After 25-years as a Windows-only developer, Serif unveils its first ever Mac product – free beta available now

Having developed software exclusively for Windows for 25 years, Serif has announced it will imminently release its first ever product for Mac – Affinity Designer. A vector drawing application, Affinity Designer is the first in a new range of professional creative software for the Mac. Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher will complete the suite over the next 12 months.

Developed by a dedicated development team over the last 4 years, the Affinity suite takes full advantage of native OS X technologies such as OpenGL, Grand Central Dispatch, Core Graphics and is fully optimized for 64-bit and multi-core processors to squeeze every ounce of available performance from the Mac platform – so it promises to be fast.

“Real time is everything,” says Tony Brightman, head of the Affinity development team. “Working in Affinity products is always live. Whether it’s a 100 megapixel image or the most complex vector drawing with thousands of curves, you still pan and zoom at 60fps, move objects in correct z-order and see live views of all adjustments, brushes and effects as you’re working with no compromise. Considering the strength of Apple’s hardware nowadays there’s no excuse for software developers to achieve anything less, but until Affinity these fundamentals have been sadly lacking in creative software.”

With all products in the Affinity range sharing the same core engine and file format, it allows for something else never seen in a creative suite of products – complete integration. “This doesn’t just mean seamless switching between apps,” explains Brightman. “It opens up a truly mixed-discipline creative suite with no boundaries between vector, raster, text, or page layout tasks to offer complete freedom to graphic designers.”

Affinity Designer - Professional graphic design software for the Mac
Affinity Designer – Professional graphic design software for the Mac
While the Affinity products will seamlessly share their file format, another major focus has been on compatibility with other pro-end products. Affinity boasts the best PSD import engine out there, and with full support for AI, PDF, EPS and SVG Serif are clearly making every effort for it to be easily adopted by creative professionals. This continues with its impressive color space support including RGB, true CMYK, and LAB, as well as 16-bit channel editing and ICC color management being built in from the ground up.

When it launches in October, Affinity Designer will be available exclusively on the Mac App store for US$34.99/$49.99. “With no credible alternative, large groups of users feel they’re being forced into costly monthly subscriptions,” says Ashley Hewson, Serif’s Managing Director. “As well as all the power, functionality and stability that professionals demand, when you buy an Affinity product you pay for it once and that’s it. The ongoing expense of software as a service just isn’t what most people really want.”

Affinity Designer is currently in beta and available to download for free. More info here.

MacDailyNews Take: Welcome, finally, to the world’s best platform, Serif!

Related article:
Apple’s Q314: Surging Mac defies a shrinking Windows PC market – July 24, 2014


    1. Adobe will doubtless say no.

      However all Serif have to do is offer 80% of the functionality that people use on a day-to-day basis and, at $50 for each application, they will clean up a lot of business where people don’t want to pay $50.00 per month.

      So long as they design the thing with a good plug-in architecture, Serif are probably making a really well-timed leap into the Mac market and they should be encouraged to stay by anyone who is tired of Adobe’s lackadaisical approach to Mac development over the years.

    2. I think it’s more competition for Pixelmator who had the entire “Mac Only and not Adobe” market to themselves with no real competition. I already own that one, I’m going to download this one and give it a try.

      1. Pixelmator didn’t have a suite of applications, though… did it? It seems this is trying to enter from the professional level first.

        Pixelmator worked from the hobbyist up.

  1. Anything that offers competition to Adobe is good by me. Welcome to the Mac, Serif. Just keep in mind that Mac users tend to have much higher standards than Windows users.

  2. Anybody know anything about Affinity? Do they provide industrial-strength publishing tools? If you have experience with Affinity products on the Windows side, can they be a real replacement for Adobe creative cloud product line for publishing?

    1. There are no Affinity products on the windows side. Serif have made desktop publishing apps for PC for years but this is brand new software which is completely separate from those products. Long story short from what I’ve seen of Affinity so far it’s an extremely powerful tool ready to show Adobe how it should be done. And with Ai, Psd and other supported file formats both input and output it’s going to be fantastic for professionals to move over to. But hey, best i can suggest is give it a go!

  3. HA HA! FINALLY! I’ve been wondering how to wean myself away from Adobe, with my translating/micro-publishing workflow (on iOS/MacOS, of course!). The best I’d come up with till now was iWork/iDraw/Autodesk Sketchbook/Pixelmator/Scribus.

