Historically, Adobe's software was made for the pros. Applications like Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro all require a paid Creative Cloud subscription and a certain level of expertise. But with Monday's launch of Creative Cloud Express, Adobe is targeting anyone who might find graphic design useful: small businesses, students and social media influencers.
Creative Cloud Express is a free app allowing users to more easily create graphics, edit photos, trim videos and perform other basic design edits. It comes with Adobe templates, fonts and stock images. People can drag and drop different design components, and use AI shortcuts to remove photo backgrounds or turn videos into GIFs. “With Creative Cloud and Creative Cloud Express, we are meeting the demands of all creators and catalyzing the creator economy,” said David Wadhwani, chief business officer and executive vice president of Digital Media at Adobe.
This is Adobe's answer to template-builder Canva. Canva's always been explicit about going after non-professional designers, and has seen tremendous success: It's worth $40 billion as of September. It has recently introduced new products in order to attract the enterprise, where it can earn paid users. Adobe's situated firmly in the enterprise with its expensive product suite (and sometimes, a hefty cancellation fee). But with tools like Canva and more powerful edit capabilities in apps like TikTok, there's a huge demand for easily-accessible editing software.
Adobe is a staple in the creative industry, which not only includes professional designers or filmmakers, but also the 86% of young Americans who want to become influencers. Every platform is creator-focused, even document apps like Coda. "From side hustles on Etsy/Patreon, artists painting and minting, millions of small businesses founded during the pandemic, to every student and office worker looking to stand out with their creativity rather than their productivity, the future is in the hands of creators," Adobe Chief Product Officer Scott Belsky tweeted.
"Creativity can't be hard," as Belsky tweets. Adobe wants to be embraced by the design amateurs everywhere.