Canva won't scrap Affinity's best feature - but subscriptions may be coming

A group shot of the Affinity team in Affinity t-shirts, the large A logo behind them
(Image credit: Affinity / Canva)

It’s official - Canva won’t scrap Affinity software’s best feature: the perpetual license, a one-off fee, no endless subscriptions. 

A commitment to the “perpetual model” is one of four pledges made in a joint statement from the Canva and Affinity teams designed to allay fears after the former acquired the latter. 

Of course, users may also soon be able to subscribe to Affinity’s creative apps, too - but to the relief of many, both teams confirmed, “if we do offer a subscription, it will only ever be as an option alongside the perpetual model, for those who prefer it.” Champagne all round. 

A pledge to users

When news broke that Canva had acquired the company behind some of the best graphic design software and the best DTP software we’ve ever used, like many, we wondered what this meant for the always welcome one-off fee. 

You can’t open Canva without a Canva Pro ad popping up every time (an admittedly small price to pay). Affinity’s closest competitor, Adobe, offers three different subscription plans for its Creative Cloud suite - and that’s just for one person. 

So, Affinity’s refreshing one-off charge for Designer, Photo, and Publisher - and the Universal License that bundles all three apps together - made them some of the best alternatives to Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. In that environment, would the perpetual license last?

Canva and Affinity's four pledges as laid out in their statement

Canva and Affinity's four pledges as laid out in their statement (Image credit: Canva / Affinity)

The answer is a resounding yes. The Affinity and Canva Pledge commits both companies to fair pricing, saying, “we know this model has been a key part of the Affinity offering and we are committed to continue to offer perpetual licenses in the future.”

Pledges also vow to continue “accelerating” support for Affinity as a standalone product, free availability for schools and registered nonprofits, and “listening and being led by the design community at every step in this journey.”

As if to prove this, the firm is already preparing to rollout user-requested features. Look out for variable font support, blend and width tools, auto object selection, multi-page spreads, and ePub export as free updates coming to the design suite in 2024.

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Steve Clark
B2B Editor - Creative & Hardware

Steve is TechRadar Pro’s B2B Editor for Creative & Hardware. He explores the apps and devices for individuals and organizations that thrive on design and innovation. A former journalist at Web User magazine, he's covered software and hardware news, reviews, features, and guides. He's previously worked on content for Microsoft, Sony, and countless SaaS & product design firms. Once upon a time, he wrote commercials and movie trailers. Relentless champion of the Oxford comma.