The Playbook





The Playbook  /

Think of me as that friend who's always there to cheer you on and help you navigate the design world. 

about / 



Adobe vs. Affinity: The Design Duel We Never Knew We Needed

June 25, 2024

I’m Nelett
You're powerful, way more than you might think. And in this cozy corner of the internet, I'm all about keeping you inspired, pumped, and ready to take on the world.
TOp categories

A familiar scenario unfolds as I sit in my home studio, fingers dancing over the keyboard. It’s just another day in the life of a designer, juggling business demands, creative bursts, and the ever-evolving world of design software. Today, we’re diving into a topic as heated as a summer fling – the hot debate of Adobe vs. Affinity. Let’s get real about the differences, pros, and cons, and why sometimes, you don’t need a Mercedes to get from point A to point B.

Adobe: The Grand Dame of Design

Ah, Adobe. The name itself is synonymous with graphic design. With over 20 years of experience, I’ve seen Adobe grow from a fledgling suite to the industry giant it is today. I didn’t cut my teeth on Adobe, though. My early days as a designer were spent navigating Freehand and QuarkXPress. I was already working at Ogilvy Namibia when Adobe came onto the scene. We were in awe! But we had to teach ourselves the ins and outs, the quirks and kinks – hours of tutorial later, and we were Adobe fanatics!

Adobe’s Creative Cloud offers robust tools to handle anything you throw at it. Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign – these names are like old friends. Reliable, yes. Familiar. But even the best relationships have their rocky moments. Adobe’s subscription model, while giving us access to the latest features, comes at a steep price. An annual commitment of around N$14,000 isn’t something to sneeze at.

Recently, Adobe has faced some controversy. Many artists and designers are upset because Adobe implied it might use their work to train AI models. Adobe had to calm these worries with a blog post saying it wouldn’t do that, but there is still an unease between designers. Also, Adobe has been accused of hiding hefty termination fees in its most popular subscription plan and making it hard to cancel subscriptions. These issues have left some designers feeling frustrated.

Affinity: The New Kid on the Block

On the other hand, Affinity, the new kid on the block, offers a refreshing alternative. With a one-time payment of N$4,500, it’s a budget-friendly option for designers tired of the subscription grind. I recently got Affinity’s trial version and will report back soon. But what I can see this far is that Affinity Designer, Photo, and Publisher are sleek, intuitive, and packed with features rivalling offerings.

But let’s get one thing straight—a program doesn’t make a designer. You either have the talent, or you don’t. Your choice of platform is just that—a choice. Affinity might not have Adobe’s decades-long pedigree, but it’s evolving, growing, and making a name for itself. It’s like finding a charming boutique hotel that offers the same comfort as a five-star chain minus the hefty price tag.

The Pros and Cons: A Love-Hate Relationship

So, what’s the real tea on Adobe vs. Affinity?

Adobe Pros:

  1. Comprehensive Suite: It’s the complete package – if you need it, Adobe’s got it.
  2. Industry Standard: Most clients and agencies use it, making file sharing seamless.
  3. Continuous Updates: Always stay ahead with the latest features.

Adobe Cons:

  1. Costly: That subscription fee can feel like a monthly rent.
  2. Learning Curve: It can be overwhelming for newcomers.
  3. System Demands: A high-performance machine is needed to run smoothly.

Affinity Pros:

  1. Affordable: One-time payment – your wallet will thank you.
  2. User-Friendly: Intuitive design makes it accessible.
  3. Lightweight: It doesn’t demand as much from your system.

Affinity Cons:

  1. Limited Integrations: There are fewer third-party plugins or integrations.
  2. Smaller Community: Fewer tutorials and community support.
  3. Growing Pains: Still catching up on some advanced features.

The Bottom Line: It’s All About Choice

In the end, it’s about what works best for you. Adobe has its uphills, and Affinity offers a refreshing alternative. It’s about something other than which one is better but suits your unique needs and preferences. This is your journey, your creative path, and you can choose. After all, nothing stays the same in our fast-paced design world. I’ve had my Adobe Cloud subscription since 2011, and while I’m deeply invested, I’m thrilled to explore what Affinity brings to the table.

So, fellow designers, let’s toast to options and the freedom to choose our creative paths. Whether you’re cruising in a Mercedes or zipping around in a zippy hatchback, remember – it’s not about the ride but the journey and the beautiful, complex relationships we build along the way. Cheers to designing our destinies, one pixel at a time!

As I said in my article about Canva, never underestimate the underdog. The biggest successes often start small.

Check them out for yourself: AFINITY vs ADOBE

Add a comment
+ show Comments
- Hide Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Hi there, I'm Nelett, and I'm a designer just like you. Life's always changing, and being a designer can feel like a wild ride. But we're more than that, aren't we? We're caregivers, friends, and life lovers who find joy in more than just our work. We're all on this journey, each in our own way, but somehow, we're together in it.

Here's what I believe: You are powerful, more than you might realise. In this cozy corner of the internet, I'm here to keep you inspired, motivated, and ready to take on whatever comes your way.




Let's do this 

Welcome Powerful Creative — This isn't just any newsletter; it's packed with inspiration and tips to help you design a life that's uniquely yours.

Join me to fuel your passion, build confidence, and design your life with purpose. Say goodbye to cluttered inboxes—every email brings joy and real insights to help you create a life you'll love.

Ready to go BEYOND DESIGN?