I just cancelled my Adobe CC subscription and I feel great.

over 5 years ago from , Senior Interaction Designer at frog

So long, Adobe. I’ve used your software since I was 12 years old and running questionably-sourced copies, but today, I am free.

For the last few months I’ve relied entirely on paper and pen, Balsamiq Mockups, Sketch, and Pixelmator, in order of usage. I’m thinking of mostly replacing Mockups with Sketch.


  • Aubrey JohnsonAubrey Johnson, over 5 years ago

    High Five

    38 points
  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    While there’s lots of things I could get done in other tools, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to not use Photoshop. Even if I end up using something else for UI, I think I’ll be using Photoshop for all eternity for image editing. Ditto for Illustrator. Why break a 20+ year run? :D

    24 points
    • Matthew BlodeMatthew Blode, 5 years ago

      Affinity Photo is a worthy alternative. It is crazy fast, simple to use and it is a relatively focused tool for image editing. I no longer use any Adobe software.

      Affinity designer runs like a stallion compared to the lumbering behemoth illustrator. I love it. It is easy to learn and use and just works.

      Both programs are far more affordable and allow you to get the work done quicker.

      I use Sketch for UI as well

      All three programs are Mac only but that is alright ;)

      8 points
      • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 5 years ago

        Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer are both great, but miss many features I rely on in Illustrator and Photoshop. I definitely would recommend them to many people. But for me, they’re not the best option available.

        (I used the Affinity Designer beta and bought Affinity Photo.)

        5 points
        • Justin SchuelerJustin Schueler, 5 years ago

          You're right! Both are great, but I also miss a couple of basic features that I am used to from illustrator and photoshop. Yet I think there will be updates and improvements, especially when supporting them and I guess there will be more features we already know from AI/PS in the future (: let's see.

          0 points
        • Pedro Ivo HudsonPedro Ivo Hudson, 5 years ago

          What kind of features?

          1 point
      • Philip LesterPhilip Lester, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

        Are there any worthy alternatives to indesign? We occasionally use it for larger print documents.

        0 points
        • Matthew BlodeMatthew Blode, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

          Affinity is currently working Publisher which will go into beta early next year.

          2 points
      • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 5 years ago

        Affinity Photo is not that fast - the UI is simpler and a lot smoother, but when it comes to doing heavier processing, especially on larger images, it starts to chug.

        0 points
      • Renārs VilnisRenārs Vilnis, 5 years ago

        Can Affinity Photo replace Adobe Camera RAW?

        0 points
    • Lee HordLee Hord, 5 years ago

      I too can't seem to escape Photoshop. I cancelled my CC subscription about a year ago and tried to cope with just using Sketch, Affinity Designer and Pixelmator. While I think I could reasonably accomplish everything I could before, the speed of my workflow was significantly reduced. I ended signing back up for CC but using the Photography bundle only. I don't miss using Illustrator at all.

      1 point
  • Catalin CimpanuCatalin Cimpanu, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    One of these days I'm going to write a blog about renewing my Photoshop CC subscription.

    21 points
  • Pasquale D'SilvaPasquale D'Silva, over 5 years ago

    wow so brave

    19 points
  • Norm Sheeran, over 5 years ago

    We just need a solid replacement for After Effects.

    5 points
  • Radley MarxRadley Marx, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    I've considered the switch, but I'd need more than a couple of apps to replace my CC uses. I use PS, Ill, DW, Au, AE, & Pr. Plus training to learn all the new ones. Plus time.

    I'm locked in.

    (At least I can expense it.)

    4 points
  • Bruno BarrosBruno Barros, over 5 years ago

    Wish I could do that... but there's just too many ongoing projects (some from very old and reliable clients) that started as PSD, AI and InDesign files.

    4 points
  • Adam Kirkwood, over 5 years ago

    I'm in the process of trying to cut ties with Adobe as well.

    I am currently evaluating Affinity.

    But I've already made the switch to using Sketch and haven't looked back.

    4 points
    • Alexandrine AllardAlexandrine Allard, over 5 years ago

      Same here. I don't remember the last time I opened Photoshop since I bought Sketch.... Might be thinking about doing the same thing. Cheers everyone!

