In certain design circles, Adobe arguably has a reputation for charging too much, not listening to its customers, and forcing consumer-unfriendly terms and conditions on them. That’s something highlighted by its back-to-back controversies in 2024—both around Creative Cloud’s difficult-to-cancel contractual model (leading to a federal lawsuit), and a terms-of-service mess, which appeared to imply that the company was going to train its image-generation models on user creations.

Simply put, Adobe needs fresh strategies to repair its reputation with creative consumers. As a designer who cut his teeth on InDesign, as well as someone who has been writing about Adobe for years, I have a few ideas on where it should start.