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Canva Acquires Affinity: Part Two


Full disclosure: If you are new to Pixels to Pages, I think it’s important to know I have the Universal License for Affinity, and a Pro Account with Canva. I also subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud, but am very close to letting this go.


Yesterday I posted Part One of my thoughts on Canva's acquisition of Affinity. You can read that here. Today I am sharing Part Two!


How about new file extension?

As mentioned in the fine print below the graphic, I do have a Pro Account with Canva. However, I do not use Canva for memory keeping (my reasons for this are later in this post). I use it to create my social media posts and occasionally to find a graphic to make a filler card. If I had to make pages, I am completely comfortable in doing so, and totally understand why so many of us chose Canva for making scrapbook pages! It’s fairly easy to use, there are lots of grid templates that are similar to those in Project Life, and there are tons of graphics to choose from. But for those who moved from Affinity (or Photoshop) to Canva find themselves wishing they could open layered templates in the app and have them “work” the same as they would in Affinity (or Photoshop). Even though they left these more complex pieces of software for something simpler to use, they are finding they miss some of the tools and effects that allow them to refine their pages with a bit more detail. Do I see Canva adding tools such as adding a drop shadow with all of the settings one would find in Affinity? Not yet. At least not in the near future. Why? Because I think there is a lot development that has to happen on the back end in Canva in order to support attributes that may be assigned to individual layers, like drop shadows, outlines, bevels, etc. Yes, I know Canva has some of these various effects, or there are third party apps within Canva that can mimic them, but from a professional designer standpoint, these tools in Canva lack the ability to fine-tune these effects like you can do in Affinity (plus I find searching for the apps and then figuring out how to apply them to a design is a PITA).


However...


...I can see the opposite happening sooner, rather than later. Canva has an amazing selection of templates, for all types of marketing, that professional designers can use as a jumping off point for their design. I picture the developers creating a separate file extension that a layered Canva document can be exported as. We can already export to a .jpg, .svg, .pdf in Canva. Why not a .cnv or something like that? Then that file can be opened in Affinity, allowing the designer to add more detailed adjustments to the document that just can’t be done in Canva. I think this would be very appealing to the higher level of design professional that Canva seems to be targeting with their new acquisition. But that is all speculation on my part!


We love our fonts

I’ve been using Affinity programs since 2017. Every so often I would use the Stock Studio to grab a free, stock photo for a project. Did you know you can do that? These photos are not provided by Serif, but by Pexels and Pixabay–two companies that offer free stock photos that are royalty free. It wasn’t until last week when this new acquisition took place that I realized these two companies are subsidiaries of Canva! Pexels and Pixabay were integrated within Affinity well before they were acquired by Canva.


This got me thinking.


While Affinity does have a selection of fonts that come preinstalled in the app/software, it is not even close to what Canva offers. As an Affinity user I can already upload fonts into Affinity. I can do so as well in Canva, because I pay for the Pro Plan. I envision Canva’s library of fonts being accessible in Affinity in the near future. It’s something they would have to do, especially if my above mentioned idea of a Canva file extension were to come to fruition, a Canva layered design could be opened in Affinity. Affinity would have to have the fonts used in those files available in their software. A girl's gotta dream, right?


"Will Affinity become a web-based app?

There are two reasons why I don’t use Canva for scrapbooking. The first is because Canva is web-based app. Affinity is not. I would not be able to create pages while in the car, plane, etc., if I was using Canva. My iPad does not have cellular service, and although I could use my iPhone to make pages in Canva while traveling, these eyes are getting too old to create pages on a small screen. Not going to do it. The second reason is, I don’t want to upload all of my photos, digital products, etc., into Canva. I’m already uploading digital products into my Files app, and my photos are in my camera roll. Why would I want to take that extra step in my workflow and upload them to Canva? Do I see Affinity becoming web-based? Oh heck no. That would only drive users back to Adobe. However, I do hope to see some sort of new way to place photos/digital products into a Canva project where uploading items into Canva isn’t necessary. How that would be accomplished? I have no clue. I'll leave that to the developers!


