Affinity - Imagined by designers, created for professionals

FREE STUFF! Celebrate our bumper 2017 with these downloads

Free DAUB BlackBox brush pack

We’ve already announced that we’re taking at least 20% off the price of all our apps to celebrate the amazing year we’ve had in 2017.

And we certainly haven’t forgotten those of you who helped towards that success by purchasing Affinity apps already. So whether you’re using Affinity Photo or Affinity Designer, or both, we’ve got a little something for you, too!

First up, the DAUB BlackBox brush pack contains 12 versatile brushes of inks, bristles and sketchy strokes, all expertly crafted by the good people at DAUB to fully utilise the unrivalled dynamics in Affinity’s brush engine.

They’re compatible with Affinity Photo on Mac, Windows and iPad (they’re also great for using in the pixel persona of Affinity Designer on Mac and Windows). To claim your free brush set, simply go to

Free DAUB BlackBox brush pack

For Affinity Designer users, we have a huge iOS 11 kit to help you create amazing UI assets for use with Apple’s latest iPhone and iPad OS.

This bumper pack of iOS 11 UI assets contains hundreds of elements, covering all the latest updates to Apple Pay, FaceID and iPhone X. All optimised to take advantage of Constraints, they’re supplied with a full laydown document as well as a pack to install into your Assets tab.

To claim the iOS 11 kit, go to

Once again we’d like to thank all of you who’ve helped make it such an incredible year for the Affinity apps. We look forward to further adventures in 2018!


20% off Affinity apps

It’s been a crazy 2017 for us, and to cap it off we’re taking at least 20% off all our apps until New Year!

The discount is available on Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer for Mac, Windows and iOS until 5 January, so it’s the perfect opportunity to snap up two apps which have continued to make waves throughout 2017.

Affinity Photo, on Mac, Windows and iPad, pushes the boundaries for photo editing software. Its huge toolset is specifically engineered with creative and photography professionals in mind. Whether you are editing and retouching images, or importing RAW files and creating expansive multi-layered compositions with hundreds of layers, it has all the power and performance you will ever need. The iOS version was this month named App of the Year by Apple.

Affinity Designer, on Mac and Windows, is a complete vector graphic design solution brought to life in the fastest, smoothest, most precise software around. Each feature, tool, panel and function has been developed with the needs of creative professionals at its heart. With continuous innovation and development, the result is a ground-breaking application that will revolutionise how you work.

Affinity apps take all the leading professional file types, such as psd, svg, eps and of course pdf, comfortably in their stride. Or you can work in the proprietary Affinity file format, which offers complete compatibility across apps, including saved edit history, so you can switch between apps or pass work on to others in your team.

Unlike most modern photo editing or design software, Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer are available for a one-off payment, with no subscription. Updates are free, too.

The 20 per cent discount runs from 18 December until 5 January and means the desktop apps are priced $39.99 / £38.99 / 43,99€ (subject to regional variations) for Mac from the Mac App Store, or for Windows direct from or Microsoft Store.

Affinity Photo for iPad costs $14.99 / £14.99 / 16,99€ (subject to regional variations) from the App Store during the sale.

Thanks for all your support in 2017 – we look forward to another year of welcoming many more professional creatives who are experiencing the power of Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer for the first time.

Affinity Photo for iPad wins App of the Year 2017!

An amazing 2017 for us has been crowned today with the news that Affinity Photo for iPad is officially Apple’s App of the Year 2017!

Announcing Affinity Photo as the App of the Year for 2017, Apple described it as: “an uncompromisingly excellent tool,” adding: “Affinity Photo is a pro grade photo editor and illustration tool that has wowed not just us, but the professional users and enthusiastic amateurs that it serves, too. This isn’t a jack-of-all-trades app, it’s a master of all.”

From launching on-stage during the keynote at WWDC in June to this latest accolade, it’s been an unbelievable six months for Affinity Photo for iPad. We’ve been blown away by the response, not just from within the tech and photography industries but from thousands and thousands of customers who have justified our vision that a no-compromise, professional photo editing app was possible on iPad.

