The Affinity Designer today’s one of the best software for any graphic related tasks like corporate identity, conceptual design, illustrations or UI design.
Always surprising for us that how little is known this app despite the fact that it was released back in 2014. At the first release, it was only available for Mac – in the following year it already got the Apple Design Award – to Windows it was issued at the end of last year (2016).
The sad truth is that the smaller developer studios usually always develop for macOS. There are a lot of modern software (like Sketch) that only available just for Mac in spite of the huge Windows and Linux user base. Of course, you can always change your default os platform, but it is a huge step. I think there are several aspects of this trend but for an end user, these are mostly inessential. Luckily this pattern decreases mainly thanks to the Windows 10. In 2016 many smaller company started to target the Win users like the Serif or the fournova (Tower Git client).
About The Serif
The Serif is a quite young company which main profile is photo editing and graphic design software development. Their two flagships are the Affinity Designer and the Affinity Photo. The former is the graphic designer program, and the latter is the photo editing app. Both of the programs are available for Windows and Mac too.
Currently, they are working on a DTP program named by Publisher.
As you see from the product palette, they are trying to give an alternative to the main Adobe apps.
In General About the Affinity Designer
By its functions, the program takes place between the Photoshop and the Illustrator so that it is cover the latter features while the image editing features from the former aren’t included. As you read previously, you can buy for the picture manipulation the Affinity Photo!
This app is absolutely an Adobe rival. It is a well-equipped, high-quality product. Of course, here we can also find some strange behavior at some point, but these also exist in other apps too.
The product price is ~$50 which is more than good.
Surface and Usability
We got the well done dark UI surface based on Adobe made panel structure. Everything is handy and easily customizable. In light of this, we can quickly switch between this product and the Adobe’s app.
When you switch from Illustrator to Affinity Designer, you feel like when you change your code editor (Sublime, Atom, Visual Studio Code, Brackets), these are using the same patterns, so the learning curve is short.
If you want to know more about the app check out the official page!
Adobe Product Integration
You can easily open in your PS or AI file. The popular vector formats aren’t a problem too. This is one of the app biggest advantages when you consider the switching.
Worth to note that there can be the same surprise based on the original Adobe file type or size. With the generic vector formats like SVG, there aren’t any pitfall.
We know that in this case the primary support and development is significant. Fortunately, the developers also know this.
We plugged in the ecosystem when they shipped the Windows version of Affinity Designer, and the development process with the beta versions was a pleasant surprise.
Their support forum is quite good too. You can almost find any required information.
What We Like Very Much
- Correct price with full functionality.
- The concept of the masking is way better than in the AI.
- Mac – Win cross-platform system.
- The exporting features are quite good. You can save more instance with different settings from on graphic.
- Good for UI design, the developers didn’t neglect this part of the app.
What We Like Less Much
As always there is some annoying phenomenon which isn’t our favorites.
- The SVG export is not the best. The problem is starting where you want to export your work with some unique elements which make AD so great. The exporter doesn’t prepare for these type of conversions. If you convert these items to simple path items first, you can get around the problem.
- When you hand drawn with some brush, the edge smoothing is not so subtle like in the Adobe Illustrator.
- In case of Windows, it isn’t bad if you have a stronger hardware!
We think that the Affinity products not necessary should dismiss the Adobe’s apps. Everybody can use the ones which are better for herself/himself. We are happy that there is some competition in this field so we can choose.
For us it was an excellent choice now, we use it for a year. All the icons in the Pathlove project were made with Affinity Designer!