- 15 Reviews
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Affinity Designer is the fastest, smoothest, most precise vector graphic design software available. Built from the ground up over a five-year period, every feature, tool, panel and function has been developed with the needs of creative professionals at its core. With continuous innovation and development, the result is a ground-breaking application that will revolutionize how you work.
Used by professionals the world over as their go-to tool for vector illustration, Affinity Designer continues to raise the bar for creative software. Precise control over curves, eye-popping colors and blistering performance ensure stunning results every time.
Color is at the heart of your design, and Affinity Designer delivers in droves. With support for all major formats, ICC profiles and the latest wide gamut displays you know your designs will pop. And with silky smooth gradients which always update live on your page, the control you have is limitless.
The fundamentals of crafting curves are covered expertly with the precision-engineered pen tool - and in combination with intuitive modifiers it’s the workhorse of everything you create. Swapping to the node or live corner tool allows you to re-sculpt, hone and adjust to perfection.
It’s hard to describe the joy you will feel in using the fully customizable live shapes in Affinity Designer. Not only are they incredibly fluid to adapt, we’ve added automatic snapping points to ensure spot-on geometry with everything you do.
An amazing addition, the rope and window stabilizers allow you to produce the smoothest, most accurate curves you ever thought possible – all using freehand pencil and brush tools.
Naturally you can combine shapes using Boolean operations, but to do it non-destructively so you can still move and edit the component parts? That gives you some serious power not found in other apps.
One time purchase (perpetual license) ranging between $20 and $50
graphic-design illustration raster-editor vector-graphics
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Should to say that it's fast as like as developers tells. But unlikely you will find a place for this software in your pipeline, if you're not artists and/or concept-designer, for some of which software doesn't matter, just because pixels are pixels always.
Below I will try to describe most critical problems you will meet in different cases of usage
Lack of vector drawing features.
Affinity Designer haven't any kind of vector brushes, complex vector styles (see Appearance in Illustrator) and vector pattern options. So, you can't make vector arrowheads or technical fills and other technical drawings to export as SVG or PDF for silk-printing at all. Move away.
Of course, you can achieve it manually, as always, but it's not perspective to draw such details with hands, not in working pipeline.
Math and limited output
Affinity Designer not allows you to export each art board as named SVG file, raster formats only.
Moreover, mathematics in Affinity Designer is not well enough for such kind of work as modern iconography, as instance. Stroke extending and trim operations make a lot of extra points arranged randomly. For example, look on the image below. It's extended inner stroke of simple circle. Even original outer edge was distorted. And there's no any refining options. Even if you will get two points in same coordinates, you can't fix it automatically.
It's very simple example, but perfect demonstration.
Therefore, the only way to get smooth and accurate splines is create it manually from scratch. But who wants to draw manually each corner?
Someone can say that it's doesn't matter, but where you can compensate disadvantages of Illustrator (with JS) or CorelDRAW (with VisualBasic) programmatically, and automate part of the routine work, with Affinity you can't. Affinity haven't even actions or macros.
As a person who made quite crazy things with Illustrator by scripts, can say that scripts are difficult to overestimate when they are really needed. And vector software it's the thing where they could make many work due nature of vector graphics.
Well, now you can see that Affinity Designer just can't provide quality result no matter how pretty it looks. But it can make pretty things. Affinity Designer works with vector and raster graphics simultaneously. Another working Pixel Persona provides basic image-editing features like customizable textured brushes, smudge/blur/sharpen tools, eraser, Stabilizer, Photoshop-like Layer Styles and Color Adjustment features (last two works with vector objects too, but it's raster effects), etc. Stabilizer favorably distinguishes it from Adobe software, where nothing like this is still implemented in, although even Krita has it.
Color adjustment features it's another big great solution. Although, only because the alternative solution for Illustrator from Astute is extremely expensive, although it allows you to get a professional result for print-production. The solution in Affinity Designer not, of course.
Also, I should to say that snapping options are very-very convenient, flexible and intuitive. In some manner it compensate the lack of automatic tools. But Affinity Designer takes too many times anyway, and good but small usability features can't solve it effectively enough.
I don't believe that these problems could be resolved in near future, seems it's fundamental. Maybe, because Serif has quite casual background with their software. Of course, $50 isn't great payment, and not so many convenient software for work with vector graphics. But, personally, I couldn't find any reason to start projects with Affinity Designer. Even if you're planning something really simple, like mobile app concept design, you will spend a lot of time for manual work, and no perspective to move forward inside Affinity Designer. Rework whole project with another software in critical moment isn't that thing which we want to endure. Only drawings and concept-design, where technical part not important at all.
Maybe it's too hard from my side, but Serif is positioning their new line of software like alternative to Adobe infrastructure for 2D design, that's why we inevitably have to compare them. And don't forget, that Illustrator is native vector format which can be used in After Effects, InDesign, Photoshop, etc.
UPD1: After test-drive of Affinity Photo, I should to say, that Affinity Designer + Photo tandem is good enough alternative for Adobe Photoshop. Seems, that was the plan of Serif. For example: Affinity Designer works with artboards, Photo - not, but Photo can open Designer documents with artbords and work with them natively. That is, there is a hidden functionality that developers don't allow to use, apparently prompting the purchase of other software products of the company. And Artistic Text Tool and embedding also - no reason why Photo can't use it, but it can't by itself.
[Edited by M_O_Z_G, March 07]
A very in-depth review. Any tips for alternatives that are doing things better than Affinity Designer would be very appreciated.
