Most people who work in graphic design are familiar with the products from Adobe. Well, there are other options that you may want to consider for efficient work. One of these options is Affinity Designer, a great vector editor that could meet all of your expectations.
You probably heard about similar programs such as CorelDraw or Sketch, but you weren’t impressed by the functions they offer compared to Adobe products. This article is meant to give you a clear description of Affinity Designer and Adobe Illustrator, to help you make a choice.
As a graphic designer, the best possible option is to know how all programs work and use them according to your own needs. Some tasks can be completed easier in one program while others are suitable for a different one.
Once you learn how to use a program, you won’t forget any longer, and everything will become much easier. Try all of them and decide for yourself who wins in the battle of Affinity Designer vs Adobe Illustrator. Here’s what you need to know:
Serif Europe launched an Affinity Designer in 2014. It is a vector graphics editor that works with both Apple macOS and Microsoft Windows. Affinity can now be used on devices such as the iPad, which proves its flexibility.
Besides that, Affinity can open PDFs and other Adobe files and export work to these specific formats. Exporting in SVG or EPS is also available while using Affinity. The fact that you can work with so many sizes allows you to use both Affinity Designer and Illustrator or your other preferred software.
The experts at Serif promise that Affinity is the right program for those who want fast, precise vector graphic design processing. The team spent more than five years to develop the software, to deliver exceptional quality in terms of features, tool, functions, and panel.
Any creative professional who wants to show off his skills should try Affinity Designer at least once in a lifetime.
Affinity Designer is suitable for a graphic designer who specializes in illustrations, creating icons, who work with branding or UI design, with typography or mock-ups. The program also offers excellent resources for people who desire to create quality web graphics or concept art.
Regardless of the graphic design field that you are working in, Affinity Designer can suit your preferences. Starting with its very intuitive interface and the flexible import/export feature, you should already have a reason to try Affinity.
Graphic designers should work with all sorts of programs in order to get the best out of them. You may You will learn more about the features of Affinity Designer later in this article.
Adobe Illustrator is another vector graphics editor that was developed by Adobe Systems. The very first version of Adobe Illustrator was launched in 1987, 31 years ago. It is impressive, but not shocking given the popularity of the Adobe brand.
The latest stable release was Adobe Illustrator CC 2018, launched in March, this year. The program is entirely built in C++, and it works on both Windows and macOS. The system requirements for a program such as the new Illustrator CC are average.
You can search this website for more information related to the tools any graphic designer should possess for a successful career. You will learn there about a good PC or laptop and the implied system requirements.
Illustrator also supports various series of formats for the files. From all sorts of Adobe files and AutoCAD drawings to JPEG and SVG, Adobe Illustrator can open all. It is not as flexible as Affinity, but it still has a lot of available options that you might want to explore.
Adobe Illustrator is recommended for graphic designers who want to pursue a career in this field, as most companies require proficient knowledge in Adobe Illustrator. Almost every industry that works with design and visuals consider Adobe products essential.
It represents a one-up in case you want to build an eye-catching resume. Of course, any other program you know how to use will look good next to Illustrator.
The possibilities that Adobe Illustrator offers are incredibly numerous, and this is why graphic designers are only supposed to learn the basics and let their imagination run free.
Plus, using Illustrator and Photoshop together can be extremely useful in graphic design, and it’s easier to switch between programs coming from the same developer. Continue reading this article for learning more about the features of each program.
Feature list – Affinity Designer
In the battle of Affinity Designer vs Adobe Illustrator, these are the features that Affinity brings to the table:
1. Constant Improvements And Updates
Using Affinity means that you will get plenty of updates that improve your already existent features. The most expected updates usually consist of smoother panning/zooming, handling larger documents easier, exporting documents at higher quality and so on.
It is important to update the program regularly so that users get a fix to any issue they encounter as fast as possible.
2. 1,000,000% Zoom
If you work with graphics – and vectors, especially – you probably know how important zooming is. Smooth zooming is a condition of creating fine details to vector work.
With Affinity, you will get a CAD-like precision, which is exactly what you were looking for as a designer. Plus, you can easily switch between different zoom levels.
3. Rich History
You are aware of how essential redo steps are in the creation process. Ctrl+Z is a life savior for all graphic designers, but to undo actions you’ve made, you need a rich history.
Affinity offers an option to save history and undo certain steps later in the process – how convenient is that? Also, you can undo steps that you previously performed in other Affinity suite apps, which is incredible.
Working at 60fps is a must for all graphic designers who want to deliver quality work and respect deadlines at the same time. Affinity offers users a live preview of all the transformations they make to the projects: gradients, effects, blend modes, adjustment layers, etc.
The fact that the program is so fast can help graphic designers achieve the exact result they wish for.
Even though many programs started to include professional examples into their main new project tab, Affinity works with such things from the very beginning.
You can take a better look at what other illustrators and graphic designer came up with and borrow some inspiration from the samples included in the price of Affinity.
6. Intuitive Design
You want a platform that’s easy to use and easy to remember, right? Well, all the icons in Affinity are built by other extremely talented creative professionals – just as you are.
You will love the way the interface looks like and the fact that it is so facile to work with. The only thing you have to do is open up the program and take a look at the perfectly organized interface.
7. One-Price Only
Tired of paying monthly or yearly subscriptions for your graphic design software? Affinity Designer involves a one-time payment only.
You no longer have to spend a considerable amount of money on subscriptions, as everything comes as a unitary product, including updates. All you have to do is pay for the product in advance, and it is yours to use forever.
