Should you use Affinity instead of Adobe?

We often take it for granted and forget how technology progressed in a very short timeframe. People enhanced every aspect of every job and we adopt new technologies faster than ever. The same applies to designers.


The never-ending war between Affinity and Adobe is one of the most common conundrums among designers. Should you, or should you not switch to Affinity? First of all, it’s very important to know if you are a beginner designer or professional designer working for more than a few years.


But, let’s first explore the advantages and disadvantages of using Affinity instead of Adobe.


“Under the hood”

Affinity is just better under the hood. Its engine and backend that powers the whole app are written in recent past, meaning that its foundation and codebase is not from the ’90s like Adobe. It supports a wide range of new standards like Metal and OpenGL which contribute to its snappiness and overall performance. When you compare the simplest thing like scrolling and moving through the canvas, it’s black and white. Affinity has a buttery smooth scroll through canvas while Adobe software like Photoshop, Illustrator or even InDesign struggles – politely said. We just can’t give it justice for how smooth Affinity is at this, they nailed it in optimization.


One time purchase

While some people are supporting a subscription-based business model that Adobe introduced with Creative Cloud in 2013, we still can’t get our heads around this. The problem for us was the sheer thought of losing access to literary everything, once you stop paying a monthly subscription to Adobe. Truth to be told, you get access to all Adobe apps, but it’s still very strange to lose access to all of the software and you won’t even be able to preview the file that yesterday was just fine. Contrary to this, Affinity is software developed by Serif and they’ve decided to offer it in the App Store on macOS and it’s as simple to download it as going to the store and clicking one button. The software is priced at a reasonable $49 for one application. The Affinity offers its software in the iOS App Store and Microsoft Store on Windows as well.




Affinity offers three apps for now: Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher. These correspond to Adobe’s Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign more or less. Because backend of the Affinity software has the same base, they’ve used this to their advantage to develop their proprietary technology StudioLink. The Affinity’s StudioLink allows the change to any one of these apps in the same user interface. Basically, how does this work is: You open file in Affinity Publisher to edit a magazine. You need to edit one model image and you want to retouch his or her face. Now, instead of opening another app, you just click one icon at the top-left corner and the whole UI instantly shifts to Affinity Photo where you would originally need to go to retouch the photo. It’s the same as opening a standalone app, where the “only” difference is – it happens in the application you’re currently using (Affinity Publisher) and it happens in an instant. It is quite amazing when you think about it and is very easy to get used to once you try it out for yourself. Forget on having two or three apps open on your dock to successfully edit the magazine spread. This is now possible to do in a single app with the same quality as before with much better, smoother experience.


Updates and improvements

Serif introduced the first app of their “Affinity Trinity”, Affinity Designer, in 2014. Adobe had Photoshop CC 2014 then and when you compare it to the current version, Photoshop CC 2019, you wonder if they’ve updated anything at all. It is colossal understatement to say or think nothing’s changed, but when you think about Serif that built the whole app and its architecture from scratch and is now on the market, you start asking where will the Affinity be in a few more years down the road. We think Affinity will grow much faster and with far more compelling features in the future. It’s easy to understand why this is our prediction – Adobe is a very old player. They have all the power in the world when it comes to professional software and they don’t need to break a sweat in order to win – they are the only contestant and they’re winning all along (for now). Affinity, on the other hand, is new to the market and needs to prove its worth. Serif is doing all they can to get out with newer, better versions as quickly as possible and the feature list grows at an incredible peace. If you want to be a part of the professional software market shift, Affinity is the way to go.