the right breaks/edits you need.

Thankfully Affinity Designer has helped me get past these issues and as I don’t need to do vector editing all the time, this works for me. Affinity Designer let’s you export files in SVG, EPS and a ton more, so you never really miss the “Please send me an Illustrator file” emails you may get.

I’d love to see Sketch get better at editing vectors to the level of illustrator but really it serves a different purpose.

3.  Typekit

Having thousands of fonts at your fingertips was the best thing about Adobe CC. From a purely creative point of you there wasn’t anything like Typekit.

One thing I did notice was how quickly you adapt and purchase fonts fonts you need rather than spending hours finding fonts.

Plus, a big thing I used to run into was clients don’t always want to pay for the fonts so you end up using free Google alternatives, which seems to be growing by the day. I’ve used MyFonts a fair bit, they have some beautiful fonts at decent prices.

my fonts


If you use Photoshop and any of the other apps on a daily basis I would recommend sticking with Adobe CC. Yes it’s expensive compared to Sketch and other similar products BUT when you see the amount of software you get for the money, it’s really rather good value. BUT if like me, you rarely open any Adobe products and tend to spend your time updating them instead of using them then try jumping onto Affinity Photo or Designer.

This is a brief guide and I’m some readers will disagree with my comments, you need to work with the products that best fit your needs. Adobe CC didn’t fit mine.

If you want to Join InVision and get roughly a months free service, use this code: http://get.invis.io/mecxh8v

While you’re there, read my latest blog on why InVision is important to UI designers.

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