Canva acquires professional design suite, Affinity, in a bid to take on Adobe

By Sanjeev 3 Min Read

On one hand, Canva has empowered individuals with proper design training to create eye-catching visuals. On the other hand, it has always been looked down upon by the professional design community.

The Australia-based unicorn is now trying to win over the hearts of its despiser by acquiring Affinity, an Adobe-like creative software suite. 

While our last decade at Canva has focused heavily on the 99% of knowledge workers without design training, truly empowering the world to design includes empowering professional designers too. By joining forces with Affinity, we’re excited to unlock the full spectrum of designers at every level and stage of the design journey.

Cliff Obrecht, Co-Founder and COO at Canva

Affinity is currently home to three design tools used by over 3 million professionals across Windows, Mac, and iPad:

  • Affinity Photo: Complete photo editing software with multi-layer support.
  • Affinity Designer: Affinity’s tool for graphics, logos, designs, and web mock-ups for illustrators.
  • Affinity Publisher: Publication tools for creating layouts with texts and graphics for print and digital media.
Affinitiy Designer Software Interface

If it is not obvious, the three tools mentioned above are alternatives to Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign

Unlike Adobe, Affinity has chosen to stick with a one-time payment model. This decision has resonated with professional designers who value the ability to fully own their tools, making Affinity a popular choice in the industry.

As of today, Affinity is an individual platform separate from Canva, but we can expect some crossovers soon. 

In Canva, we’ve found a kindred spirit who can help us take Affinity to new levels. Their extra resources will mean we can deliver much more, much faster.

Ashley Hewson, CEO at Affinity

Regardless, it will be exciting to see how Canva integrates Affinity tools into its web-based design tool, specifically considering that the two platforms have different target audiences.

Affinity is the latest European startup to be acquired by Canva. It joins Flourish, Kaleido, SmartMaockups, Pexels, Pixabay, and SlidesCarnival, which are all now part of Canva.

The addition of a new 90-person team will allow Canva to compete against Adobe in the professional design tool space.

Affinity 90-person team joins Canva
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