Affinity Photo for iPad video

Affinity Photo for iPad truly is the first fully-featured, truly professional photo editing tool for iOS, redefining photo editing by exploiting the explosive power of the iPad’s hardware and touch capabilities.

Each tool, panel and control has been completely reimagined to optimise for touch – either with fingertip or Apple Pencil. All rendering, adjustments and filter effects have been fully hardware-accelerated and the result is a genuinely unique new way to interact with your images and your iPad, with performance you’ll find hard to believe.

Using iOS 11’s Files app, users can simply drag and drop a chosen image, or multiple images, and start editing. This harnesses the full power of techniques such as HDR, panoramas and focus merge, which require the selection of multiple images.

Affinity Photo for iPad draws its heritage from the desktop version of Affinity Photo, which was selected by Apple as Mac App of the Year in 2015.

Affinity Photo for iPad is compatible with the iPad Air 2, iPad 2017, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch.

Behind the Scenes: Creating the Affinity Photo Workbook

As we released our glossy full-colour Affinity Photo Workbook last week, we thought you might like to take a look into how it was created…

Peek of ‘The Snow Queen’ project by Emi Haze from the Affinity Photo Workbook

With 16 hands-on projects, a 68 page Interface Tour, a Core Skills section (to familiarise yourself with essential photo-editing techniques), 600 illustrations and screenshots, 5 tear-out Keyboard Shortcut cheat sheets and over 200 downloadable resource files—the Affinity Photo Workbook took us 10 months to produce and has been a real labour of love.

The Affinity Photo Workbook has been edited and written by our Head of Documentation Andy Capstick, with technical writing support from our in-house photo expert James Ritson. James also contributed a project to the book, as did our Art Director, Neil Ladkin. Neil, along with Ian Cornwall from our creative team, directed the overall look and feel of the book. Ian also worked on the art-working of the book, along with another of our creative team, Ian Upcott. Sean Power, of the QA team, worked through the book to check it was all up to scratch as well as checking all the downloadable content worked to follow along with the tutorials.

We also worked with some amazing photographers and digital artists from all around the world to bring you the rest of the projects—so a big thank you goes to Emi Haze, Timothy Poulton, Jordan Gaunce, Mark Ivkovic, Paolo Limoncelli, Bodo Bertuleit, Steven Randolph and Jonny Åkerlund.

When the writing and art-working was complete (and signed off!), the next stage began—the print run. The Affinity Workbook team dropped in on our print partner (ESP Colour, Swindon, UK) to see our German language Workbooks hit the press and find out how it is done. Many thanks to them for lifting the curtain on the printing process and giving up their valuable time.

The Print Process

Stage 1: Prepress

We send our finshed artwork over to the Prepress team at ESP, who then perform the following tasks:

  • Quality control: They check our PDF artwork for low-resolution images, CMYK colour space, colour profiling, and bleed settings.

  • Imposition: They then create imposed PDFs from our supplied PDF (see image below) to maximise print efficiency and minimise plate usage—less print time + less plates = less cost!

  • Ripping: The print job is then processed as a PDF in readiness for plate setting.

Imposed sheets from the ‘Elegance’ project

Tips on preparing your artwork for print

We asked John, The ESP Operations Manager, about some tips when submitting artwork to prepress…

What are the most common challenges you find with submitted print artwork?
Poor Quality—low-resolution images, no bleed, no embedded fonts, spreads when single pages are required. With bound covers, single pages where spreads are required (with spines); when roll folded—we need spreads with allowance for roll folding (reduce each panel). Often this is not done. Missing or incomplete cutter guides (when used).

What the best advice you could give designers and artists if they plan to create artwork for print?
Ensure you use high-quality images and ensure you create bleed where necessary. Convert PMS colours to CMYK—unless these are required as a special colour. Complex Illustrator graphics cause massive issues—view in keyline to see complexity and flatten or convert to raster image to resolve. Also, flatten all PDFs – no layers, and of course embed all fonts.

CMYK and PDF/X4 all the way then?
Yes. Although PDF/X4 itself can cause issues (everything is locked down and some systems don’t like it).

Should a user worry about CMYK colour profile choice?
Not at all, but we would always recommend a scatter proof produced on a litho press rather than trying to compare colour to that seen on screen.


