The Adobe Creative Suite is the industry standard for design applications: PhotoShop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, etc. Adobe now provides two purchases options, and determining which is best is based on your needs.
Option 1: Purchase Disc
– The traditional purchase is a serial number, either software download or install disc. This provides a fixed set of applications (depending on which suite is selected). It is OS specific (Windows or Mac) and can be installed on multipled computers (generally two).
TLC Creative has historically purchased the Design Premium suite for its design and show computers. This suite includes:
• Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, Acrobat Pro, Bridge, Media Encoder
Option 2: Subscription
Recently, Adobe has starting offering a new subscription option, called Adobe Creative Cloud. It is based on CS6, the newest version of all Adobe apps. It also has the advantage of being turned on and off. So if you need Adobe software for a short time, it can be paid for in monthly increments. It also has the advantage of getting additional tool features added with the automatic web-based updates (so the subscription install of Adobe CS6 Illustrator has a number of additional tools that the disc install does not).
The subscription option is like purchasing the most robust (ie. costly) creative suite, the Master Collectoin. When looking at the year long subscription rate, the subscription is considerably lower cost than purchasing the Master Collection. But not that far from purchasing one of the other CS options. Currently, the Creative Suite includes:
• Photoshop Extended
• Acrobat X Pro
• Acrobat XI Pro (Not included in any CS)
• Media Encoder
• Lightroom (Not included in any CS)
• Adobe Muse (Not included in any CS)
• Flash Builder
• Edge Tools & Services (Not included in any CS)
• Premiere Pro
• After Effects
It also includes these services: (Not included with any CS)
• Device and PC Sync
• Cloud Storage
• Business Catalyst
• PhoneGap Build
• Story Plus
• Digital Publishing Suite
For TLC Creative Services, a major advantage of the disc install version is our show computers can inherit the previous version. So all show computers are very capable computers, just not loaded with the “cutting edge” edition. With the subscription, there is no “old” software available for use on other computers. The subscription is more economical over the course of the year than a direct purchase and allows us to have access to many applications that have not been a part of our standard design process. So for us, it is a combination of Disc and Subscription.
– Troy @ TLC