Affinity Designer- My Thoughts

Above is a speed up recording. Often called a speedpaint or timelapse. This will reflect on my blog post with the things I am trying to say.

I can’t call this a review because I will clearly be very biased. I’m going to come out and say it right here right now. I hate Adobe Illustrator!

Why? You might ask. Well I’ll tell you why.

It’s tedious, difficult and often requires multiple steps to do something that should realistically be simple. After all of these years it’s still very difficult to use. Affinity designer provides the same power in vector art and the same quality.

Clipping or masking in Illustrator has always been the ultimate pain. It was easier just to cut and create a whole new shape. I frequently abandoned it for Inkscape but I also didn’t like Inkscape. I wasn’t comfortable with it or the user interface and it lagged.

Lag was another big issue. Affinity Designer is much faster. I also hated that I would often need Photoshop for textures or to create a base image. We are all familiar with Photoshop’s lag. Trying to run both together at the same time was a really bad idea. I did so by accident once. My PC crashed almost immediately. In Affinity Designer, they have a raster drawing program inside of it. It’s called Pixel Persona and it’s accessible in what looks like it’s own user interface within the program. It’s a matter of clicking an icon to go from raster to vector.

What I also like is their Pixel Perfect mode. For me, that is a major bonus. I also like that I could use it to create vexel art if I so choose. It seems as though now Illustrator has something either the same or similar. I didn’t look into it to thoroughly.

I also dislike that despite the thousands of requests, certain features never got added or changed with Illustrator while Affinity Designer is more than happy to listen to artists. I mean we are the ones using the software after all right?

Then there’s the stigma that comes with Illustrator. You know, when people say “It has to be hard to use or it’s not worth it.” or “The harder the program is to use, the better the results.”. That’s just ridiculous. You shouldn’t need to jump through 40 hoops to do one simple task. Simple art should be simple.

I love how much faster I can work within Affinity Designer because of it’s ease of use and I love it’s ability to create complex pressure sensitivity with it’s vector strokes in a simple manner. It’s how vector art should be. Straight forward, to the point, edit and move on.

I love that some of the tools do multiple things where as in Illustrator I felt like I was spending more time looking for tools and using hotkeys than I was doing art. It frustrated me to no end. It’s one of those programs where you either really love it or you really hate it and I really hated it in the end. Loved the results but hated using it.

The video above was an artwork created in 2 hours. It would have taken me far longer if I had to use both Photoshop and Illustrator. The changing of programs, the lag, the crashing. Affinity Designer didn’t crash once. It only stalled for a moment but I think that was because of some other app interfering.

So far I love Affinity Designer. I can do what I need to do and create complex art. I am looking forward to their updates and I can happily wait for them. I highly recommend it especially if you are like me and you use a lot of layer clipping or masking. Very simple, very powerful!