      1 point
  • Andrew ArnoldAndrew Arnold, over 5 years ago

    IMO, keeping a copy of CS6 running on my machine makes it really painless to slowly migrate out of Adobe products...

    3 points
  • Matthew SaforrianMatthew Saforrian, over 5 years ago

    Thanks for the reminder! My plan was going to renew in three days but I just canceled. I never open Adobe apps anymore and even with the student discount it was a waste of money. I'll end up missing the higher end fonts on Typekit but I'm sure I can design around that.

    3 points
  • Joshua SöhnJoshua Söhn, over 5 years ago

    I just got PSD files from a client.

    3 points
    • Jordan KoscheiJordan Koschei, over 5 years ago

      I misread this as "I just got PTSD from a client."

      5 points
    • Kemie GuaidaKemie Guaida, over 5 years ago

      Affinity doeas a surprising job opening those

      3 points
    • Michael WhithamMichael Whitham, over 5 years ago

      That's one of my issues, how do you get rid of Photoshop when there are going to be old design files that you need to work with for whatever reason, even if its just to open it and import into something else.

      Sketch is better for UI and it's my primary tool but I think its too early to completely get rid of Photoshop.

      3 points
      • Sean LesterSean Lester, over 5 years ago

        I'm trying to make the switch here as well but have this same issue. However this place has been so disorganized that it's already pretty common to just not have PSDs for things and need to rebuild from screenshots - so I don't see why that would be worse with sketch instead of Photoshop.

        0 points
  • Russell Bishop, over 5 years ago

    How are you finding Pixelmator? I'd be very happy to drop Photoshop when I've got image editing covered elsewhere.

    2 points
    • Daniel De Laney, over 5 years ago

      My work is all UI, so I don’t often need Pixelmator. When I need to get more visually precise than a paper or Balsamiq Mockups wireframe, Sketch covers the majority of my needs. Where I do need some simple raster editing, Pixelmator is fine.

      1 point
  • Account deleted over 5 years ago


    2 points
    • Dean HaydenDean Hayden, 5 years ago

      Would Apple Motion do the job?

      0 points
    • Matthew O'ConnorMatthew O'Connor, 5 years ago

      If you are only using AE for interaction design then Principle might work for you.

      3 points
      • Account deleted 5 years ago

        Wow, Matthew. This looks perfect!

        0 points
        • Matthew O'ConnorMatthew O'Connor, 5 years ago

          Didn't want to leave an overly long comment in the first place, but now I know that could fit your requirements we can nerd out!

          2 things that I loved in AE you do in Principle. Key-framing and LayerComps.

          Key-framing is an obvious one, but some tools I have used you just have to say how things animate over time. Where as in Principle you go to the part of an animation and push your UI into the write point. But instead of key-framing over time, you are setting the animation based on distance moved by scroll!

          LayerComps make AE awesome. Make a shape animate it, then replace its content later once you have animated it right. In Principle you can drop in a shape/picture and animate. Once you have done the animation you can simply swap the image; put new elements within the image (images can become groups on the fly) or anything. And that retains the animation/motion.

          I found one dudes video on youtube and was able to build a nice prototype. Then I found these videos that made using Principle a breeze: principleformac.com/tutorial.html

          1 point
  • Daryl GinnDaryl Ginn, over 5 years ago

    That's a cool story, bro.

    2 points
  • Vasiliy LeytmanVasiliy Leytman, over 5 years ago

    Just started to wear red glasses instead of blue ones. Feels great. ;)

    2 points
  • Christopher JamesChristopher James, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    I work in the commercial photography industry, where the idea of jumping off the Adobe bandwagon is obviously never really broached. Can someone give me the tldr as to why so many designers on DN seem to be jumping ship, or at least why so many are writing about it?

    2 points
    • Matthew BlodeMatthew Blode, over 5 years ago

      My main reason is that both Illustrator and Photoshop are too damn slow on my laptop. I love photoshop it's just become near impossible to use. Also they have become unfocused and difficult to use.