Prepress is also responsible for proofing, which takes the ripped output as would appear on the plate but, instead, creates a bound hardcopy print which is sent to us for proofing. This unique white-cover workbook (bottom left of iMac below) is much sought after here at Serif HQ! We also receive a scatter proof of the cover (the sheets) along with an electronic PDF for on-screen proofing (on screen). The Affinity team all check these proofs carefully, and when we are happy we tell the printers to proceed with our print run.


Stage 2: Platesetting and proofing

When the proofs have been signed off by us, the printers can then start platesetting. Platesetting involves chemically etching rectangular aluminium plates with artwork for each colour, i.e. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, K (Black); one set of plates is etched for the front sheet and one set for the back sheet.


Kodak Magnus Platesetter. Plates are 0.3mm aluminium, bendable enough to fit around, and onto, a plate cylinder in the printer.

As well as the 4 CMYK plates, the printing of the Affinity Photo Workbook requires an extra plate—for a ‘fifth’ spot colour used on our chapter cover and project pages.

This colour is a PANTONE ink. Our printers buy this in and don’t mix it up to ensure the colour is always correct.



ESP are very busy—they make 700 plates a day, which is 1 plate a minute!

Stage 3: Production

The Workbooks are printed on a Heidelberg lithographic offset printer. Essentially, oil-based inks are attracted to the oil-attracting print areas on the plate, while water dampening ensures the non-printing areas are kept ink free. The oil doesn’t mix with water principle applies here.

Lithographic Offset Printer

Heidelberg Speedmaster lithographic offset printer with five printing units (in right-to-left paper feed order) – K (black), Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and coating/infrared dryer. Spot colour printing unit not shown

Loading plates


Each printing unit contains several cylinders, the most notable being the Plate, Blanket and Impression cylinders. The term “offset” means that the Plate cylinder (housing a plate rolled around it) doesn’t come into direct contact with the paper to be printed on. Instead, the ink is transferred to a Blanket cylinder which is sandwiched between Plate and Impression cylinders and then pressed onto the fed paper. Rollers supply water and ink to the Plate cylinder.

Two print passes are needed, one for the top of the sheet using front plates, and one for the back using back plates. Each front colour plate is loaded and wrapped around the plate cylinder on the respective printing units on the litho printer.

Stage 4: Printing and Inspection

Printing begins, with a keen eye on ink flow rates at the control station. Here, we’re looking at paper stock being added to the printer, the control centre (showing the fifth spot ink and C, M, Y, K inks) and the finishing unit showing stacked printed output.


Once the ‘front’ print run using front plates is complete, the interim single-sided paper stack is physically ‘flipped’ and offered back to the printer again, once the ‘back’ plates have been loaded.

233 plates and 455,000 sheets of paper were used in this print run of our German language Affinity Photo Workbook. It took 65 hours to print—ESP run sheets through their sheet-fed presses at 18,000 sheets an hour.

Stage 5: Finishing


When the printing is complete we are left with printed double-sided paper stack ready for finishing. It goes on to be folded, gathered, and PUR bound, with the bound book being consolidated with its cover.

The journey doesn’t end there…

Once we get a delivery date confirmed from the printers, the work starts at Serif HQ to get the book to you.

Maree Moran, who sorts out the ordering and distribution of our Workbooks, ensures that all the cartons and pallets containing the final printed Workbooks will be up labeled correctly. She then lets Adam Frith (our warehouse manager), know of their impending arrival.

As we can only ship to some countries from our warehouse in Nottingham (UK) without incurring too many costs for you guys, we also send some stock to Amazon to both sell and distribute for us. Maree lists the Workbook on Amazon UK, Amazon DE, Amazon US and Amazon CA (Canada), and arranges stock to be sent to the depots for each country. When the stock is shipped to Amazon US and CA, it will then be distributed to smaller depots around those countries to further reduce the customer shipping costs. Maree will also monitor this stock and top it up when needed.

When Adam receives the stock in the warehouse, he splits it further into pallets for Amazon. Depending on the country, he may also need to add another barcode sticker and label up the boxes and cartons as per the requirements of the division of Amazon he is shipping to. Adam also will send out the workbooks individually that are ordered directly from us and sent from our warehouse.

