Mac-based vector software, Affinity Designer has been released into beta for Windows. The software is a direct competitor to Illustrator. Since Adobe decided to be full-on subscription only; Affinity is filling in the market for people who want to OWN their graphic design software.
I’m pretty much excited to see Affinity Designer come to Windows because I have a desktop PC. I am still running Adobe CS5 which meets all my current needs. At work I do use the Creative Cloud, which is a necessity for a printing business. Why is it necessary for a printer, but not me? Cause every single “designer/artist” is subbing to Creative Cloud and they don’t downsave or outline their fonts. Anyways, that’s a rant for another time.
I’d like to start with some issues with the software:
When you apply an effect and export the file to .eps, it becomes raster images. This is not useful if you want to make a file for a die-cut sticker. Vinyl plotters need vector graphics to cut shapes, it will not read a raster image or a psd file. I’m sure there is a solution to this. However, if it’s just text and shapes without any effects, it will export into a vector file. And the fonts will be outlined.
The brush tool is not useful. You need to switch to Pixel Persona for the software to utilize your pen tablet. It says it’s set up for pen pressure, but that is a lie in Draw Persona.
There’s no offset path. Illustrator has this tool, so does AutoCad. What offset path does is allow you to draw a path round your shape and you can decide the distance in between the shapes. This tool is so useful, I wish it was in Affinity Designer.
Here’s what I like about the software:
You can retrieve the margins from your printer. This is extremely helpful if you’re designing something to print at home. It’s not a guessing game of what will the printer cut off or mess up. That’s awesome for if you’re designing planner printouts.
SHAPES SHAPES SHAPES! I love that there are a lot of different pre-built shapes you can modify and use. And the corner tool works on those shapes too, so you can build pretty interesting logos with this.
You can export to an .eps file that opens in AI CS5. Like I said before at home at home, I do not use the creative cloud. I do have fancy brushes that I can only use in illustrator. So it’s pretty important to me to be able to open up eps files in Illustrator. Also if you have to get your design engraved or die-cut it’s super helpful to it be saved to an older version of Illustrator. You do not know how many printing/engraving/die-cutting shops run older software because they need to.
If you want to try out the free beta for windows, here’s the link: