Affinity Designer
Developer(s)Serif Europe
Initial release1 October 2014; 9 years ago (2014-10-01)
Stable release
2.5.3 / 24 June 2024; 10 days ago (2024-06-24)[1]
Operating systemmacOS, Microsoft Windows, iPadOS
Available in9 languages
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 and 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]

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]

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] Version 1.9 was released in February 2021, containing "substantial performance gains when working with complex vector documents" and hardware accelerration for Windows.[23]

Version 2

In November 2022, Serif launched the second major version of Affinity Designer, incorporating shape builder and knife tools, vector warping, and an x-ray view. However, it received criticism online as some users felt the new feature set was not substantial enough to justify a new purchase.[24] This was followed by version 2.1 in May 2023 and version 2.2 in September 2023, adding various UI improvements and support for macOS Sonoma.[25][26]


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.[27][28][29] It also was one of the winners of the 2015 Apple Design Award.[30]

In 2018, the Windows version of Affinity Designer won 'Application Creator of the Year' at the Windows Developer Awards (part of Microsoft Build 2018).[31]

Affinity Designer was selected as the winner of the "Best Software For Designers" Award in the 2022 Creative Bloq Awards.[32]

See also


  1. ^ "Latest Affinity V2 releases on each platform by store". Affinity Newsroom. Retrieved 2024-07-04.
  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. ^ a b "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. 29 March 2017. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  9. ^ a b "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. ^ Khareghat, Melanie (4 February 2021). "Affinity 1.9 updates available now". Affinity Spotlight. Retrieved 1 October 2023.
  24. ^ Endicott, Sean (9 November 2022). "Affinity 2 launch causes controversy among content creators". Windows Central. Retrieved 1 October 2023.
  25. ^ Dean, Ian (18 May 2023). "Serif's Affinity suite gets a surprise free update". Creative Bloq. Retrieved 1 October 2023.
  26. ^ Schmitz, Agen (25 September 2023). "Affinity Designer, Photo, and Publisher 2.2". TidBITS. Retrieved 1 October 2023.
  27. ^ Spencer, Graham (December 8, 2014). "Apple Posts "Best of 2014" App Store and iTunes Store Lists". MacStories. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  28. ^ May, Tom (December 10, 2014). "Affinity Designer is number 2 Mac app of 2014". Creative Bloq. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  29. ^ Calimlim, Aldrin (December 8, 2014). "Apple announces the App Store's Best of 2014 for iPhone, iPad and Mac". AppAdvice. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  30. ^ Panzarino, Matthew (June 8, 2015). "Fantastical 2, Workflow, Robinhood Among Winners At Apple Design Awards". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  31. ^ "Windows Developer Awards - Build 2018 - Windows app development". (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  32. ^ Daniel John (2022-09-29). "Adobe Photoshop 2022 wins software of the year in the Creative Bloq Awards 2022". Creative Bloq. Retrieved 2024-02-11.

Further reading

Affinity Designer Workbook. Nottingham: Serif Europe Ltd. 2016. ISBN 9781909581036.