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I realize that Adobe has been the industry standard for the past couple decades, but Sketch 3 and Affinity Designer are quickly gaining momentum and support in the design community. Almost every respectable article, review, and tutorial I read gives me the impression that the future of these powerful new tools is extremely hopeful.

With that being said, would I be shooting myself in the foot (in terms of finding UX/UI/Web design employment) by choosing to skip Photoshop/Illustrator for Sketch/Affinity?

  • I think that as long as those two applications work for you, then it's just fine. These types of applications all use similar techniques. I'd maybe compare it to cars. If you learn to drive one car, you can pretty much drive them all. Some of them will have features you have no clue about, but you'd probably be able to learn it pretty quickly or be able to live without that feature. If that makes any sense. However, if you ever have to apply for a job where they are looking for people with photoshop and illustrator skills... You'd probably have to let your portfolio do the talking. – Joonas Oct 31 '15 at 1:28
  • There is a little concern about the quality of support and the updates. except than that everything else is great with these software tools. – Charu Malik May 2 '18 at 10:30
  • A couple years old, but related if not a duplicate: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/39616/… Most of it is still relatively true. – Scott May 2 '18 at 14:51
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These are tools, just like hammers, screwdrivers, drills, etc. If it works for you, stick with it, it doesn't matter whether the screwdriver is Craftsman or Skill.

From what I have seen on the Serif site, in their magazine, and in reviews, I cannot wait to try it on the Windows platform. All commercials make things look easy and their material is no exception. That said, with the feature set, no subscription, and a hugely reasonable pricing, what is there not to try. I do not know this for sure, but if you are able to save in PSD format it will likely open in Photoshop anyway (may need expert advice here).

I would not stop for a moment as a long time Photoshop user to give Affinity Photo a serious try, but I have to wait until it arrives in Windows.

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  • Wow, didn't realize it was coming to windows. That'll shake things up a bit – johnp Oct 31 '15 at 4:00
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    I don't know for sure that it will be coming to Windows, it is partly wishful thinking and partly following the original Lightroom introduction pattern. I hope it does! (Hear this Serif?) – user45605 Oct 31 '15 at 13:28
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    It's doubtful, actually - it heavily leverages stuff that's built into OS X, the same way that Pixelmator does. "Porting" to Windows would essentially mean re-inventing half of Apple's graphics libraries. – Stan Rogers Oct 31 '15 at 13:31
  • Bummer! I was also interpreting a comment on their site that it was Apple first but platform agnostic (paraphrasing). – user45605 Oct 31 '15 at 13:35
  • No mention of Sketch being only available on Apple. No factual definitive statements at all specifically about either programs features. Lots of vague generalizations. Only speculation of things you don't know and haven't tried. No pros, no cons. Why does this have so many up votes people? We all want to take down Adobe but we need to make better arguments. – LateralTerminal May 3 '18 at 14:48
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Sketch?

I really doubt it. However, not necessarily because the software is bad but because of it's exclusivity.

Lets look at some facts and some Apple history.

  1. 5% market share: To nobody's surprise. Apple's OSX has the weakest market share aside from linux and Other. Even falling way behind it's own IOS. enter image description here

  2. No Windows & No Intel: Not only is not going to be ported to Windows but if the rumors of Apple abandoning Intel are true (It's seeming to be less of a rummor). It's going to need to be re-written from the ground up all over again meaning there's going to be a gap in time before anyone will be able to use it on any system. If the rumors are not true. 5% of the PC market is still not enough to take on the titan Adobe.

  3. If anything cross-platform FOSS software has a better chance of taking on Adobe than Sketch.

Final thoughts and considerations as to why:

Apple's past: As someone who has experienced the shift of Apple choosing IBM then Intel. The transition was NOT as smooth as Apple advertised/reported.

Apple's present: Apple does not care about making workstation computers anymore. In fact they are no longer in the business of making workstations. The last MacPro (lovingly named the Trashintosh because of it's shape) became obsolete frighteningly quick due to its inability to upgrade graphics cards compared to their previous MacPro line. Apple has admitted they didn't care about it's high end machines and apologized.

Apple's Future: It's obvious now their main source of profit is phones and they are mostly a smartphone company. They're workstation machines are nothing more than an afterthought. And moving from Intel will not be easy for Apple or software developers. More workstation Apple users and businesses are flocking to Windows than ever before because apple is for lack of a better words screwing over it's workstation users.

This is not an Apple rant: It's important to focus on Apple because Sketch is only on Apple. Historically we can compare what would happen if Video Toaster aka Lightwave3D stayed exclusive to the Amiga. It was cheap, ahead of its time, and successfully taking on the other 3D software giants of its time. However the software did eventually move to other platforms and managed to live many many years longer than the Amiga did.

Future of Sketch: If Sketch will inevitably have to re-write their code for the new OSX chipset. If they chose to write cross-platform this time then I believe Sketch will have a better chance of taking on Adobe.

Anyway, I wish Apple and Sketch the best of luck during this unsure transition period. There's no way to know for sure what will happen until we see what 2021 brings us.

That being said Affinity Designer is already ported to Windows and looks very promising. Keep your eyes on it.

I think my perspective on hardware is not what everyone is expecting in an answer but still important to consider.

Scott's answer from a few years ago can give you much better insight of how the industry can look down on you for not using Adobe. I'd say he's right on point and still applies today

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If the intent is to get hired at a company.. then yes, you'd be shooting yourself in the foot. I've never seen any job announcements looking for Sketch or Affinity users, they want people well versed in Photoshop, Illustrator, et. al. That's not to say it's impossible to get a position using Sketch or others, but the current likelihood is small.

As a freelancer or sole proprietor, it wouldn't matter overall.

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