Affinity Designer Review: An Affordable Tool For Creative Designs

What are people saying about Affinity Designer? Is it any better than other graphic designer tools? Read more in this Affinity Designer review. Find out its features, pros, and cons

Finding a software that is easy to use, has advanced cross-platform functionality, and allows you to explore different options as a graphic designer is essential.  Affinity Designer is a must-have if you’re a vector artist who likes to work on the go.

Below is a detailed Affinity Designer review with all the features, pros, and cons.

What is Affinity Designer?

Affinity Designer is a vector graphics designing tool that allows you to create beautiful professional designs on Mac.  The software has plenty of features and functionalities, something that makes it fast.

The software can help you use bold colors, customize live shapes, or craft curves for vector illustrations.  You can create frames of advertisement copy or creative texts for headlines using Affinity Designer. It comes with asset management functionality that allows you to organize all your outputs.

What Makes Affinity Designer Different?

Affinity Designer differentiates itself from other graphic design software due to specific features and qualities like:

File Compatibility

Affinity Designer works with file types like BMP, PNG, JPEG, PSD, GIF, PNG, and RAW. The software won’t work with XLS, DOCX, or TXT files.  You can access the software on both PC and MAC. If you love working on a tablet, you’ll be happy to know that Affinity designer works on iPads.

Photo and Image Tools

Affinity Designer has its design around vector tools. It comes with Pixel Persona, which is a different tab that helps you to work with pixel brushes and other pixel tools.  You won’t need photo editing software to do some photo touch-up or experiment with digital painting.

Find six photo filters and seventeen pre-made templates.  Other tools like perspective-based editing, content-aware scaling, and masking tools are available on this software

Inclusion of Illustration Tools

The software comes with plenty of brushes, a pen tool, and adjust stroke options. You can create custom brushes, and customize the vectors for your desired look.

History Access

Affinity Designer allows you to undo any previous mistakes for over 8,000 times.  Moreover, you can access all your previous work even if you change your PC. You can view the history by going through some snapshots.

The software enables you to back up all your projects to iCloud. Also, you can share your projects on social media platforms or use Airdrop to share your favorite projects.

Affinity Designer Pricing

Affinity Designer doesn’t require monthly or annual subscriptions like other programs. All you need is a one-time payment. The software costs about $49.99, which is reasonable given its specs. Also, you can opt for the 10-day free trial that is available on the Serif website.

How it compares to Other Graphic Design Tools

Although Affinity Designer is an excellent graphic design software with plenty of features, it has some top competitors. Here’s a look at how the software performs against other tools in this Affinity Designer review.

Sketch

Sketch is popular among designers. It’s available for Mac users and has a vast community that discusses iOS UI elements, icons, iPhone frames, and more.  While Affinity Design has an intuitive user interface, Sketch uses artboards that allow you to work on different views side by side.

The software is vector based yet pixel aware, and this makes it easier to rescale assets without losing the initial quality.  You can design quality artwork and icons. Set a grip and snap objects to the nearest pixel edge to clean the layers.

Unlike Affinity design, which is meant for graphic designers, Sketch is designed for mobile and web UI design and workflows.  Both software enables you to export assets. You can export various file formats like PNG, PDF, and JPG.

The inbuilt grid system is easily customizable. You can toggle the grid, configure the color of the lines, or change dimensions.  Reuse the same sketch design in other places. Moreover, you can create text styles to combine typography adjustments.

On the downside, Sketch has a license based subscription model. You’ll need to renew an annual license for $99. The payment includes free updates and the latest version of the Sketch software.  Once the license expires, you can still use the software without updates. Affinity Design has a one-time payment model, which means you don’t need to renew the license.

What’s more, Sketch doesn’t support Windows, while Affinity support both MacOS and Windows. Sketch has limited compatibility with Illustrator and Photoshop. While you can export specific adobe file types in Sketch, you won’t get the same quality as with Affinity Design.

Name: Sketch

Price: About $99 for an annual license

Ease of Use: 4.8/5

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a graphics software that designers use to create digital graphics. Adobe has been in the graphics business for over 30 years, something that gives the brand credibility.  Illustrator can work on both MacOS and Windows like Affinity Designer.

Also, Adobe Illustrator supports different formats like SVG, JPEG, and AutoCAD drawings.  While it’s not as flexible like Affinity, it has various options you can explore.

