On Friday, I dropped $49.99 via the App Store to get the MacOS edition of Serif (Europe) Ltd.’s Affinity Designer. Already, I’m very impressed. Previously I had been using an outdated version of Pixelmator. It was outdated for various reasons, but the point is, it ultimately became unusable. That situation was unfortunate, but understandable.
When it was working normally, Pixelmator was leaps and bounds better than any of the other Adobe alternatives—read, “Inkscape and GIMP”. Pixelmator allowed me to do raster and vector graphic work, without having to sell my soul (and wallet) to Adobe. I’m very grateful for that. However, any mildly complex operations such as working with vector shapes, paths, or masks were very unintuitive.
Oh, and the UX in Affinity Designer is infinitely better. Pixelmator suffered from a plethora of disconnected menus that could cover up the workspace. Affinity Designer’s UI follows the lead of Adobe Illustrator in that the viewport is actually inset. That way the UI outlines the viewport and doesn’t cover up whatever you’re working on. From what I gather the menus are customizable (I didn’t have a reason to do that, so I can’t confirm). Best of all, the viewport isn’t limited by the dimensions of the canvas I’m working on! I can actually move around!
Anyway, I thought I’d share my initial experience with the program. I think that it will be a fantastic edition to my design toolbox. If you’re in a similar situation, Affinity Designer is worth a look.