Affinity Designer is so good its ridiculous

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by whitedragon101, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. whitedragon101 macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I have always used Photoshop and Dreamweaver for websites. However I have always known a proper vector app like Adobe Illustrator is a skill I should learn but its so un-intuitive and bloated and you get violated by the Adobe subscription pricing model.

    I got the trial of Affinity Designer the other day and wow it is sooooo good. If you know photoshop everything is where you expect it to be and everything is intuitive. The learning curve is practically non existent. Plus its £48 once and thats it.

    I am posting because
    A) I wish I started using this ages ago and hopefully others will like it
    B) I really want Affinity to grow so I can move away from Adobe completely. (Affinity Lightroom and Affinity Dreamweaver would be awesome).
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #2
    I learned Adobe Illustrator 3 in school in 1992-1994 and everything else about it hands on at work. I also learned Aldus Freehand in school at the same time.

    In my opinion, Freehand was (and remains) superior to Illustrator in every way. But Macromedia took it and then Adobe got a hold of it and Freehand is now dead. Another victim of marketing superiority killing the superior tool.

    I might take a look at this based on your recommendation. But if Affinity Designer is important and valuable to you keep letting people know. Adobe dominates because they have market share - not because every tool they make is superior.
     
  3. eyeseeyou macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    #3
    Affinity designer and photo are awesome on the desktop and ipad.

    I’ve all but stopped using the “preview” version of adobe illustrator and photoshop lol.
     
  4. whitedragon101 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Definitely agree about Adobe domination (plus the extortionate pricing model).

    My absolute Dream is for Affinity to develop a Dreamweaver competitor.
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #5
    My knowledge is mainly print so I have minimal experience with web design tools. But Adobe dominates. It would be nice to have some real competition where Adobe is actually forced to innovate and adapt instead of adding "features" and increasing prices.

    It just ends up in bloat and if your workflow doesn't change from version to version you end up with "features" you never use.
     
  6. MechaSpanky macrumors 6502

    MechaSpanky

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    #6
    eyoungren,

    I too highly recommend Affinity Designer (and Affinity Photo too). I started using Illustrator a long time ago too and while I used Freehand and CorelDraw, I have always preferred Illustrator. There are many former Freehand users who have since moved over to Affinity Designer. After Adobe moved to a subscription model, I looked around and tried a few different apps trying to find a replacement for Illustrator. I was so happy when I found Designer. For me, Designer is way easier to draw with and manipulate drawings than Illustrator. The developers at Serif (the makers of Affinity Designer) are great. You can freely communicate with them on their forum asking questions, making requests, etc.

    While Designer is great, there are still a few things that are missing but the developers are working hard to add in missing features and to fix bugs quickly. I bought Designer when it was first released in November 2014 and they've updated it a lot, at no charge since then. They are currently at 1.6 and they won't charge for an upgrade until 2.0. Each bump adds tons of things, which is great. Plus if you consider that it only costs $50 and it isn't a subscription. That is a great deal. The only real question to have to ask is, can I work with the features that they have now? Things like arrowheads aren't there yet and they don't have a way to auto trace raster images. Give it a try!
     
  7. organicCPU macrumors 6502a

    organicCPU

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    #7
    I was so curious that I bought Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo right before Christmas. First impressions are good, but it's still too early to say that I really like them. Freehand was my favourite, too. Then I had to switch to Illustrator. I got used to it and later on really liked it.
    Now, that the Adobe CC subscription doesn't seem to go away, I'm seriously interested in the potential of the Serif apps. Whenever I can afford the little extra time to get comfortable with Designer and Photo, I deny myself the use of Photoshop and Illustrator to get some training.
     
  8. Sital macrumors 68000

    Sital

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
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    New England
    #8
    I'd call myself an amateur user of Photoshop. I've tried Affinity Designer, but found the learning curve to be anything but non-existent, to the point that AD sits on my hard drive unused. Although I do really like the vector nature of AD, right now I just don't have the time or desire to try it again.
     
  9. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #9
    I've played with this a little bit now. Tried some of our workflow with it and it would seem I have to dig a little deeper.

