Affinity Designer

The 1.9 update to Affinity Designer packs in a raft of time-saving, workflow improvements. In this article, we run through our top five new features and how you can make the most of them.

Our 1.9 update is now available across all apps, and as usual, it is free to existing users on the platform(s) a licence has been purchased for. We recommend checking out this handy guide—How to install Affinity updates—if you need some help updating.

Affinity Designer, free and safe download. Affinity Designer latest version: Superb vector graphic design software designed for professionals. Affinity Designer is a Imaging and Digital Photo application like Photo Resizer, Rebelle, and AfterShot Pro from Serif. It has a simple and basic user interface, and most importantly, it is free to download. Affinity Designer is an efficient software that is recommended by many Windows PC users.

Affinity Designer is a stripped back, pro-end workhorse that will always get your job done. The Corner Tool. The first tool on our little list has to do with corner adjusting, and believe it or not. Affinity Designer is a new vector-based graphics editor developed by Serif for various creation needs with the help of professional but extremely easy-to-use instruments. Inkscape is a free and open source vector drawing software.

Let’s take a look at what’s new in Affinity Designer 1.9.

1. Contour Tool

Say hello to the powerful new Contour Tool! This time-saving addition to Designer 1.9 allows you to add a contour to any object or increase the width of single open curves, with ease. Use it to create abstract shapes, offset paths in and around an object and cool outlines around artistic text—great for drafting architectural drawings, making icons and logos or producing print files for stickers.

The Contour Tool has many useful applications, as Matt demonstrates in this video.

2. Select Object and Select Same

Designer now has two new selection tools guaranteed to speed up your process.

Affinity Designer For Mac

Select Object

With this handy new feature, you can effortlessly select all objects of a particular type (all symbols, all pixel layers, any shapes without a stroke, etc.) within your document without having to locate them individually. These elements are then highlighted in the Layers panel, making them easier to edit, group and organise.

Affinity Designer

Select Same

With Select Same, you can now locate and edit attributes such as fill colour, stroke colour, stroke weight, transparency, blend mode or shape type by selecting all instances within your document. It’s a huge timesaver and a great workflow improvement.

3. Create a custom brush from a pixel layer

While working in Designer’s Pixel Persona, you now have the ability to create your own custom brush in a matter of seconds from an element that’s already in your design. You can also fine-tune its characteristics, dynamics and texture or create sub brushes to suit your needs.

In this video, Matt demonstrates how to create a custom raster brush from a group of vector shapes, by first converting them to a pixel layer, and then switching to the Pixel Persona to create a new brush from his chosen selection.

4. Link and package files (desktop only)

You can now link resources in Designer just like you can in Publisher, opening up collaborative workflow possibilities and allowing you to include multiple links to external files in your work without bulking up your document size.

Linking files is also useful if you are trying to include up-to-date information from an independent source, like an image created in Photo, that may be updated at a later date. In the Resource Manager, you can choose when these linked files are updated within your document, while the Collect option helps keep things organised by allowing you to bring either selected or all linked files into a specified folder.

To send your project to someone else via email or a chosen drive, select Save as Package to create a new folder containing both the document and its linked files together.

5. Studio Presets (desktop only)

With the new Studio Presets feature in the desktop version of Designer you can save your favourite workspace setups for different tasks and easily switch between them, to streamline your workflow.

Simply think through which tools you normally use for different types of work or tasks, such as isometric illustration or working with lettering, and then organise your panels to bring them to the fore. You can drag the most important panels out of their panel groups and hide any panels you don’t frequently use, in order to create a clean workspace.

Once you’ve created a workspace to your preference, save it for future use. You can organise your custom studios in the Studio Presets Manager and reset your workspace to the default Designer studio set up at any time.

And that’s not all…

Affinity Drawing Software

Did you really think that we would stop at five new features? We’ve crammed many more into our 1.9 update, along with a raft of fixes and feature improvements too. Here’s a quick run-down of our favourites that we really wanted to let you know about!