      Affinity designer, photo and Sketch have replaced all of my needs and more.

      For video editing I will use final cut pro. For InDesign I do not have alternative but it will probably end up being affinity's next program: affinity publisher.

      I'm not a proffesional designer and those are tools that work for me.

      1 point
    • Matthew SaforrianMatthew Saforrian, over 5 years ago

      I just don't open Adobe apps anymore. I used to use InDesign for documenting large information architecture projects but work much leaner now. If I really need to work out a large application flow I'll prototype it in Axure or InDesign.

      For UI design I use Sketch or will design in the browser.

      I'm an amateur photographer at best (Fuji x100T) and was evaluating Aperture as a way for managing my photos and editing them but have decided to not go that route. I think I'm going to go with something to sync all my photos to the cloud and Affinity Photo for lightweight editing.

      0 points
    • Bryce York, over 5 years ago

      Because Photoshop was created for your industry but was adopted by our industry out of necessity for a powerful tool (which wasn't available elsewhere).

      Sketch was the first app to come along that was able to overcome the momentum of Photoshop for UI design.

      I now use Sketch for all my interface design work and Affinity Designer for all any complex vector design (logos, icons, etc)

      I was stoked to abandon Adobe for UI design a little over a year ago, but still use it heavily for my hobby in Photography. I'm completely in love with Lightroom and don't hate Photohop now that I'm using it purely for what it's built for.

      I'm still learning how to really maximise my depth of knowledge in Photoshop (for photography) though, so I'm not yet in a position to evaluate Affinity Photo but it's definitely on the cards (their 60fps pseudo-guarantee is pretty appealing).

      0 points
  • Lucas CobbLucas Cobb, over 5 years ago

    How can sketch replace Photoshop? What is its primary use? And does it handle 100+ layer visual designs?

    2 points
    • Milosz FalinskiMilosz Falinski, over 5 years ago

      Between Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo and Sketch you can do pretty much anything Photoshop does, better. Sketch's main strength is UI design. Other vector and bitmap designs are better handled in Affinity software.

      Performance-wise, Sketch has no problems at all handling 300+ MB files with 1000+ elements.

      Only thing I couldn't find a better alternative for is digital painting.

      2 points
    • Alex PateAlex Pate, over 5 years ago

      Its not meant to totally replace it. Sketch is simply an alternative for ui designers. Photoshop was and still is hugely bloated, because it was trying to cater for everyone.

      Obviously if you're wanting to touch up some photos, then you would stick with Photoshop. But for anything web/app orientated, then sketch is the way forward.

      2 points
  • Frédéric AudetFrédéric Audet, over 5 years ago

    Don't get me wrong, Affinity's a great software, but let's get serious,

    Photoshop > Affinity.

    1 point
    • Sean LesterSean Lester, over 5 years ago

      but Sketch > photoshop for UI design, and then you fill the gap with Affinity, unless you REALLY need to do a ton of high end photo editing, which I don't think most designers do. Though it's fair to say that you won't want to be limited in capability if you have an image editing heavy concept - but still I think Affinity seems like a worthy alternative.

      0 points
  • Chris MousdaleChris Mousdale, over 5 years ago

    Nice. I have rid my personal macs of all Adobe Software except Lightroom which i use to edit my photos en masse and then save the good jpgs to my Photos/iCloud Library.

    On my work macs however, I still have to use Adobe stuff as I work as part of a team in an agency. And we have legacy files to take care of as well as suppliers that require certain files.

    Funnily enough even though there is no competitor to Indesign, that's probably the easiest to replace as most printers just want PDF files.

    I use Sketch as I'm the primary web designer. I have had a lot of issues getting my designs to larger agencies that are building the designs as they have requested layered PNGS or PSDS. So that's been a ball ache.

    As for illustrator. I'm not sure I could design logos in anything else. I know it like the back of my hand. But i am yet to try affinity designer… so that could change. I could use Sketch for logo design but, it's not quite there for that. Simple logos, sure, but for full on logos that require brand guidelines and spot colours etc. it is not the right choice.

