Affinity set to rival InDesign - with their version called Publisher


Levi

Moderator
Staff member
While I'm not saying we don't need alternatives to adobe I'm not sure affinity (aka serif for you pc users) will be able to do anything against them if quark, which has a considerably bigger name can't do anything against indesign. Not to mention you'll need all the printers etc to support it etc if it can't export to 'industry standard' pdf.

If I'm honest, even though that video looks quite good, All I can see this doing is introducing more 'have a go designers' into the market or replacing MS publisher for a lot of people.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
I know where you're coming from. And I agree with you to an extent.

However, I can't see studios moving back to Quark - although it still does have a large user base. Problem with Quark is there is no alternative to Photoshop or Illustrator. Which makes the move to Adobe easier, as they provide Illustrator InDesign and Photoshop which is the package required for designing. Quark users still need to purchase additional software. And this is where I think the large Quark user base may consider moving to Affinity over Adobe, as Affinity is simply cheaper.

Affinity have released their version of PS and Illy, Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer (repsectively).Alreayd Affinity have a shoe up on Quark, by having supporting applications. I've used the Beta of AF Photo and Designer - and they are sublime pieces of software, beautiful to work with.

The price for each software is £50! All in no Contract. Adobe with their CC subscription model pissed off a lot of people - it costs about £50 a month for creative cloud.

For business, SMEs and freelancers, it's a no brainer to ditch the Adobe CC and pay a 1 off fee for the software you need.

I do think we'll start getting Affinity files in the new year - and we'll probably have to run Adobe and Affinity in tandem.

It really is quite impressive software.
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
My experience with Affinity Designer so far has been that whilst it still doesn't quite do everything that Illustrator does, of the things it does do it does them a hell of a lot better from a usability point of view. Real-time gradients for example, chunky anchor points, and graphing variable stroke widths all make the workflow exceptionally faster and smooth. Illustrator has a hell of a lot of features, but they're often hidden away in menus or behind cryptic names. Affinity is fresh and feels much more intuitive to use. The same can be said for Sketch, which a lot of studios are now making use of in their workflows because it was built from the ground up for one particular field. I'll admit though, web and digital technologies move a lot quicker, and the industry as a whole is generally more flexible when it comes to digital work pipelines.

My issue with Illustrator and more specifically Photoshop is that they feel like multi-purpose tools now that try and do a bit of everything. Who is Photoshop even for anymore? It still has powerful image editing capabilities, but you can also now use it to design web and app layouts apparently. Not that you'd ever want to, because it's clunky and horrible to work with for that purpose. If more freelancers and SMEs who act as suppliers begin using the cheaper alternatives, hopefully larger studios will be be forced to use these in tandem. I pay £50 a month for software I barely use, purely because I sometimes need to be able to open an IDD file or send an AI file to a large studio.

Design education also hammers home the Adobe name, which is exactly what Adobe want – students graduating and going into an industry with experience only using their packages and the idea that only the Adobe products matter. This is directly contradictory to what we are constantly telling people on these very forums, that it's the individual that makes the design, not the tool. Ideally, we as an industry shouldn't be locked to proprietary formats and pipelines. We should be free to use any and all tools and methods available to create the best work we can for our clients.

Motion and video studios for example often use a multitude of tools in tandem to get the results they need – After Effects, Cinema4D, ZBrush, Final Cut – they use the tools they need and it's often not an issue due to widely accepted file formats. If I was still able to open InDesign/Ai/PSD formats and export to a format that a studio who only has Adobe tools could still open and use without issue, I'd drop my CC subscription in an instant and save myself £600 a year.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
I'm getting to the point where there's very little stopping me from moving over to Affinity as I generate everything I do from scratch and the files I've made in Ai can be imported.

When I get the time on some smaller jobs I think I'm going to start using it and getting unto speed with it.

I guess for me I'd just need to find it's limitations and work within them but that's nothing I don't have to do with Ai.

The one two things I detest about Adobe is that they've monopolised the market and then forced people into a subscription due to lack of viable alternatives.

I HATE subscriptions in pretty much anything.
I even begrudge paying for Netflix for the kids this way. ;)

To me Adobe are living on the "industry standard" point but that will only stand up for so long.
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
The one two things I detest about Adobe is that they've monopolised the market and then forced people into a subscription due to lack of viable alternatives.
I'm actually ok with paying an annual fee for software to ensure the product is adequately funded and updated regularly. Sketch for example has a yearly fee attached, but doesn't lock you out of using it when your license expires, it just prevents you from updating it until you renew. It's not ideal but it equates to less than £10 a month each year, and you know the software you're using will continue to exist and be improved.

This is actually one of the concerns I have about Affinity's flat fee. Surely there will come a point where their install base peaks and sales numbers begin to fall each year? Will they eventually sell to Adobe, either because they're forced to, or because Adobe make them an offer they'd be stupid to refuse? I actually think it's only a matter of time before Adobe or someone else makes a play for them, especially if they continue to gain popularity. I could actually see someone like Microsoft buying them, as it would give them a great way into the design market alongside the Surface Studio.
 

