By night I fight the crime of a cold and colorless world as a wannabe super-heroine graphic designer apprentice. My overlords don’t give me serious work but they let me play with all the tools and toys after hours.
Mac users interested in entry level graphic design tools would do well to take more than a passing look at Affinity Designer. Think Illustrator Lite meets Photoshop Lite.
This modestly priced toolset comes with a bunch of pro-level options; pan and zoom and 60fps, live gradients, pixel precision zoom, and sidebars of familiar vector and drawing tools.
Everything about Affinity Designer smacks of a deliberate and artful blend of Photoshop and Illustrator tools at a Pixelmator price. Use floating palettes of tools or combine them all as a three-sided toolbar set that covers left and right sidebars, plus the top toolbar area.
This value packed app handles CYMK, RGB, and LAB color models with full 16-bit per channel editing, and ICC color management (take that, Pixelmator). Affinity Designer is at once familiar and usable, with plenty of pen tools, curve editing, geometric operations, and every shape tool you can think of.
Can Affinity Designer replace Illustrator?
If you’re new to graphic design, yes. If you’re a graphic designer on a budget, yes. If you want Illustrator or Photoshop at a cut-rate bargain price, no. This isn’t for the Mac graphic designer who lives, eats, breathes, and sleeps Adobe flagship apps.
For what you can create on your Mac, Affinity Designer is an absolute bargain.