Affinity Publisher Will Be Available June 19

Sketch Sessions 6/13/2019 - The Digital Republic cover series is used as a testing ground for Affinity Publisher Beta.

For nearly a year I've been using Affinity Publisher Beta with the hope that a commercial release would be available soon so I can finally dump Quark 2017 (I refuse to upgrade beyond this version). Although I learned Quark Xpress when I was in high school many years ago and it was ahead of its time in many ways, the current state of the application is terrible on Windows 10. It's laggy, glitchy and far too expensive to run sub-par as it does. Affinity Publisher even in beta is a better product than Quark 2017.

For the uninitiated, what is Quark and Affinity Publisher? Short answer, they're both desktop publishing applications very similar to Adobe Indesign. They're used to design layouts for newspapers, magazines, books, various cover art, various graphic design projects etc. The other question I get a lot these days is, "Why not use Indesign?" Simple, because subscription based software is a total rip off and after being burned by Adobe by subscribing to Indesign for a year, I swore I'd never do it again. Leasing software is evil. This is why I've become a huge fan of Affinity applications because they are very good alternatives to Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign, can be had not only for really great prices (for instance, preorder Affinity Publisher today and it can be had for $35, regular price is $50), but there are iPad versions of Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer that are comparable to the desktop counterparts with NO SUBSCRIPTIONS. You buy it, you own it.

Life - this version was created using Affinity Designer on a Surface Studio and the layout was created using Affinity Publisher Beta on the same Surface Studio.

Affinity Publisher was the last piece of the puzzle I needed to complete my own creative suite that will allow me to create at the same level or beyond Adobe Creative Suite without jumping through subscription based hoops. I already own Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher is pre-ordered. I gave Quark 2016 a shot and to be fair, Quark is still a very capable application. But the problem with Quark is that the developers didn't code the current versions of the application to smoothly support touch screens and pen input, performance suffers even on my SurfaceBook 2 with a Core i7, 16GBs of RAM and a GTX 1060 and there are glitches that make the application feel amateurish. I upgraded to the 2017 version of Quark hoping these issues would be resolved. They were not. At this point, Quark is out, Affinity Publisher is in.

Due to the fact that Affinity Publisher is still in Beta, I kept the testing simple. I created a couple of templates for the Digital Republic cover series (only simple page layouts, the covers being the main focus). I added fonts using Skyfonts/Google fonts as well as adding fonts from an old laptop I had lying around, to my system fonts directory on the SurfaceBook 2 and Surface Studio. I created a few style sheets and recreated the COPIC palettes from Sketchbook Pro 7 for use in Affinity applications (those can be found here). Once the commercial release of Affinity Publisher launches, then the real fun begins. Full multi-page layouts, more style sheets and official projects begin using Affinity Publisher as the lead application.

Apollo, created entirely using Clip Studio EX.

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