Adobe vs The World (of alternative software)

May 2018

3 mins read

Unless you live under a rock I am sure you have heard of ADOBE. Adobe Systems Incorporated or simply Adobe is an American multinational computer software company. They are the industry standard for editing software from graphic and photos to Web and Video. They cover Audio editing, marketing, e-learning, serves and the list goes on. Over the years they have created a name in the creative industry with Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, the “Holy Trinity of Design”. A question that always comes up is how do they stand to the vast array of software available? We have competitors, Alternatives and Free software but how much of a fight do they put up?


Let’s start by looking at the creative suite adobe has to offer. while we have a lot of Apps we are only going to look at the Desktop Versions. All of these can be subscribed through the Adobe creative cloud, either individually or as a full all application plan.


Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editor or bitmap editor. Simply put it help you edit Photographs. On a more advanced level, you can do a lot more with tools from liquify to content aware. Photoshop was developed in 1988, sold to Adobe and released in 1990. It is now the industry standard photo manipulator and is even a popular term. While images may be edited in a different software the will be forever be “photoshopped”. Photoshop comes with an entry-level application known as elements and a photographer friendly suit known as Lightroom. It is the most powerful software in the suite by far.

Cost: Photography Package €12.29 a month (includes Lightroom)


Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor. Photoshop is primarily geared toward digital photo manipulation and photorealistic styles of computer illustration, while Illustrator provides results in the typesetting and logo graphic areas of design. Its first version was released in 1987. The latest version, Illustrator CC 2018, is the 22nd generation in the product line.

Cost: Single App €24.59 a month


Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing software application. InDesign is the successor to Adobe PageMaker, which was acquired by Adobe with the purchase of Aldus in late 1994.  It can be used to create works such as posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, presentations, books and e-books. InDesign is the final piece of the puzzle. All your editing is done in photoshop, creations in Illustrator and then added to the layout software to create your design document.

Cost: Single App €24.59 a month

All apps (50+ apps) come in a subscription package of €61.49 a month.

The World of Alternatives Software.

Corel Software

The Corel Corporation is an Adobe competitor. While they have many products, we will focus on CorelDRAW and Corel Photo-Paint. Both applications can be found under the graphics suite also named CorelDraw. CorelDraw is a vector based like Illustrator. Coral Photo-Paint is a bitmap editor and Its primary market competitor is Adobe Photoshop.

Cost: Graphics Suite €19.95 a month


Serif is an independent developer and publisher of software and was founded with the aim to develop low-cost alternatives to high-end desktop publishing and graphic design packages. They create and distribute the range of Affinity Applications, Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo and most recently Affinity publisher. A graphics editor, digital image editor and Desktop publisher.

Cost: No subscription, single payment €54.99 per app.


GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free and open-source raster graphics editor used for image retouching and editing, free-form drawing, converting between different image formats, and more specialized tasks.

Cost: Free

While you will also find alternatives and free always sounds better keep in mind the reasons you want to use the software. Adobe is the industry standard, if looking for a career knowing the other software is not going to help. Set your priorities and your goals against the skills you need and want before considering the cost.

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