Guide to Affinity Designer
What is Affinity Designer?
Affinity Designer is a vector graphics editor designed as an alternative to Adobe’s Illustrator. It is created by UK-based Serif Labs. Serif was established in the 1990s as a developer of low-cost, PC/Windows desktop publishing software for entry-level users. Affinity Designer seemingly functions as an Illustrator or Photoshop hybrid as it has the ability to edit and create pixel layers.
Tool sets of Affinity Designer
Affinity Designer offers a modern, instinctive UI that allows smoother transitions. Budding designers will find all the necessary tools clearly organized and available and the default toolbars and keyboard shortcuts will feel familiar to Adobe users.
Affinity Designer toolbars
• Affinity Designer comes with all the standard pen and shape tools to complete complex vector and pixel-based artwork.
• The persona toolbar—divides vector, pixel and export tools into three separate sets; users can switch between toolsets without interruption to workflow.
• For designers who work in Photoshop and Illustrator simultaneously, using Affinity Designer may be a time saver.
• For Users who are dependent on classic Photoshop tools such as the magic wand or cloning brush will need to spend money for Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer’s sister program, released in 2015.
• Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a visible lack of tools found in Illustrator.
Importing and exporting files
File dialogue box in Affinity Designer
Compatibility is always a problem, but not with Affinity. While other non-Adobe programs could convert PSD or EPS files and open in a non-editable format, Affinity Designer is able to open and edit PSD, AI and EPS.
• Saving to AI, however, is not possible. Despite being a vector editor, Affinity Designer exports to PSD instead.
• Exporting completed files is easier as the separate export dialog saves to EPS, PDF, PNG, JPG, GIF and TIFF formats.
• Because Adobe offers a broader range of features and settings, some of these may not be preserved when importing into Affinity Designer.
Affinity Designer workspace options
Affinity Designer has fewer options when compared to Adobe Illustrator in workspace options. Illustrator CC offers multiple Workspaces pre-set for different types of design jobs like web design, automation, and pre-press proofing to name a few and the ability to create a custom Workspace.
Affinity Designer’s Studio provides some of the same features like color swatches, effects, brushes, and styles but these are basic in comparison.
While the program is equipped with a broad range of effects and supports an expanded selection of vector shapes and the ability to load Photoshop brushes, it lacks the capability to import libraries of Photoshop patterns (.pat) and custom shapes (.csh).
• For now, Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo, Serif’s image editing software, are available for worldwide purchase on Mac OS only.
• The Windows beta version is now available for download, but there is no information about Affinity companion apps for mobile devices.
Some of the significant features of the Affinity Designer:
Affinity designer has the best PSD import engine with a full support for SVG, EPS, PDF, PDF/X, and FH files.
When talking about accuracy, Affinity Designer claims an incredible ability to zoom-in by more than 1 million percent, and tools with the precision to match.
3. Works Fast
The software is quite fast, as boasted by the makers. You can view all your adjustments, effects, transformations and brushes take effect in real time, with pan and zoom at up to 60fps, no matter how large your project.
4. Nested Symbols
One good feature in the program is ‘Nested Symbols’, which lets you build up complex designs by using unlimited levels of symbols within symbols. At the same time, it keeps your workflow organized and handy even with the most complicated work.
5. The Comprehensive Pixel Editing Tools
The Pixel Persona in Affinity designer allows you to switch to working with pixels on the same document at a single click. It has a great array of selection tools and brushes to encourage raster creativity.
6. Remarkable effects
Polish your UI elements with customizable layer effects such as blurring glow and drop shadows in the program. Any combination of different effects fills and strokes can be saved as styles that can be applied to other objects.
7. Superior typography
Affinity designer contains the full range of professional typography tools for impressive headings and text in your project. It gives full control over all properties like kerning, leading and tracking, and all attributes can be saved to text styles to be re-used and edited instantly across the entire design.
8. Zero Lag!
Affinity Designer has the most advanced memory management system available. Whether you are working on a project with hundreds of artboards, you can still pan and zoom at 60 fps, with all edits and adjustments happening in real time with no lag.
9. The Outline View
The outline view is a great thing. You can instantly switch to a wireframe view of your design, even viewing in split screen if you wish. It’s really powerful way to see all the elements across all layers in your project and adds incredible efficiency to selecting the right target object in complicated multi-layered designs.
10. Unlimited undo
An unmatched property of the Affinity Designer is its rich history. This means you can undo, or redo, more than 8,000 steps. In fact, the savable, shared history allows you to undo steps later even if you’re on a different machine, or working in a different Affinity app. One added feature is ‘Snapshots’, which allows you to store documents at different stages.
This article dealt with the basic knowledge of the Affinity Designer and its features. The conclusion that can be derived is that though Affinity Designer works well in the designing section, it has few loopholes as well. The Software is not as equipped as the Adobe Creative Cloud and hence cannot be much likable by the experienced designers. While for the learners it can prove to be of value.