    We get PDFs sent to us from customers that I place inside an InDesign document at the correct size (usually what's sent is not the right size). I then either make edits or minor adjustments and then export a final PDF. That final PDF gets placed in our newspaper document later.

    But AD imported one of these customer PDFs weird. Fonts blew out and thing shifted. An export of a PDF from AD didn't change any of that.

    I'm guessing there's some sort of PDF import options I need to look at.
     
  10. arkitect macrumors 603

    arkitect

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    #10
    I agree. A seriously good programme.

    At the moment though I am still using Illustrator… reason?

    Movable 0,0 ruler origin.

    Affinity have been promising they will deliver this really very basic — but incredibly useful — function…

    We wait… and we wait…

    Come on Affinity, get it sorted!
     
  11. organicCPU macrumors 6502a

    organicCPU

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    #11
    Did you install the embedded fonts before?

    In AD I can open AI CS6 files that are saved with PDF compatibility (usually text converted to paths) without any problems. AI CS6 files saved without PDF compatibility couldn't get opened by AD.

    If importing a real PDF file to AD, one can do this without font substitution, but if exported to PDF after modification the original fonts will get lost. In AI it's the same.

    I didn't try with AD yet, but in AI, I extract all fonts that I don't get delivered (e.g. with Fontforge), install the extracted fonts, then open the PDF, substitute the fonts with the extracted fonts and embed those different named fonts during export. Sometimes I need to adjust the preferences for kerning in AI before opening a file. In AD I didn't find such a setting so far.

    Occasionally I had to import PDF files to ID for conversion, too. However, recently I upgraded (from CS6, Acrobat Pro XI) to the one-time payment TLP desktop license of Acrobat Pro DC 2017 in the hope that I can make such adjustments directly with Acrobat. Didn't try that, but it was advertised by Adobe.
     
  12. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #12
    Well, the fonts are embedded in the customer supplied PDF. I use Suitcase Fusion 7, but even if I didn't things should not shift - because embedding.

    Basically, I'm using ID documents to force a certain size and then the customer sent PDF is simply passed through when making the final proof. Again, nothing should shift.

    I understand what you've got going, but that's a little (a lot actually) too much attention for the kinds of things I am dealing with. We're a weekly newspaper so the rule of thumb is "good enough". It's also understood in the industry that a newspaper can and will sub a font.

    Lot less restrictions on us than say a print house or design shop. On the other hand, none of the stuff I am dealing with will ever win any kind of design award.

    If I had to guess I would suspect that somehow AD is trying to use local fonts with imported PDFs. Which would cause this shifting because of course the fonts either are not active or not installed. I need it to just pass through the embedded fonts (like with EPS).
     
  13. SigEp265 macrumors 6502

    SigEp265

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    #13
    Can Affinity Photo crop with the marquee tool yet? Last time I used it ... you could not do a simple crop.
     
  14. organicCPU macrumors 6502a

    organicCPU

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    Aug 8, 2016
    #14
    IMO it's good that Affinity Designer does editable rendering of PDF contents similar to Adobe Illustrator and not a 'pass through' like Adobe InDesign. Probably we need to wait for Affinity Publisher to hope for something like that.

    I couldn't find that feature if it's there. Seems that you need to use the crop tool or the menu for resizing the image.

    What did neither work for me was making a rectangle selection with the marquee tool, copy that selection to the clipboard and then make a new file from clipboard. It seems that this could work to some extend, but there was missing some part of several layers in the bottom of the image.
    Trying to export just the selected area to a psd file was resulting in an uncropped psd with original size.
     
  15. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #15
    OH, I see!

    Explained like that this makes sense. I have to wrap my head around the fact that it's a combination of these apps and not just a layout app.

    Thanks!
     
  16. mollyc macrumors 68000

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    Aug 18, 2016
    #16
    I took a class in AI years ago but have largely forgotten most of it, although I do still have a copy of AI CS4 on my computer.

    Does AD allow you to save as SVG? I recently got a personal cutter and svg is the native file, although I can use png or jpeg. PSCC allows me to, but it’s really clunky.
     
