After 4 years in the making, Serif's Affinity Designer has launched! (affinity.serif.com)
over 8 years ago from David Bachmann, Front-end developer
over 8 years ago from David Bachmann, Front-end developer
I love all these new tools coming into the market. I'd be interested to know how it compares to Sketch.
Based just off their positioning it seems to be going mostly after the Adobe Illustrator space?
I really hope it can compete strongly against Adobe Illustrator. That's only niche that hasn't quite been filled yet, from what I can tell.
It seems that they're trying to target the more 'illustration-savvy' folks that have been doing their work using a culmination of Illustrator and Photoshop, would be interesting to see how this bridges that gap into a single product.
It'd be definitely interesting to see what this tool can do for UI work, being a vector tool, it excites me, and subsequently, curious as to how it stands against Sketch, which has attracted quite a number of UI designers...
Right, that's my understanding. I don't do a ton of illustration work but from my buddies who do, they sometimes get frustrated that Sketch's tools aren't sophisticated / stable enough. Seems like this would be a perfect candidate for replacing Illustrator.
Also, Sketch doesn't do high (300+) / print resolution, so you even if it works well, you're not covered all the way. This is perfect for my needs: Illustrator is the only Adobe product I still use precisely because 1) I still need to do print stuff and 2) I don't care for InDesign.
So the new, modern designer's workflow looks a little like this:
Use the first 2 to create and edit the assets, use Sketch to composite for web. I couldn't be happier. (It's a little like how I would use Photoshop + Illustrator to create assets, then Fireworks to composite them for screens / UI).
I feel like there's still something missing to take InDesign's place though. A lot of the things I work can end up being large documents that can be hard to get a grip on if just working with something like Sketch or Illustrator.
Would love to see something fit that space that plays nicely with all of these things.
That's going to be a tougher nut to crack, I think. With a lot of these illustration and design tools, the final version is agnostic toward the means that were used to create it. If you're creating a graphic that will end up as a PNG, JPG, or SVG, the website/PDF file/vendor doesn't really care if you made it in Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, or Affinity. However, especially with large-scale projects, InDesign files require a lot of different logistical points and people to touch and manipulate the documents to get them right, so more standardized software and processes are needed to support those initiatives.
I do think it would be cool if there were an "InDesign Lite." I find myself not feeling 100% comfortable in any of the tools when you start talking about mixing a lot of photos and illustration and doing layout. I love the idea of linking files and allowing the tools that most easily manipulate each of the file types edit them. I was pumped when Adobe announced Linked Smart Objects in Photoshop! But I don't feel great at doing layout stuff in Photoshop, and InDesign is really big and bulky to me, so a piece of software that is small and good at type and grids, and mixing linked objects in, would definitely be something I'd be interested in.
FWIW, they seem to be working on an indesign competitor called Affinity Publisher.
iWork Pages == InDesign Lite. Seriously. I know it sounds ridiculous, that's exactly how I use it... Can replicate about 95% of what I need InDesign to do without much effort.
Honestly, I'm probably going to get a lot of slack for this, but Pages (i.e., iWork) does about 95% of what InDesign does. It's a deceptively powerful page layout app... I used both Quark and InDesign in college when I worked at the Daily Texan (Hook 'em Horns!) so I have a pretty good familiarity with both. And whether it's setting up sections, templates, or text styles, Pages does all that I need.
Where it falls short is that it doesn't allow arbitrary canvas sizes. Also, the "Capture Pages..." functionality was crippled in the latest update, though I expect that will be re-added (kind of how Final Cut X was missing a bunch of features). It doesn't work for all my needs but it's rare that I even need to open InDesign for basic things like annual reports or catalogs.
Loved the beta! Feels like the (beautiful) child of PS and AI. Will buy it for sure, if only to support another quality alternative to Adobe.
Couldn't agree more. Anybody building quality software that's looking to add too (or shake up) our toolboxes, deserves our support.
For anyone curious how it compares to Sketch, here is an overview! https://medium.com/@debjohnson/affinity-designer-sketch-and-why-you-dont-have-to-choose-9ae64275490c
Any Trial.dmg to give it a whirl?
Their feature list says "Free to try" but I can't find a download link anywhere on the site, or a free trial in the app store.
I also want to give it a try before purchasing.
Not anytime soon, it appears.
Spend 5min in it: love the speed, love the interface, love the simplicity. Best money spend for a while! Let's see if I can drop Illustrator after a month or two...
Seeing great apps like this and Sketch is really tempting me to buy an Apple computer
I'm really liking it so far. Seems pretty quick and stable and the interface and shortcuts are very familiar (the kerning keyboard shortcuts are the same as CS). I love the split view where one side is normal and the other side is the pixel preview.
Some things I can't figure out or if it's possible: can we use px as values for line-widths for objects? It seems to only accept pt (where .75pt = 1px at 96dpi). I also can't figure out how to get borders and lines to snap to the pixel grid unless I type in half pixels.
For $40 this is a steal. Even at $50 this is pretty great.
Looks very interesting, is there a trial version? Will definitely try it out then.
C'mon, $40 is too much? Even if you hate it it's, what, a quarter-billable hour? Just expense it on your next client project.
