Affinity Designer a great vector design app to rival Adobe products.
For quite some time, I’ve been searching for suitable replacements for the Adobe suite of design products. I’ve come close to finding individual apps that are comparable to Photoshop, but what about the other apps in the suite? One piece of software that a lot of artists that I work with use is vector art based Illustrator. Fortunately, there is a wonderful piece of software by Serif Labs called Affinity Designer.
Affinity Designer is a fast, precise vector graphic design app that is gaining a lot of recognition both in the Mac App Store and among graphic artists. It recently became an editor’s choice app in the App Store. One of the really nice things that I noticed was how well it works with the Mac OS interface. It takes advantage of technology advancements like Open GL, Grand Central Dispatch, and Core Graphics. Affinity Designer is fully optimized for 64-bit vector artwork.
Affinity Designer is seriously fast. It really utilizes every ounce of processing power available to it. Some of the main features of the app include:
Live panning and zooming at 60 fps
- Live gradients, transforms, effects and adjustments
- Optimized for documents of any complexity, zoom to over 1,000,000% for absolute precision
- Live pixel and retina view of vector artwork, wireframe view, split screen mode
- Seamless switching between tools and editing modes for frustration-free design
- Perfect color and output
- Professional CMYK, LAB, RGB and Grayscale color models
- Full 16-bit per channel editing
- End-to-end ICC color management
- Advanced Lanczos 3 image resampling plus Bicubic, Bilinear and Nearest Neighbor methods
- Truly multi-discipline
- Rock solid vector tools that work just the way you want them to
- Live effects, blend modes, image adjustments, and raster and vector masks for any part of your design
- Use the strengths of vector and raster behaviors for the best of both worlds
- The best pen tool, node tool, curve editing, geometry operations, and smart shape tools available
- Flexible text handling including comprehensive support for OpenType
- High quality raster tools for texturing, masking and finishing artwork. Create your own brushes too.
- Optimized workspaces give focus to design disciplines including web graphics, UI/UX, print, and concept art
My personal experience with Adobe’s Illustrator program is somewhat limited. I have used it, but not nearly as much as Photoshop and InDesign. That being said, I fell that Affinity Designer is a very comparable program to Illustrator. People who are proficient users of Photoshop and/or InDesign will have no trouble learning Affinity Designer. The same is true for current Illustrator users. Those people who are familiar with the interface of Adobe’s product will find Designer easy to use even though there will be a learning curve.
I’ve found that many of the same shortcut keys are the same as in Illustrator, but there are some subtle differences between the two programs that is just enough to give even the most experienced users a bit of a jolt when starting to use this app.
Designer has support for PSD, PDF, SVG, AI (PDF Stream), Freehand and EPS files. One of the things I found most useful was the built-in tablet support. There are several presets in the initial set-up of a project and there is an entire category just for Devices. This was a very cool addition to design software that I had not seen before. Designer also imports PSD files like a dream, which makes it easy to collaborate other creative professionals.
All in all, Affinity Designer is a very good tool to have in your arsenal – especially if you want to move away from Adobe’s suite of products and into a Mac-centric app environment. Affinity Designer has a full color model support, real-time pixel preview, image slices, masks, adjustment layers and tablet support. This app is a serious tool for creative professionals. Designer retails for $49.99 and is highly recommended.
For more information, visit affinity.serif.com/en-gb.