Adobe’s Creative Suite has been officially retired. If you want to purchase Adobe’s creative apps (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.) you must join the Creative Cloud. With no fanfare, Adobe updated their CS6 page to say “As of January 9, 2017 Creative Suite is no longer available for purchase.”
Disclosure: If you make a purchase using my links to Adobe’s website, I may earn a commission (which helps support me).
Time to Move On
If you’re still using CS6, at some point it’s going to stop working and you’ll have to make a change. You have two options:
- Join the Creative Cloud. You get access to the same apps you’re used to (but newer versions). Apps are installed locally on your computer and your access files the same way you did in CS6.
- Stop using Adobe apps and switch to something else. While this may be an option for casual users, it won’t be so easy for professional users that have to exchange files with other workers/clients and are used to the extensive feature set typically found in Adobe apps.
If you’re looking for alternatives to Adobe apps, here are some to check out:
- Sketch: Mac app for designing websites, apps, UI/UX, etc.
- Affinity Photo: Mac and PC photo editor (similar to Photoshop).
- Affinity Designer: Mac and PC vector design app (similar to Adobe Illustrator) for designing websites, apps, UI/UX, etc.
- Affinity Publisher: The first beta will be released in 2017, but it will be a Mac and PC page layout app (similar to Adobe InDesign) for designing print layouts such as books, magazines, etc.
Which Creative Cloud Plan is Right For You?
Adobe has a free 7-day Creative Cloud trial. Yes you read that right, only 7 days. After that you must decide what apps you want:
- Full Creative Cloud: You get access to essentially all of Adobe’s creative apps: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, Acrobat, Experience Design (XD), After Effects, Premiere, and many more.
- Photography Plan: (Also good for web designers who only want Photoshop). You get Photoshop and Lightroom for a lower monthly cost.
- Single App: You can get apps individually. Prices vary depending on the app.
The End of a Era. Goodbye Creative Suite!
It’s only fitting that I take a moment to reflect. Creative Suite changed how we buy Adobe apps. Before that we’d buy them individually, and they had staggered release schedules. With Creative Suite, Adobe concentrated on updating all their apps at the same time, and bundling them so they were more affordable. Everyone who used Photoshop and Illustrator bought the Creative Suite, so they also got InDesign. QuarkXPress was the industry standard, but it was buggy and Quark took years to add new features. InDesign was far superior, and because people were getting it in Creative Suite, they could try it out (and often started using it because they liked it better). As they say, the rest is history. Creative Cloud is the next chapter for Adobe and creative professionals. It will be interesting to see where it takes us.