What it is: Serif Software originally sold Windows-based graphics programs, but have recently released photo editing and vector drawing programs called Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer.
If you’re a professional graphics designer, you probably learned using Adobe’s software and you probably have to keep using Adobe’s software including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Photoshop is the standard for editing graphics such as digital photographs, Illustrator is the standard for creating vector drawings, and InDesign is the standard for desktop publishing. While Adobe’s software is excellent, it’s also expensive and requires a monthly subscription ever since Adobe stopped selling their software individually.
For now, every professional graphics artist needs to learn Adobe’s software, but if you’re on a budget, there’s now an excellent trio of similar software called Affinity Photo (a Photoshop rival), Affinity Designer (an Illustrator rival), and Affinity Publisher (an InDesign rival). Best of all, each Affinity program only costs $49.99 so the combined cost will be far less than subscribing to Adobe’s software suite.
Both Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer are available today with Affinity Publisher coming sometime in 2016. All three programs will be designed to work together, work with standard Adobe files such as .psd Photoshop files and .ai Illustrator files, cost far less, but offer features comparable to Adobe’s software. If you’re a graphics artist on a budget, you can create your work in Affinity Photo or Affinity Designer and export your files into standard Photoshop or Illustrator files, and no one will know (or care) which software you used.
Affinity Designer has already won Apple’s Design award for 2015 so if Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher are as well designed as Affinity Designer, you can expect excellent performance from all three software titles.
So if you’re ready to dump Adobe’s subscription plan, take a serious look at Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer as more than adequate replacements. You may be surprised that you can get more for your money without sacrificing features, compatibility, or performance.