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Affinity Designer

Discussion in 'General Software & Hardware Forum:' started by ash, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. ash

    ash Member

    Hi, :)
    I recently came across Afinity Designer ( ), which sounds too good to be true with a subtle merging of Photoshop and Illustrator, capable of importing and exporting all the common file formats.

    My main question is if anyone has any experience with this software?
  2. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Yep, I know a fair few people that use it. It's very good, and there's an update coming that will make it easier to design responsive layouts.

    For the price tag alone it's a worthy purchase.
    zeta and ash like this.
  3. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    When I upgrade my MacBook I'm deffo going to give it a try.
    Looks awesome and it's one in the eye to Adobe.
  4. ash

    ash Member

    |Happy Monday :)

    thank you for moving the thread!! I'l definitely give it a try :)
    Stationery Direct likes this.
  5. zeta

    zeta New Member

    As a Windows user I took time to play with it after their free Beta release for Windows :) Some of its aspects are of great help for web design or mockup creation, like those 'constraints' and 'symbols' features posted in the video above (I don't think this is present in other similar programs?). They are still dealing with some bugs and instabilities on Windows (according to Affinity forum), yet I haven't had problems so far.
    Here is a brief selection with some of its features, for people who are not familiar with it:
    And the intro on Affinity's official site is very good :)
    scotty likes this.
  6. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that @zeta.

    The more I see, the better it looks.
  7. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    It seems too good to be true. Bye bye Adobe. I predict I'll be done with Adobe & using Affinity before the end of 2017. Unless they go to a subscription based model...
  8. ash

    ash Member

    Hi Carl,
    I have been giving it a good try so far and am still experimenting.
    I can easily open my old .ai, .eps,.psd, etc. file by just dragging them in. They open perfectly :) and all in dedicated layers.
    I hove not tried the Photoshop features much, but the Illustrator bits are fab :)
    Nearly all the shortcuts are the same. They fixed a lot of issues since the last release, like typing on a path etc. The only shortcut that does not work is 'i' for the colour picker. there is a dedicated colour panel with picker and mixer. (still experimenting :)

    It works fine so far with my 'Wacom Intuos' but seems a bit inconsistent with the brush sensitivity (or I am a numpty :) )
  9. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    That would be my ideal, though the fact that Adobe is still the industry standard means you probably won't be able to just up and leave, just in case someone asks for a native AI file. For my own stuff I'm now using Affinity and loving it, for projects where I think I might be asked for source files I work in Illustrator, just in case.
  10. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    I know this isn't ideal but could you not save as a PDF with full editing features/capabilities and open in AI? Then of course save the AI from there?
  11. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    I've seen that some designers/illustrators have dumped AI all together for Affinity but I wasn't sure if they were endorsing it without being kind of sponsored by the makers of Affinity so it's good to get an honest view.
    When I get my new Mac I'm deffo going to give it a try.
    Please keep up the updates @ash and @Paul Murray. :D
  12. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    It may open the files fine, but Illustrator files are definitely loaded with a lot of complex elements, including compound paths, shapes, masks etc. and opening any file format in a program it wasn't created in can cause things to go absolutely haywire, especially in print. You may not even see on screen that it's wrong, or that it's wrong when printed off your own home printer... but a professional printer RIPping the file it could cause issues there.

    Similarly, if I opened a file created in Affinity in Illustrator I could be destroying the underlying code that builds the file.

    Rule of thumb is to work in the same software and the same version of the software where possible.

    Affinity, looks interesting, but there's just too many things that can go wrong in print and I've invested so much time switching from Quark to Creative Cloud that I'm just not ready to move to another package again. Maybe in a few years time.
  13. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    No - the full editing features only retain the editing features for the programme they were created in.

    For example, I can save a fully working print ready PDF file in Photoshop (if I had to) that could be edited in Photoshop - but there's no way I'd open that PDF in Illustrator, the code between the programmes is completely different and the way the PDF is written in InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop are completely different.

    Illustrator is not all purpose PDF editor and shouldn't be used that way. Neither is Photoshop. Or any other programme.

    The best way to edit the PDF is to firstly open in TextEdit or Notepad. You'll see a lot of code, but generally in the header of the file it tells you what software and version it was created in.
  14. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    @hankscorpio Way to go spoil the Affinity party... Boo you naysayer Booooo!!!!
  15. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Yeah I can appreciate that, but I was just thinking of a way to open a file created in Affinity in AI. It may not be ideal but surely the PDF should be able to be worked over from there. Not fully editable but somewhat workable...
  16. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Again, no - opening PDF files in Illustrator is a very incorrect workflow that a lot of people seem to have adopted.

    Can you do it? Yes you can! Do I do it? Yes I do! But should I? Only if I really really have to!

    It's not ideal, we all do it. 9/10 it works out just fine.

    Sometimes I'll open a PDF to get an element out of it - but I'd create a new file and build it in there rather than chop and change the opened PDF.

    Your best bet to editing a PDF is with Acrobat Professional - you can choose to Edit from the commands, and then right click on an object and choose Edit With... it then gives you either Illustrator or Photoshop (check what your default programme is for opening images, change the default programmes to affinity and it will open there (I think)).

    That element in the pdf then opens in the programme, you can make edits - then save them and return to the PDF and it updates.

    It's a much safer way to edit a PDF.

    Alternatively after making your edits, to say a logo or an raster image - you can then save to AI or PSD or whatever it is you need either.

    But mostly, if I was to start working in Affinity - I'd start all new projects in Affinity, and keep running CC to edit on going projects. And slowly make my way to Affinity, but keeping CC running for other work.
    Stationery Direct likes this.
  17. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    I'm a fan of Affinity! I'm not a fan of people destroying perfectly formed PDFs by opening them in programmes they should never be opened in...

    Affinity looks really cool - I just want to make sure that people adopt a correct workflow, all I can do is offer my advice, my experience, my knowledge and hope people listen.

    At the end of the day, someone will read what I wrote and say "fuck that I always open PDFs in Illustrator and they are always fine!"

    Well, I have warned. I have done all I can do.
  18. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    Who brought their Dad to the party?

    C'mon @hankscorpio. Get down with the Affinity kids. ;)
  19. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

  20. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    LOL! :D

    Do you buy your shoes from Clarks?

    I get mine from @Levi.
    He can get knock-off Vans at a good price

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