Experiences with switching from Adobe to Affinity

over 5 years ago from , Team Lead Experience Design

Hi, I was wondering if some of you had experience ( good or bad ) with switching from a full Adobe subscription to Affinity designer and Affinity photo.

We design user interfaces and switched from Photoshop to Sketch about 3 years ago and have been using it as our main design tool. We still use photoshop for that one photo in a month that needs an edit. We use illustrator to open source files from clients, create/export SVG's And from time to time we create some documents in InDesign an create an animation in after effects.

So we only use around 1% or less of the whole Adobe suite, but we do pay the full 100% ( every month )


  • Doug OrchardDoug Orchard, over 5 years ago

    Been using Affinity as the go-to since Designer v1.5. The only downside I found is the warp tools that Ai has, Designer doesn't have them and I end up loading Ai to make specific shapes. For example a zig-zag/wave lines. Hopefully Designer will get these warping tools soon and then I'm dropping Adobe pronto.

    As for performance, Designer wins hands down. After learning the UI and shortcuts, I feel I work faster and easier in Designer. Small things like the transparency gradient tool and the curved edge tool. My faves.

    3 points
  • Dave Janes, over 5 years ago

    Personally I have completely removed Adobe products from my workflow. I do interface design in Sketch, vector work in Affinity Designer, and raster work in Affinity Photo. Everything runs so much faster, my laptop fan stays quiet, and it's a just a nicer experience overall once you learn how to do everything the Affinity way. Plus, it's saved me a whole lot of money. There will be a few headaches making the switch but in the end I feel it's well worth it.

    2 points
    • Xavier BertelsXavier Bertels, over 5 years ago

      I have the exact same experience. Switched a couple of years ago and never looked back. It just comes down to jumping in the water and then realising how great it is to be there.

      1 point
  • Manase Fidimalala, over 5 years ago


    I've been using Affinity products over a year now and I am totally satisfied except the warping tool (which I found a manual subsitute in Designer). It is far better than Ps for UI design and have been optimized to be used that way (to be honest, Ps is really not for UI, even with XD, you will run with compatibilty issue with other softwares and Adobe is well known for their non-friendly interface). I usually use Designer for UI and pair it with Marvel or Overflow. I still use sketch for their large plugin ressources and file size but I considered switching to Studio for the overall aspect of a project and Designer for the depth. If you or your company are not involved in graphic design, it's a big deal to drop Adobe suite.

    2 points
  • Matt KMatt K, over 5 years ago

    We still have Adobe CC at work, but I fully use Photo and Designer for my personal projects.

    As soon as Publisher is released we'll have a really hard look at whether we need CC for the design team as, like you, we already use Sketch as our main design tool.

    I find them similar to Adobe products, but just different enough to frustrate at first, mainly because I have around 20 years of Photoshop muscle memory to overcome.

    2 points
  • Volkan ÇetinVolkan Çetin, over 5 years ago

    I used affinity designer in the period when it was in beta. Even then, affinity designer had easily taken the place of illustrator for me. Designer controls & ux more similar to photoshop. Also for complex boolean operations I think Affinity Designer is the best +very successful opening ai files. I live pretty much the same things. For UI design my main hand is sketch and I rarely using ps and ai. I dont have much experience with Affinity Photo but I really recommend Affinity Designer.

    2 points
  • Benjamin ArnedoBenjamin Arnedo, over 5 years ago

    I've been using affinity as soon as it was announced. I'm happy to say that my computer is now 90% adobe free. I also do motion graphics and I've found that Apple motion can do 95% of all the things I need from motion and I've developed a very neat workflow between Affinity and Apple motion. I agree it could be WAY better (I currently have to do some extra steps to animate vectors with PDF) but it works for me. As to the apps itself...I love them. And every designer that i've converted is really happy. Never looked back. They are VERY fast and easy to use (I've instructed my elder mother in law to use designer and she uses it almost every day for her church group) I'm really looking forward to Affinity publisher for magazine and website layouts so I can finally unninstall Adobe InDesign.

    I've also downloaded both apps for the ipad pro...And I can say that I've finally found one app that works seamlessly between portable device and computer. The only caveat I see in the ipad version of affinity is the font management, which affinity can't be held accountable for..it's just an ipad issue.

    1 point
  • Alex CampAlex Camp, over 5 years ago

    Designer is what I use full time, it's fantastic at a lot of things. The only thing I ever have to open Illustrator for these days is to trace/expand an image to convert it to a vector. Sketch is pretty good too, especially with symbols, but has a lot of annoyances, like the extremely slow/laggy panning of artboards, and lack of raster tools.

    1 point
  • Weston VierreggerWeston Vierregger, over 5 years ago

    i'm a huge affinity fan but i have not been able to totally ditch adobe for it. at work we are 100% sketch (some icon design done in AI), and for my personal work i'm pretty much all-in with affinity. there are just a few things, though, that force me to open up PS or AI once or twice a week... one thing as an example, this past week i was doing some product mock ups and my template files are PSD. affinity can definitely open PSD but there are compromises, such as flattening of my smart filters & displacements. i could probably re-create these in affinity photo but i just never have.

    in general i like to use affinity from start to finish when i can. i just like their apps more, it has nothing to do with pricing or morals.

    oh and another thing... no matter what i do, affinity seems to always stay FAST. i have large sketch files (300MB+), AI files (1GB+) and PSDs (1GB+) that i have to work with semi-regularly. sketch and adobe always bog down, but affinity usually holds up a lot better for me.

    also InDesign for me is indispensable personally. can't wait for affinity publisher.

    1 point
  • Gage WrightGage Wright, over 5 years ago

    I'm in the same position. I primarily use Sketch, Figma, Studio, and all the other UX/UI design tools every day now so I rarely use Adobe CC anymore but still paying $50 a month for it. Stuck with Adobe until January but then I'll most likely make the switch to Affinity products and keep my old CS6 suite installed for the times I need Illustrator.

    1 point
  • Greg Warner, over 5 years ago

    Still have CC suite here at work as well, but almost exclusively use Designer/Photo at the office (as its mostly for me and 1-2 office mates) and at home. As others have said, I really miss nothing except Ai vector warping tools, but I rarely use those anyway. Only times I've had to switch to Ai is for logo output or assets for motion graphics, just to achieve highest compatibility with someone outside.

    1 point
  • Josiah DJosiah D, over 5 years ago

    Sounds like you're a good candidate for Affinity! It took a bit of learning (and a lot of Googling) because it's just different enough to cause some headaches in the beginning.

    I still open Illustrator from time-to-time for a couple functions, but am mostly able to do what I need in Designer. Affinity also feels like they're innovating at a quicker rate than Adobe.

    If you're mostly leveraging Sketch, and only using about 1% of the Adobe suite, I would definitely recommend at least trying Designer out for a little bit.

    Affinity Photo is also a pretty great Photoshop substitute if you're only doing a couple photos per month.

    Good luck!

    1 point