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Adobe launches new free design tool, Creative Cloud Express

Adobe Creative Cloud Express
(Image credit: Adobe)

While much of the world is no doubt busy thinking about what to get their loved ones for Christmas, Adobe has decided to gift everyone early with Creative Cloud Express – a new mobile and web app for content creators. 

The free software (yes, you read that right) brings together some of the basic but best tools of the company's core products, including Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro, in to a single, easy-to-use graphic design application. The model follows that of other template-based image editors, such as Canva, with a simple drag-and-drop functionality that makes it easy to create professional-looking videos, posters, social media posts and more. 

Adobe software is the go-to for many in the creative industry, however the subscription model the company uses has long been a bone of contention for some, with pricing putting it out of the reach of many a hobbyist. Check out our dedicated Adobe Creative Cloud discount page for the best deals. But Creative Cloud Express changes that, with the free app giving everyone access to some of the best tools Adobe apps have to offer. 

We've yet to try Creative Cloud Express out, so we can't say for sure, but if the demo videos we've seen are anything to go by, this app is going to become a go-to tool for anyone wanting to create quality artwork without the steep learning curve or monthly subscription cost that usually goes hand-in-hand with Adobe software. It looks like it could end up up there with the best photo editing apps, too.

Adobe Crearive Cloud Express

Will it really be as Express as Adobe claim? (Image credit: Adobe)

This is an interesting move from Adobe. The company has dominated the creative software industry for as long as we can remember now, even with its (what some might call) expensive monthly subscription model. So, is this Adobe simply answering the long creative community calls for a more budget-friendly, hobbyist offering, or is this is a direct response to Canva's growing popularity in recent years? 

We can't say for sure either way, maybe it's a mixture of both? Whatever the reason, Creative Cloud Express looks set to be a big hit, and, dare we say it, it might even have the edge over Canva with the integration of Adobe fonts and Adobe Stock images for more professional-looking designs. What we are certain of is Canva might not be feeling quite so festive about Adobe's latest offering. 

How to get Adobe Creative Cloud Express

Creative Cloud Express is available now, you can get it on the web at adobe.com/express or as a free app from the Apple, Microsoft and Google Play Stores. 

A premium version, which offers additional features including access to over 160 million royalty-free images and over 20,000 licensed Adobe fonts, is available for $9.99 / £10.10 per month. 

The app is also included with Adobe's Creative Cloud All Apps plan and any standalone apps over $20 / £19.97. 

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Kerrie Hughes

Kerrie Hughes is editor of Creative Bloq. Kerrie was staff writer for 3D World magazine before joining the original Creative Bloq team in 2012. Since then she's written regularly for other publications, including ImagineFX, 3D World and Computer Arts magazines.