creatives, stay legal: the profession and the software

One of the biggest expenses in the work-life of an architect/engineer/creative like you concerns software. And all of us, use at least 5 programs or more.

Let’s make a play: imagine how much we should pay – only for a year – with all licenses of the most-known apps [yes, subscription instead of perpetual license is the new trend]:

  • 2d cad software = 2.141 €
  • 3d software. = from 950 € [some of them forever]
  • render software = 250 €
  • photo-retouching  + graphic/vector + pagination software + pdf editing = 450 €
  • office suite = 100 €

TOTAL = 3.891 € per year -> it’s more than two months of my earnings.

And this is the minimum equipment of a small reality (like an architect who works alone). And it could become worst, if you have to share your files with others and need other versions, if you alternate laptop to Mac to Desktop PC, if you work with BIM, if you have to participate in a contest which require a professional video you don’t always make, if you want  a professional antivirus, a spacious cloud account and so on. And we are not counting the maintenance of your own computer, the OS expense and so on.

For many of us is unsustainable. But still a lot of freelance platforms are full of people of any kind of nationality who sell cheaply their services [20€ for a logo!] by using all of these most-known software.
A lot of famous and small firms, which don’t pay their interns, still have all the possible kinds of apps, the best in their categories, for many computers, with many coexisting old/new versions…

Something doesn’t add up.

There are few strong brands that develop good creative and technical software, launching them with a too high price and without valid competitors. It is a vicious circle:

the prices are too high? -> most of people use illegal software, few people use competitors’ apps (some of them have always problems/incompatibilities or are still too expensive), someone else forces interns to use their own pc  -> the prices become more high.

This makes me upset: since who wants to keep it legal is disadvantaged. Majority of the professionals works on the best suites, using the best toy available for free. It is natural that for an application they expect you to be able – to be a master in the use of them.

If you want to collaborate with others, laziness and software incompatibility are a strong barrier.


For the program you use, choose the best freeware version or the one that you can afford, sustain alternatives, don’t force the system into the dominance of a single brand.
Work all together on the improvement of competitors and make this market more free and competitive. Play a role to avoid this crazy prices.

Where to start? Some tips…
software: best free solutions
– software: cheaper solutions