Clouds are creative, and you can be too. Since 1989, Adobe has been releasing various products for the creative community. Adobe Systems (not to be confused with the brick-mud building blocks that are the world’s earliest building materials) has been taking great strides in creating helpful software for designers. In 1989, the very first Photoshop was released, which was slowly followed up by the rest of the Creative Cloud, a group of applications and services for graphic design, web design, and other various tasks. Along with this, they also created the PDF (Portable Document Format) – able to contain documents with formatted text and images, and TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) – capable of storing raster images and other images used by graphic artists. Like the ancient building material, Adobe Systems have built up building blocks for many artists, designers, and creative people to work upon and to utilize for their own projects. Lucky for us, we’re able to buy all the Adobe software in a single program, known as the Creative Cloud, instead of having to smash mud together like ancient civilizations. How convenient!

The Software (And What They Do)

Adobe’s flagship product, Photoshop, is objectively the most well-known product of the Creative Cloud. It is used for many different tasks such as editing photos, enhance illustrations, and even design websites. Photoshop is the jack of all trades in Creative Cloud. It can do many things, but of course, it’s good to have variation in your software. The other CC software can perform various other specific tasks, such as InDesign – with it’s printed layout capabilities, After Effects & Premiere Pro – which both handle videos, Adobe Audition – with its audio recording prowess, down to Adobe Dreamweaver- with it’s cutting edge website design, or Spark which also includes web animations. Of course there’s many more programs that are within the Creative Cloud, and all of them are just as equally helpful if it covers what you do design-wise.

The photography duo, Photoshop and Lightroom, are capable of editing and manipulating photos. Lightroom can easily store and organize photos, add filters, and apply the same filters to every single photo (which helps if you have a lot). Photoshop, is more bulky with many options and many ways to edit photos, or to even paint over into them. Not only can you edit photos in Photoshop, but you can use various brushes for doing digital painting, perform photo manipulation with amazing colors, and build photo album from scratch.

InDesign and Illustrator cover your pages with clean cut designs, colorful vector illustrations, or even simply designing logos and tiny icons for your pages. InDesign encompasses designing custom and clean page layouts for documents, printed booklets, and even digital websites.  Illustrator however, lends us drawing tools, typography, digital pens and brushes to allow you to create entrancing arts.

The web design quartet, Dreamweaver, Muse, XD, and Typekit are the leads in web design and each bring something impressive to the table. Dreamweaver expertly weaves together your website code, whereas Muse can compile this without code, then we have XD that can build flexible designs that are compatible with all devices. Typekit contains huge amounts of fonts and texts.

Coming in from the video editing/creation group is Premiere, After Effects, Audition, Animate, and Character Animator, all of which play well together to create impressive videos with exciting graphics. Premiere specializes in video production and the nitty gritty of creating video with attractive visuals. Audition can record audio, mix music together, and restore audio. On the other hand, Animate and Character Animator allow creators to animate videos, characters, and stunning moving visuals. Finally, After Effects can create lovely transitions, exciting intros, and edge-of-your-seat cinematics to top off the end of the video!

Last but not least, Spark is a triad of web design that is codeless and clean. It’s offered for those with no design experience, as one could jump right into it without needing to know it all. The trio consists of Spark Post, Spark Page, and Spark Video, which you can assume their functions through their names. Although they are user friendly enough to not need an actual designer to make a site, it may be best to learn the basics.

As you can see. where Photoshop could do a little of it all, these softwares are the specialists of the Cloud and are capable of doing much more. It’s certainly impressive to see how much the Creative Cloud has grown and how more and more software is being offered to the design community.

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Pictured: An image being edited in Photoshop. Photography by João Silas.

Error Screen

Since no program is perfect, and there’s also room for human error or incorrect installation, along with possible bugs that haven’t been omitted yet, the Creative Cloud is plagued with a few common hardware errors. One of the most common errors is Creative Cloud not installing due to “no Internet connection” whereas the user is actually connected. Luckily, it’s an easier to solve error, which involves turning off the firewall momentarily, or even putting Creative Cloud on your firewalls’ exception list. Doing that will actually save you from one of the other most common errors where Creative Cloud will be unable to update due to lack of Internet, regardless of whether or not the computer is connected to the Internet.

Another error is that upon launching the Creative Cloud software, the menu will show a spinning icon with either “Loading Programs” or “Initializing” underneath it. It fails to fully launch, and these messages never leave, so it’ll just keep spinning forever. Fortunately, there are many fixes for this, such as restarting your computer or canceling all of the Creative Cloud processes in task manager before trying to launch it again.

The final common error is a very annoying Creative Cloud crash on startup, which is another easily solved issue, you can fix this by going to preferences on the application’s menu window, and then sign out of your Adobe account, and then logging back in.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Adobe made the Creative Cloud to work extremely well in unison with one another, and luckily for us designers, we can get the entire set of software in one subscription purchase. It’s extremely handy for us due to the fact that the softwares allow us to work together in teams on different softwares, or to utilize each part of the software to create a cohesive project. This is extremely handy that all of these programs come in with Creative Cloud, and are easy to access and it helps to have all your programs in one spot. Just make sure that if you’re running them all at once that you have a strong enough computer, it’ll run like a charm with a powerful enough personal computer.

Where Photoshop cannot work, Audition can swoop in and provide audio recording for any project, After Affects can touch up on the videos and animations you provide, and utilizing Premiere will allow more video editing. The new programs for 2D animation may also provide assistance if you’re making 2D animations. This includes Adobe Animate and Character Animator.

Some nice quality projects come out of the Creative Cloud software, such as wonderful animation projectsinteresting illustrations, and enthralling videos. The CC covers all of these projects allowing designers to use these programs for most things. Think videos with animation and full sound – music, sound effects, vocals, this could be done through Animate, Audition, and Premiere. Animate would cover the actual animation and video, Audition would deal with the voice acting, Premiere can compile it all together. You could also utilize After Effects for cinematics, introductions, or specific sequences in the video. Or, think of making a website. You could utilize Dreamweaver or Muse for the websites structure, toss in Photoshop for some custom images and designs, and to top it all off, Typekit will give you all the fonts to put on your newly designed website.

Thanks to the creation of Creative Cloud, designers everywhere now have a huge helping of tools and programs they would need for just about every project. As Adobe continues to grow, there will be many more interesting and helpful products that will be added to the Cloud.

Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash