Quick Look - Affinity Designer
Affinity Designer is one of three designer apps in Serif's Affinity Suite. The others are Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher. The Affinity Suite supports Windows and Mac, is reasonably priced and do NOT require a subscription. Unlike many software that require a perpetual subscription fee to gain access to the apps, the three Affinity Studio apps are a one-time purchase each. There are desktop and iPad versions for Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo. Affinity Publisher is for the desktop, for now. But in this post, we will take a quick look at Affinity Designer.
Affinity Designer has both raster and vector tools in the same app, giving the creative a very flexible workflow. As a competitor for Illustrator, you will find many of your favorite features, such as tablet support, non destructive editing, blend modes and artboards. As Photoshop is still the standard, you can import and export in the Photoshop file format. However, text that is created in Affinity Designer is rasterized when opened into Photoshop.
Some of the best features specific to Affinity Designer are the large zoom range, Retina support, snapshots, media browser and the ability to save the step-by-step history within the document. How many times have you wished that the history would still be available after you have closed the document. In Affinity Designer, you have the option to save the history within the document.
When you are just learning to use Affinity Designer, you have many questions about how to use the tools. I found the Hint line at the bottom of the workspace, which shows shortcuts and other helpful info for the selected action, to save a lot of time.
I also like the task-oriented workspaces, called Personas, which contain the tools and panels available for a specific task. The three Personas are called Draw, Pixel and Export. You can quickly switch Personas by clicking the icons on the top Toolbar. The Draw Persona is the default and has the vector tools. The Pixel Persona has the pixel based tools. Finally the Export Persona has all the controls for exporting all or just part of your document.
Another great feature is the Assets panel, where you can store design elements that can then be use in any document. Assets or groups of assets are listed in categories. You can search for a specific asset and import/export asset categories for sharing.
These are just a few of the features that I fine most useful. You can download a free 10 day trial of Affinity Designer and check out these features for yourself. For those beginners, Serif has a great workbook that will teach you all about the app.
Affinity Designer Workbook
This article is not endorsed by Serif Ltd.
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