Designers everywhere, rejoice! A Figma blog post today announced the news that the Figma / Adobe merger is no more. For many designers I know and work with this is good news. When the announcement of an intended merger broke over a year ago the overwhelming sentiment among my colleagues was something like, “Oh great, here comes lumbering Adobe slurping up a great and always-improving product.”
Like many in or near the design world, Adobe was where we cut our teeth pushing pixels and layering together UIs. Over time, however, their tools became bloated running slower and demanding more of our computers with each new version and “feature” we likely didn’t want or need. Likewise, each piece of Adobe software was being tightly entangled even if many didn’t need them to be. And then came the subscription…
I was never primarily a designer so used Photoshop a minority of the time I spent mostly coding for the web. Because of that, I would rock whatever version of Photoshop I purchased for years — I think I ran CS for 10+ years because I owned it. I had the CDs and all. But when Adobe demanded we all switch from buying exactly the software we want in favor of the “privilege” of a cable subscription bundle-style model I abandoned ship in search of alternative or open source tools. I didn’t need to pay a monthly or yearly fee for a dozen tools when I only needed the basic features of one or two.
So, in came apps like Gimp instead of Photoshop, Inkscape for vector work like Illustrator, iMovie for simple video edits, and then Sketch and now Figma for collaborating with designers at work (both nearby and remotely). And all was good in the non-Adobe hood.
I do, of course, hope Figma continues to thrive and innovate despite not being able to get paid Adobe bucks. And I hope this kicks Adobe in the pants towards more customer-friendly pricing models and succinct tools we actually want to pay for.