The best Adobe Creative Cloud deals for May 2022

Your guide to Creative Cloud pricing, how to download a free trial of Adobe CC and where to snag a discount

Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud is the industry standard in creative and design software
(Image credit: Adobe)

Adobe Creative Cloud deals tend to be quite rare but there are a few great ways to save all year round with a bit of know-how. We've laid out the best options for subscription price cuts in both the US and UK on this page, as well as information on when you can expect the best Adobe Creative Cloud deals to crop up.

Creative Cloud is the flagship subscription-based service from Adobe that gives users access to a number of excellent creative applications. Industry-leading tools for graphic design, web design, photography, marketing, and website building can all be at your fingertips with one unified subscription. If you're a creative professional, no doubt you've already heard of applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, and Premiere Pro – well-renowned programmes that are somewhat of an institution in the design world.

Despite being labelled as a 'Cloud' service, Adobe CC isn't operated via your web-browser like most other Cloud-related products. Like a traditional application, you'll have to install it directly onto your devices – preferably a PC or Mac, as some apps aren't supported on Chromebooks or mobile devices. That said, there are a few exceptions like the Photoshop app for the iPad.

As with most 'Cloud' services, Adobe CC gives you the ability to backup your work directly to the Adobe network itself. This comes with the added advantage of being able to share your work easily and also collaborate with other subscribers. If you're more traditionally-minded, don't worry - you can also save your work directly to your device of choice as well and work offline. You do need to validate your membership online once every 99 days, but once you do that (and receive your updates), you're actually completely free to use Adobe Creative Cloud completely offline.

The best Adobe Creative Cloud discounts

Adobe Creative Cloud for Students and Teachers| Get over 70% off
While niche, the biggest all-year-round Adobe Creative Cloud deals are generally found over at the education section of the site. Eligible students and teachers can get a saving of 'over 70%' right now, which means paying just £16.24 per month for unlimited access to industry-leading apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Free trial is also included.

UK: was £51.98, now £16.24 at Adobe
US:
was $54.99, now $19.99 at Adobe
AU: was AU$79.99, now AU$21.99 at Adobe

Adobe Express Free one-month trial offer
Adobe Express (formerly known as Spark) is aimed at people with limited design skills who want to create graphics, web pages, and short videos, easily and quickly. A subscription is usually £10.10 / $9.90 / AU$17.99 per month, but right now Adobe is offering a generous one-month free trial so you can try it out properly.

Outside of the evergreen student discounts, the biggest Adobe Creative Cloud deals tend to be concentrated around sales events like Black Friday. We generally see discounts ranging from around 15% to 20% when these deals come up, so they're definitely waiting around for if you're not a student but want a price cut.

If you don't find a discount or promotion to your liking above, please feel free to bookmark this page and revisit, as we'll be updating it regularly as Adobe Creative Cloud deals go live throughout the year.

Adobe Creative Cloud pricing

There are a few different ways to access the software in the Adobe Creative Cloud. The priciest is a full All Apps subscription which is £51.98 / $54.99 / AU$79.99. This gives you access to the entire, comprehensive suite of 20+ apps, plus 100GB of cloud storage, the portfolio creation tool Adobe Portfolio and the Adobe Fonts library.

You have the choice of paying for either annually or monthly. The annual plan is the best value overall, as long as you expect to use the Creative Cloud for a whole year, because you’ll have to commit to 12 months of payments. The month-to-month plan is much more expensive per month but does give you the flexibility to stop and restart your subscription without a cancellation fee.

If you only want one or some of the Creative Cloud apps, there are cheaper options. For example, the Photography Plan bundles together Photoshop, Lightroom and Lightroom Classic, along with 20GB of cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts and Adobe Spark, for a reasonable £9.99 / $9.99 / AU$14.29 a month.

Photoshop in use on tablet

Most tools in the Adobe Creative Cloud are just for PC and Mac, but Photoshop is now available for iPad too

(Image credit: Adobe)

Alternatively, you can choose to subscribe to just a single app. Most of the best-known Adobe Creative Cloud tools can be accessed for a single-app subscription of £19.97 / $20.99 / AU $29.99 a month over one year, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, InDesign, After Effects, Audition, Dreamweaver, Animate and Dimension.

