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Mixed Reactions to Adobe’s Creative Cloud™ Subscription

Posted by Rebecca Blake on August 22, 2013

Adobe® Creative CloudTM logoIn the three months since Adobe® announced it’s discontinuing its boxed version (and perpetual license) of Creative Suite® products in favor of a cloud-based subscription service, reactions from professional creatives has been mixed. The move provides both a deterrent to the rampant piracy of Adobe® software as well as a more stable revenue stream, since currently many users are unable or unwilling to pay for costly upgrades. Adobe® has bundled significant additional features in with the Creative Cloud™ software sets, including integration of a personal portfolio site via Behance® Prosite, integration of Typekit® webfonts, syncing of personal settings, tutorials, and more.

A cost analysis of the individual plans show that for Adobe® product users who purchase upgrades frequently, the cloud subscription service will lower costs initially. CNET calculated that the Design Standard boxed set would cost $1,648 for the initial cost and one upgrade, versus $1,800 for three year’s worth of Creative Cloud™ – and that would include eight additional software packages (such as Premiere Pro®) and online services.

For those users who skip version upgrades as a savings tactic, the new model will be more expensive. (This savings tactic may have been on the way out. Adobe® attempted to offer upgrades to CS6 only from CS5 and 5.5, but after a firestorm of criticism, changed the policy in January to permit upgrades from CS3 and 4). Digital Arts calculated that the tipping point on Cloud subscriptions – the point at which the monthly subscription becomes more expensive than a perpetual license – is 26 months for a CS6 Design Standard and 38 months for the CS6 Design and Web PremiumCS6 Design and Web Premium. Students are impacted the most; the tipping point for CS6 Design and Web Premium Student and Teacher Edition is just 20 months at the student subscription rate.

The backlash against Adobe® resulted in an online petition asking Adobe® to “Eliminate the mandatory Creative Cloud™ subscription model.” Protesters have a number of concerns beyond the pricing structure, including worries that Adobe® will hike up the monthly fees at any moment, and concerns about Internet connectivity, access to files, etc. (Adobe® has addressed many of the misconceptions about the Cloud model in their “5 Myths about Adobe Creative Cloud™.”) As of mid August, the petition had gained 38,000 signatures. Some users have been turning to alternatives to Creative Cloud™ and Adobe® products.

Adobe®, however, has been on track with their projected subscription levels since the release of Creative Cloud™. In a mid-June MacWorld article, Adobe® reported a total of 700,000 subscribers, and expected to reach their target of 1.25 million subscribers by the end of 2013. So far, Creative Cloud™ seems to be a success as a pricing model. But as a solution for piracy, the jury is still out; one day after the official release of Creative Cloud™, a torrent link to a pirated copy was uploaded to The Pirate Bay. Reports are that the copy works fine.


Adobe® Creative CloudTM totems

Creative Freelancers Conference: Recaps & Resources

Posted by Rebecca Blake on July 29, 2013

Miss the Creative Freelancers Conference in San Francisco this summer? There are a number of wonderful blogs posting links to recaps and resources. Guild member Cedric Hohnstadt posted on his blog a brief summary of the conference, as well as a list of articles written by conference presenters, and recaps from other attendees. The list includes some real gems, such as a link to Jessica Hische’s “The Dark Art of Pricing” article, as well as a recording for daily podcasts from HOWLive published by the design blog 36 Point.

Cedric cites the Pinterest page of Ilise Benum, the conference host, as the source for many of the links. The page features images repinned from a number of attendees, and gives a nice peek at the conference goings-on. Another good resource is the Creative Freelancer blog associated with the conference. The blog has published  articles written by  conference presenters with common sense advice, such as 7 Ways to Keep the CFC Momentum Going by Tom Tombusch and a video interview with Sara Horowitz of the Freelancers Union on How Not to Become Extinct.

Pantone Clock: Watch Time Pass By in a Rainbow

Posted by Rebecca Blake on July 26, 2013

Pantone Clock - mobile © Pretty KlicksScottish web design and online marketing firm Pretty Klicks has created a lovely way to watch time fly by. The Pantone Clock displays a full-screen clock which cycles through sequential Pantone swatches on the minute. Stefan Pretty of Pretty Klicks credits with New York City-based UX designer Yona Lee with the original idea. In her Behance portfolio, she posted comps for a similar Pantone clock, but one in which the time displayed would match the Pantone swatch number (so that 2:14 would show Pantone swatch 214, for example). Pretty Klicks has plans for the clock, including a mobile app, and is soliciting comments via their Twitter feed.

Pantone Clock © Pretty Klicks

Web design: File under “You Say Potato”

Posted by Rebecca Blake on June 21, 2013

VentureBeat reported on a resolution of a controversy which has split the web design world for more than two decades: the file format GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) is actually pronounced "jiff". The issue was settled by none other than Steve Wilhite, who invented the format for Compuserv in the late 1980s. Steve made his pronouncement at the 2013 Webby Awards, where he was honored on the 25th anniversary of the invention of GIF.

But is the controversy truly settled? For hardcore advocates of the hard-G pronunciation, the answer is no, since the acronym is short for Graphics Interchange Format. Some have proposed the “jiff” pronunciation be applied to a proposed "Giraffe Interchange Format", an idea which to the relief of zoo keeper and wildlife park managers has not gained traction.

 

Brought to our attention by @VentureBeat

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