Adobe acquired Figma

I’ve been nagging my manager to shift our tools away from Adobe XD to Figma for months now. I would have preferred Sketch, but most on the team are trained with Figma. This week, he was much more receptive and talked to the acquisition team to get permission for Figma accounts. In the short term, probably good news since there is a higher chance of getting it approved since our company has a partnership with Adobe. On the other hand, is this going to be another Macromedia Freehand?

Adobe is deeply committed to keeping Figma operating autonomously

Facebook said the same thing with Instagram, and look where they are.


IMHO, Adobe will integrate Figma with their Adobe Experience Cloud and Adobe Creative products and will target enterprise customers. A procurement team member from one big customer told me that Adobe is even less amiable than Oracle, so it’s going to be an interesting ride.

Maybe it’s an opportunity for the old dog Sketch.

1 Like

I mostly love Figma and spent 80% of my focused work time in it, and I am very sad to read about this.

1 Like

Goodness knows I wouldn’t turn down that sum, but this is disappointing. Facebook bought WhatsApp for about the same price, and a similar reason. I think Figma had enough traction that it didn’t need Adobe’s brand on it to get into enough large organizations (and for many of us, it not being from Adobe was appealing.)


There goes the neighbourhood.

You would think that pricing will have to increase to cover the cost of the acquisition (the cash part anyway), and/or they’ll try and bundle it.

1 Like

I’d wager the bundling will start pretty soon, with Figma available as part of Creative Cloud. Superficially it’ll look like a bargain to many organisations already invested in the CC ecosystem. But in the long term, I fully expect Adobe will bind Figma even more into CC, particularly the Stock and Extensions marketplace. Ka-ching! (Embittered former CC subscriber here.)


It’s a cycle.

Come up with a service. Get somewhat profitable. Get acquired. Simultaneously announce that it’s completely impossible to provide the previous service at the previous price tag, but the good news is that if you buy some obscenely-expensive package that you don’t need, the previous service is included. Until they sunset it in a year or two.

Wash, rinse, repeat.


I’m not an Adobe user for the most part but they seem to have a good reputation in general don’t they?

They have maybe the worst reputation in software. They are to design tools what Microsoft was in 2001: a giant, ugly behemoth. I don’t know any paying customer who likes them, and being a customer of theirs is like being in a relationship with a serial abuser.

But there is so little competition that everybody in all sorts of 2D design circles has at least some workflows they rely on Adobe for. For me, it’s photo work and print design (InDesign specifically).

They are mostly good at photography, but their colour rendering — a key part of photos! — is way behind. And InDesign is egregious bloatware that remains slow even on my fully loaded M1 Max machine. That should never be the case.

Illustrator can’t pan or zoom without beachballing on the same machine, even in an empty document. Lightroom is discernibly laggy in use, but it’s integrations with photoshop — still the king of non-destructive layer-based image editing — make you feel like an idiot if you don’t use it.

Adobe Fonts were great until Adobe isolated it from the OS in their own little virtual layer. Now they constantly deactivate themselves. They auto-activate when you need them, but only if — you guessed it — you need them in Adobe software. Need it in Figma, or Word, or Pages? You’re SOL.

The main Creative Cloud app is a resource hog that’s constantly phoning home. One colleague of mine is convinced Adobe is recording his screen remotely 24/7 because they gobble up so much data.

And on top of that, every. Single. App. They make reliably crashes.

For these privileges, I pay them something like $80 CAD/month.

Meanwhile, Figma is a performant dream. It’s an electron app that makes every other electron app look and feel like a potato. Were it not for the fact that it requires an internet connection, you’d assume it’s a native, Metal-equipped Apple Silicon app. It was the anti-Adobe, made by people who grew up with and were frustrated by Adobe. So people — myself included — have spent years making Figma a huge and central part of their workflow, including almost (reportedly) the entirety of Microsoft’s internal teams.

It’s not surprising that people are concerned and upset. I heard one woman sobbing today, worried that Adobe would shut down the free pricing tiers that enable her to do her work in a lower-income part of the world. I heard a grown man choke back tears because Figma helped him escape from Adobe a few years back, and he doesn’t want to go back. But there is no other option now, except for Sketch. This industry is under-served, with few tools and a massive cost to entry for new entrants. Adobe is the behemoth, the thousand-pound gorilla, the elephant in the room, the T-Rex destroying all else at the top of the food chain.

