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Affinity One - Unified Product

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I'm long-in-the-tooth in the graphics world. I was involved with evangelizing early graphics and multimedia programs, working with Apple, at the dawn of the personal computer age. One company, Macromedia, had a great idea: Unify vector and bitmap programs under one powerful hood. Fireworks was the eventual product. Unfortunately, Macromedia made some bad business decisions, and Adobe, which badly needed Dreamweaver, and feared Fireworks, bought the company, put Dreamweaver at the front of the suite and marginalized Fireworks. Why? Because they had already joined Microsoft in the idea that a program that is complicated sells training, but TWO programs that are complicated sell even more training.


More than 30 years later, we're still stuck with that legacy. It is counter-intuitive though. If you're a designer, you're in and out of Affinity Photo to do this or that, and they've given you some basic text and illustration tools, just like our friends at Adobe, to appease you so you're not in and out of two programs all day, gathering your digital pitchforks and rioting at the inefficiency of it all.   If you're a photographer, and you have a messy line around someone's neck edge, you COULD spend ten minutes airbrushing it, OR, you could, if you are in a vectored environment, just build a skin tone line, up it to 2-3pt. and gaussian blur it until it matches the edge of the neck.


In the real world, we have one desk, with lots of tools at our disposal, when we're doing physical layout work. Why do we need to keep two in our digital workflow?


A modern program which brings the entire suite of tools together in one space, so you're not in and out of two programs, improves workflow, reduces wasted time switching, and allows creatives improved creativity that leads to better work at a lower production cost.  Man hours, after all, are man hours, whether you're billing them or paying for them.


Steve Jobs said it best back in 1977: Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.  So make Affinity the most sophisticated product out there and create Affinity One, a unified product, and I know that I, and thousands of other graphic and photographic professionals will be HAPPY to tell Adobe what they can do with their kludgy, klunky outdated products.

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In Affinity Photo you can press P for the pen tool, and draw a vectored line, click the stroke parameter to increase it to 3 pt, then click the "fx" on the layer, enable "Gaussian Blur", and drag the slider.


They're basically the same software. Affinity Design is a kind of "persona", that's focused on vectors; and Affinity Photo is focused on pixels. You could smash them together, but you'd need to implement those modes anyways, to optimize which tools are displayed.


Having dedicated apps can be like having a fork and a spoon, where you could make a "spork", but then it's not optimized for either case.


If I want to do more complicated vector work, I can do it in Designer, ctrl+g to group it, ctrl+c to copy, switch back over to Photo, and paste.


I can also use "Edit in Designer" to switch apps, then "Edit in Photo" to switch back. It's basically the same software, so it's like switching modes.


It's a matter of organizational preference whether they're a single app or not. The Mac approach might be unification, but the Unix approach is dedicated tools. It doesn't necessarily mean that a unified interface would be simpler. It would be tricky to organize, and could end up more complicated in practice than separate apps.


The tools are made for people, and most "photographers" will never need to draw, and most "designers" will never need to develop raw images or merge multiple exposures. By separating the software, it's easier to focus on supporting each group of people, in simpler ways.


It's fun to think about and discuss. I can certainly see why an "Affinity One" would be a neat idea. For more advanced users especially, having a mess of menus and options might be exciting and feel more powerful. But it's Serif's project, not ours; and they're doing just fine.


Having Photo and Designer works, and most importantly right now is to focus on the core basics, to polish what they've got.

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Steve Jobs said it best back in 1977: Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. 



I completely agree with Jamon on this. Combining the apps would be the exact opposite of what you quoted Steve Jobs saying. To merge Photo and Designer together would make them more complicated, not simpler. While I disagree with you, I can understand your thinking. Some people like the idea of convenience just like the "multi-tools" that you can buy (or the spork that Jamon mentioned). Multi-tools give you convenience (having easy access to many tools) but multi-tools are never as good as tools that are designed with a more focused purpose. For me, I would much rather have Photo and Designer as separate apps.


There are others here who are for there to be "only one" app and if you search the forums I sure you can find the threads and read more about it. Here is one such link: https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/20208-combine-affinity-photo-and-affinity-designer/?hl=%2Bcombining+%2Bdesignerand another great one is here https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/12058-why-not-merge-designer-photo/?hl=%2Bmerge+%2Bdesigner+%2Bphoto

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