Affinity - Imagined by designers, created for professionals

Affinity 1.6 versions to include light UI mode

Affinity Designer for Windows has launched

One of the most commonly requested features we have had for Affinity is the ability to switch to a light UI mode. Well, we’re excited to reveal today that this functionality will be included with both the Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer update to version 1.6.

The debate around whether light or dark UI is preferable in graphic design software is one which has existed for a very long time. Is dark better for photo editing? Is light better for layout design work? Can dark cause eye strain? Does it simply depend on the colour scheme of the image or design you are working on?

In the end of course it just comes down to personal preference, and in the 1.6 versions you will simply be able to switch between dark and light UI modes so the choice is yours.

Check out how Affinity Designer looks with a light UI:

Affinity Designer in light UI mode

Affinity Designer in light UI mode

Pixel persona in Affinity Designer light UI mode

Affinity Designer pixel persona in light UI mode

The option to toggle between dark and light UI will just be in preferences, and there is no need to restart to app as shown in the video below:

We expect the 1.6 versions of Affinity to launch around Easter, and it will be a free update to all existing owners. We will shortly be making the beta versions available too, follow us on Twitter or Facebook to get notified as soon as they are available.

UPDATE April 2017: V1.6 updates will be slightly later than planned, rather than being released at Easter as we initially hoped. Please follow us on Twitter or Facebook to get notified as soon as they are available.

68 Comments

Graham Rabbitts -

A good development for amateurs like me. Keep the good work Serif.

Paul james brown -

Fantastic. Money very well spent with Serif. Im very lucky to have both AP/AD and the work book. Keep up the good work. Many thanks. Paul.

Gianfranco Manfrinati -

Manca solo il " Ricalco immagini " a Affinity Designer per essere perfetto.

rickd -

Why not just a slider to put it where you want it between white and black?

Dave -

Thank you very much, I did ask for it in the feedback to the trial and it actually got done! company which actually listens to what people say! great stuff Affinity! I'm glad I got both designer and photos, well made programs.

ruedy33 -

Endlich! Ich kaufte den Designer erst gestern und heute gibt es schon die neuere Version! Wann, und wie kann man updaten?

Jon Arnold -

So pleased to hear about the light UI - it's a big deal for me - Thanks

Deborah -

I tested Affinity Design last month and liked it; however, decided NOT to purchase BECAUSE of the DARK UI which for me was an intolerable work space. Will now be purchasing Affinity Design soon because of your Light UI update.

Angel -

A M A Z I N G ! :O

Harry -

Hooray! Getting rid of the grungy black will be a rest for the eyes. Glad to see Serif listens.

GlennRae Honstain -

I'm excited about this happening! Light would be my preference. Please let me know when the 1.6 version of Designer is ready to download!

JET -

Excellent! Light UI should have been the original and the default. But offering the choice should put the matter to bed. JET

Sigi K -

A big THANK YOU, for the bright UI theme! I am over 50, I wear glasses, and with dark UI themes I have BIG problems in visibility. It can be very exhausting to work! Just a note, bright or dark is not simply a case of personal taste. Today, low-contrast color schemes (e.g. light-grey font on white background) seem to be en vogue. Also, UI elements without visible borders (e.g. buttons or active areas, without visible frame). I suppose, they were designed by people who are too young, or just 'trendy', without keeping all users in mind. The human eye wants good contrast and well-recognizable object borders. Everything else needs higher attention. I have started to complain with various vendors, on feedback channels, whenever I get the opportunity. I need high-contrast UI. Products or websites who cause me headache, I tend not to use. Greetings to your great team, Sigi Knoll, germany

Susie Royal -

Great to know this is coming out. Would it also be possible to have training videos option appear when you hove over a tool (then have the option to turn this off once we become accomplished with Affinity), especially as Affinity is so different from Drawplus & PhotoPlus versions? Thank you,

Alex -

Looks cool I like the dark instead but having two option is a good move.

Peter O. -

Wow, than Light UI looks great! Keep up the good work, guys and girls! :)

David -

Thank you so much for Light UI. It is a well welcome upgrade for my design project work. Looking forward in jumping in an using it very soon.

