The question is: Affinity Designer or Adobe Illustrator for web designers? The competition between these two major design platforms has been one of intense debate recently within the design community. However, many Adobe products have been the go-to platform for designers over the past three decades. Adobe’s “Creative Cloud” includes over 20 applications available via desktop and mobile devices. Affinity Designer, created by UK-based Serif Labs, was developed as an alternative design platform to Adobe’s Illustrator. Affinity Designer, Winner of Apple’s Design Award in 2015, was produced specifically for designers accustomed to working with Mac devices and is available on the App Store for $49.99. Essentially, Affinity Designer functions as a combination of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. The service is particularly beneficial to novice designers who may not be as grounded in Adobe products as experienced designers.
There are a few aspects of the platforms to scrutinize when evaluating the benefits of each software. The tool sets, importing and exporting functions, and features dedicated to working space are most essential to determining which platform is the better of the two. Affinity Designer offers a new and innovative interface which is beneficial to beginning designers as their tools set does not include some of the more advanced functions found in Illustrator such as a perspective grid or column graph. Regarding importing and exporting, Affinity Designer offers easy options for transferring PSD, AI, and EPS files. However, some features such as pattern overlays and filtering options may not be preserved when switching to Affinity. This is because Adobe offers a plethora of features and settings which are not found in Affinity. Lastly, Affinity’s work space has been improving recently with updates including PANTONE color swatches and a feature for activating artboards. In conclusion, Affinity Designer offers an inexpensive alternative to Adobe Illustrator with great features for beginning designers and experienced designers on a budget. However, when referring to overall cohesiveness and comprehensive features, Adobe’s Creative Cloud has Affinity Designer beat. Although, this may not be the case if Serif Labs continues to update their software and add features to the platform that replicate or one-up Adobe’s respective characteristics.