Both Illustrator and Affinity have a friendly interface; you can quickly understand how the panel and artboard work.  Illustrator has a new MacBook Pro’s touch bar. Although Affinity has a collection of templates, Adobe does an excellent job with the extensive collection of templates. You’ll have to pay a monthly subscription to access Adobe Stock.

Affinity and Illustrator allow file integration. Adobe Illustrator allows you to make adjustments on other programs like Experience Design CC. One feature you won’t find in Affinity Designer is the ability to craft vector shapes in an instant.

Both Adobe Illustrator ad Affinity Designer are close rivals without too many differences between them.

Name: Adobe Illustrator

Price: About $19.99 per month

Ease of Use: 4.8/5

Inkscape

Inkscape is an easy to use and friendly graphics editor that develops vectors.  You don’t need to pay to use this software as it is GPL-licensed, which makes it open source.  Like Affinity, Inkscape supports different file formats for imports like Illustrator, SVG, and Photoshop.

While Affinity can work with MacOS and Windows, Inkscape is available on Mac, Linux, and Windows. What’s more, you can build Inkscape from source on other platforms.  Another difference is that Inkscape integrates well into an X11-system. It uses a desktop theme and the X11 icon theme.

On the downside, Inkscape can take close to thirty seconds to launch depending on various factors like the fonts.  Also, the Linux/Windows version is not as intuitive as that of Affinity. Inkscape doesn’t support extensive printing machine system; you can only export the art to PDF.

Name: Inkscape

Price: Free

Ease of Use: 4.5/5

Figma

Figma is one of the best mock-up and wireframing tools for websites.  The software enables real-time collaboration and works in the browser.  Most users love how Figma comes with all the functionality you would get in other tools like Sketch.

Unlike Affinity designer, Figma provides integration with Slack. With this, you can organize all your projects and schedule the rest at your convenience.  You don’t need to get a paid subscription to access this software. The free version has plenty of features, although you’ll get limited collaboration.

You can mirror your design to the phone, and enjoy live previews in real-time. When it comes to collaboration, Figma allows you to collaborate and comment inside the projects, and also work for the production stage.

Although Figma seems like Sketch’s replica, it can create high-fidelity mock-ups. Moreover, it’s straightforward to use and more refined. You can explore the custom object creation feature with Figma,  there is a growing community behind it. Everyday we’re seeing new Figma resources being released which makes it a great bit of kit for you and your team to work on together

Affinity Designer Pros and Cons

Affinity Designer is one of the affordable graphic design software in the market. Unlike other programs that have a subscription-based model, the software has a one-time purchase model. You’ll only incur a fee of $49.99.

Most users love the intuitive user interface, which is also beginner friendly. The easy to navigate interface comes with a small learning curve.  Another benefit is the powerful artistic tools like the different brush types and the various color options available.

Working in a mixed OS environment can be challenging. However, Affinity Designer can help sort out this mess as it works for both Mac and PC users. The software’s export and extended slicing capability is something you need to save time. You can conveniently transform an object into a slice and export it in different formats and sizes.

With today’s technology being all about UHD, 4K, 5K, and 8K, having independent vector images that can work with any resolution without losing its quality is essential. Affinity designer provides SVG support, which allows you to view images at any display resolution.

Affinity Designer allows for illustrator and Photoshop import and export. Its ability to enable cross-team collaboration comes in handy when you need to use other templates or mock-ups.

On the downside, the software doesn’t have plug-in architecture, which means you can’t tailor it to some uses. Apps like Sketch have an open plug-in framework that allows you to extend to independent developers.

PROS

  • Comes with Illustrator import and export feature
  • Works well with Affinity Photo
  • Available on both MacOS and Windows
  • Provides SVG support
  • Ideal for mixed OS teams

CONS

  • Handles all objects as filled
  • Lacks plug-in architecture
  • Doesn’t have a vector eraser tool

Final Thoughts

We hope you now have a better perspective of this software after reading the Affinity Designer review.  The software is the smoothest, yet fastest vector graphic design tool available. You don’t need to pay a monthly subscription to access Affinity Designer as it comes with a one-time purchase.

Affinity works well for both beginners and professional web designs.  It’s easy to learn, and you’ll love all the detailed graphic illustrations and icons.

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