Software Review

Adobe Creative Cloud 2023 Review

Adobe’s Creative Cloud is a collection of 20+ desktop and mobile apps and services for photography, design, video, web, UX and more. Explore your creativity with software like Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. Voted #1 in graphic design software.


  • Industry-standard and highly recommended by creative experts.
  • Complete package with more than 20+ creative apps.
  • Free trial available. No credit card needed.


  • Only available for a monthly or annual subscription.
  • Less suitable for beginner or amateur use due to the relatively high cost.

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Adobe Creative Cloud Reviews

Find out what each expert had to say about Adobe Creative Cloud.

Ryszard (Rick) Gold

Owner/Lead Designer - The Stem Creative
The software tools I use in my graphic design business are Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.✓ Adobe PhotoshopI use the Adobe software mostly because of the sheer amount of experience I have with the software. You comfort level and familiarity with software really helps. Adobe has been producing graphics software for decades and has become the de facto standard for most graphic designers like myself. They continuously leverage new levels of power offered by modern computers and advances in computer engineering, such as AI, to improve the tools at our disposal. For example, the relatively new “Content Aware Fill” tool in Photoshop intelligently gathers image information around a selected area and fills in a void. This would allow you to completely remove a subject from a photo, then fills in what the background behind it should be.✓ Adobe IllustratorIllustrator allows me to create vector based graphics, that is, graphics that can be scaled to any size required without image degradation. Using tools that allow you to create shapes and lines, fills and textures, i use it to create marketing items such as logos, business cards, icons and even full brochures. Again, with Adobes long history, it’s the program I choose to use because of it’s industry standard status. One of the interesting advancements in recent years is an intelligent tracing command. You can take a pixel based image and Illustrator will find contours and generate vector line art based on the image. This can be an incredibly useful way to start a project that otherwise may have taken hours of manual tracing to achieve.The fact Adobe software is industry standard means excellent compatibility. When I’m talking with printing shops, the vast majority of them support and even require the file in Adobe formats. Feature sets aside, compatibility is the key if you are a graphic design business. If you can’t give print ready files to a printing company in prepared formats, you can’t properly print your clients project.One note of dissent though, Adobes implementation of Photoshop on iPad is an absolute embarrassment. When it was announced, Graphic Designer everywhere rejoiced, but we were all incredibly disappointed when it was finally delivered. We understood that the interface would have to change because of it’s move to a touch input, but there was practically zero common elements. There was no way of easily translating usage from desktop to iPad. I personally spent a few hours trying before deleting the app, the absolute lack of features, the unnecessary different usage made it incredibly frustrating.

Dan Cruz

co-founder - inbeat

✓ Adobe After Effects
After Effects is a powerful tool, which allows you to create custom animations faster than any other “easy to use” software out there. To top things off, it allows you to export animations in SVG format, which loads much faster than a gif or a png on a web page. It also allows me to create custom product interactions efficiently to show our developers how a user will interact with the product.

✓ Adobe Creative Cloud
Of course, I use Adobe Creative Cloud every day (Photoshop and Illustrator mostly), but Figma and After Effects are those two tools that empower my design workflow.

Michelle Kraft

Graphic and Web Designer - Michelle Kraft Design + Dev

✓ Adobe Creative Suite
If you want software that is going to get the job done right, you need to go with the non-surprising industry standard—Adobe Suite. For the last 15 years, I’ve consistently used Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to create everything I need for both online and print. Recently, Adobe has come out with templates, presets, and tutorials to compete with Canva and allow a user to dive in and get started right away. You can create your own brushes, patterns, and effects to make sure your designs stay unique to you and your brand. There are zero limitations with what you can create in your Adobe designs. I’ve arm-wrestled with trying to create a simple drop shadow in Canva, and I always go back to Adobe software to create what I need to import into Canva.

Nicholas Allen

Founder / Designer / Developer - Sublime Dzine

✓ Adobe Suite
For graphic design, no one beats out Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. They’ve been doing graphic design since the beginning. That said, both are pretty hefty pieces of software with steep learning curves and can be rather expensive. Adobe’s creative suite is a great option for getting the best and keeping it cheap.

✓ Canva
As a professional, I find myself also using Canva pretty consistently as well. Their tool is fast and browser-based with a nice mobile app too. I use them for most of my social media and website graphics that aren’t fully custom or when I’m short on time. Canva is also great when you need to create a large number of graphics in a single sitting. I’ll make a month’s worth of graphics for a client’s social media calendar in about an hour for instance. Oh, let’s not forget the library of stock images from Canva with image templates and the ability to post directly to your social media.

Orsolya Kis

Graphic Designer - RENTCafe

✓ Adobe Photoshop
For photo editing and any kind of photo manipulation, I would highly recommend Adobe Photoshop. The Adobe Cloud has a few more photography-related apps, but I strongly believe that Photoshop is the most important one.

