adobe photoshop running on computer

How Much Is Photoshop & Illustrator?

If you’re trying to buy Adobe Illustrator (AI) or Photoshop (PSD), you may have noticed their pricing structure is pretty confusing. This guide will help you find the best configuration and price for your needs.

If you are looking to use both apps you want to buy “Creative Cloud”. If you only need one of the apps you can buy a single app license for either Photoshop (click here) or Illustrator (click here).

If you only need Photoshop but do not need Adobe Fonts you can save at least $120 a year by buying just the Photography Plan.

Pro Tip: No matter what plan you purchase –– you will get the best deal by prepaying for the entire year.

Download Link:Inclues:Best Price:
PhotoshopPhotoshop only$19.99/mo
IllustratorIllustrator only$19.99/mo
Creative CloudPhotoshop, Illustrator, & 18+ other apps$52.99/mo
Creative Cloud (Student)Photoshop, Illustrator, & 18+ other apps$19.99/mo
Photography PlanPhotoshop, Lightroom & 2 mobile apps$9.99/mo
Illustrator logo icon

How Much Is Adobe Illustrator?

We’ll start with Illustrator because its pricing models are a bit easier to explain. But before we begin, you will notice that the latest versions of both of these programs include the letters CC in their names. This stands for the aforementioned Creative Cloud, letting you know you’re dealing with subscription plans.

Illustrator is a popular vector graphics program, used by countless designers worldwide to create various types of artwork such as drawings, logos, illustrations, etc. If you are an individual user you can get the app via one of the following plans.

Illustrator Single App License

The less expensive option is to pay for the single-app plan. Here, you have three options regarding the price:

  • Annual plan, monthly payments – $20.99/month (which adds up to $251.88 per year)
  • Prepaid annual plan – $239.88/yr (which works out to $19.99/month)
  • Monthly plan – $31.49/month ($377.88 per year)

The difference between the annual plans and the monthly plan is the cancellation fee. If you get an annual plan but decide to cancel it before the 12 months are up, you’ll need to pay 50% of the fee for the remaining months. With the monthly plan, you can cancel whenever you want without penalties.

Naturally, the prepaid annual plan gives the best value for money but requires a lump-sum payment.

All-Apps Bundle (Creative Cloud)

Creative Cloud allows you to download all the entire Adobe Creative Suite. This includes all desktop apps and mobile phone apps. The other way to get Illustrator is through a bundle that gives you all Creative Cloud apps. Once again, you have the same three options:

  • Annual plan, monthly payments – $52.99/month ($635.88 per year)
  • Prepaid annual plan – $599.88/year
  • Monthly plan – $79.49/month ($953.88 per year)

This bundle can save you a lot of money if you need to use many different programs. Otherwise, the single-app plan is more affordable.

Photoshop Logo Icon

What is the price of Adobe Photoshop?

If you just need just photoshop it’s worth checking out the photography plan. If you plan to Photoshop for graphic design (pushing pixels) it might be worth getting the single license which includes Adobe Fonts (previously branded as Typekit).

Photoshop Single License

  • Annual plan, monthly payments – $20.99/month (which adds up to $251.88 per year)
  • Prepaid annual plan – $239.88/yr (which costs $19.99/month)
  • Monthly plan – $31.49/month ($377.88 per year)

Photography Plan

The third way to get Photoshop is through the “Photography” plan. Along with Photoshop, you also get two versions of Lightroom (another image editing program) and 20GB of cloud storage. All plans have an annual commitment.

Pricing options:

  • 12 monthly payments of $9.99 (true cost $119.88)
  • Annual plan pre-paid cost of $119.88

All to say, there is no discount for prepaying for the photography plan.

The difference between the Photography plan and the One-App plan is that the One-App plan also includes Adobe Fonts (premium fonts), Adobe Portfolio (portfolio website), premium features of Adobe Spark (software for visual storytelling), and 100GB of cloud storage. Still, if you do not need these features, then the Photography plan represents the most affordable way to gain access to Photoshop.

Suggested read: If you are looking to do image editing at a professional photography level you might find our other article interesting Adobe Lightroom vs. Photoshop.

All-Apps Bundle (Creative Cloud)

Just like Illustrator if you buy Creative Cloud you get Photoshop in addition to the other Adobe Apps. The pricing is the same as above:

  • Annual plan, monthly payments – $52.99/month ($635.88 per year)
  • Prepaid annual plan – $599.88/year
  • Monthly plan – $79.49/month ($953.88 per year)

How to get the best price:

First, it’s best to decide what Adobe apps you need. If you need more than one app, get Creative Cloud. Otherwise, the best deal is going to be buying just a single app license. If you just need Photoshop and/or Lightroom and you don’t need Adobe Fonts to do design work you should get the photography package it’s the cheapest way to get Photoshop. The price is the same for both Mac and Windows versions of the software. If you are a designer there is really no good alternative to the creative suite. Amature designers might enjoy the simplicity of Canva but you will quickly find it is missing key features.

Students plan: The Adobe Student Discount is the best price for the entire suite of applications but requires you to be an enrolled student at a university or a university staff member. You do get the pricing for one additional year after graduation.

Annual vs. prepaid annual vs. monthly: You will get the best price by purchasing the prepaid annual plan, then the annual plan with monthly payments, and last the monthly plan. Note that all Adobe creative software is now subscription-based. This means even after downloading the app you must continue to pay for the service for it to work. The benefit being you always have the most recent version.

International pricing: Adobe products are available in local currency subscription models. These prices are equal to the USD amount though so don’t expect any savings here.

Potential Hack: If you needed only Illustrator and Photoshop you could in theory save $13 a month by buying two single licenses (one for AI and PS) vs. creative cloud. We have yet to confirm this is possible on the same account. If you can confirm this please add a comment.


Can I buy Photoshop / Illustrator permanently?

No. Adobe now only offers a subscription model. Though this means you have to pay each month it also means your software is never out of date. One of the issues with the one-time purchase model was many designers had different versions and when files were shared (think sending to printer) there were compatibility issues.

Is there a free version of Photoshop / Illustrator?

There is no fully free version. You can get a 7-day free trial to all 30 Adobe apps including PS and AI. Note this will require you to enter your credit card info.

Is Photoshop / Illustrator worth it?

Adobe products are the industry standard for designers and thus they are able to command a premium price. Ultimately for creatives earning from their design the cost is actually low when compared to other industries where you could easily pay hundreds of dollars a month for software.

How can I cancel Adobe free trial?

To cancel the free trial go to your Adobe Account online at then click “manage plan”.

On the next screen you will see your product plan information and you can click the “cancel plan” button to the left of “change plan”.

Is Adobe Illustrator free on iPad?

The app is free for users who are already subscribers to Creative Cloud. If you are not already a subscriber you can pick up a subscription here. The Illustrator iOS app is only available on the iPad.

How much is adobe photoshop and illustrator a cost breakdown
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Staff Writer DLC

Daily Logo Challenge staff writers focus on creating in-depth guides focusing on mastery of design and development. Let us know what you think in the comments section above.



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