  • Designer now contains two new time-saving modifiers for the Node Tool which allow you to instantly straighten a curve or delete a segment to create two separate curves within one curve object.
  • In 1.9, it’s now possible to snap to pixel selection bounds, which is especially useful when working with floorplans and other similar documents.
  • Additional path text controls now make it possible to avoid flowing text onto both sides of a curve and to hide overflowing path text if desired.
  • External display support for the iPad version of Designer means when you connect your iPad to an external monitor, you can now configure your two displays separately to have one showing your document without the user interface, and the other showing your normal workspace. This allows you to zoom in and work in finer detail on one display, while viewing the final composition on the other.
  • Designer on all platforms now supports hierarchical control of antialiasing, which is especially useful for pixel artists and also for applications where the output must not be antialiased, such as producing vinyl cut images.

Check out our 1.9 Affinity creative sessions

For even more information about this latest release, check out the 1.9 Affinity creative sessions led by our in-house product experts. They run through all the major updates to each app, and you can stream them at any time on our official YouTube channel.

Watch more tutorials

We have a fantastic range of video tutorials designed to help you get the most out of Affinity Designer 1.9 on our website.

Find out more about our 1.9 updates:

Affinity Designer is currently 50% off

In response to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have once again cut the price of our apps by 50%—including the newly released 1.9 versions, so if you don’t have Affinity Designer yet, now is a great time to purchase a copy.

The 90-day free trial of the Mac and Windows versions of the whole Affinity suite is also back for a limited time. For more details and to download the free trial, go to the Affinity website.

Existing users can download v1.9 free from their Affinity account.

Affinity Designer
Developer(s)Serif Europe
Initial release1 October 2014; 6 years ago
Stable release
1.9.3 / 13 April 2021; 6 days ago[1]
Operating systemmacOS, Microsoft Windows, iPadOS
Available in9 languages
English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Russian
TypeVector graphics editor

Affinity Designer is a vector graphics editor developed by Serif for macOS, iPadOS, and Microsoft Windows. It is part of the 'Affinity trinity' alongside Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher. Affinity Designer is available for purchase directly from the company website and in the Mac App Store, iOS App Store, and the Microsoft Store.


Affinity Designer serves as a successor to Serif's own DrawPlus software, which the company discontinued in August 2017 in order to focus on the Affinity product range.[2] It has been described as an Adobe Illustrator alternative,[3][4][5] and is compatible with common graphics file formats, including Adobe Illustrator (AI), Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), Adobe Photoshop (PSD), Portable Document Format (PDF), and Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) formats.[6] The application can also import data from some Adobe FreeHand files (specifically versions 10 & MX).[7]

Affinity Designer's core functions include vector pen and shape-drawing tools, support for custom vector and raster brushes (including the ability to import Adobe Photoshop (ABR) brushes), dynamic symbols, stroke stabilization, text style management, and vector/pixel export options.[5][8][9]


Drag dolls. Affinity Designer provides non-destructive editing features across unlimited layers, with pan and zoom at 60fps, and real-time views for effects and transformations.[10] It supports the RGB, RGB Hex, LAB, CMYK and Grayscale color models, along with PANTONE color swatches and an end-to-end CMYK workflow with ICC color management, and 16-bit per channel editing.[11][9]


Affinity Designer began as a vector graphics editor solely for macOS. It was developed entirely from scratch for this operating system, allowing it to leverage core native technologies such as OpenGL, Grand Central Dispatch, and Core Graphics.[12]

The first version was released in October 2014, making it the first of the Affinity apps to be released by Serif (and their first macOS release).[13] At that time, Serif's vector graphics application for Windows was DrawPlus; however, following the release of Affinity Designer for Windows, this product has now been discontinued.[14]

Version 1.2, released in April 2015, introduced new tools and features, such as a corner tool and a pixel-alignment mode for GUI design tasks.[15] In December 2015, version 1.4 then introduced new features for managing artboards and printing.[16] With version 1.5 in October 2016, the application received multiple new features, including symbols, constraints, asset management and text styles.[17]

The application began branching out to other platforms in November 2016, when it first launched for Microsoft Windows.[18]

Version 1.6 was released in November 2017, introducing performance improvements and alternative GUI display mode.[19]

Affinity Designer Workbook

The first release of a separate iPad version of Affinity Designer took place in July 2018.[20]