    1 point
    • Bryce York, over 5 years ago

      Definitely wouldn't recommend Sketch for logo design. I'm far from an expert in AI, but I found Affinity Designer great for more complex vector work. Would definitely recommend it.

      0 points
  • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, over 5 years ago

    If you call Adobe and tell them you are interested in canceling, and have had a membership for more than 2 years, they should offer you 3 months for free.

    • this for people who still want to keep their subscriptions.
    1 point
  • Marek LMarek L, over 5 years ago

    Also cancelled here.

    1 point
  • Trevor McNaughtonTrevor McNaughton, over 5 years ago

    I've almost done the same. However, I still need to find something to replace Lightroom... Any recommendations?

    1 point
  • Jason CsizmadiJason Csizmadi, over 5 years ago

    I did the same thing a few months back. The last few years my workflow has primarily shifted to Sketch. I haven't had a need for Photoshop for some time. I do miss illustrator but for the most part Affinity Designer is very well made alternative.

    1 point
  • ポール ウェッブポール ウェッブ, 5 years ago

    I called them to cancel my CC subscription about a month or so ago, and they talked me into keeping my account at least until my year is up (next June). They gave me three months off though!

    1 point
  • Dan MazigDan Mazig, over 5 years ago

    Congrats! it takes guts :) I recently had GPU panics on my MBP which caused literally because of Photoshop. Yet, I'm still not sure about canceling the subscription, probably for the reason I have used PS almost every day for the last 12 years

    1 point
  • J. Roto, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    Some software is just a part of the cost of doing business. Think about what you charge clients vs. what Adobe's software costs you and it's a win all day. However, if you can survive without it, more power to you!

    0 points
  • Abhijeet WankhadeAbhijeet Wankhade, 5 years ago

    What's an Adobe?

    0 points
  • alex loghinalex loghin, over 5 years ago

    If I make a website in Sketch, and the my developer only has PS, is there a way for him to still build this website? Can PS open Sketch files?

    0 points
  • Dani ReuvenDani Reuven, over 5 years ago

    I'm using Sketch for UI only but PS is always open next to it. I think every designer should use Adobe to be able to implement ideas without limits ( or too many bugs... ).

    What about a tool like after effects ? is this really something you can let go ?

    I think the best case is to have everything on board and use each to its context.

    0 points
  • Nicolás Joel EnglerNicolás Joel Engler, over 5 years ago

    That's amazing! I've been eager to leave Photoshop and Illustrator behind, but it's been a rough path so far.

    The agency I'm currently working in already made the switch to Sketch and we're loving it, but there are a few cases where we have to deliver a layered PSD, so no luck with that for now.

    Also, I work as a freelance graphic/print designer on my hometown, and most of the printing houses here still use really old versions of CorelDraw (if an .EPS file is handed, they give you a weird look and refuse to try and open the file).

    Whenever I can, on my Mac I use Sketch for UI/Web projects, and I'd love to try something like Pixelmator in the future. On my Linux machine I get around using GIMP and Inkscape, they both work pretty good, and Inkscape is GREAT with .EPS files.

    I seriously hope you can purge yourself from Adobe Products. Lately, at least for me, they have been super slow, riddled with bugs, and seriously slow.

    0 points
  • Gergely SzaboGergely Szabo, over 5 years ago

    In the past 12 month I only used Photoshop when I wanted to create animgifs for my presentations or if I had to open a psd file. I use Sketch, InVision and now I'm experimenting with Principle. But basically this is it. And I'm more than happy using these tools for work.

    0 points
  • Alex IonescuAlex Ionescu, over 5 years ago

    You make me wanna buy a Mac :))

    0 points
  • ポール ウェッブポール ウェッブ, 5 years ago

    As much as I can't wait for my CC contract to end, I am wondering if I should at least keep AE and Audition. I mean, I don't use them that much, but I anticipate my wanting to get into media design in the next year or so.

    I hope Serif has an AE competitor in the works.

    0 points
  • Patrick LoonstraPatrick Loonstra, over 5 years ago

    Is there is a decent alternative for InDesign I finally can have a try for cutting with Adobe.

    0 points