I cannot stress this enough: people hate Adobe.


Those are great! Doesn’t change the vitriol I’ve heard today from dozens of people. Developers at teams I work on were livid, and they barely spend any time in Figma. They just hate Adobe.

It’s possible that Adobe can release cool stuff occasionally and also still suck tremendously.

Not exactly. Figma is a fair bit like Sketch, but Figma was web-first and had far fewer features at first. Their web-first nature let them embrace Google Docs like collaboration, which led to real community around the tool. They were also cross-platform, which means most modern teams ended up using it.

I loved Sketch, but they’re different as far as their stated goals.

As far as me needing new friends, I mean, I’m a professional freelance digital designer. That’s my job. I listened to a few live talks about the acquisition today from other designers, talked with my teams and some agency founders, and did my normal work — all in Figma.

Edit: I also edited a few photos in Photoshop, as you do.

1 Like

The “beyond” happened years ago, FWIW. The comparisons to Sketch are because Sketch is the only other digital design tool like it. Adobe didn’t have a competitive app until XD.

The hate Adobe get is not just about the subscription but not listening to customers feedback and the workflow breaking bugs in every version. It’s best in class because its the only game in town and people are so used to it, they don’t want to go anywhere else. While Adobe does have a lot more features, its always working against their software performance. I got tired of using Adobe Illustrator that I jump ship when Affinity Designer can do 80% of what it can do. Adobe always seem to be concern more in building more features than making sure their software runs efficiently.

I hate using Adobe PS and AI so much, that I had to install Affinity Designer and Photo on my work machine and use it for work. Got tired of constantly restarting just so Adobe could perform efficiently.


I will say that I’ve never had a crash in LightRoom, ever. And I still think it’s best in class for photo cataloging.

I only rarely do any photo editing now. Most of what I need is easily handled in LightRooma nd only very rarely do I go out to Photoshop to make a change.

1 Like

I still use Lightroom for its cataloging needs. And to be fair, Lightroom is more stable than Capture One for the same purpose. But Lightroom desperately needs to update its camera profiles. Capture One can consistently recover probably 2-3 more stops of dynamic range, and out of the gate unedited photos have far more tonal wiggle room (and look better to boot).

Photoshop’s ability to save your Lightroom edits in a layer is the major reason I stick with LR instead of moving to CO.

The crashing happens to me in XD, InDesign, Illustrator and the CC app. I think Adobe are aware of Lightroom and PS as their Crown Jewels.

1 Like

If you’re only using it for photos and page layout, consider serif affinity. I’ve had not a lot of trouble converting very beginner skills from illustrator and photoshop to affinity tools. I can’t remember off hand if they’re working on or recently completed work on a page layout program to compete with InDesign.

I’ve seen the same reactions as @snelly. This is dismaying news for designers. And bad for the marketplace.

For teams that only know the Adobe world (have worked with many, nice folks etc.) I don’t doubt this will be net positive for them. But it’s bad that there are still so many organizations with that limited view. Figma’s mindshare had been illuminating for them in a way Sketch/Invision/Affinity had not managed.

For those relying on Figma, its improvement velocity is going to be at risk. Figma can be evaluated as a static feature set available for an individual to use today, yes, but it is bet on as a rapidly improving process, not just a tool, for entire design organizations or entire product development workflows, and Adobe will compromise that.

The good news: the deal is not closing for awhile, and it’ll take some time behind that before the opportunity costs of culture compromise and internal re-assignments to have a tangible effect. Figma’s innovations in JS-based UI are also moving downmarket (measured by cost of required engineering staff) so it will be easier for quality competitor to become useful. And there are many more individual, organizations and customers that know they don’t have to use Adobe, so the market for new software is larger.


Serif has a competitor, but unfortunately, I have a number of professional uses for INDD with clients that competitors won’t catch up with for some time. I’d love to switch, if I could, but alas.

I love the Affinity suite, but I’ve found Designer to be lacking for UI work. I was halfway through a small wireframing project when it started beach-balling on my M1 Pro. I guess I drew too many rectangles. Had to redo the project in Figma, which has better tools for that sort of thing.

When Adobe cuts the Figma free tier I’ll reluctantly look at a Sketch subscription.