Adobe is launching the latest version of its software package for designers and Web developers as well as a new cloud service.

Adobe Systems Inc. is set to announce CS6 on Monday at an event in San Francisco. Creative Suite 6 includes Photoshop, Illustrator and other programs aimed at designers.

Unlike previous versions, which came shrink-wrapped in a box, Creative Suite 6 will be available on a monthly subscription basis as part of Adobe’s new Creative Cloud offering. Subscriptions will start at $50 a month for those who sign up for a year. Subscribers will be able to download programs such as Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator, store their work online and share files with others.

Highlights of the cloud offering include:

  • Membership provides users with access to download and install every new Adobe CS6 application announced today and two new HTML5 products, Adobe Muse™ and Adobe Edge preview.
  • Creative Cloud integrates Adobe’s creative tablet applications†, such as Photoshop Touch, into everyday work – seamlessly synchronizing and storing files in the cloud for sharing and access on any device.
  • Members will be able to easily deliver mobile apps to iOS and Android marketplaces and publish, manage and host websites.
  • Members will have access to application upgrades, including new CS point-product features, before they are launched as part of major CS updates, as well as inventive new products and services as they emerge.
  • Membership is US$49.99 per month, with an annual contract. A special introductory offer of US$29.99 per month for CS3, CS4, CS5 and CS5.5 individual customers is also available.

“The urge to be creative is universal, and harnessing the creative spark – in everyone from school children to creative pros – has never been more important,” said Shantanu Narayen, chief executive officer of Adobe said in a statement. “Wherever and whenever inspiration strikes, Adobe will be there to help capture, refine and publish your ideas.”

This will likely make the pricey software package more desirable to new customers who may not want to shell out thousands of dollars upfront.

Scott Morris, a senior marketing director at Adobe, compared the new pricing policy to the company’s decision nearly a decade ago to start selling its design-software products in one package. The result then was higher sales, and Adobe hopes to replicate that success with its new revenue model.

Customers will still be able to buy CS6 as a packaged software suite, just as they can still buy the programs separately. Prices for CS6 range from $275 for the cheapest upgrade to $2,599 for the full “Master Collection.”

Adobe’s Creative Solutions business, which is responsible for Creative Suite, accounts for the bulk of the company’s revenue.