Version 1.7 was released in June 2019 adding some key features such as HDR support, unlimited strokes and fills to a single shape, new point transform tool, new transform mode in Node tool, Lasso selection of nodes, new sculpt mode added to pencil, and also some big performance improvements.[21] Version 1.8, released in February 2020, added the ability for users to define their own document templates and keyboard shortcuts, and a built-in panel for adding stock images.[22]


Affinity Designer was selected as a runner-up in Apple's 'Best of 2014' list of Mac App Store and iTunes Store content in the macOS app category.[23][24][25] It also was one of the winners of the 2015 Apple Design Award.[26]

Affinity Designer Free Download For Windows

In 2018, the Windows version of Affinity Designer won 'Application Creator of the Year' at the Windows Developer Awards (part of Microsoft Build 2018).[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^'Affinity Designer for Windows - 1.9.0'. Affinity Forum. Retrieved 2021-02-04.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^Ogunjobi, Anino (2017-08-10). 'Digital Craft: Serif discontinues its Pageplus, Drawplus and Photoplus designing software to focus on its(Serif) new Affinity range of Professional graphic design software'. ANINO. Retrieved 2019-08-17.
  3. ^'Why I Use Affinity Designer Instead of Illustrator for Motion Design'. School of Motion. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  4. ^'Affinity Designer vs Adobe Illustrator CC 2018 Comparison FinancesOnline'. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  5. ^ ab'Affinity Designer vs. Adobe Illustrator: can Designer replace Illustrator? - 99designs'. 99designs. 2016-08-17. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  6. ^Martin, Keith (November 27, 2014). 'Serif Affinity Designer'. Expert Reviews. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  7. ^'Import and export file formats - Affinity Designer Help'. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  8. ^'Affinity - One Year Review'. Cargo Creative. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  9. ^ ab'Affinity Designer - Complete Feature List'. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  10. ^'Illustrator rival launches on Windows'. Creative Bloq. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  11. ^'Graphic Design App 'Affinity Designer' Launches for iPad With Apple Pencil Support'. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  12. ^'Serif releases free alternative to Adobe Illustrator'. Creative Bloq. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  13. ^'Affinity Designer is a new graphics design suite available for Mac'. iMore. 2014-10-02. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  14. ^'Digital Craft: Serif discontinues its Pageplus, Drawplus and Photoplus designing software to focus on its(Serif) new Affinity range of Professional graphic design software - ANINO'. ANINO. 2017-08-10. Retrieved 2018-09-04.
  15. ^'Affinity Designer gets first big update'. Creative Bloq. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  16. ^'Top new features in Affinity Designer 1.4'. Creative Bloq. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  17. ^'Affinity Designer 1.5 released Webdesigner Depot'. Webdesigner Depot. 2016-10-12. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  18. ^'Affinity Spotlight - Photography, Design & Illustration'. Affinity Spotlight.
  19. ^'Affinity Photo 1.6 released: faster processing, new features, and free stuff'. DPReview. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  20. ^'9to5'. Twitter. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
  21. ^'Affinity Designer and Photo for Mac updated to version 1.7 with multi-GPU and HDR display support'. 9 to 5 Mac.
  22. ^Benjamin, Jeff (2020-02-26). 'Affinity Photo, Publisher, and Designer updated to version 1.8'. 9to5Mac. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  23. ^Spencer, Graham (December 8, 2014). 'Apple Posts 'Best of 2014' App Store and iTunes Store Lists'. MacStories. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  24. ^May, Tom (December 10, 2014). 'Affinity Designer is number 2 Mac app of 2014'. Creative Bloq. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  25. ^Calimlim, Aldrin (December 8, 2014). 'Apple announces the App Store's Best of 2014 for iPhone, iPad and Mac'. AppAdvice. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  26. ^Panzarino, Matthew (June 8, 2015). 'Fantastical 2, Workflow, Robinhood Among Winners At Apple Design Awards'. TechCrunch. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  27. ^'Windows Developer Awards - Build 2018 - Windows app development'. (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-08-14.

Further reading[edit]

Affinity Designer Workbook. Nottingham: Serif Europe Ltd. 2016. ISBN9781909581036.

External links[edit]

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