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monzo

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  1. I’ve been playing with Stable Diffusion a bit, and the results can be pretty random, even with the same prompt, and I find it really difficult to get it to create several different elements in the same piece - it regularly misses things out. However some of the stuff it’s churned out has been really interesting, and the font styles it makes up can be wonderfully inspiring (though usually completely illegible).
  2. I started out as a trainee designer using Letraset, glue and a scalpel (yes, I’m that old). At college I spent years learning typography, printing techniques etc. in great depth. Paste-up layout involved a lot of maths and good hand-to-eye coordination. Photo editing involved an airbrush loaded with gouache. All of this stuff filtered through into use with software tools when they arrived and I bought my first Mac (all that maths and typography experience helped me when using Quark, for example). When the web kicked off I dived into that, and my pre-learned graphic design skills coupled with new coding techniques gave me a edge in creating user-friendly interfaces, clear, fast loading layouts, and crisp graphics. I redesigned several well-known corporate stores, one made an 8x profit increase in 12 months after the redesign. It was a lot of money, though none of it for me. Why am I boring readers of this with my CV? Because the tools change, but the human skills and accumulated knowledge that make the difference between a good, and a so-so designer will always be there. Or at least that’s the case until AI gets its foot on our necks. Despite the bugs and missing features, Affinity has provided freelance designers with an affordable, professional suite of tools that cover the majority of our day-to-day requirements. All the stuff I’ve learned over the last 40-odd years is still relevant when I use their software. Years of evolution in design tools have helped me to create better design. More options, higher quality work. But Canva’s stuff is not aimed at me. It doesn’t incorporate the sophistication and attention to detail included in Adobe and Affinity’s products that I require to be able to apply hard-learned skills into my work, so any ‘enshittification’ of the Affinity Suite will leave just one, very pricey player in the game. Fortunately I’ll soon be too old to care.
  3. No, that’s fine Dean I didn’t take it personally, just pointing out not everyone buys on release. I shouldn’t have all this uncertainty a few months after I’ve purchased something I was promised lifetime usage of, or be at the mercy of a totally different company and their support. This could, and should have been fixed before the sell-off.
  4. You got good value, some of us have only had V2 for a few months. If ‘forever’ finished 3 months after my purchase it should either have been refunded, or the tie-in removed from a company I would never have given my money to.
  5. There was an update on the day we heard about the sell-out, really they should have removed the online activation requirement then. As it is, it’s now down to Canva as to whether or not this is applied - and there’s no mention of it happening anytime soon.
  6. True, but they also promised perpetual, lifetime usage at their point of sale. Serif no longer own the servers used to authenticate our licenses, so any promises to honour that pledge are unenforceable. It’s not as if they haven’t received adequate compensation for their work. Make V2 authenticate offline as per V1 to prove they really do appreciate our years of support, and they can do what they like with V3 as that’s likely to be a completely different beast. I had to buy the V2 Suite as they never fixed the slow boot-up and other issues I had with V1 on my Mac Mini. I’ve had it 3 months, and now we’re doing this already.
  7. We need to have these callbacks and online registration removed ASAP. Serif have had our money, twice, and a seriously large wad from Canva. It’s the least they can do to show appreciation to their loyal customers, and give us some peace of mind for the future (as if we haven’t got enough to worry about already). I didn’t buy V1 and V2 from Canva, and I don’t appreciate relying on them for future access to my purchases.
  8. V1 took an absolute age to load up on my Mac Mini M1, but bizarrely it booted up instantly on my 2012 MacBook Pro! They never fixed this widely reported issue in V1, but it’s much better with V2 so just for that it’s been worth the money for me.
  9. That’s not actually the case. They now own everything, which means they control everything. So for example there’s been zero detail of what happens to our online account panel, now owned by Canva. What’s going to happen to support - which is 50% value of any software purchase? This forum? They own the server that’s used for license activation. They own the Mac and iOS Store accounts, which provide access to our software downloads and IAP activations. So yeah, on the surface nothing has changed yet, but very soon everything could be very, very different. Do you want to have to rely on Canva’s support system if/when it’s the only option left available? I don’t. I hope things stay as they are, but there has been no official confirmation about the things I’ve listed above that this will be the case, and I’ve yet to see anyone from Canva on here welcoming us to the fold.
  10. I worked for a local publisher once, and we’d do all-nighters to get artwork off to the press for the following morning - that automatic ‘muscle memory’ came in handy when my brain had wandered off to sleep! I like Publisher, it suits my current, occasional less-intensive needs, but I wouldn’t want to push it as far as we used to with Quark, my Affinity muscles are way too flabby…
  11. Yeah definitely. I’m a couple of updates behind on my main Mac which I’ll leave for now, but I’ve just downloaded and installed V2 on my laptop, so they’re up to date. The worry is Patrick said it does connect occasionally even after activation, hopefully if there’s an issue with Canva’s server, or they remove our old licenses, the callbacks won’t stop them from working. Ideally they should update V2 products to remove the online activation requirement, so if I need to reinstall in future my licenses are still ‘perpetual’, and not at the mercy of a company I didn’t purchase them from.
  12. I lived and breathed Quark for years, my muscle memory for that was the most developed for any other software I’ve used! I remember though when my boss bought a new version (nearly a grand, I think it cost) and try as we might, we couldn’t get it to install, even with hours of support from their staff. In the end they said they’d turn a blind-eye to us using a cracked version, but we stuck with our old one. Then about a year later it came out free - on a computer mag cover disk! Publisher isn’t even close, for me, but I use it to create basic documentation for clients. The latest update from Ash has reassured me a bit, but it’d be naive to expect Canva not to capitalise on their investment eventually, and make subscriptions for those of us that want to use it professionally as the most viable option. Not for me though, I don’t do subscriptions if I can help it. I’m banking on 6 months, maybe a year of decent use from the V2 suite I bought 3 months ago, anything after that is a bonus. If the pledges stick, I’ll stay with Affinity.
  13. I think that’s a fair option for developers and customers - and an incentive for both to keep developing and keep buying. Ableton do a similar, though not yearly thing, and offer a discount for upgrades. I tend to upgrade every second release.
  14. Good to hear. There’s enough uncertainty and spiralling costs spinning around the UK for businesses at the moment, so I feel a bit more reassured that I can tick software worries off the list. And hopefully we can still access downloads for our V1 purchases as (most of us) can at present. Thank you.
  15. You know nothing about my business interests, and there are no set rules for acquiring, or merging two companies. It’s a mutual agreement hacked out between lawyers. The bottom line is I would never have treated my customers in this way. And note it didn’t take them long to wash their hands of us, either. A tweet from two hours ago: ”You can find out more about Canva subscription options via their site. Please contact them directly with any questions”
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