You are not good with English, and you would like the program to run in your native language? Don’t worry – there are a lot of options when it comes to languages in Affinity.
You can choose the US or UK English, German, French, Spanish or even Portuguese. Lately, the team introduced Japanese, Chinese and Russian as main languages for the interface.
9. Highly Customizable
As graphic designers, we like to make things look exactly the way we want them to. This is the reason why we are always in search of customizable programs. Affinity is one of them.
You can set shortcuts for all sorts of actions; you can use a generic multi-button device (e.g., your graphics tablet), you can access a hint line whenever you don’t understand an icon or an option and many more.
10. Different Modes
You want to work in vectors, pixels or you want to export something you uploaded? Affinity has it all.
Any format you will export is compatible with other formats supported by the Affinity suite. Switching between modes is a feature that’s very useful for graphic designers who work a lot with all sorts of formats.
Feature List – Adobe Illustrator
Now, continuing with Adobe Illustrator features
1. Dropbox Smart Sync
A graphic designer would always want to access his files anywhere, anytime. Well, Adobe Illustrator allows Dropbox Smart Sync. What does it mean?
When you want to locate something from your Dropbox inventory, you no longer have to download it beforehand – you simply open it directly from the library.
2. Importing Multiple Page Files
Do you want to import a PDF file that has more than one page into a graphic design program? Seems quite unreal, but with Illustrator you can do that without much effort.
You no longer have to import single-page PDFs into the document – simply choose a page range or the whole document and import it in Illustrator.
3. Easy To Use Artboard And Great Panel Organization
Just as in the case of Affinity, the interface is quite friendly. If you are a graphic designer since forever, you’ll get a grip on the artboard and panel very quickly.
The icons are the ones Adobe already convinced us with, and the organization is facile. They even included support for the new MacBook Pro’s touch bar.
4. Fast Document Creation
The goal is to create a new document as fast as possible. Adobe Illustrator rocks when it comes to fast document creation.
The process is straightforward, and it won’t take up as many resources as you think. It’s just that they improved the program in time and everything runs smoothly.
5. Adobe Stock Templates
Adobe Stock is comparable to the templates offered by Affinity, but this is wider. You can look up anything you need in the Stock section and see if you can find anything useful there.
For graphic designers, this might be ideal, but remember that you’ll pay a monthly subscription for Adobe Illustrator, which includes the access to Adobe Stock.
6. Adobe Integration
Integrating your Illustrator files with other products from the Adobe suite is easier than ever. You can copy pieces of artwork from one program to another with ease.
Using Adobe Illustrator and want to make some adjustments in Experience Design CC? Just copy and paste the file into place and start working right away.
7. Live Shapes
You probably know already how to use live shapes in Adobe Illustrator. The latest updates came with an entirely new way to craft vector shapes in an instant.
Since it is so vital for graphic designers to work fast and efficiently, this interactive feature of Adobe Illustrator will transform everything into something more comfortable than you were used with. You can apply effects and use other tools directly to the live shapes.
8. Smart Guides
Everyone knows how important alignment is when it comes to designing something great. No one wants to use an actual ruler to set things right, so what if you’d have a little help on that matter?
Adobe Illustrator has a handy feature that is called smart guides, and it helps the user draw perfect shapes using control keys only. How cool is that?
9. Faster Zoom
We talked earlier about how vital zooming in very fast is. Also, zooming in a lot is essential for fine details. Take into account both of these options when you are choosing the program you will work with.
Luckily, Adobe Illustrator includes both of them, along with faster pan and scroll. When working on a bigger panel, scrolling fast and precisely where you need is essential. Compared to Affinity, Illustrator can only zoom in at 64000%
10. Touch And Pen Pressure Control
Any graphic designer owns a graphics tablet or another similar device. Integrating it with the software you are using is a must.
Adobe Illustrator allows users to set preferences regarding touch and pen pressure control, which can be very helpful in creating artwork that involves fine details. Plus, it is faster to work this way.
The Final Decision: Affinity Designer Vs Adobe Illustrator
Now that you got the bigger picture regarding the fight between Affinity Designer vs Adobe Illustrator, it’s time to conclude. What program is the most suitable for your situation? The answer might shock you – both are great.
The secret to finding what’s the best choice for yourself is to try working with different products. If you complete one task easier with Affinity and another one more efficiently with Illustrator, investing in both is the right choice.
But if you are limited on a budget and would still like to deliver the best work possible, choosing one of them (or other similar programs) is a condition. Reading about the features of the program you are interested in might help to make the final decision.
This article should have answered at least some of your questions related to this topic. If not, never cease to look for more info and clarify anything you have on mind. It’s essential to stay up to date with the latest trends and updates.
A good graphic designer should know how to use any program he is given. This way, you make sure that you are building a successful career and employers will seek your services as top ones.
Affinity Designer and Adobe Illustrator are just two of the possible graphic design products you can use, but the market is open, and there are many other options to discover out there.
At the beginning of your career, you should focus on one or two programs and master each feature of them. After that, you will find it easier to get used with other software products that have similar uses like the ones you learned in the past. Don’t forget that budget is always an issue.
Compare prices and what the products have to offer and make the best choice for your particular situation. Don’t rely on what other people say and stick to what makes you comfortable.
Check out other articles on this site to improve your knowledge in the field of graphic design, and you’ll notice how fast you become better at it.
If you’re interested in other Affinity products, you can also read my review about Affinity Publisher vs. Adobe InDesign here on DesignyUp.