Wednesday, 18 January 2017





Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! 


#Serif #Affinity #AffinityDesigner #AffinityPhoto #AffinityPublisher


London, UK, January 18, 2017,
 It took ages for my Serif Affinity Designer Workbook to arrive and when it did I was very, very impressed! As a Graphic & Multimedia Designer by trade, I've felt a little guilt that I didn't master Adobe Illustrator, so when Serif announced the release of the Affinity Designer application I promised myself that I would give Digital Illustration a good go!

I had used the brilliant DrawPlus for simple logo creation, and I mean simple! Affinity Designer meant a new start with a new software concept. In a masterstroke move, Serif initially released Affinity Designer for the MAC to critical acclaim. Still, to this day, the MAC computing platform maintains its reputation in amongst the Graphic Design Industry and it was vital for Serif to garner a long overdue recognition for its professional alternatives to some Adobe software applications: PagePlus - we'll come to that in a bit; DrawPlus, and PhotoPlus. As a result, Serif has reinvented itself as Affinity! As stated earlier, the first Affinity product was Designer. Unlike Adobe Illustrator one was able to purchase it outright without breaking the bank; Affinity Designer retails at an amazing £39.99! £39.99, not monthly or annually. No. A one time only fee! Awesome! When Affinity Designer came out last year on the PC I bought it straight away - especially as it was sold for an introductory discounted price of £29.99!

And, just before Xmas, Serif released Affinity Photo for the PC at a discounted price also! I had to get Affinity Photo too!

Above: Affinity Photo


MAC users have been saying that Affinity Photo & Designer are PhotoShop and Illustrator killers, while this may be true for MAC users, the truth is that PhotoPlus and DrawPlus on the PC had slain PhotoShop & Illustrator many years ago! I have been using PhotoPlus and DrawPlus instead of the Adobe equivalents for the last 3 or so years! Adobe tried to make a comeback with PhotoShop Elements but Serif's PhotoPlus was more advanced in that it could output documents in the professional CMYK format. This has always been Serif's legacy - professional output. I have brought documents created with Serif products to print bureaus and always had great results!
Above: Affinity Illustrator

Serif is currently working on Affinity Publisher and a beta should be released soon. Now about Affinity Publisher...

PagePlus was, and still is, a great desktop publishing application but it was always lacking in the Digital Publishing steaks. For example, the video and audio players within a PagePlus produced PDF document looked terrible. Trying to do something that matches Adobe or Quark in Digital Publishing was an exercise in futility, sad to state. Before Adobe Flash got shot down in flames one could export InDesign documents as an interactive Flash medium.

It could very well be that Affinity Publisher will address Digital Publishing; the possibilities are vast! I envisage that Affinity Publisher could create executable HTML5 documents in the way in which a PowerPoint presentation could be launched from its native executable file; HTML5 is cross-platform compatible and therefore should present no problems in creating executables for MAC, iOS, Windows, and Android to name a few.

Can you imagine HTML5 documents that includes aspects like animations, page transitions, audio and video and much more besides? I can! Whether Serif delivers on it remains to be seen.

I am also hoping for PDF documents that include a great looking media player. The PDF slide player could be overhauled too! I don't know how hard it'll be for Serif to take PDF to higher heights as PDF is an Adobe technology. Would it be worth Serif's while to develop PDF? Would it be a good idea for Serif to create yet another media format? Other software houses have tried to create a media format only to crash and burn. Does anyone remember Scala? Scala was a dream turned into a nightmare. I bought one of its applications many, many moons ago... It was a multimedia product, like PowerPoint on steroids but there were so many bugs in it that it was never used. It had some great ideas for all its faults, though! It was a precursor to YouTube with Scala channels. These days, Scala is about kiosk displays. Ah, it was MM200 and it was a huge disappointment. Never mind...

Now that Serif Affinity is hot news it has a shot at creating a proprietary medium that can span different screens and operating system platforms. Serif Affinity has come back for the future and could be the creator of a medium that Flash so very much wanted to be when Steve Jobs shut it down.


Sticking with Affinity Publisher, I had it in mind that Serif would incorporate the ability to output to web pages into it. The word is that Affinity Publisher will not have any web publishing attributes whatsoever! What??? That's crazy, right? This makes me wonder... It also looks like there will be no Affinity Web Designer either! If this is true then it is incredibly sad! Serif produced on of the best WYSIWYG applications ever in WebPlus! It would be a great shame if WebPlus and PagePlus couldn't merge into Affinity Publisher. That stated, Serif is enjoying a monumental high in its achievements that could encourage them to do something very, very special for Web Design, Digital Publishing, and traditional Paper Publishing!

2017, is going to a very exciting year for both Serif and its consumers. One other thing that I would like to ask of Serif for Affinity Publisher is the ability to create TrueType Fonts! There has to be a font designer onboard! I have always wanted to design fonts and it remains on my 'To Do' list!

In any event, WebPlus version X9 has been taken off the virtual shelf. You can't purchase it anymore! That is so, so very sad...

If my hunch is right then I think Affinity Publisher will have an option for web page design. Fingers crossed!

Serif has a legacy application for the editing and making of videos... Yes, you've guessed it, MoviePlus. And it looks like there will not be an Affinity version for the foreseeable future. This is a great shame!

For now, it looks like Serif is just concentrating on professional photo editing/manipulation and graphic design applications. Just imagine how brilliant a video editor could be? Imagine Affinity Movies that is what Affinity Photo is to videos... WOW!

I can understand where Serif is coming from in that the focus is revolutionary based professional photo and illustration applications but I can see that there is already a demand for an Affinity Web Design & Video Editing applications. I would imagine that the runaway successes, Affinity Photo, and Designer could mean that the web and video solutions are in development already! Who knows?

If I know Serif like I think I do, they'd want to have the equivalent for just about everything Adobe does. I think they will do it too - eventually!

Thank you for reading!

The Synapse Circuit website is in the making...

Best wishes,

Synapse Circuit aka Blue Gene

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