Featured image for Stuart Semple Sets Sights On Adobe's Subscription Model With 'Abode'

Stuart Semple Sets Sights On Adobe's Subscription Model With 'Abode'

by Rudy Sanchez on 06/16/2023 | 2 Minute Read

Software firm Adobe’s suite of creative tools has been the de facto industry standard. Since the advent of Creative Cloud, having access to the latest software versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and more, has also required a monthly subscription.

Artist Stuart Semple has no love for Adobe’s dominance and subscription-based business model. That’s why Semple has launched a Kickstarter campaign to create an alternative to Adobe’s software cleverly called “Abode.”

At first glance, Abode looks like a parody of Adobe, with similar-looking logos. Still, Semple promises it’s more than a critique of the software giant, with the functionality of popular Adobe applications like InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Express. In Abode’s case, these apps are called “ONdesign,” “illustrateIT,” “photoPOP,” and “Impress.”


According to the Kickstarter page, Abode promises to be a software toolbox creatives own instead of renting, including lifetime updates. Additionally, Abode will have cloud storage compatibility with popular file hosting services like Google Drive, DropBox, and iCloud.

Semple will use the Kickstarter funds to pay the “passionate group of geeks” that will develop Abode. The goal is to make Abode’s price point as low as $150 for a lifetime license. Adobe’s current individual pricing is $54.99 monthly for all of Creative Cloud’s apps.

Besides a lifetime price, other details, such as the software license type, have yet to be determined.

“Abode is a not-for-profit project, and all software sales will go back into developing it,” Semple said. “I would love some variation of a copyleft, GNU-style license because I believe that even if you pay developers for their time making software, your freedom as a user really matters.”

“Richard Stallman's freedoms are beautiful, and I think as much as possible, if you own the software, you should be free to use it, modify it, and share it with those that might need it,” Stuart continued. “Ultimately, the plan is to have the backers vote at the end of the fundraising. So, in line with the democratic nature of the project, it will be up to them.”

When asked if artist Anish Kapoor is allowed to use Abode, Stuart said, “I've heard that Kapoor managed to open 'snake' on his Nokia 5160 once, but he needed a bit of help. So I'm sure Abode is safe!”

“However, I'd rather he didn't attempt to use it for his work.”

Abode’s Kickstarter has already met its initial financing goal and closes on July 22, 2023.

Semple’s latest salvo against Adobe follows Freetone, a plug-in he created in response to the loss of free access to Pantone colors within Creative Suite.