I'm guessing you subscribe to the Kanye West approach more so than the Warren Buffet approach.
To be safe, I wouldn't assume everyone on DN charges the hourly rates of rich cities/clients.
That's fair, it's a good point and I shouldn't assume.
Still, when I hear grumbling about paying modest amounts for excellent tools to help you do a better, more professional job with less work, it rubs me the wrong way somehow. Similar to people griping about $5 and $10 iOS apps, which is like 2 lattes at Starbucks these days. As a maker of web sites and apps, I like paying people the same way I like to be paid.
Looks amazing from the video!!!
With the new range of apps that are coming out or out already, all of which compete but hopefully can complement and work together, what would be great is a format that can be shared between all the apps. That way you can use the app with the particular strength for the task you are working on. Maybe the format could be some sort of subset of SVG that all apps support really well?
(I’m sure every man and his dog has, but I’ve had ideas for a graphics editor that I hope one day to be able make into an app)
Sketch make me sick, hope it is a more powerful tool.
Just purchased. First thing I did was to try opening 6MB EPS file I tried to open yesterday (I've got Sketch & Pixelmator). Pixelmator doesn't do EPS. It took Sketch 1+ minutes to open one and it was practically impossible to edit (toooo slow). I dragged and dropped the file on Affinity, took less than a second to open and its a breeze to edit. I don't say it's a replacement to Sketch, but I say that it might be another great tool to complete your toolset.
Thanks for the comparison! How is the SVG export? That’s one thing Sketch is still bad at.
Just bought it and WOW!
The performance on a MacBook Air with 4GB of RAM is just phenomenal.
Now to test it heavily with some demanding projects.
( the zooming feature show in their show-reel was what sold it to me )
One interesting bit of info is that the canvas area was developed on the iPad. They actually have a functioning iPad Affinity canvas, and the performance is so ridiculously fluid on the Mac, because it was engineered for similar performance on an iPad.
Looks like a promising product. I'm more interested to know how it works for UI design. Hope to see a demo on that.
Just tweeted them. No trial version currently, but maybe in about month.
Wow, this looks like a great app! It's a bummer stuff like this rarely comes to Windows. I miss out on some great design software not having a Mac.
Have you considered switching to a Mac so you don't miss out?
I have. In fact, I've been wanting to get a MacBook for quite some time now. I just don't make enough money (yet) to buy a new laptop. Working on it, though!
Looks great, and dare I say more powerful than Pixelmator? Does anyone know if it does smart objects like Photoshop? And yes, sorry for comparing it to Photoshop.
I will be picking this up for sure. Having used the public betas for the past few months I have been very impressed with this product.
I find it's the perfect complement to my Photoshop + Lightroom subscription. It fills that gap of missing Illustrator or signing up to a higher tier subscription plan with Adobe.
This is coming from the point-of-view of a freelance web designer, at my day job I just use the CC sub. and be done with it. Though if using this tool becomes more native for me then I'll probably revise that statement.
Any idea about cross platform and Linux support ?
OK first impressions - looks nice. But if it's aimed at the "Illustrator" market then sadly the serious lag when using a Wacom Intuos device kills it for me. Adobe illustrator solved this along time ago. I want fluid lines and a fluid feel - for it to become a natural working environment.
Just purchased. Actually looking forward to the infinite zoom. One of my pet hates with illustrator.
Looks ROBUST. But more importantly...what is that SONG used in the promo video? Can't find it using my music recognition apps
Says at the start of the video :)
D'oh, thanks :)
After playing with the beta version for a month, I bought it yesterday :D
Got to play with it a little bit today. Excellent first impression. Can't wait to see what else Affinity has up their sleeves!
Does anyone know how the launched version differs from the late beta version?
So excited for a serious Illustrator competitor. My biggest beef with Illustrator right now is how bad the brushes suck in comparison to Photoshop, so I'll be especially interested to see how they evolve that. The website suggests they've done something awesome!
This is what Photoshop could have been if Adobe paid attention to details and users' needs. Really excited to try it out.
I wish the export function supported arbitrary resolutions. @3x, xxhdpi etc
I asked the same thing on Twitter, looks like it's coming. :)
I tried the Beta versions, mostly doing typography works - I must say, for 35€ this app is the best value you can get. Also the adding of live raster brushes to vector artworks is something else...
Reminds me well of Macromedia Fireworks, in many ways, but the main purpose for this app is illustration - so if you're an illustrator, get it and start working/forger Adobe's Illustrator :)
p.s. I saw they're working on a DTP app also, a competitor for InDesign - if they will sell a "package" for $299 and keep updating the apps as quickly as they did with the Beta, we can all kiss Adobe goodbye in under 6 months :)
Also, forget Sketch :) The Retina export alone in Designer is well worth the money!
It has an eraser! Looks at Sketch
Haha perfect. What, the "scissors" tool isn't enough for you? Some people are never happy. ;)
AWESOME! Pixelmator is just "WOW"(when you're looking for a low price designtool) but this one blows really my mind. I will give it a try :)
Really promising stuff. With performance like that there's undoubtedly some killer engineering under the hood.
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