Lithographic Offset Printer

Adam takes the first delivery of Affinity Photo Workbooks

The final furlong…

All thats left for us now to do is to get the book listed on our own store and get our Affinity Photo Workbook webpage up on We also prepare an email to send to you and some announcements on our social media channels to let you know when the Affinity Photo Workbook is ready to buy. Big thanks go to Ash, Neil, Steven, Rob, Mel, Duncan, Joe and John for this.

And now it’s ready for you to enjoy!

The finished Affinity Photo Workbook

We really hope you will enjoy reading and working through the Affinity Photo Workbook, we all really enjoyed making it and are very proud of the result.

The Affinity Photo Workbook is now available to buy from the Affinity Store.

The official Affinity Photo Workbook is here – and there’s a 25% discount for the first week of launch!

We are proud to announce the launch of the official Affinity Photo Workbook, our first ever guide to Affinity Photo on macOS and Windows. Painstakingly put together over many months, the long-awaited Workbook teaches you everything there is to know about Affinity Photo and mastering its powerful tools and capabilities.

Affinity Photo Workbook

To celebrate the release of this stunning book we are offering a 25% introductory discount for the first week of launch. This means until Thursday, 30 November you can purchase a copy for £27.99 / 32.99€ / $36.99 (+ shipping and handling) exclusively on our Affinity Store.

Beautifully presented in hardback and printed across 488 full colour pages, the Affinity Photo Workbook combines the vast knowledge of our own in-house experts with exciting contributions made by renowned digital artists and photographers from around the world.

Affinity Photo Workbook

Rather than an A-Z manual, it’s designed to inspire users to create their own unique work in Affinity Photo, by taking inspiration from some amazing projects and advice. And because it focuses on professional skills and techniques, the Affinity Photo Workbook will still be completely relevant even when updated versions of the app become available.

The Affinity Photo Workbook is split into five easy to follow chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Interface Tour

    Helps you get to grips with every tool, persona, option and panel in Affinity Photo. You’ll also learn how to customise your workspace and shortcut keys to maximise productivity.

  • Chapter 2: Core Skills

    Covers all the basic techniques you need to know, including adjustments, layers, masking, developing RAW images and creating super-accurate selections.

  • Chapter 3: Enthusiast Projects

    From the challenges of urban photography to the secrets of HDR, you’ll dive into some high-end techniques with six easy to follow projects.

  • Chapter 4: Commercial Projects

    Focuses on the high-end skills needed for top level fashion retouching, landscape panoramics, print design and food retouching.

  • Chapter 5: Creative Effects and Techniques

    Explores the power of macros, creating custom brushes and working on compositions with 100s of layers. Once you’ve finished this chapter you will be an Affinity Photo expert!

We’ve also included five keyboard shortcut cheats sheets in the back of the book to help boost productivity. They contain shortcuts for both the macOS and Windows version of Affinity Photo and can be torn out and kept aside for easy reference.

The launch offer must end Thursday, 30 November, so don’t miss out. Purchase your copy now for just £27.99 / 32.99€ / $36.99 (+ shipping and handling). Click here to view the list of countries we ship to.

Drumroll, Please!

In August, we asked you to ‘show us what you’ve got’  in the hope that we could feature real-life work from our users in our marketing materials for the 1.6 Designer and Photo updates we launched recently.

Well, we were blown away by the thousands of high quality submissions we received from all over the world, and more than a little humbled once again by your support.

In total we have licensed 72 artworks by amazing independent designers, photographers and illustrators who use Affinity. These images have been featured in our 1.6 campaigns as in-app samples, in our marketing videos and on our website. We feel very passionate about our creative community and paying creatives properly for their work, so we are proud to say that each artist has received $300 per image we have used too.

Massive thanks go to the following featured artists and photographers!

Users featured in the 1.6 updates campaign for Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer

Affinity Photo

We licensed images from Andreas Seubert, Juergen Huber, Kevin Currie, Leon Schleßelmann to make our banner for Affinity Photo 1.6 (left). We licensed this image (right) from Agata Karelus which can be seen in Affinity Photo 1.6 as an in-app sample.

