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Serif Europe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Serif (Europe) Ltd
Company typeSubsidiary
Founded1987; 37 years ago (1987)
HeadquartersWest Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
ProductsList of Serif products
Number of employees
90 (2024)[1]
ParentCanva (2024–present)
Vizacom (1996–2001)

Serif (Europe) Ltd, a subsidiary of Canva, is a renowned British software developer and publisher, best known for its Affinity suite of professional graphic design, photo editing, and desktop publishing software. The company delivers products directly to consumers through its dedicated website and contact centre, as well as through various retailers.

The wider Serif Group Ltd also operates a question-and-answer support website called CommunityPlus, and formerly operated a gifts and gadgets website called Gizoo.[2][3]



Serif was founded in 1987 by a small team of software engineers, with the objective of creating lower-cost alternatives to existing Desktop Publishing (DTP) software packages using the Microsoft Windows platform.[4][5]

The first Serif product to be released was called PageStar: a simple, low-cost advertisement layout program for Windows 2.0. This was expanded in 1990 with their follow-up, PagePlus (originally for Windows 3.0),[5] which would go on to win 'Best Software' at the Computer Shopper Awards 2014.[6] In subsequent years, this was accompanied by other software products in the 'Plus' range, including DrawPlus (1994),[7] PhotoPlus (1999),[8] WebPlus (2000),[9] and MoviePlus (2003).[10]

In 1996, Serif was acquired by American company Vizacom (formerly known as Allegro New Media); however, ownership was sold back to Serif senior management in 2001.[11][12]

The successor to their DrawPlus product, Affinity Designer (a vector art & design package), was launched in 2014 for macOS.[13] It was Serif's first product for macOS, and had been written from scratch specifically for it.[14] This was followed in 2015 by the second Affinity product (and successor to PhotoPlus), Affinity Photo (a photo editing & design package).[15]

In 2016, following the release of Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo for Windows, Serif ceased development for their 'Plus' product range to focus exclusively on the Affinity product range.[16] Support for the legacy product range ended in July 2022.[17]

Affinity Designer is considered an Adobe Illustrator alternative and is cross-platform with versions available for iPadOS, macOS and Windows. It supports both vector and raster design artwork unlike competing apps, with powerful tools and a budget-friendly price.[18][19][20]Affinity Designer was selected as the winner of the "Best Software For Designers" Award in the 2022 Creative Bloq Awards.[21] It was also one of the winners of the 2015 Apple Design Award.[22]

Affinity Photo has been described as an Adobe Photoshop alternative, and is compatible with common file formats such as Adobe's PSD (including Photoshop Smart Objects).[23][24][25] In 2023 Amateur Photographer presented Affinity Photo the Photo Editing Software of the Year award.[26]

Affinity Publisher, the successor to PagePlus and the third addition to the Affinity product line, was released in 2019.[27] It has been described as an alternative to Adobe InDesign,[28][29] due to its primary focus on desktop publishing workflows for both printed and online media, including common features from this industry, such as master pages, OpenType support, linked text frames, and end-to-end support for the CMYK color model.[30]

Acquisition by Canva


On 26 March 2024, Serif announced it had been acquired by the Australian company Canva for approximately US$380 million.[1][31] This acquisition was named as part of Canva's strategy to expand its global footprint and enhance its software offerings. Following the acquisition, Serif has stated that there are no immediate changes to its pricing model, and both companies have committed to maintaining Affinity's perpetual licensing model, along with offering free licenses to schools and nonprofits. [32][33]



The following are all software packages, for the following applications:

