Graphic Design without Adobe Creative Suite

It may be time to explore alternatives to the digital giant. Here are some apps for doing graphic design without Adobe.
Even Oprah is skeptical of Adobe and their actions these days

Let’s talk about a world where we do graphic design without Adobe. Adobe hasn’t had great news headlines lately. They are losing the trust of their customers, and because the company has cornered the market on industry-standard design software, they think they can do whatever they want. This Adobe way of life started in 2011 when Creative Cloud was introduced, ushering in the age of way-too-expensive subscriptions for digital tools. As a design professional who needs these tools daily, I was forced to abandon my trusty CS suite and pay these jokers upwards of $700 a year to be able to work. There is a way to be a creative professional and not adhere to the Adobe way of life. The irony is I will be using Adobe products to create assets for this piece—loud sigh.

Let’s explore some options for creating without Adobe.

Graphic design without Adobe

Affinity Suite

Affinity Suite – Graphic Design without Adobe

The Affinity suite directly competes with Adobe, selling its feature-rich creative software without a subscription and at a more-than-reasonable price. Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher are three powerful design tools for crafting your next project. The attractive price tag and feature parody of Affinity software make it a great alternative to Adobe’s Design suite.

Video without Adobe

DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve

The all-in-one editing software DaVinci Resolve combines Premiere and After Effects capabilities into a single professional package. DaVinci boasts of being a full production studio in a single app at the relatively low price of $300. It’s not as feature-rich as a dedicated app like Premiere or After Effects are on their own. It is more than enough for a professional to execute incredible results within a single interface. DaVinci got the green light from an incredible 3D artist I know, and that’s a trusted, ringing endorsement.

UI without Adobe



The current king of UI, Figma reigns supreme as the new industry standard for UX and interface design. On the downside, it’s another subscription-based service. However, Figma offers a free plan and cheaper prices for its annual subscriptions. It won’t replace your need for Photoshop if that is your primary design tool, but a digital product designer can move mountains with a Figma license and a clear creative brief.



One of my favorites, Sketch, is a Mac-only design app built for UI prototypes. But its capabilities, like Figma’s, are endless. Sketch has the distinct advantage of offering yearly licenses that provide updates for you to keep once your license expires. You will always have access to your purchased version of Sketch and its files, which is a huge relief. You can also import and export Figma files directly into and out of Sketch. Sketch’s support, updates, and features continue to impress and make Sketch a no-brainer for any designer.

Fonts without Adobe

Google Fonts

Google Fonts

The clear winner is Google Fonts. While Adobe Fonts is a fantastic repository of classic typefaces, Google Fonts is a free, ubiquitous megapack of fonts that work on every machine. Using Google Fonts means everyone can render your webpage with the right type, and you can download the fonts directly to your machine at no extra cost.

What’s your favorite app?

Do you have a non-Adobe creative app you prefer? Drop me a line and let me know.

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