Users featured in the Affinity Photo 1.6 campaign

Andreas Seubert | Andy Sutton | Avin Vadas | Craig Perry | David Chu | Dimitrios Sakkas | Eric Baele | Fernando Ribiero | Frank Van Keirsbilck | Friedhelm Peters | Hans Altenkirch | Human Golmohammadi | Ivan Weiss | Jay Miller | Jonathan Pearce | Juan Diez López | Juergen Huber | Kevin Currie | Leon Schleßelmann | Reinhard Guhl | Ricardo Silva

Users featured in the Affinity Designer 1.6 campaign

Tiago Galo | Agata Kubiak | Rodrigo Gianello | Pascal Altena | Ale Urrutia | Giacomo Bettiol | J. Blake Harris | Terry Elkins | Agata Karelus | Pierrick Calvez | Benjamin Mitchley | David Gonzales | Jason Rain | James Whelen | Robert Nazeby Herzig | Tom Sommerseth | Christine Garner | Dan Robinson | Grzegorz Wawrzyńczak | Willem Pirquin | Patricia Diessner

Check out how we featured their work:

You will also find some of the participants work included as an in-app sample. You can access these from the welcome screens in Affinity Photo & Affinity Designer (1.6).

Users featured in the Affinity Photo for iPad update campaign

Affinity Photo for iPad

‘Flower’ image licensed from Daniel Nica

Andy Sutton | Brian Beevers | Christoph Dopplinger | Craig Perry | Daniel Nica | Dimitrios Sakkas | Fernando Ribiero | Frank H. Broicher | Ivan Weiss | Jay Miller | Jovy Thomas | Mike Lukianowicz | Moritz Floess | Philipp Kern | Ricardo Silva | Serena Marzo

Check out how we featured their work:

Get Involved!

We’ll be flooding our Instagram with all of the images from these awesome creatives in the coming weeks, but we want you to join in too. Show us what you’re working on using Affinity by using the hashtag #madeinaffinity on Instagram and Twitter.

Plus, you can always email us at to get in touch with our Artist Relations team —we are always on the lookout for more artistic superstars!

Affinity 1.6 updates available now, plus free bonus content until 16 November

Affinity Photo

We are thrilled to announce that both Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer have just received a fantastic new update. And to celebrate for the next two weeks we are giving away a huge bundle of creative content free with every purchase!

Our apps continue to push the boundaries of professional creative software and this latest update raises the bar once again with a huge performance boost making them faster, smoother and more powerful than ever.

We’ve added valuable new features including a light UI mode, brush stabilisation and tons of useful performance improvements and enhancements. For more details check out our brand-new product pages and the 1.6 feature video below, all created using artwork submitted by our very talented users.

Affinity Photo for iPad video

Affinity apps are all about enabling you to work faster – whether it’s a quick design draft or photo edit, or a painstaking, complex document involving hundreds of layers or stacked images.

Our apps are already a trusted part of the workflow for creative professionals around the world. The latest versions build on those proven capabilities to deliver lightning speed, pinpoint accuracy and incredible processing power like never before.

Along-side the v1.6 update you will also receive:

Affinity Photo bonus content worth around £105

  • Dirk Wüstenhagen Fine Art Texture Collection − 99 beautifully crafted, high-resolution textures
  • Uplift Epic Skies Overlay − A versatile collection of 50 striking cloud overlays
  • Macro Pack − A stunning set of image styles, light leaks and distortions

Affinity Designer bonus content worth around £60

  • Frankentoon Texturizer Pro Brush Pack − Over 70 brushes created exclusively for Affinity Designer
  • Tom Chalky Handcrafted Fonts & Textures – A huge bundle of stylish fonts and over 80 textures
  • Grade UI Kit – More than 1000 fully-customisable elements, icons, panels and buttons

If you already own Affinity Photo or Affinity Designer this update is completely free, and to thank you for your support we’ve also made the free content available to existing users until 16 November when the special offer ends.

Mac customers can download the update right now from the Mac App Store and Windows customers will be prompted to update the next time they open their app. Once installed a link to the free content will appear on the app welcome screen (go to Help and select Welcome if it does not appear at start up).