Current products


Discontinued products



  1. ^ a b Bonyhady, Nick (March 26, 2024). "Canva's billion-dollar bet on a 37-year-old Nottingham company". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved March 26, 2024.
  2. ^ "CommunityPlus". serif.com.
  3. ^ "GIZOO Trademark Information". trademarkia.com. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  4. ^ "About Serif". 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  5. ^ a b PagePlus 10.0 Companion (PDF). Serif (Europe) Ltd. 2004. pp. 5–6.
  6. ^ "PagePlus X8 wins 'Best Software' award at the Computer Shopper Awards 2014". Serif Blog. November 28, 2014. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  7. ^ "Serif DrawPlus X8 Review - Pros, Cons and Verdict". TopTenReviews. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  8. ^ "Serif PhotoPlus X8 Review - Pros, Cons and Verdict". TopTenReviews. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  9. ^ "Serif WebPlus X8". www.comparedandreviewed.com. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  10. ^ "MoviePlus Video Editing Software (for Windows) Review". TopTenReviews. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  11. ^ "Vizacom Sells Its Software Operations Company to Receive $1,137,500 From Serif". Vizacom release, dated 2 April 2001, from the PR Newswire archives. The Free Library, by Farlex website. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  12. ^ "Software Publishing Corporation - The Personal Computer Museum, Brantford, Ontario, CANADA". pcmuseum.ca. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  13. ^ "Affinity Designer is a new graphics design suite available for Mac". iMore. 2014-10-02. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  14. ^ "Serif reveals its best-kept secret – Affinity Photo for Windows is coming". TechRadar. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  15. ^ "Serif releases Affinity Photo". ArtStation Magazine. 2015-07-10. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  16. ^ "Digital Craft: Serif discontinues its Pageplus, Drawplus and Photoplus designing software to focus on its(Serif) new Affinity range of Professional graphic design software - ANINO". ANINO. 2017-08-10. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  17. ^ "Information about the Legacy Plus Range - Affinity Forum". 2022-07-05. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  18. ^ "Best graphic design software of 2024". Tech Radar. 1 March 2024. Retrieved 27 March 2024.
  19. ^ "Best graphic design software of 2024". Tech Radar. 1 March 2024. Retrieved 27 March 2024.
  20. ^ "Serif Affinity Designer 2". Tech Radar. 11 November 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2024.
  21. ^ Daniel John (2022-09-29). "Adobe Photoshop 2022 wins software of the year in the Creative Bloq Awards 2022". Creative Bloq. Retrieved 2024-02-11.
  22. ^ Panzarino, Matthew (June 8, 2015). "Fantastical 2, Workflow, Robinhood Among Winners At Apple Design Awards". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  23. ^ Zhang, Michael (9 February 2015). "Affinity Photo is a New Pro Photoshop Alternative for Mac Users: Get It for Free". PetaPixel. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  24. ^ Hillen, Brittany (10 February 2015). "Serif launches Affinity Photo, a Photoshop alternative for Mac". Digital Photography Review. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  25. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (2020-02-26). "Affinity Photo, Publisher, and Designer updated to version 1.8". 9to5Mac. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  26. ^ Waller, Joshua (2023-02-23). "AP Awards 2023 - Best Software and Accessories". Amateur Photographer. Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  27. ^ "Affinity launches professional desktop publisher for Mac with integrated vector design and image editor apps". 9to5Mac. 2019-06-19. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  28. ^ Antunes, Jose (2018-08-31). "Affinity Publisher: an affordable alternative to Adobe InDesign". ProVideo Coalition. Retrieved 2019-08-17.
  29. ^ Sartain, JD (2019-08-27). "Alternatives for Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop and more". PC World. Archived from the original on 2020-02-01. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  30. ^ Endicott, Sean (2019-06-19). "Affinity Publisher is now available from Serif". Windows Central. Retrieved 2019-08-17.
  31. ^ Miller, Ron (March 26, 2024). "With Affinity acquisition, Canva should be able to compete better with Adobe's creative tools". TechCrunch.
  32. ^ Weatherbed, Jess (2024-03-26). "It didn't take long for Canva's Affinity acquisition to feel ominous". The Verge. Retrieved 2024-03-26.
  33. ^ Weatherbed, Jess (March 27, 2024). "Affinity users won't be forced into paying subscriptions following Canva acquisition". The Verge. Retrieved March 27, 2024.