    Now, in a single move, I’ll be able to evaluate Affinity for raster graphics, vector graphics and DTP! Oh, yummee!

    FWIW, I remember trying out Serif’s DTP app back in the dark days of Windows 3.x, and it was pretty impressive—at the time, I was using Mac Pagemaker 3.x/Illustrator 3.x on a Mac Classic, and Serif’s offering looked pretty darn good. I guess they’ve only gotten better over the ensuing 25 years.

    Aloha, Serif! — Sayonara, Adobe!

  4. I’ve been using Adobe products since Photoshop 3, and have worked in the print industry the past 15 years. I will not upgrade to creative cloud on my personal account specifically because of the subscription crap. I use creative cloud at work. I’m looking forward to testing Serif’s suite out for my personal stuff because even though Adobe CS6 rocks, eventually there will be an OS upgrade that it’ll have problems running on, if it runs at all.

    1. I’m right with you Greg. I’m not a visual professional, but Photoshop is quite important on the media side of my business as well as my quite serious photographic hobby. I’ve stopped at CS6 for exactly the same reasons: I’m simply not willing to plunge into the subscription swamp. If Serif can offer tools of equivalent strength (especially in adjusting RAW images), I’m happy to make the jump.

  5. Can this take the place of Canvas, a fantastic multi-function raster and vector technical/scientific drawing, diagram and presentation program that was very sadly discontinued for the Mac?

      1. Canvas beta has been pushed back to ‘early 2015’. Still, it would be great to have it back. Tons of drawings I could still reuse are sitting useless on my backup drive …
        On topic: Great to have multiple options to replace CC subscriptions.

    1. I’m no expert at this stuff, but I like vector-based “drawing” programs (as opposed to pixel-based “painting” programs). I’m trying it out…

  6. I have a lot of clients who use Adobe CS. Unfortunately for Adobe. CS 6 will be the last version most of them will use. They simply refuse to buy into Adobe subscription based service. For the vast majority, the features in CS 6 are more than adequate for their needs.

    I will definitely be downloading this software to see how it stacks up. If it delivers as promised, this could be bad for Adobe. Adobe got greedy and this could be the kind of thing to put them in their place.

  7. i have downloaded the beta, looks pretty good. if publisher is good then i will definitely support them. i won’t “upgrade” to the latest adobe stuff.

    1. Serif is an an excellent company to work with. I have been using their software for almost ten years on my Windows machines.

      Now I can finally stop writing Serif and requesting Mac versions of their fine software.

      1. Oops: The latest Pixelmator ALSO has a vector drawing mode!

        To switch to Vectormator, simply press the Command-Shift-V keyboard shortcut, and watch the tools and palettes instantly change to Vectormator. To switch back to your Pixelmator, press the same keyboard shortcut again. Watch that happen in our short Vectormator video or try it yourself now. . . . This is it. Pixelmator is now a fully featured vector graphics app.

      1. Yep but that’s one stand alone price of software.

        The reason why adobe is so successful is because of the Eco system of creative apps.

        As a creative professional the cs suite is very appealing.

        For the competition to gain market share from adobe their gonna have to offer the tame of apps or even one simple app that is I design, Photoshop, illustrator etc all in one.

        1. That’s basically what we’re doing – within 12 months we’ll have Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher. Still three separate apps, but one huge advantage over Indesign, Photoshop and Illustrator – they will share exactly the same file format allowing a completely fluid workflow between them.

          Ash (MD at Serif)

        2. Hi Ash!

          LIke so many others on this thread, I’m eager to try out your upcoming Affinity apps for Mac OS, so as to ditch Adobe with their rip-off subscription ploy.

          Can I urge Serif to come out with the Affinity apps for iOS as well, so that we can work both at the desktop machine and on the go with our iPads? Pretty please!!

        3. Agreed. Corel made an attempt, years ago. That got as far as their attempt to compete with MS Office. Now THERE is a company Microsoft ACTUALLY bailed out.

          *eternally laughing at the gossip clowns who think MS ever bailed out Apple* 😆 😆 😆

  8. Other vector graphic applications besides Freehand (RIP), Illustrator, ‘Vectormator’ (as part of Pixelmator) and upcoming Affinity Designer:

    – Inkscape: Free, Open Source GPL license. Requires X11/XQuartz.

    – Intaglio: $89. (MacHeist just finished offering it their NanoBundle 5 dirt cheap).