If you don’t own them yet now is the perfect time to buy. The apps are available priced at £48.99 / $49.99 / 54,99€ each, which we think is great value for money − the free content alone would cost more than the app, if bought separately. And remember there’s no subscription and future updates like this one are also included in the price!

Click here for more information about Affinity Photo

Click here for more information about Affinity Designer

It’s also worth noting our free trials have now been reset, so if you downloaded a trial in the early days and would like to see how far our apps have come, you can now download the trial from our website for a second time.

Affinity Photo selected for first-ever Tom’s Guide 'Best Tech Values' list

Affinity Photo

We’re thrilled that the experts at influential consumer analysts Tom’s Guide have selected Affinity Photo for their first-ever Best Tech Values list of tech products which offer the best value for money.

We reckon it’s the first time Affinity has been listed alongside the likes of the Amazon Echo, Minecraft and Netflix!

The award winners were selected by the Tom’s Guide editorial team through testing and research, and with input from its user community of more than 10 million tech enthusiasts.


Affinity Photo was previously named ‘Best Budget Editor For Pros’ in a Tom’s Guide review in March 2017.

The Best Tech Values listing says of Affinity Photo: ‘This photo editor is half the price of the big boys, but it offers such features as RAW image processing, adjustment layers, masks, color management, dynamic paint brushes, a healing brush, lens correction, and CMYK and RGB editing. It can even read, open and edit Photoshop PSD files. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but the investment in time is worth the money you’ll save.’

Greg Mason, CEO of Tom’s Guide owner, Purch, says: “Best Tech Values 2017 is a natural extension of what we do on an ongoing basis,” said “With more than 30 million visitors to Tom’s Guide each month, consumers regularly turn to us to help them make better purchasing decisions across the board. With the busiest shopping season upon us, the Best Tech Values 2017 list will be an important guide.”

For the full Best Tech Values list go to the Tom’s Guide website.

Ready to go! Affinity Photo for iPad fully updated for iOS 11

Affinity Photo for iPad iOS11 update

Professional photo editing on the iPad takes another huge leap forward today, with Affinity Photo freshly updated to make the most of Apple’s brand-new iOS 11.

Reviews around the world have already hailed Affinity Photo as a flagship professional app for the iPad. And with Apple launching their much-anticipated iOS 11 update, you’ll be delighted to know that we’ve already optimised the app for the new operating system.

Check out our latest Affinity Photo for iPad video here…

Affinity Photo for iPad video

In particular, iOS 11’s new Files app makes it easier than ever to open an image in Affinity Photo for iPad – simply drag and drop your chosen image, or multiple images, and start editing.

In Affinity Photo for iPad, this puts even more power at your fingertips for creative photo-editing techniques such as HDR merging, image stacking and panoramas, which require multiple images to be selected. And if you’re sending your work to someone else, it’s simple just to drag and drop it into email.

The ability to select and use files easily is a big deal for professional users, and one area where the experience of using Affinity Photo on iPad lagged behind the desktop version due to the operating system capabilities. With iOS 11 it’s now so easy to select multiple images using touch, drag them into Affinity Photo and complete the whole process in a fraction of the time before.

This new drag-and-drop capability streamlines your workflow and frees up more time for editing, but also puts incredible power at your fingertips for creating amazing work which involves merging or stacking multiple files.

Integration with mail is another huge addition. Affinity Photo can read so many different image file formats, so if for example someone emails you a PSD file, you can now open and edit that file – with all layers intact – directly on your iPad. You can even save it back out again as a PSD and drag it straight into an email reply.

The whole experience of bringing files into and out of the iPad app is now much closer to what it is on a desktop, and of course we’re delighted to be among the first apps to fully take advantage of all this great new functionality.

Affinity Photo for iPad is priced at £19.99 / US$19.99 / 21,99€ (subject to regional currency variations) from the newly-redesigned App Store. The iOS 11 update is free to existing customers, via the in-app prompt.

Affinity Photo for iPad is compatible with the iPad Pro 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch, iPad Air 2, iPad 2017, and optimised for Apple Pencil.