Others are cheaper: Acrobat Pro is £15.17 / $14.99 / AU$21.99 a month, InCopy is £4.98 / $4.99 / AU$7.69 a month, and Lightroom, XD and Premier Rush all cost £9.98 / $9.99 / AU$14.29 a month. With a single-app subscription you’ll also get Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts and Adobe Spark, plus 100GB of cloud storage (or 1TB of cloud storage with Lightroom).

Adobe Creative Cloud free download

As you’ll have noticed, a subscription to CC doesn't come cheap. However, you can download Adobe Creative Cloud for free using Adobe's 7-day trial. That should certainly be enough time to give the apps you’re interested in a full go, and maybe even complete a small project. Just make sure you cancel within the trial period, or you’ll then get charged automatically.

Adobe Creative Cloud free download | Start a free trial
Take out a seven-day free trial to try out any of Adobe Creative Cloud’s 20+ apps, including Photoshop, Illustrator and Adobe XD. Your free trial includes access to step-by-step tutorials, 100GB of cloud storage, your own portfolio website and premium fonts.

Note: you’ll need to cancel before the end of the free trial period or be charged for a monthly subscription for the rest of the year.

Adobe Creative Cloud for students

If you’re currently enrolled in full-time education, whether that’s school, college or university, then good news. As long as you’re 13 years old or over, you can get Adobe Creative Cloud at a massive discount. 

That varies slightly depending on where you are in the world right now: so you can get 65% off in the UK, 60% off in the US and Canada, and a massive 70% off in Australia and New Zealand. You will be asked to provide proof of eligibility before the discount is applied.

Fresco in use on tablet

Adobe Fresco, a sketching and painting app for iPad, is one of the newest additions to the Adobe Creative Cloud

(Image credit: Adobe)

Black Friday Adobe deals

Wondering whether to wait for an Adobe Creative Cloud Black Friday offer? In previous years, we've seen a 39-40% discount on the All Apps plan over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period. That's a massive price drop, and the maximum discount we've ever seen from Adobe, so we'd recommend snapping this deal up if you spot it.

In 2020, the deal wasn't quite as good though: just 20% off the Adobe CC All Apps plan. Adobe also runs offers on its Creative Cloud subscriptions a few times a year, so keep an eye out on this page for any hot price drops outside of the holiday sales events.

What's included in Adobe Creative Cloud?

Logos of different Adobe Creative Cloud tools

There are more than 20 different tools currently included in the Adobe Creative Cloud

(Image credit: Adobe)

There are more than 20 apps includes in a full Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. These include:

Adobe Photoshop
An image editing and graphic design tool that’s used for image manipulation, photo retouching, graphic design, visual web design, app prototyping and 3D modelling. Photoshop is used by a wide range of creative professions, including photographers and photo retouchers, digital artists, graphic designers and art directors, 3D designers and VFX artists. 

Adobe Illustrator
A drawing programme based on vector graphics. Illustrator is commonly used by artists, illustrators and graphic designers, to create logos, icons, infographics and illustrations.

Adobe After Effects
A tool for compositing video footage and creating visual effects, motion graphics and simple animations. After Effects is typically used by graphic designers, animators and in TV and movie production houses.

Adobe XD
A vector-based UX tool for prototyping web and mobile apps. XD is commonly used by graphic designers and web designers. 

Adobe InDesign
A desktop publishing and a page layout tool. InDesign is used primarily for print, but also has digital publishing capabilities. 

Adobe Lightroom
An image organisation and image editing tool that’s commonly used by photo studios and photographers who handle large numbers of images. 

Adobe Premiere Pro
A video editing tool used in the film and TV industry, as well as by YouTubers and design studios. 

Adobe Express
A tool designed to make it easy for non-professionals to create graphics, web pages and short videos for social media.

...and many more
Adobe Creative Cloud also includes Premiere Rush, Acrobat Pro, Fresco, Dimension, Dreamweaver, Animate, Audition, Lightroom Classic, Character Animator, Bridge, Media Encoder, InCopy, Prelude, Substance and Fuse. You'll also get 100GB of cloud storage for your projects, and access to Adobe Portfolio and Adobe Fonts.

Tom May is a freelance writer and author of the book, Great Ted Talks: Creativity. He has been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. He has also worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella.

With contributions from