I love the fact that Adobe keeps improving the app! I have been using it for 18 years now, and Photoshop has come a long way over the years, constantly updating. It’s very useful for both graphic designers and photographers. Basically, Photoshop allows creatives to do anything you can imagine. You can turn very simple photos into masterpieces, you can do realistic collages, so it is an absolute must for designers. Also, there are lots of online tutorials, so it’s easy to learn, even for beginners.

Andy Barker

Owner - Freelance Photographer

I’m a street & travel photographer, photography teacher and tour guide based in Vietnam. I use Adobe Lightroom to edit my “good” photos and Snapseed for my “fun” photos.

✓ Adobe Lightroom
As a street photographer, I edit my photos very lightly, often tweaking little more than exposure, shadows and highlights. I never heavily edit or manipulate my photos. So why would I recommend the relatively expensive Lightroom software, if I don’t really use it to edit? Well, because it’s the by far the best way to catalogue and organise your pictures. And when you have hundreds of thousands of photos on multiple hard drives this becomes very important. I found when I started using Lightroom I began to enjoy looking at my own photos much more, which meant I did it more often, which in turn improved my photography.

✓ Snapseed
I use the Snapseed app to edit photos I take with my smartphone, and photos I bluetooth to my phone from my camera. I use the app to lightly tweak my images in a very similar way to Lightroom. I like the simple and intuitive user experience of the Snapseed and found it a good way to accelerate my image sharing workflow.

Curtis Bickler

Director - Expert Media Design

✓ Adobe Photoshop
For photo editing, there’s no substitute for Adobe Photoshop. Any designer or illustrator could name a few alternatives, but there’s a reason the name has become the verb we use to describe altering photos.

Louise Everarts de Velp

Graphic & Web Designer - ledv studio

✓ Adobe Creative Cloud
I’m a huge advocate for the famous Adobe trio – Indesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. They’re the standards in the industry, with the greatest variety in functionality and a wide availability of resources and tutorials to really elevate your work. Since the design community has been thriving on Adobe for years, there are nearly endless possibilities to leverage top-notch tools and bespoke community resources such as fonts, textures, etc. to create something truly unique. There is a bit of a learning curve, but these programs are simply the best and most professional tools out there to bring any design to life.

Holly Mullinax

Art Director - The Symphony Agency

✓ Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud or Creative Suite is the industry standard for design software and has been for the past 20+ years. Most professional design jobs will require you to work with this suite of tools, so it’s important to learn them regardless of the other options that are available. Photoshop is often the first program designers learn to use and is probably the most versatile tool in the Creative Suite tool chest. However, Photoshop is a pixel-based, or raster program and therefore not ideal for professional vector graphics (logos and illustrations), text, or multi-page print layouts. For these projects, using Photoshop in tandem with a vector software like Illustrator, or a desktop or web publishing software like Indesign or XD will create the best final output.

The main programs I use for print and digital design are Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, XD, and (in some cases) Bridge and Lightroom for batch photo editing and file organization.

Photoshop is a pixel-based software used for image creation and manipulation. It utilizes a layered editing system and allows editing/compositing through the use of masks, blends modes, filters, and transparencies. Photoshop is the go-to software for artists, designers, and photographers because of its versatility.

Illustrator is a vector-based software for creating resolution-independent illustrations and graphics. Illustrator is often used as companion software to Photoshop to handle the vector graphics within a Photoshop file. It’s also used as a stand-alone program for creating vector graphics (e.g. logos) and illustrations. The benefit to graphics created in illustrator is that they are scalable without losing resolution. This means they can be resized larger or smaller and not lose visual quality or become “pixelated” or blurry.

InDesign is a desktop publishing software and is best suited for typesetting and creating multi-page layouts or layouts with text, photos, and vector graphics. It can be used to create flyers, brochures, magazines, business cards, postcards, menus, etc. Newer versions of InDesign allow for digital publishing or web/application layouts. InDesign can be difficult for a beginner and is often best learned after developing a strong understanding of basic design principles, Photoshop, and Illustrator.

XD is a prototyping tool used by web designers, UI designers, and UX designers to design apps and websites. XD adopts both the functionalities of other design software while adhering to, and focusing on, web-based design principles.

Nate Heim

Senior Art Director - Company Man Studios

✓ Adobe Creative Cloud
As a graphic designer who splits time between the digital and print industries, the “must-know” programs are Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

– Photoshop is great for manipulating photos, compositing photos or sometimes building an image from scratch.
– Illustrator is a must for logo design and illustrations. Since it’s vector-based, files can be enlarged to any size and keep their clarity. Chances are that any logo you see, they were designed in Illustrator
– And if doing a print piece, like a multi page document such as a brochure or tri-fold, folder, etc… InDesign will make your life easier. InDesign is also usually the most preferred file type for printing companies and presses.

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