Software Review

Adobe Creative Cloud 2022 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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More About Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud Reviews

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

Ray Morrone

Designer - The Agency Orange

As the lines get blurred between Graphic Design, User Interface Design and Front End Delevopement most Creative Directors look for designers with a full toolbox of software knowledge.

✓ Adobe Creative Cloud
Knowing Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop is mandatory. But having knowledge of After Effects to create Ui/Ux annimations and prototypes is increasingly valuable.

✓ Cinema 4D
Knowing 3D software like Cinema 4D lets you take your projects to an impressive new level.

For example, a typical corporate logo project may start with the logo being created in Illustrator. Then the work will be imported into Cinema 4D and manipulated as a 3D object. From there it will be animated, cleaned up and refined in After Effects..

Maximilian Benner

CEO - Fotura, Inc.

✓ Adobe Lightroom
When I started out as an event photographer, I used Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom made it easy to go through hundreds of photos that all need pretty basic retouching. That said, it is a sluggish piece of software and can get frustrating when working on low end computers.

✓ Adobe Photoshop
When I started photography school, I left behind Lightroom and exclusively used Photoshop. Even though Lightroom is a useful too, Photoshop offers many more options for fine grained control for low volume, in depth retouching. Unfortunately, just like Lightroom, Photoshop certainly isn’t a speed champion. That’s why I eventually ended up with Affinity Photo. It offers most of the tools of Photoshop but comes with an unreal speed improvement. Everything works smoothly, even on my 2015 low end Max Book Pro. And, if that didn’t convince you, you can get Affinity Photo for a one time payment, forever. No subscription.

Eden Weinberg

Creative Marketing Manager - Bell + Ivy

✓ Adobe Illustrator
As a graphic designer and creative in the digital marketing field, Adobe Illustrator is my preferred software platform for creating designs. I would recommend learning Adobe Illustrator to anyone interested in developing and furthering their graphic design skills on a professional level.

The reason I recommend Adobe Illustrator as the most beneficial baseline software for graphic designers is the ability to create vector graphics. Once you can master creating a vector graphic in Illustrator, your design capabilities are expanded exponentially.

The ability to create and manipulate vector art with Illustrator gives you the freedom to customize designs to bring your creative visions to life in a way other softwares may not allow you to. My opinion is that creating vector designs with Illustrator is the most important foundational skill as a graphic designer.

Some examples of practical applications of this skill using Illustrator are:
– Creating custom professional logo designs,
– Custom social media graphics and templates,
– Email marketing designs and templates,
– Web design assets like banner graphics and custom graphic icons
and much more.

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 Photoshop
I 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 Illustrator
Illustrator 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.

Lisa Schroeder

Creative Supervisor - The S3 Agency

✓ Adobe Creative Cloud
As a designer and production specialist, I recommend Adobe Creative Cloud for layout and production tasks, specifically Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop. It’s an essential product for collaborating within the design industry, whether you’re sharing files with internal team members, clients, creative partners or suppliers. The desktop programs are robust and powerful, the apps allow access on other devices, and then there’s Adobe Fonts. Most designers I know will agree, a well-designed typeface is the icing on the cake.

Catherine Nguyen

Photographer/Owner - Catherine Nguyen Photography

I use a combination of Adobe LightRoom, Bridge, and Photoshop.

✓ Adobe Bridge
I mostly use Bridge to rename batches of my files quickly.

✓ Adobe Lightroom
I use Lightroom as my primary catalog of images. I also use Lightroom as a way to preview my images and do a first-round edit by getting rid of those which I will not submit to the client. Then, I use LightRoom’s Develop feature to correct for color temperature, exposure, contrast, reduce noise, correct for lens distortion, etc.

✓ Adobe Photoshop
If I find that further in-depth masking and editing need to be done, I take the photo from LightRoom into Photoshop and complete my retouching there. Lastly, I use LightRoom to export my images in the requisite file formats for my clients.

I recommend LightRoom because it is a very powerful organizing as well as editing tool. It is an integral part of my post-production process. It allows you to develop your RAW images as well as manage your image catalog, assign metadata and export or print your images. In addition, there are Map, Slideshow, Book and Web features.

Aaron Hockley

Founder - Tech Photo Guy

For basic editing using tools that you might already have, take a look at using Apple Photos if you have an iPhone or Google Photos if you use Android. These programs have increasingly-sophisticated editing tools and take advantage of artificial intelligence to make your photos even better. Both offer cloud sync options and have companion apps that can be installed on your desktop computer for backup and sync as well.

✓ Adobe Lightroom
✓ Adobe Photoshop
If you want to take things to the next level, regardless of whether you’re using Windows or a Mac, the Adobe Photography Bundle is one heck of a deal at $10/month. You’ll get access to the full versions of Lightroom and Photoshop. Lightroom will help manage your image collection and provide a powerful set of editing tools for your images. Photoshop takes things to the next level to provide detailed retouching and composite tools for advanced users. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but these are the industry standard tools and time you spend learning them will pay off in the long run.

Johnathon Lovett

Creative Lead - Reicura

✓ Adobe Creative Cloud
The most essential tools for the vast majority of my design work are Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. These two applications, much like the rest of the Adobe suite, arm me with the expansive tools necessary to complete a wide variety of projects. They are both applications that continue to enrich the learning of the user. Every time I approach a new project, I can practice a new route to accomplishing my goal. This creates a deeper and richer understanding of the suite and using it effectively, both within the specific application and beyond.

Aside from these desktop applications, using my iPad Pro as a drawing tablet has opened the scope of possibility for implementing my physical artistic skill in more of my design work.

Jase Rodley

Founder/CEO - Dialed Labs

✓ Adobe Suite
Of course, there is going to be no better alternative than the leader of the pack Adobe suite, which offers everything you want, and is the likely the package you would be used in most workplaces.

Although there is little to offer in the way of competition for professional editing, there are some great phone Apps which allow enough of a resource to the more casual editor.

✓ Instrafitter
One of my current favourites being instrafitter, which allows you to put a number of border styles around your photo, given them the perfect vintage feel of a polaroid, and adding an extra pop to your photos when sharing.

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.

Adobe Creative Cloud FAQ

What is Adobe Creative Cloud?

Adobe’s Creative Cloud is a collection of 20+ desktop and mobile apps and services for photography, design, video, web, UX and more.

Is Adobe Creative Cloud any good?

We asked 53 creative experts on most have recommended to use Adobe Creative Cloud. It’s by far the most popular solution for graphic designers.

Is Creative Cloud free to use?

Adobe Creative Cloud doesn’t have a free plan. You can either sign up for a monthly or an annual plan.

What’s included in Creative Cloud?

Adobe Creative Cloud includes 20+ apps like Photoshop, InDesign and Premiere Rush. You only get access to Adobe Fonts, Adobe Portfolio, Creative Cloud Libraries and cloud storage space.