  17. organicCPU macrumors 6502a

    organicCPU

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    Aug 8, 2016
    #17
    Yes it does export SVG. How good the quality of the AD SVG code is, I didn't check so far, but it works at least for web SVG graphics. AI usually outputs really bloated, but correct SVG code. AP does have SVG, EPS and PDF export options, too. But probably a pixel editing tool like AP or PS is always more clunky on vectors than AD or AI.
     
  18. Easttime macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 17, 2015
    #18
    Agreed. Two thumbs up for affordable AD. For years before I went Mac I kept a beta of an early vector paint program on my Windows computers and then used Corel Draw. Both eventually no longer ran on new operating systems. Could not afford Adobe so really missed them until AD came along. Very handy for the occasional time that I need to make a quality diagram. There is a learning curve for all these types of programs, but once learned it’s like riding a bicycle.
     
  19. mollyc macrumors 68000

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    Aug 18, 2016
    #19
    $50 seems like a bargain. I do the $10/mo Adobe plan for LR & PS but since I’m just a hobbyist won’t ever do the full subscription (I’ve always wondered why Adobe doesn’t do a la carry option). I’m going to have to see if I could actually learn and use AD.
     
  20. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #20
    Because…money.

    They know that a vast majority of design is done using the big three (InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator), or at least one of the big three.

    Just like Quark used to, they hold the industry hostage to their pricing plans because they can. Where else are you going to go (right now)?
     
  21. mollyc macrumors 68000

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    Aug 18, 2016
    #21
    Right, but there's a huge price point differential between the $10/month plan I pay for right now and the $50/month plan for everything. Although looking at their pricing page, I can see now that they offer a single app for $20/month, and for the right situation I guess that might be feasible.



    Apparently Affinity. :rolleyes:
     
  22. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #22
    But that's the point. They make more money off of forcing you to buy the whole thing - and charge you more if you really do want a single app.




    Apparently…:D

    However, do we realistically believe that AD is a viable alternative at the moment?

    Don't get me wrong, I want it to succeed. Competition is good and anything that forces Adobe back on it's heels is very good. And AD is coming along. It certainly seems to be usable in a lot of situations.

    But is it being used as a the main app instead of Adobe apps in the major shops of the industry (any design industry) as their replacement for Adobe products yet?

    I don't believe the answer to that is yes. When AD gets good enough that these shops see it as a good alternative that will save them money is when we know AD has arrived.

    The clue to that is when you begin to see Adobe moving to crush Affinity Designer and the company that makes it (because that's how Adobe competes). Adobe hasn't made those moves yet. Which means they do not see this as any threat to their business right now.
     
  23. MacGizmo macrumors 65816

    MacGizmo

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    #23
    On the grand scale of the entire world of "content creation," obviously the answer is no. BUT, there are a LOT of areas where they could compete in a big way. Think about companies with in-house graphics departments. I work for one such company now. I absolutely NEVER send files out for print in a format other than PDF. Web graphics are all standard JPG, GIF, SVG. There are tons of those companies out there.

    Any company that produces content for the screen could easily switch to Affinity's apps.

    Soon, Affinity will be releasing their InDesign competing app, Publisher. There are a ton of newspapers and magazines out there that could easily switch because a their output is always PDF.

    When you think about it, once Affinity releases Publisher, the only thing preventing almost any Adobe CC user from switching is muscle memory.

    What we would probably consider niche scenarios are in reality, huge markets... just broken up in a way that makes us think they're tiny.

    Do I think Affinity has a chance of completely knocking Adobe off its pedestal? No, I don't think it'll ever happen. But then again: Quark, AOL, Earthlink, IBM, Compaq, Nokia, TiVo, Motorola, MapQuest, MySpace, Netscape, Palm, Blackberry, Kodak... and those are just tech companies. The "too big to fail" genre of companies is packed-full of companies that did all they could to prove the theory wrong.
     
  24. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #24
    I will welcome that when it happens. Having a third layout tool to use would be appreciated.
     
  25. MacGizmo macrumors 65816

    MacGizmo

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    #25
    While Quark is obviously a great competitor to InDesign, I really love that Affinity has the other two of the "big 3" design apps (vector and raster editors) to compete with Adobe. In my opinion, it's the only way to fight Adobe at this point. You aren't going to get people to switch just one app... it has to be all or nothing.
     

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44 January 26, 2018