Canva has bought Affinity!

It seems Canva has bought Affinity. Shame. I had high hopes.


I managed to completely switch from one company (Adobe) to another (Affinity) I can do it again, if necessary and my go to place won’t be Adobe unless they unexpectedly change their subscription model.

Right now it feels a bit like when Adobe bought Macromedia.
It took Adobe eight years after that until they went exclusively subscription model.

By then my business may be taken over by AI anyway :joy:

It seems a concerted effort to put Professional Graphic Designers out of business.
The next step would be for Adobe to offer print services, but they don’t know a wide format printer from a toaster, so I should be safe the 3 or so years it’ll take to pay off my new car and say sayonara to this industry.

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Alan Partridge Shrug GIFs | Tenor

Need I remind people that retirement is not without its merits?

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I’m not an Affinity user, but I was open to being one. This is not welcome news.

Yeah, I don’t really care either Smurf. I’ve never seen an Affinity file, nor a suspect PDF. But it does solidify Adobe’s hold on the market.
I wonder who’s gonna eat who first though. Adobe or Canva. Cage match!

Yes, and Adobe slowly strangled its Macromedia acquisition until nothing was left of its products. I doubt Canva will do the same with Affinity. Even so, I expect to see integration with Canva creeping into the Affinity suite, which will increasingly make it a general consumer-level product instead of one for professionals.

It’s not welcome news, that’s for sure.

I’m using designer and publisher but, I haven’t left Adobe completely - for 10 bucks a month I get PS, LR and Adobe fonts. Can’t give up some of these new PS tools and expect to stay competitive.

Anyway, if it goes subscription - I will dump Affinity with prejudice. It doesn’t match Adobe’s capabilities yet so its sole market advantage is that pricing model. I believed they would be the alternative we all want and if they aren’t, I will be very bitter about it.

I graduated from a drafting program just in time to see that job market dwindle too. I will endeavor to keep doing creative work as long as I can with whatever tools get the job done and the most important one is still our heads.


I always check PDF files with Acrobat¹ Output Preview and Preflight before sending them to the printer. PDFs from Affinity have far fewer warnings, errors or information in Acrobat Preflight than PDFs from Adobe CS6. I have never sent files like InDesign or Publisher since PDFs started working properly decades ago.
1 ) It’s practically the only Adobe application I’ve used in the last five years.

Affinity is doubling down.


Adobe CS6 is over 10 years old, 3 software engines, and numerous OS updates ago. I’d expect errors in an up to date Acrobat.

I live in the world of wide format and specialty print. And by specialty, I mean things like real glass-on-steel porcelain, solid HPL, glass frit, powdercoat, or any number of fabric, flooring and hard substrate things. All of the subs I have for this stuff, and they are all over the country, request live files as a matter of course, not PDFs. I get PDFs on occasion and we deal with it, but it’s not “industry standard.”
None of those subs list Affinity as accepted software.

Of course. On the other hand, Acrobat showed a similar Preflight output 10 years ago.


If Canva can be trusted to maintain this approach, I won’t write off Affinity just yet. I also
noticed they’ve committed themselves to supporting variable fonts within the next year, which is an absolute must-have necessity for me. I’m still skeptical of Canva’s ultimate intentions, though.

I was afraid Affinity would eventually sell themselves to Adobe to slowly destroy as Adobe did with Macromedia. I’m no friend of Canva, but at least Canva has the incentive to keep the Affinity apps alive instead of killing them as Adobe would have done. If Canva can pump needed money and development resources into the Affinity software, it could turn out well, but that’s a big if.

It seems to be a decision to lose independence to one player in order not to lose it to another.

I’m curious: do you ever see Corel or Quark files on your end of the business? I remember CorelDRAW being mentioned frequently in the past as having a lasting foothold in the sign business, which is some of what large format work deals with.

Somebody from Quark joined the forum a while ago (probably 4 or 5 years the way time flies). I remember getting a code for a free Quark download at the time, downloading it, and poking around. But I never actually used it for anything. Back in the day, Quark was “the” page layout program to use. It ran circles around PageMaker. Then Adobe started selling Creative Suite with InDesign and, poof, Quark was basically gone.

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I remember. InDesign had a way better UI and version 2 could handle typography almost as good as Quark. And then there was pricing.

I remember those days too. It also doesn’t help that at least on the Mac side that Quark drug its feet releasing a native OSX version of QuarkXpress. We were an inhouse team that exclusively used QuarkXpress until Adobe smartly bundled InDesign into the Creative Suite and as @Joe mentioned the price Quark was asking was ridiculous in comparison. We ended up transitioning to InDesign and never looked back.

If I remember correctly, version 4 of Quark XPress cost around $1,000. I worked at a newspaper then, and our graphics department had seven licenses.

We looked into the Quark Publishing System (QPS) in the early '90s to help produce a weekly tabloid insert. Quark wanted $100,000 for what is now, essentially, Adobe InDesign plus InCopy. The company was incredibly arrogant and difficult to work with.

They wouldn’t return calls and acted irritated with us on those calls when we were discussing buying a copy of their $100,000 QPS software. I remember one conference call with them and our newspaper managing editor when the QPS salesperson abruptly ended the call, saying he was hungry and wanted to go to lunch. We never called them back.

Several months later, a small team from Quark showed up at the newspaper demanding to inspect all our Macintosh computers to ensure that our licenses were only installed on one computer apiece. Our managing editor politely told them to get lost.

Quark has switched owners at least twice since then, but I have no idea how it’s changed or how good or bad their software is today.