Yuri -

In the sentence The option to toggle between dark and light UI will just be in preferences, and there is no need to restart to app as shown in the video below: I think you meant to say "…restart the app…".

Stanley Salmons -

That's great. As a newcomer to Affinity Designer a switch like that was almost the first thing I looked for, but couldn't find!! I suggest you use the Light Mode for all your videos, too, as the pointer is hard to see against that 'orrible black background.

Luc Last -

You've seen the light! Thanks!

MaryLou White -

i am so happy and excited about the light colored UI!! The black is so hard on one's eyes and most of the time, I can't distinguish the difference to see if a tool is selected or not. Many times, I've wanted to just delete both Designer and Photo from my computer due to the frustration of working with that dark screen. Now, I'm going to be one very happy person to see that light interface available. Nice move!! And the BEST move of all!! Looking so forward to 1.6!! THANK YOU!!!

Bhavin Patel -

Light UI option: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Bhavin Patel --- Art Director & Visual Consultant, & Owner of MARBL Chocolates

sven -

Hi, nice feature. - In the update of photo theres a little mistake. If you want to turn a photo around you can do it clockwise. Or the other way around. But in the german version both menuepoints say the same, so that you dont know which is wich. Regards Sven

Abraham Cruz -

I personally prefer the Dark UI Mode but this is good news, for present and future users.

Howard Celnik -

Thank you for making a great app even better. - Howard

Noel Williams -

Absolutely delighted to hear that a lighter UI option is on its way. Can't wait... I just couldn't cope with the dark UI and had abandoned Affinity Designer because of it.

Leonard Fenton -

Great improvement. My personal preference is the Light GU. Continue the good work.

teejay -

love the fact i can choose between light and dark UI as i will use both thankyou for listening and acting on what you heard. Teejay.

Sebastinia -

Could you add a basic Wine support for the next Windows release? I switched all my machines and servers to Ubuntu. Having a working Affinity Designer on my Ubuntu laptop would be awesome!

Jack -

I have been using AD since Genesis !:1 and I'm so pleased that at last the developers are doing something about the UI. The question of eye-strain etc surely is up to the user on what is best for them. I look forward to the addition of many of the 'drawing' features that have been requested since AD's publication.

William Loud -

Both Affinity Photo and Designer are just really great programs. Can't praise them enough. One thing I would really, really, absolutely like to see on the Top Menu of the UI though are forward/back or redo/undo arrows à la Draw Plus, Photo Plus, etc. That would really save some time and give you some more options to work with. One that I find very useful for checking work to see how it looks, and correcting mistakes quickly without extraneous mouse clicks.

Fritz -

:-) very good news, Thanks a lot! Fritz

TechniSmart -

The thing I liked about Serif back in the days was their responsiveness to customers' changing needs and coming up with Windows products we had to have. Affinity still listens to its customers and implements within a reasonable timeframe due to advanced coding techniques. That's where Ad$be has failed and it's too late for them to become you. The light/dark UI debate is a perfect example. You listened and solved it with a color wheel--brilliant! Bring on 1.6. --Customer for Life!

Aleksandar -

I've been Serif customer for a long time. I have several products including photoplus. But never received and offer to upgrade to affinity. Can't find the upgrade offer anywhere. I would upgrade in a second if I was offered any path. Just feel it's important to show some gratitude to old customers. Also very important is a trial version, as well as some group discounts. Thanks, Good luck and keep up the good work.

Kat Jenkins -

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Kleeby -

I'm like Deborah, the dark UI was a deal breaker for me. Too bad the light UI wasn't already available at start, I might have taken advantage of the offer with additional content. Although I'm now thinking of leaving that annoying Inkscape behind and finally switch to Affinity.

Bob -

"We expect the 1.6 versions of Affinity to launch around Easter, and it will be a free update to all existing owners." I'm using Infinity Photos for Windows and can't find a Check For Update function. Have I overlooked it, or is it set to update automatically?

Leigh -

@Bob: The app will tell on launch that an update is available to download :)

John Poul -

Affinity is giving a bunch of good services in a very low price. Good job and thanks.

dmaxm -

So glad to see. I have my monitors set darker than most. Works well for other programs but with Affinity's dark UI, it's a real bother to work in Photo and Designer. Hooray for this update!

