It shouldn’t be surprising to any of my friends that the highest standard in creative software packages is Adobe Creative Cloud. However, one thing I did find surprising was that when I searched for a list of the top 10 most iconic Creative Cloud Apps, I got no results.
So I thought, “what the hey”, and decided to write one myself.
I’m basing my list more on how well known they are outside of the design community than I am on how useful they actually are for the wide variety of creative products out there. With that said, their functionality will also play a big role in my decision-making, both individually and as part of the overall usage as part of the Adobe CC package.
No.10 – Muse
Personally speaking, I’m not a huge fan of WYSIWYG website builders, mainly because I think they’re not everything they crack themselves up to be. With that said, the key reason I think this way is because most people are either frightened of code, or simply don’t know how to do it!
That’s why Muse is such a good software for anyone who wants to build a website without any knowledge of HTML or CSS. Unlike a software I’ll mention later in this list, this is the go-to app for anyone looking to get started on designing websites, putting their look before their practicality.
No.9 – Lightroom
I’ve personally tried using Lightroom a handful of times, and I have to be honest, I can’t work it out for love or money. However, this is a software designed for photographers, as opposed to graphic designers, and most of the friends I have in the photography business wouldn’t know how to cope without this app.
From what I’ve seen, it’s a great tool for cropping and colourising multiple photos, as well as organising groups of similar photos into catalogues.
It might not be the most well-known of softwares, but if you’ve ever looked at a photo collection, don’t be surprised if Lightroom was a key tool used in choosing and refining those pictures you love.
No.8 – Audition
I’d love to brag about what wonderful things Audition can do, but seeing as the most I’ve ever done on it is an attempt to remove the background music from one song, I’m certainly not the person to ask.
Just be rest-assured that if you’re into the art of sound, Audition is a good software too pick.
No.7 – After Effects
After Effects is the best place to go for special-effects when using the Adobe CC package, especially those which involve using 2 pieces of footage in one shot. Therefore, just about any hologram, motion-graphic, or chroma-key (i.e. blue/green screen) effect you see in a movie or TV show today would have been achieved using After Effects.
Some advanced examples of how After Effects can be used include the ‘helmet’ shots in the Iron Man films, and the fan-made opening titles to The Walking Dead. But some more subtle uses of After Effects include the Idents and used by news-corporations, such as the BBC and Sky News.
Really, all you need to do to see what great work can come from After Effects is turn the TV on.
No.6 – InDesign
You’d be hard-pressed to find a design company these days that doesn’t use InDesign. Much like Microsoft Word, this software is designed for text-editing and publishing. Despite the fact that Word is cheeper and more functional for the everyman, InDesign is easily the industry standard in publishing design.
Not only does InDesign it easier to control the leading, tracking, indents, paragraph spaces, etc. which make typography work, but it’s also easier to create drop-caps, create page spreads, and seamlessly combine multiple documents into a whole book.
It can also be good for website design, but if you ask me, there’s still one software more iconic and capable for designing websites to wait for…
No.5 – Illustrator
Contrary to what you might think from the software’s name, Illustrator is in fact a highly adaptable software for any creative working in the digital arts. In many respects, Illustrator is a superior software to the number one on this list, since it allows someone to design using vectors (solid shapes) as opposed to bitmaps (pixels). This allows for shapes to be more adaptable, curvatures to be smoother, and outlines to look crisper.
From t-shirts to typefaces, from leaflets to logos, and from maps to mascots, there’s an awful lot one can design simply using Illustrator.
It might take some time for someone to get used to bezier arms and the pen tool. Yet personally, this is my favourite of the Adobe CC Package, and I won’t stop using it anytime soon.
No.4 – Premiere Pro
One of the problems with After Effects is that it takes a long time to load each one of its frames as you test your footage, making it painful for basic video editing. This is why Premiere pro is there better software to use for editing.
I have to be honest and say that I’ve never used this software myself, but from what I can tell, it’s more stripped down than After Effects is, and capable of loading its clips faster. This allows editors to slice away all they like, often creating masterpieces of film.
And if you think this is a software just for the general public, think again. The Sundance Film Festival saw a 130% rise in entries that were cut using Premiere Pro in 2015. Gone Girl, the first ever movie to be edited entirely with Premiere Pro, would not be the same if it weren’t for the Creative Cloud!
No.3 – Dreamweaver
One part WYSIWYG, one part text-editor, it makes it easier than ever for developers to create sites using this software. Not only can the developer see a near-perfect replica of what they’re creating as they build it, but pre-built templates and segments help the professionals get the divs they want in their sites, and then use their knowledge of code to tweak their sites to be just the way they want them!
For every website created with WordPress, just about every other website would have been created with Dreamweaver. And once you get the hang of it, you can certainly tell why.
No.2 Flash (soon to be re-named ‘Animate’)
On the other hand, this is the ideal software for animators and game-designers, especially those who like to keep their work 2D. Not only are the transitions crisp and smooth due to easing, but by adding some ActionScript, it can become entertainingly interactive.
Even if Flash games have fallen out of popularity with the rise of Apple devices, it’s popularity in cartoons like The Tom and Jerry Show show that Flash still has a bright, animated future.
Now, I would usually write a list of honourable mentions for this segment. However, since the majority of apps left in the Adobe CC package are used in the background, it seems rather pointless to make a huge fuss about them. So, let’s just skip to my number one pick…
No.1 – Photoshop
Sure, InDesign and Illustrator might be the better softwares for graphic designers like myself. But seriously, how can anybody deny the sheer influence that Photoshop has had on both the creative and technological industries?!
Designed especially for photo-manipulation, such as the artwork by Erik Johansson, photoshop isn’t just the software most of us digital-creatives are introduced to. It’s a trademark which has become a verb in its own right, which if you ask me, stapes this as the most iconic the Adobe Creative Suite softwares!
(Sorry, I couldn’t help but include this video too!)
But, perhaps you have a different idea of which one of the Adobe CC Apps is the most iconic. If you think this list needs a different order, feel free to comment below and let me know!