Affinity Designer is a graphic design software app that allows users to create stunning vector images for their projects. Affinity Designer is a formidable opponent to Adobe Illustrator. The upshot is that Affinity Designer can open files in .ai and .psd format.
Serif’s Affinity Designer has already been attracting a lot of praise and recognition, so when I was offered the opportunity to take it for a test drive in exchange for an honest review, I jumped into action.
Installation And Setup
Affinity Designer sets up and installs seamlessly in Windows 10, the environment I use. Within minutes, I was up and running in the program, and I didn’t have to add any side or special programs for it to run.
Ease Of Use And User Interface
Affinity Designer took a few minutes to get used to as I was treating it like a playground, in order to introduce myself to the various vector drawing tools the program offers. After the initial playing time, I was able to navigate the menus and find what I needed in order to test the software’s features for the purpose of review.
Those who have been using a program like Illustrator, Photoshop, or Inkscape for their design needs will find that Affinity Designer doesn’t have such a steep learning curve. This makes it ideal for someone who doesn’t have a background in graphic design to use for creating high-quality marketing materials.
The other thing I noticed about Affinity Designer is that it’s fast. The program really lent itself well to the various tasks I gave it, and it didn’t feel like it was clunking along at all – even on a computer with less than ideal RAM for graphic design software.
The user interface of Affinity Designer is gorgeous. The program looks like art itself. It’s very easy to find what you are looking for, and there aren’t a bunch of embedded menus. The developers really worked hard to ensure that it would be a fun and fast program to use.
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Affinity Designer has a lot of really neat features making it ideal for users who want and need powerful design software. Features of the software include:
- Cross-platform performance – the program works well on both PCs and Macs, and no file format acrobatics need to be performed
- Fast and accurate – you see all adjustments and effects as they are made (pan and zoom at 60fps to over 1,000,000%)
- File compatibility with multiple formats including SVG, EPS, PDF, PSD, AI, and FH
- Use any color space and create high definition palettes of color
- Control images at the pixel level
- Enjoy layering tools and controls that are precise and attractive
- Work how you need to – I love working in a split screen while I’m writing, so when I’m working with a design program, it’s great to be able to do the same thing.
- Natural brushwork to create images that work with the pressure you apply, tilting of the brush, and regular curves.
- Create a wide variety of shapes
- Use typefaces in a way that allows you to preview available fonts on your onscreen panels
- Choose what type of document you will be creating – print, web, etc.
- Export files to a variety of formats
- Create artboards where you can see all design variants at once
- Symbols, constraints, embedded document editing, an asset panel, text-on-a-path capabilities, a cornering tool, and more.
- Customizable shortcuts
- Instantly undo or redo up to 8,000 history steps (that’s a lot of undoing)
- Available in eight languages (English, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese)
- Switch easily between vector, pixel and export modes with unique menus for each
- Easily duplicate objects and transformations
- Snap to grids, edges, and more
- Rotate the page you’re working on as you would a sheet of paper you’re sketching on
- Add artwork within shapes and layers, insert behind and above the layer you’re working on
- Save combinations of fill, line, and effects for later use in the project or in a new project
- Quickly access design elements that are ready to go or that you’ve created
- Quickly switch between views or even work on close up sections of documents separate from the parent file
There’s no lying in the statement that Affinity Designer is a fully-equipped design app. There are a lot of features, and those listed are only the special features unique to Affinity Designer. When you get into the app’s environment, it isn’t long at all before you realize its true power.
The software offers a lot of help by way of user support. In addition to nearly 100 video tutorials, Affinity Designer has forums set up, a workbook, and active social media profiles where the developers often answer questions. The availability of such a great support network is a very appealing feature of the tool.
Price To Value
Affinity Designer costs $49.99. That’s not the subscription price, that’s the flat price for the software. This makes it an enticing choice over competitive software – especially since you can open files in the competitor’s file formats.
Is Affinity Designer For You?
Affinity Designer is a very powerful tool that replaces the competition’s software – and does so at a lower price point. This makes it a great option, both for those looking to use it for marketing tools and for novices looking to use a more robust software program than currently available free options. Its ability to open files in other software formats also gives it a leg up on its competition. The speed of the program is unparalleled.
Ronda Bowen is VP of Editorial Services at Creative Mindscape. She also provides editorial consulting services to a variety of businesses and individuals, runs a handful of blogs (including WiningWife®), and serves as Fundraising Director for JB Dondolo, Inc. In her downtime, she’s a distance runner, a foodie, a wine and coffee aficionado, seamstress and crafter, and board game enthusiast. Learn more about Ronda’s various projects on her website.