Back in November I published a mini-review of Affinity Publisher for iPad.. At the time I’d only had a week to work with it but was happy with the app. It’s now been four months and I thought I’d offer an update. Serif have released 4 small bug fixes but most of the larger bugs have yet to be fixed. In my experience there have been just three bugs that have been a bit of a bother.
The talented folks over at Serif released the Affinity Publisher beta today! They’ve been teasing it for a year or more so there are a lot of very excited design nerds today and I’m one of them. The current release is for Mac and Window but they’ve already begun work on an iPad version!
I currently use Pages on iPad for most of my layout work. If someone specifies InDesign then I’ll use that on the Mac.
In June of 2015 Affinity Designer for Mac caused a splash when it was released. I’d never heard of it but was anxious to try something that might allow me to replace Illustrator. I spent a couple weeks with the trial and decided pretty quickly that I would be purchasing it. During that time I created a series of space-themed posters and shared them is a couple of blog posts: post one and post two.
Anytime I’ve written about my transition to iPad for more of my work I always note that one of the few reasons I have for returning to the Mac for client work is InDesign. While the company that makes Affinity Photo also has a publishing app in the works that is intended to replace InDesign it is likely a ways off for the Mac and even further away for the iPad.
[caption id=“attachment_447” align=“aligncenter” width=“2597”]Using Affinity Photo to design a promotional postcard[/caption]
It’s been a week since the 12.9" 2017 iPad Pro arrived at my door. I can best summarize by saying that without any doubt, this is my favorite Apple device ever. I’m not surprised. I expected it would be. And I say that having used it on iOS 10 only. No beta for me. Actually, I should say that it’s not the iPad alone but the pairing of it with the Apple Smart Keyboard and Pencil.
[caption id=“attachment_426” align=“alignnone” width=“2048”]Affinity Photo on iPad[/caption]
I’ve been using the Affinity apps, Photo and Designer, on my Mac for the past couple of years and thanks to them I’ve largely left Adobe behind. In fact, I only use Adobe for InDesign projects and for Illustrator’s trace functionality. It’s rare that I open up either Illustrator or Photoshop and I look forward to the day that I don’t need to have them installed.
In 2011 I was hired to redesign the website of a local pick-your-own blueberry farm. Six years later it was time to get that site moved over to a mobile friendly design. It was and still is a fairly simple design but it now a responsive design which displays very nicely on mobile devices.
I've been doing a bit of volunteer work for our local library lately and we're currently moving towards an April vote on a tax increase to help cover the operating costs of our little network of rural libraries. I was asked to put together a collection of simple posters that would highlight the value of library services to patrons via print and social media. I did most of the work in Pages on the iPad with two exceptions that required a quick edit on the Mac.
I don't just love tiny houses, I live and work in one. It suits me very well because I don't own much stuff and what I do keep around serves a function. Not much clutter in my world. My small space has served me very well and I don't see that changing for any reason. A couple months ago a local fellow started a new tiny buildings business and asked me to do a website and other marketing materials.
When I'm not creating something for a client chances are pretty good that I'm reading about astronomy, physics, space exploration or some related area of science. I've often used those interests as the ingredients in a variety of a for-fun graphic design projects. If you follow NASA at all you probably know that this past July we put the Juno spacecraft into orbit around Jupiter. On August 27 NASA announced that Juno completed it's first extended orbit around the planet and has begun the next orbit.
I continue to enjoy Affinity Designer. In fact, after three months of use I far prefer it (as well as Affinity Photo) to Illustrator or Photoshop. As of this moment my plan is to only use the Adobe apps if a client/project requires it. These new Affinity apps by Serif are fantastic and did I mention they are not rented via subscription but available for purchase the old-fashioned way? Buttery smooth, fully featured and a pleasure to use.
My trial run with Affinity Design continues, this time with a series of space exploration posters featuring Carl Sagan quotes.
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” - Carl Sagan
“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” - Carl Sagan
“Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.
Before I go any further, let me say this isn’t much of a review or even a mini-review. Just my initial impressions.
I’m a regular user of Adobe CC but not a big fan of the subscription model. When I recently learned of Affinity Designer and the upcoming Affinity Photo I figured it was worth checking out. The reviews for AD thus far are very high and having used it for a couple of projects I can see why.
A pretty fantastic post about the typography of Alien.
My third post about typography in sci-fi has been gestating for a while now. Indeed, it’s been slowly taking shape – you might say it’s been forming itself inside of me – for really quite some time. I’m delighted to say that it is now ready to burst forth from my allegorical chest, and to spatter allegorical typographic blood all over your allegorical faces.
My main work machine is the 2012 Mac Mini. I’ve written before about my transition to a standing desk for health purposes. That said, I do want to be able to use the iPad as a tool to get work done. Having a flexible workflow is good and it would seem a waste, with the increased power of the iPad Air 2, to not utilize it when the need arises. My initial thought was that it would come in handy for editing the html of client websites and yes, that is a breeze with Diet Coda and Transmit.
Frank Chimero, The Second Trip-Up:
A young designer is beaten over the head with typefaces, grids, and rules—and rightfully so—but typography can act as a smoke screen. There is so much to learn about the letters that it’s easy to forget about the words. Once a designer has the typographic skills in their pocket, anyone with their head on straight realizes ugly words in beautiful typefaces are still pretty dumb. I tripped over this observation while struggling to make good designs and clear illustrations for idiotic articles and muddled ideas.
Client wanted a bright but rustic flyer to advertise a beer festival sponsored by her beer brewing co-op. I used several fonts beginning with one of my current favorites, American Captain. I ended the design with something a bit more whimsical and reflective of their current branding and website, Brain Flower Euro. In between, Playball, Oklahoma, and Rockwell. I used a grunge paper texture faded in the background to help create a rougher, rustic feel.
Thiswas an ad for a Georgia pizzeria.The client wanted an old world aesthetic with reds and greens as well as earth tones. A rough paper texture was used to achieve a rustic feel that might be mistaken for an old earthen wall somewhere in a Tuscan village.
It’sbeen a very busy 6 months! I’ve not been keeping up with the blog but have determined to make it a priority. I’ll start with highlighting some of my recent work, in particular a series of vintage themed print ads for JoJo and Sofia’s new line of men’s pocket-squares. This is one of two. A lot of fun to do.
Features two of my favorite fonts: Rockwell and Antique Book Cover.
My partner here at Make-It-Do Farm and Tucker Creek Creative (she is also the creative force behind Daisyblend Organic Creations), Kaleesha, just recently published her first book. In fact, the Kindle and ePub versions have only been out a week and the print copies are due to arrive next week so when I say recently what I really mean is just! It is an understatement to say we are excited about her accomplishment!