Jurand Widera -

Finally! I just can not wait for the new version: D Thank you!

Daniele Salvatore -

It is not so important whether the UI mode will be either light or dark, but that the difference in clour of the icon will have a great difference when they are activated (now there is not a substantial difference and this make very-very difficult to understand thei status)

JohnnyFave -

Thanks goodness! I just purchased Affinity Designer 1.5.4 today and was looking for a light UI option - the dark UI is just too difficult to see on a high res. monitor! :( Besides, it's fully proven in design principles, that light text on a dark background is harder to read.

MatthewB -

THANK YOU. This is the last item holding us back from a 100% switch over from illustrator - and the only item preventing us from ever using pixelmator for any length of time.

LilleG -

Thank you! This will make my life so much easier. And my tired eyes so much happier! Thanks for listening to our requests. Thank you for treating us like adults old enough to decide what we need and want rather than children who need to be told what's best for them. Just Tnanks!

Fernando Rosa -

Finally I'll be able to get rid of that dark interface. Everything reflects on my screen, is really annoying work with dark interfaces. Thank you for that option!

Rick -

Glad to hear a "light" version is coming. Can you give us an actual date?

Bharat Bhusan Apat -

Is the prototyping feature coming along with 1.6? And can you provide a tentative date for the release? I have paused my freelancing works and I was waiting to buy it this easter..

Leigh -

1.6 is still being developed, once we have more information we'll let everyone know.

PL Manhard -

The incipient light interface is one of the reasons I went ahead and bought Affinity Photo. Thanks!

Jan K. -

The prototyping feature would be great and really helpful. Neither it would be big improvement and strong the competition to Sketch app.

Nathan -

Free updates and no subscription are what make Affinity products great! Keep up the good work!

Mourad -

Looking forward to the update, a few smaller bugs need squashing, and the light UI looks great! Purchasing AD was a great thing to do, I ended up using it basically every day, it fits greatly in my daily workflow! Irreplaceable for icon design and UI!

Amber -

I'm new to affinity designer however I am not new by any means to photoshop or its breathren. I work with different image editing softwares and thought I would give AD a try but one thing that is desperately lacking is the option to add patterns to an image or maybe a quick select or magic wand tool. PLEASE consider this request.

Affinity Support -

@Amber: You'll find the tools you're after in Affinity Photo. You can download the trial from here: https://affinity.serif.com/photo/

Michael -

Is UI color change the only update coming soon? I'm desperately waiting for a glyphs panel to be available in these really amazing tools. I hope you guys find the time and resources to provide this update quickly.

Affinity Support -

@Michael: We're adding a new Glyph browser in the 1.6 update. You can download the 1.6 beta version from our support forum to try now :) https://affinity.serif.com/forum/index.php?/forum/32-affinity-beta-support/

Jonathan -

Please include mesh transformation tool

Iajhy -

Great updates! I'll stick with dark, though. In the meanwhile, Adobe update the Camera Raw plug-in :D

Tom -

Is this ever going to ship? It's been 6 months since the original ETA, and 9 months since the preview announcement. It looks like AD for Mac is abandonware. Something as basic as "use the standard system controls" shouldn't take a year to implement. I guess Serif finally realized the Mac isn't as profitable as those other platforms.

Artem -

Fix horrible UI font please. https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/48087-how-to-fix-affinity-photo-ui-fonts-on-windows-10/

Affinity Support -

@Tom: Our developers are still working hard on this release. You can download the latest beta builds here ( https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/forum/15-designer-beta-on-mac/ ) to see the new features and improvements.

Affinity Support -

@Artem: I can see that our developers are looking into this for you. I'm sure they'll figure out what's happening on your system.

Craig -

Still haven't fixed Expand Stroke? It has never worked correctly and there are forum posts from 2015 bringing it to your attention. This should not happen: https://i.imgur.com/eqEM8Xg.png But at least I can turn the UI to light gray, so that helps, right?

Affinity Support -

@Craig: It's an issue our developers are aware of and it's on their todo list. It will get fixed in a future update.

ooba -

please add live paint tool

Affinity Support -

@Ooba: We currently have no plans to add a Live Paint Tool but it could be something that's added in the future.

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