Adobe software vs. Free Programs

Adobe is the most widely used software among graphic designers. It’s no surprise that Adobe is so extensively utilized worldwide and has been the market leader for so long in this field. There seems to be almost no competition for Adobe, although that might be changing with the introduction of Affinity Publisher. More on that later. Free software can’t really compete here at all, although some free apps are fun to use as supplementary tools. But why is Adobe so popular? What are the advantages, and how does it differ from free or cheaper programs?

The Advantages of Adobe Adobe Creative Cloud contains all the programs you need. Whether it’s photo manipulation, designing a magazine, or illustrating a logo, each program has its own specific tools. Because you’re using one brand, everything works seamlessly together. You can easily transfer all your files to another Adobe app. If you choose to print your work on a large scale, Adobe offers the ability to transform artwork into a gigantic billboard without losing quality.

A popular free editing program among non-designers, Canva makes designing accessible to everyone. Anyone can design a business card or create a logo using a laptop or phone. However, there are limitations; some shapes can be inserted but not customized. The premium version of Canva is inexpensive and very useful for simple designs, especially for social media. If you want to use advanced tools, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign would be a better option.


GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program and is available as a free download. This software is suitable for image editing and is a good alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Features such as paths, selection tools, and the use of layers and layer masks are available in both Adobe and GIMP. One significant advantage of this software is that it is completely free. The company also offers the option to download plugins and scripts for free, providing additional options. The source code of GIMP is open to the public, allowing anyone to modify it, which offers many possibilities for free extensions. However, most people find the layout of this software somewhat chaotic; of course, one cannot expect the best of the best from free programs. The cluttered layout may result in taking a bit longer to master everything. GIMP is less suitable for professional use, as the quality may not be guaranteed for print work.

Affinity DTP consists of Publisher, Designer, and Photo, which correspond to Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. This is considered to be the true competitor of Adobe, as Affinity also offers a complete DTP package. The software is gaining more users and is becoming increasingly popular. The advantage of Affinity is that all the offered programs work together through Studiolink. This way, you don’t need to save anything separately and can continue editing directly. Another benefit of Affinity is the price; you pay a one-time fee of €55 for the entire package, which is in stark contrast to the subscription you would get through Adobe. A high-quality program for a small price sounds ideal. There are likely some features you might miss if you’re used to Adobe, but Affinity is continuously working to develop and improve.Adobe software versus free programs. For a long time, Adobe has held a monopoly in the DTP field. The term ‘photoshopping’ is even used as a replacement for photo editing. Fortunately, nowadays there is plenty of other (free) software available if you don’t want to pay the full price. If you’re not looking for software for professional use but simply for your own hobby, then Canva or GIMP is a fine option. If you’re willing to pay for your software, you can opt for CorelDRAW or Affinity at a low price. These programs are also suitable for professional use and work well. If you’re looking for a complete DTP package, then Affinity or Adobe would be the best choice. If you choose Adobe and want to learn to work with Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign, then opt for the Graphic Design course and start designing!


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