    – Hype: $30. Oriented toward HTML5 graphics and animations for the Internet. (Also recently cheap via MacHeist).

    – Acorn: $50. Similar to Pixelmater, both pixel & vector graphics.

    And some others I have not personally used:
    – Artboard (Excellent reviews)
    – Sketch
    – Sketsa SVG Editor
    – iDraw

    Kewlness = SVG 2 vector graphics are being supported in HTML5, CSS and Web Open Font Format (WOFF).

    1. …and the excellent offerings from Autodesk in the ‘Sketchbook’ series, for both Mac and iOS. Again, a reasonably priced hybrid vector/raster app that I like a lot.

  9. I’ve sent an email to Serif, with some issues, dig in if you’re interested:

    You’ve recently started a beta program for your first ever product release for Mac – Affinity Designer followed by Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher to be released in near future.

    Could you give your customers an option on their Serif customer web accounts to choose the type of platform/account (Mac/Windows/both) they want follow into???

    This is an important issue because some people, including me, are not interested in Windows at all. This comes down to not willing to get a promotional material, advertisements, communication and product centred around Windows platform. It will be even more clear, but maybe not clearly seen after you’ll finish beta and release the real product to the market. Folks will just wan’t stick around your websites if they won’t be platform-coordinated and your Mac community won’t grow naturally. Your customers would treat your website as Tesco or Wallmart, where they can get everything and quickly get out as it would be not their natural habitat to stay and feel as being at home bay. Too much Windows/Mac noise will only make look not so dedicated to create a fully platform-centred experience for those clients and you’re risking to loose both, the loyalty of Windows clients and the trust of your new Mac community.

    I’ve currently unsubscribed from all “Serif Email Subscription Options” as the choice for a Mac platform wasn’t provided there and I don’t want get communication about Windows product. I didn’t bought anything from you since 2011 and, in fact, I only left Email Subscriptions on to finally get some communication about you entering the Mac platform, the message which you failed to deliver and I had to gain that knowledge from my friendly blog (( )) which is a great shame and irony as in your email subscription options are so specific, dedicated “options” as: Serif Newsletter, Serif Special Offers, Serif Extra Special Offers and Partner offers. And yet… you failed to let me know about Affinity Designer! I guess only because in order for that information to be reachable it should be passed through the “Sefif Super Extra Hyper Newsletter and Fricking Awesome Extra Special Offers” email subscription option there, which you didn’t provide either:)

    Sorry for being a bit sarcastic on that one but this is only to show you how excited I really am about the news. So, treat it as a good news.

    Now, even if there was some options in the email preferences I think it shouldn’t be just enough – the whole account should have an option to cut out the Windows crap as for some people it could be even seen as insulting (a kind of) or disturbing or both to even see these platforms mixed on the same website.

    Please, take these advices as my sincere input in your work to expand to the Mac platform as we all welcome you with hope that you will disturb a little bit the current status quo in the drawing and publishing software under Mac as well as the pricing.
    Best Regards!

    1. Hi Dominik,

      I’ll take those comments on board. Just to let you know we’re actually now effectively dealing with the mac side of Serif in a separate customer DB. So, if you sign up for the beta at, those details will only ever be used to send info about Affinity – so as long as you’ve signed up there, even if you’ve unsubscribed from everything else on your normal Serif account, you’ll still get that info.

      You can also follow progress on just the Affinity range here:
      Twitter: @MacAffinity

      Ash (MD at Serif)

      1. Holy crap. first time I have seen that in a comments section. Thanks for responding on here, its refreshing to see it here than thinking if the original post ever got an email back. Also, I hope you were able to understand it, because his/her grammar was all out of wack.

  10. When it launches in October, Affinity Designer will be available exclusively on the Mac App store for US$34.99/$49.99 really?

    Try £34.99/US$49.99

  11. I downloaded have started using it. It looks very promising. I am comparing it with Pixelmator at this time. What it does have, that is still quite important for a number of people, that Pixelmator does not have, is CMYK support.

  12. But the UI looks like a straight ugly Windoze port. That won’t cut it in the Mac world… Mac users expect UI/appearance/functionality designs to strictly follow Apple guidelines. I hope their programmers/designers are quick learners. Welcome to the MacOS world!

    1. pbiphoto it runs in separated mode with floating tool panels or windowed mode where panels are docked; switch in the Window menu (optionally run in full screen too). Cheers, Dale in Serif Docs

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