@GCarlD

Well-Known Member
Adobe went for yearrssss without a subscription-based model. I think Affinity not being on subscription almost feels like a USP nowadays and certainly makes it more attractive for me to try their new software at some point next year.
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
Adobe went for yearrssss without a subscription-based model.
I wonder how many people now actually have a legitimate copy rather than a pirated version due to being able to spread the cost? I know the up-front cost each year (if you stayed up to date) was very off-putting, especially for small studios. I was only able to afford CS5 due to my student discount which I used for as long as I could until CC came out.
 

@GCarlD

Well-Known Member
I wonder how many people now actually have a legitimate copy rather than a pirated version due to being able to spread the cost? I know the up-front cost each year (if you stayed up to date) was very off-putting, especially for small studios. I was only able to afford CS5 due to my student discount which I used for as long as I could until CC came out.
By the sounds of it both in general and from the responses on this forum, it seems like most people (including me) are sticking with their CS version and are putting off getting CC until they absolutely have to, or are switching over to Affinity. I'd like to think all professional designers have a legitimate copy, whether that be CS or CC. People who pirate are not going to stop just because they can spread the cost with CC, they pirate because they don't want to pay, period. Most designers didn't go from CS2 to CS3, CS4 and so on, that's like getting the new iPhone or Samsung every year.
 
never really got on with indesign after using quark for 15 years, I kinda had to move to it because I was starting to manage younger designers, if there was an alternative I'd happy make the switch
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
never really got on with indesign after using quark for 15 years, I kinda had to move to it because I was starting to manage younger designers, if there was an alternative I'd happy make the switch
I was in the same place a number of years back when I had to move over to Ai from Freehand.
In a lot of ways Ai was better as some of the effects in Freehand wouldn't output but Freehand had some great functions and was much more user friendly and intuitive.
I'm thinking of moving over to Affinity Designer but it lacks the ability to set up isometric actions at this time which is something I use a lot. :(
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
I'm thinking of moving over to Affinity Designer but it lacks the ability to set up isometric actions at this time which is something I use a lot. :(
Not quite the same I know but does have the ability to set up a number of different isometric grids from just a drop-down:

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 13.02.25.png
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
Not quite the same I know but does have the ability to set up a number of different isometric grids from just a drop-down:

View attachment 5632
I checked that out a couple of days ago as I really would like to make the switch.
I think I may make a partial move and use Ai for my Iso stuff as I have a set of actions that make projecting shapes into different isometric elevations pretty easy.
Also, you have to watch out that some of these things are true isometric as some of them are a bit off and I use the SSR method.
Sometimes Ai's 3D isometric effect can be a bit iffy.

When you're building isometric city that's full of detail then these things make a HUGE difference.
Maybe it's on Affinity's "road map"?

Hope so! :D
 

@GCarlD

Well-Known Member
I'd also like to switch or try Affinity but as long as Adobe is the industry standard and every company/ agency/ studio in need of a designer requires the latest Adobe Creative Suite (or CC now) experience by default, I'm finding it very difficult to find a logical reason or even excuse to make the switch. Some companies are even requesting PC skills over Macs these days...
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
Most companies seem to be asking for the moon on a stick now regarding software knowledge.

I'm not sure if it's just a common trait or the lack of knowledge by most recruiters.

Adobe has held the monopoly for many years now so the fact it's the industry standard is little surprise and why virtually all companies it.

Even if Affinity surpasses Adobe in quality and usability I can see it taking a long time for it to be taken on board.
For me as a freelancer, it doesn't matter too much.
As long as files can be opened in Ai or Ae.
 

@GCarlD

Well-Known Member
As long as files can be opened in Ai or Ae.
Well, that's the thing. I worry about switching over to Affinity and then a client requesting the .Ai files, which they do ask for occasionally and I have no problem with sending them. If I have created the artwork in Affinity, I'd have to recreate it in .AI in order to provide the client with their requested file.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
You'd have to encourage them to move to new software. Perhaps by suggesting trialing it for in-house projects.

Maybe even simple projects to see how it goes.

The only way it will become main stream is when companies get sick of paying monthly/yearly fees, the attraction of a 1 off payment would be very attractive for a lot of companies.

I remember switching from Quark to InDesign, it took about 2 years to convert over. But it was totally worth it.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Well, that's the thing. I worry about switching over to Affinity and then a client requesting the .Ai files, which they do ask for occasionally and I have no problem with sending them. If I have created the artwork in Affinity, I'd have to recreate it in .AI in order to provide the client with their requested file.
That's a stumbling block for sure. I'd make it clear that you use Affinity primarily from the outset. And if they request Illustrator files that would be an added cost. However, if at the outset they want you to use Illustrator then you should of course use that.
 
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