"Do you think Canva will work on an Android version of Affinity?"

This was another question that I was asked quite a bit. Honestly, no, I don't. I think the developers will stick with enhancing features for Canva and Affinity for Windows, OS, and iOS for now. These are the operating systems their target audience is using for high-level, professional design. Maybe way down the road Affinity for Android will happen, but I don't see it happening any time soon at all.


Here is one more question I received several times from Canva users:


"Do you think I should learn how to use Affinity?"

Even though I teach memory keeping classes on how to use Affinity Photo for iPad, I am NOT going to answer that question with a resounding YES. There is a learning curve to the program. But if you are on the fence, maybe this will help: If you are brand new to digital scrapbooking, meaning you never used Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or Affinity, and just started documenting your photos and stories with Canva (maybe you took Kim Hurst's Canva class over at Ali Edwards). Just stick with Canva for now. It's easy to use, you're comfortable with it. DO NOT feel any pressure to change your scrapbooking routine. Just wait to see how this acquisition plays out. You know I will be here to help should you change your mind down the road and want to explore Affinity.


If you are a former Photoshop or Photoshop Elements user, made the transition to Canva, but find you miss some of the features that Adobe offered, then you may want to consider learning how to use Affinity. It is very similar to Photoshop. Since we are all waiting to see what changes are going to happen, you can use this time to learn the program. If/when there is some integration with Canva + Affinity in the near future, you can jump right in on the new features without missing a beat.


If you use both Canva and Affinity (but rely more on Canva), still have Version 1 of Affinity, and are not sure if you should upgrade to Version 2, I highly recommend upgrading. While there is talk about a Version 3 of Affinity, we have NO IDEA when that will happen. Version 2 was released in November of 2022. Developers have said there are still several more updates to Version 2. Even with this acquisition, I don't see Version 3 released until 2025 or early 2026. But I could be wrong. Many times when a new version of software is released, tiered pricing is offered depending on which version of the previous software you have. Because of this, you may want to consider the V2 upgrade.


Final thoughts.


I know MANY people are skeptical of this acquisition. They view this going by the way of Adobe. I'm more optimistic. Yes, I do see some sort of subscription offered in the future, but I see them keeping a perpetual license option for Affinity as well. I think this is a good thing. I'm looking forward to the changes ahead and how they are going to enhance the memory keeping experience! Still here? I know this has been a long post, but while I have your attention I want to let you know that IF you are curious about Affinity Photo for iPad and have been wanting to enroll in any of the classes I offer, now is the time to do so. Prices to enroll will be increasing on May 1, 2024 due to the increase of the costs where the classes are being hosted. Thank you for your understanding.

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4 Comments


Hi Kelly, thank you so so much for sharing this, it all makes great sense, as always! I tried to post, but my connection is not great right now, so if there are two comments here, I apologize in advance! You mentioned you might be moving away from Adobe, so I am curious, what is your photo organization and editing workflow for all your photos? I have been using Lightroom since I began DSLR photos back in the day, and it is a bit of a cumbersome workflow. Also…..if something were to happen to me, my kids would have to figure out how I manage all 60,000++ photos, so I am intrigued with a more simple system?.. For the record,…

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Hey Valerie! I'm glad you found it helpful. Let me elaborate a bit on me moving away from Adobe. I will be dropping the Adobe CC subscription. However, I will subscribe to only Lightroom and Acrobat Pro. Although I am not a professional photographer, I have been asked in the past to take family photos and high school senior photos. Most of the time, these are the only photos I edit in Lightroom. Occasionally I will use Lightroom to edit my everyday photos, but that is because I have all of the filters from Light and Airy Photography installed and it's just one click and I'm done. I don't use Lightroom to organize my photos. I just keep everything in Apple…

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My first think was about a new version soon. I'm concerned about is the time ‘cause I purchased the universal license just four months ago last Black Friday. As you said I hope it takes time 🤞

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I'm looking forward to how everything plays out! Try not to worry too much. I honestly feel they will do the right things to keep their customers happy!

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