@DavidGP: At the moment, Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW are most optimal choice. Corel is more about technical design, Illustrator (with no plug-ins) — graphic design. All other popular alternatives what I saw, made, as it seems, for UI designers more than for prepress or technical drawings, or even illustrations, that's why they feels like toys.
haven't any kind of vector brushes, complex vector styles
What?! All the brushes in Affinity Designer are vector based. In addition you can also use all the bitmap brushes from Affinity Photo in Designer as well. What are you talking about?
There literally is a "styles" panel that allows for multiple lines and fills applied to one shape that overlap each other. Each line can be "straight" with it's own pressure curve that you can either get from a hand-drawn line via graphic tablet or hand-draw with the mouse in a graph if you want to, or you can have freely defined "dotted" lines, or you can use vector brush lines. You can also save pressure curves and apply them to other lines.
Affinity Designer not allows you to export each art board as named SVG file, raster formats only.
Nonsense. I'm exporting SVG all the time from Affinity. I don't know where you get that from. I even has different options for SVG output (flattened, for export, for web).
Yes and no. Affinity Designer doesn't have batch processing, except for exporting different sizes and formats from your slices. But normally you'd be doing batch processing only on bitmap graphics. Either way since Affinity Photo, Designer, Publisher all share exactly the same file format and you can edit every document with every one of the three apps (that's a biggie!), so if you need to batch process Affinity Designer files, you can just use Affinity Photos batch processing, and that's that.
I've used adobe CS6 suite for the longest time, needed a new replacement program for handling vector files and doing light editing that I would normally do in paint.net. Mostly for creating simple graphics as well for webdesign.
I wanted something similar to Apple's Sketch since windows unfortunately didn't have any close equivalents. This is the closest thing to it
I would describe Affinity Designer as a mix of Apple Sketch and Illustrator, with Photoshop (Raster image tools) baked in. There's also a seperate program specifically for working with photos, that's called affinityphotos
The problem with using illustrator is I didn't use it everyday, so sometimes I would forget all these quirky workflows when working with it, and it'd take far too long to get something done.
I was able to create simple graphics without looking at tutorials, its very intuitive.
I personally find Vectornator a better product than Affinity Designer in many ways - one of the main reasons is that AD is kind of buggy, and for the longest time I was ok with that since I enjoyed using it and overlooked the negatives, but after finding an alternative (Vectornator), I can’t go back to using AD. If you’re looking for an application to work with vector graphics (as I do, mainly), then forget AD and look at Vectornator as an alternative, I did, and I don’t regret it.
AD has many merits. First and foremost as a direct competitor to Illustrator it has a one time purchase payment model, and at an affordable rate, too. It is faster, too!
Most features Illustrator has, AD has too, partially improved, like a gigantic zoom (we're talking 1 Million Times!), realtime previews, smooth & responsive Interface ergonomics, de-cluttered UI (workflow-specific "personas").
But not all features are represented, like the shape builder, mesh transformation or smart objects. But the dev team is working constantly on adding features and improving existing ones and the community feels friendly, open and helpful.
So if you're workflow in Illustrator isn't too specific you willfind AD to be able to fill the spot perfectly and you get way more value due to the payment model. And even if you want to keep using Illustrator AD will still be a worthwhile addition to your repertoire!
It's lightning fast and a lot more simple than illustrator. It's loaded with tons a features. At this price you don't need to think twice!
If you looking for Features rich like Adobe illustator but u can save more money. Keep It simple stupid, buy Affinity Designer!
Since Affinity Designer has been my favorite for a long time, I wasn’t looking for an alternative. But a friend from work mentioned Vectornator, and after reading about it I got interested and looked more into it - now it’s basically the only software I use for creating illustrations. What I like most about it is how fast it is, there’s no crashing, and it actually feels like professional-level software that I’m using on my iPad, whereas AD had its ups and downs, Vectornator is a better option for me, personally.
I always disliked how Adobe made InDesign different from Photoshop. With Affinity Designer everything is just right. I'm not ever going back to Adobe.
One of the best vector editors available, but if you don't like buggy software, I'd advise to look elsewhere.
Great program, definitely deserves a little more love here at alternative.to
I totally agree. At just $50 (currently), it's a painless replacement for Illustrator that also provides some much needed improvements over it.
As far as the love here at AlternativeTo, it's just a matter of people logging in and adding their "Like". Please feel free to share it to try and get some more Likes added. I'll be doing the same. :)
Best regards, David
Until now I all the time used Illustrator from Adobe, when I found Affinity Designer I am much more satisfied, especially that I am paid only once, not like with Creative Cloud, and as for me the tools and using of this app is so much easier. Really amazing, enjoyed them!
Wow - many Vectornator reviews all around August and September 2019... Good for you guys.
I do not need to use vectors in my workflow, only PSDs so Affinity Designer is my go-to app for all things graphic and web design now after years of being dependent on the Adobe ecosystem. It is the best there is and the best there will be. With its regular releases, active forum and friendly support team, I can't wait to see what the folks at Serif have in store for 2020. So far, so good.
I don’t mind using Affinity Designer, it’s got plenty of good features, but it lacks in some areas that just can’t be overlooked. So I’ve started looking for alternatives and landed on Vectornator - and now I can’t go back to using AD. Vectornator, besides being fast and pretty much bug free offers way more advanced tools for vector graphics that I mainly work with. It feels more robust and produces higher quality work, and that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.
Truly the best vector graphics editor in the market!
Intuitive, fast, powerful and jam-packed with features.