Adobe’s the company that all designers love to hate. Obviously you can’t do without Photoshop CC and its stablemates; they’re not cheap but they’re the industry-standard toolsets for all manner of creative disciplines and they do the job really well.
However it’s a stoic soul indeed that doesn’t at least think about looking for Photoshop alternatives when the time comes to pay up for that Creative Cloud subscription (pro tip: you can get you can get 40% off a subscription to the Creative Cloud All Apps plan in the UK with our exclusive offer). Even if you have to struggle with a sub-optimal workflow, surely it’s worth it to put one over on Big Design, right?
These are the sort of thoughts that tend to go away after a few hours spent swearing at GIMP’s front end. But if you’re determined to break away from Adobe and you’re not sure about the best way to do it, here’s a graphic that’ll help you choose the software you’ll need.
It’s the work of Michael Sexton, who writes and draws an epic fantasy comic entitled Everblue, a story about adventure, camaraderie and exploration in a world with an uncertain fate. He took time away from his comic to compile a handy list of as many possible alternatives to Adobe apps as he could find covering everything from Photoshop and Illustrator through to the likes of Dreamweaver and even its audio package, Audition.
There are both free and paid apps on show, and the paid choices are simple pay-once options rather than subscriptions. And there are some great options, including Affinity Photo, Designer and Publisher as alternatives to Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, and quite a few lesser-known packages that are definitely worth investigating, such as Krita and Fire Alpaca. And of course GIMP’s in there; hey, there’s nothing wrong with it as such, but going into it from Photoshop can be a bit of a shock to the system.
And if you need some further suggestions, check out our list of the 6 best free Adobe CC alternatives.