Designing for print in Affinity Designer

Designing for print in Affinity Designer

TOM LUDD is a 22-year-old freelance graphic designer who – despite his relatively young age – has been practising his craft for eight years and accepting commissions since 2014.

Alongside running a one-man design studio, Tom runs the Designers’ League; a Facebook community of more than 7,000 designers and creatives from all over the world.

Tom’s latest work is a design for the beautiful Letterpress Calendar, the crowd-funded project by French designer Fabien Barral, of Mr Cup Studio.

Designing for print in Affinity Designer

Fabien recruited 13 designers and gave each an inspirational phrase to incorporate into their design.

For Tom – a former Adobe student ambassador – it was the perfect opportunity to show what he can do in Affinity Designer, the Apple Award-winning vector graphics editor from Serif.

“I discovered Affinity Designer simply by chance online, and snapped it up when it was first released. I played about with it a few times after that but I only really started to use it when my subscription to Adobe had ended. From there I decided to switch to Affinity full-time.

The first thing that really grabbed me about Affinity Designer was the sheer speed of the software and how intuitive and fun it was to create inside of. So many features that I love, especially the Symbols tool which I will go into a little more depth below. This software is truly the only other alternative for a professional designer and the price makes this a purchase to buy regardless, even as a backup – there is no excuse!

For the Letterpress calendar, Fabien contacted me asking me if I was interested in creating a piece. He simply gave me some details and provided the quote “If everything has already been done, try doing it even better” to be included in my piece. I was given free rein on it – one of those rare occasions I couldn’t pass by!

Here’s a sort of step by step guide of some of the techniques I used in Affinity Designer to create pieces like this.

1. Setting up your workflow

Designing for print in Affinity Designer Designing for print in Affinity Designer

With my work, I almost always use a grid, because this allows me to quickly and accurately check the spacing of my lines and keep things contained. With the calendar piece, I was fitting a lot of detail into small framing so had to make sure it was all equal from the start, to ensure any further detailing I make isn’t off (this really saves a lot of headache).

2. Using the snapping feature

Designing for print in Affinity Designer

Another feature I love using is the ability to snap to the grid, this makes precise line work very easy, I find this helps streamline the process and speeds it up, leaving you added time to experiment.

I work almost always in mono-line and with an aim for the piece to have the utmost precision, as it can make or break a piece of work. You don’t want to let down a great concept by having sloppy execution, and Affinity Designer easily matches any other software for its precision, with the ability zoom in over 100 million per cent.

3. Building your basic frame

Designing for print in Affinity Designer


Designing for print in Affinity Designer


It helps to build a basic frame that all your detailing will settle inside as this will help you plan out the rest of your piece. Usually I use a square or circle and build into it, adding in smaller frames and filling in the inners with hatching.

This is easily done in Affinity Designer by holding cmd / ctrl and dragging in the direction you wish to duplicate and then pressing CMD / CTRL + J repeatedly depending on how many you need. You don’t just have to use hatching, you could make smaller repeating patterns, but be careful you don’t go too complicated else it may be lost in print.

4. Using the rotate and duplicate tool to add detail(s)

Designing for print in Affinity Designer

Another technique I used in this piece was the process of rotating and duplicating an object around a circle, this adds some great detail and was how I easily repeated the dots around the vine inside the border of my piece. The more you can ease your process, the more time you can spend playing.

5. Adding pattern work quickly using the symbol tool

Designing for print in Affinity Designer


The symbol tool from Affinity Designer is a genius feature that helps speed my workflow up massively, I’m able to create an object and then mirror it in real-time in another area of the art board, as many times as I wish by duplicating it.

This allows for incredibly quick patterns and illustrations and allows me to quickly see whether a concept will work without putting too much time into it.

It totally makes you work in a different way and you will come up with visuals you would have a hard time thinking up without it.

6. Preparing your work for print

Designing for print in Affinity Designer


When preparing this piece, I had made sure to group up specific segments of the piece as pictured in the gif below, this helped me massively when coming to export this piece as there was a whopping 4,578 separate objects.

From there I was able to easily expand the strokes and then use the pathfinder tool to ensure all details would be kept and that it would print optimally.”

Designing for print in Affinity Designer


The finished design

Designing for print in Affinity Designer

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