Adobe's $20B Figma Deal: What it means for the creative market?

Graphic Design Sep 19, 2022

Adobe is known for its Creative Suite of products, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and 50+ industry leading tools for video editing, web development, and more.

Figma, on the other hand, is a vector graphics editor that is used by designers to create user interfaces, illustrations, and icons. Figma is the foremost collaborative solution to thousands of creative minds. The company was founded in 2016 by Dylan Field, the co-founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Figma.

The acquisition is a sign that Adobe is serious about expanding its presence in the world of design.

However, many creatives are concerned about what this acquisition will mean for the future of Figma and the whole creative market in general. With this $20 billion cash and stock deal, Adobe will acquire one of its major and fastest-growing rivals.

Adobe says it will keep Figma going rather than eliminate a rival to Adobe XD, but Figma users are concerned for two main reasons: price and bloat.

Many liked Figma's independence and see Adobe as a monopolistic behemoth that's going to want to charge them more money. Figma currently has a free starter plan and a professional plan that starts at $12 per month per editor – significantly less than an Adobe Creative Cloud single-app subscription. However, Figma insists that there are "currently" no plans to change its pricing and that access will remain free for those in education.

Adobe's Plan with Figma

A blog post from the CEO of Figma suggested that Adobe will let Figma operate autonomously. Adobe's Chief Product Officer, Scott Belsky said in a recent LinkedIn post:

our teams are excited by the new possibilities and recognize both the opportunity and responsibility as we share our intent to come together.

Figma will operate w/ autonomy, continuing to work their magic, no plans to change prices, and will also continue to be free for education. we're eager to preserve what's great, and tackle some of the new possibilities together.

Public Reaction

Creatives were quick to react on social media. Of course there are memes aplenty, and many of them are not exactly celebratory. A lot of people have dug up an old now-deleted tweet that Field posted in January 2021 in which he wrote "Our goal is to be Figma not Adobe", while others are suggesting that they'll move to rival UI design products such as Sketch.

A reply to a Tweet from Figma's Co-Founder talking about the agreement.

Figma is (was) the best UI design tool on the market, and it was used by some of the world’s leading design teams, including Airbnb, Facebook, and Google. Adobe’s acquisition of Figma is a clear signal that the company is serious about becoming a major player in the design space. But some creatives are concerned about what the deal will mean for the future of the design industry.

The deal definitely lays down the gauntlet for other big names in the world of digital design. Specifically it will be interesting to see what comes next for companies like Canva and Sketch.

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Suyash Raj

I am a developer, designer, and writer. I write on web technologies and also blog about football. I love to travel as well. You can say I'm a polymath. Feel free to talk to me about anything! -Vale-