Losing Affinity


3/29/20241 min read

Affinity has been sold to Canva, so here we go again. I've been vocal about how good Affinity Designer is. I have to retract that in light of the likelihood that Affinity will no longer be software you own. Canva is a subscription service, not software you can continue to use, and Affinity will most likely follow. I doubt there will ever be a new version of Designer available for purchase.

Why is this important? You don't pay monthly to draw on your sketchbook. You don't pay monthly for the pen you buy. Digital art is no different. You don't pay monthly for the privilege of continuing to use your computer. There's no guarantee that you can continue working on your art when you have to pay monthly for the permission to continue working on your art. The risk of losing color palettes, fonts, and other aspects of your files is too great; you may one day find out that your professional work is useless because someone else decided that its contents are no longer part of their subscription service any more. The incentive to keep files non-cross-compatible is stronger for services. And what about long-term data preservation?

Art software, like any functional software, should be available for use upon purchase and function until the user no longer needs it.

That's not the first time this has happened. In the past, I've used Clip Studio Paint, and I've moved away from that to Krita as a consequence of their plans to move to a subscription (Sai may be good; I liked it, if the memory situation's better that may be an option too). I purchased Affinity Designer as an upgrade from Inkscape, but I may have to move back to Inkscape; I can't gamble my work on someone's intentions to drain money from me on a monthly basis. My work is not their income, and my ability to create does not depend on them earning a stipend. Surrendering your ability to create to someone's service fees isn't worth it. Affinity is no longer a viable recommendation.