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BrianHermelijn

Using Affinity Designer for (job application)? (Where mainly is Adobe)

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I do not know where else to ask this since there is no discussion category on the forum, but what if someone mainly use Affinity Designer (don't have access to Photoshop anymore), will there be companies that still accepts those kind of designers, or you really need Adobe Suites in order to even apply the begin with?

 

I ask this, because Affinity Designer is such a powerful tool, and I like it, and I do not have Photoshop even though I used that in the past, but decided to just be done with it. So how would you go about applying for work if you're using a tool that's not "industry standard" per say?
 

Like for example, right now I am looking for work, but when you read the job description per say there is always for designer etc. (Adobe, Illustrator, Coding etc.) so what would you do, if you were applying for a job? 

 

PS : In my case I also come from a place where the design community is almost non-existent, and yeah. So right now I am mainly looking at online opportunities (remote working) 

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As long as you can work with the files the company or individuals have then it shouldn't matter UNLESS they are doing something specific with photoshop features that you MUST have or something similar like plugins to get the same look and feel. Though I can't see why you would not be able to get the same results with Affinity Designer and Photo. You have both applications right?  Because Photo is mainly for Photographs and Designer is mainly for well how I use it is for Web and UX / UI, both apps work together complimentary.

 

Also will you be working with Teams?  It helps to have the same tools they do but as long as you can work with the files then it shouldn't matter.

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If this is about a home office based full time job as an employee and you know how to operate Adobe products and they require you to use Adobe products it can maybe be arranged, that the employer pays for the Adobe subscription as they would have to if you worked in their office space. I think it is important - concerning the first contact - that you have the skills, not that you own the software yourself. 

 

Of course if you go for self-employed you would have to own / subscribe to the software yourself. Maybe if someone requires you to use Adobe products, you could subscribe for a short amount of time as needed and include that in your price calculation. Usually it should suffice to deliver the product as PDF for print or SVG/PNG/JPG etc. for screen use. Then nobody should care, how you achieve the results and you could go forward with using your preferred apps. 

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When I interview applicants, I'm far more interested in evidence of expertise in the underlying principles of the work than just habitual familiarity with a particular software's interface.

 

A specific software is just a tool, and tools change. Even specific programs change over time. Better programs come along. Good programs take a turn for the worse. Software vendors are bought and sold. A software vendor changes its licensing model. An acquired software is discontinued.

 

In other words, when I'm looking for a graphics person, I'm looking for someone with two things: a strong portfolio which demonstrates commercial-quality work, and a confident understanding of, proficiency with, and self-sufficiency in applying the principles of vector-based illustration, raster imaging, page designing, typography, etc.

 

For example:

 

...what if someone mainly use Affinity Designer (don't have access to Photoshop anymore),...

 

 

...Affinity Designer is such a powerful tool, and I like it, and I do not have Photoshop even though I used that in the past, but decided to just be done with it....

 

 

(Now, please take no offense from the following. None is intended. I'm just trying to help.)

 

If statements like those were made in an interview, they would raise these concerns in my mind:

 

  • This applicant may have a weak understanding of basic principles. He is correlating Adobe Photoshop (a raster imaging program) to Affinity Designer (primarily a vector-based drawing program).

 

  • This applicant Is effectively making apologies for Serif software instead of Adobe software, rather than confidently and objectively stating why he chooses one over the other.

 

  • This applicant is probably a beginner. He seems to think it's all about having proficiency in a particular software, rather than having a thorough understanding of the types of software and demonstrating confidence and objectivity in adapting between software brands if necessary.

 

See what I mean? I'm not looking for someone who has memorized the location of every command and interface detail of a particular software. I'm more interested in someone who understands what he is doing with that software, and why, because that kind of user knows what function he needs, and can quickly learn where it's "hidden" and what t's called in whatever program I need him to learn.

 

This is the kind of interview which would impress me:

 

After the initial meet-and-greet, I ask to see the applicant's portfolio. Thumbing through it, I see commercial-quality work, preferably but not necessarily of a type similar to that for which he is being considered.

 

When I see a particular piece, I may ask what program was used to create it. The applicant tells me.

 

Then I ask why.

 

The applicant is able to answer that question objectively, and with better reason than "It's all I know." For example, he might say, "I wanted to take advantage of Adobe Illustrator's Pattern Brushes, which I used extensively here and here." Or, "Xara Designer's on-the-fly feathering is very fast." Or, "Affinity Designer provides an axonometric grid feature whereas most other drawing programs don't."

 

These answers would also sit fine with me: "I'm a starving student, and Affinity is quite affordable, yet powerful." Or, "I consider it a matter of personal professionalism to keep myself abreast of developments in drawing software, and Affinity Designer is a new offering which is making quite a stir."

 

I'd award "extra points" if those statements were followed with, "...But while I have my preferences, I'm not 'married' to any particular software; I focus on understanding the underlying principles to avoid mission-critical dependence on any particular brand."

 

Of course, a job interview is a two-way street. If the job description says "Must be proficient in Adobe Illustrator," that may be just a statement of the current workflow of the company, or it may be revealing a "married to one software" weakness on the part of the interviewer. Either way, you'd want to take it as an opportunity to convey your confidence and ability in lateraling between softwares of the same category. (Of course, all such claims would need to be true.)

 

JET

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I'd award "extra points" if those statements were followed with, "...But while I have my preferences, I'm not 'married' to any particular software; I focus on understanding the underlying principles to avoid mission-critical dependence on any particular brand."

 

In my experience recruiting designers this is what I like to hear most. In the UI/UX field especifically, new tools are out every day and it's part of our creative curiosity to try them out and figure what's the best one to get to a certain result.

If there are any workflows in the company that require knowledge in some specific software, this will be stated as a requirement in the job listing. For example, "developers MUST know dotNet development environment".

However for designers the things we require from them are skill sets. "Must know vector drawing". "Must be able to create wireframes", "Must deliver projects in SVG, PDF or similar vector format".

 

As a general rule, if a company requires any specific software knowledge it's either because it is embedded in their process through some larger scheme - like automation or contract with suppliers -, or there is someone who is NOT part of the workflow who is doing someone else's job.

This second case is quite common in small companies. The company's owner who is a business man requires you to use Illustrator because he doesn't know vector drawing (the skill), he knows how to execute a set of steps in that software only.

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@Terry44 @vroom

Perhaps I was overthinking it here, seeing what others has said about you know, the software is just a software, the principles are the same whatever software you use as @JET_Affinity said.

 

 

@JET_Affinity

And no worries, if anything it allows me to learn more about how a real world example goes since I never went in a interview yet, so its good to know the things that rises a red flag to those recruiting new designers.

 

So you're definitely right. The principles are just the same, its a matter of if you can execute in a way. So yeah, you're right. 

 

@fernandolins86

Makes sense. Perhaps I also got confused with the overall "web terms" that is going on every job board, so its good to know some insights in regards to this. 

 

-

 

Thanks for the insights everyone. Really appreciate the time you guys took to share a bit of your wisdom over this. 

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