June 14, 2018
Announcing Affinicasts: My Newest Side Project
I'm beyond excited to announce my new project Affinicasts (RIP!)!
In the last 9 months, I've been a little obsessed with creating my newest side project called Affinicasts. For those that don't know, Affinicasts is a new community and platform filled with video tutorials revolving around Affinity-Serif products. Affinity Photo, Designer and coming soon Publisher, are featured as the main focus of the site.
My goal with this project is to help shed light on these awesome design tools and also offer an unbiased opinion on features, workflows, and more from a modern-day designer. My background is heavily involved in web and UX design as well as graphic design. Affinity-Serif's tools lend me a huge hand creating more without breaking the bank like other tools out there.
This app has been a big reason for my new Ruby on Rails series to exist on both my blog and YouTube. You can check out a bunch more about it by checking out the site as well as watching the videos on this article. Thanks so much for everyone's support so far. This has been about a year in the works and I'm thrilled to see it hit the ground running. We were even featured for a full day on Product Hunt in the top 5 products.
Watch the launch reel
The state of design tools
I've used just about every tool out there. As a product designer, I frequently use multiple apps on a given day to communicate ideas or design living features. I have yet to find one application I can call a single source of truth for all my work. There is plenty of buzz around apps such as Invision Studio, Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD these days but it seems little buzz is to do with Affinity hence why I built this project. While all tools differ I feel like Affinity Serif tools are the closest to apps we all probably started on; those apps being Illustrator and Photoshop from Adobe.
Converting from Adobe applications to Affinity Designer and Photo was a breeze. These apps kept what I refer to as the "good parts" and stripped away the rest. While maintaining rich features, Affinity Photo and Designer have different modes called Personas which single-handedly allow you to run many apps within one. Even most of the key commands you likely can't forget from Photoshop or Illustrator map to some of the same functions and tools in Affinity Photo and Designer.
All of this said I find myself reaching for Affinity tools again and again to do a variety of tasks day-to-day. Those tasks include photo editing, wireframing, illustrating, sketching and more. With the rise of design tools in the market I wanted to create a resource and community that helps any designer from novice to pro see the perks of using Affinity apps.
Like many designers, I started off using the infamous Adobe Creative Suite. Photoshop and Illustrator became what seemed like extra appendages as I began my career. Today, I still love those apps but am not wild about the business model behind them. At over $50 per month, I can't quite justify continuing on using the applications I once loved (and I secretly still love).
Today, many designers/developers use these tools to spin up websites, create application UI, create print media and so much more. A large fraction of those designers likely freelance for a living as well. As you can probably guess, a hefty subscription cost from Adobe just won't work.
There are new tools like Invision Studio, Figma, Sketch, Adobe XD and more which offer a lightweight approach to designing for screens. These options work but don't always deliver the full spectrum of tools and features you might need as a designer. In Affinity Designer, for example, I can jump to the pixel persona mode and quickly jump back to vector mode. This allows me to combine vector and raster in one app with full control.
So cool! Being able to do that all within one app for a flat rate convinced me to use Affinity apps almost instantly.
That sparkled me to create Affinicasts. The new home for knowledge, resources, tips, tricks, and community revolving around Affinity applications.
The future of the app
While we've only just begun, our plans are to scale Affinicasts to be the best resource of video tutorials and courses for all Affinity-Serif products. Combined with tutorials and courses we plan to integrate a resource hub for mockups, templates, color palettes, text styles, and more than a user can export or import into any Affinity-Serif app.
Future improvements include adding more content for Affinity Photo for iPad, Affinity Publisher (when it launches), having guest contributors, and building a discussion forum. Have an idea or feature request? Feel free to message us.
Are you affiliated with Affinity-Serif?
Not at this point in time. Although we love what they do we are not affiliated in any way.
Why the subscription model? Affinity doesn't even charge you that way?
While many of our videos and courses are completely free, we do have some premium content that helps keep Affinicasts going and with your support, we will continue to do so. With a pro subscription you'll have access to all of our content as well as be granted access to a private Slack community. We understand that Affinity products use a non-subscription model, but feel as time goes on and more content is added to Affinicasts we can best manage our efforts using a SaaS approach for a more affordable rate.
If you prefer the flat-rate model we do offer a lifetime plan for one flat fee. You gain access to the site for as long as we stay alive :)
Who made this?
At this point in time, we are a team of two creatives who use Affinity products day-in and day-out. Alyssa and Andy Leverenz work by day as avid designers and developers. We co-operate a creative agency on the side known as Couple of Creatives. Andy is a product designer at Dribbble. Alyssa has a freelance brand strategy company called Endlyss Designs. We are entrepreneurs at heart who love to create, write, and build products.
Be sure to follow Affinicasts!