With the resounding success and universal praise heaped upon last year’s launch of Affinity Photo for the iPad, it was only a matter of time before its companion app, the popular vector illustration tool, Affinity Designer, was brought to the platform.

After publishing a teaser almost a year ago to the day, Affinity Designer is making its iOS App Store debut. To celebrate, developer Serif is launching the app at a special $13.99 introductory price, a 30% discount off the full price.

Like Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer brings desktop-class high-level capabilities to iPad users. After using it, I can say that it is unequivocally one of the most impressive iOS apps I’ve ever used. Serif has taken full advantage of the iPad’s multi touch gestures in a way that allows users to pull off all sorts of quick shortcuts without delving deep into the app’s deep menu set. It’s not a mere port of the Mac version (on sale for $34.99), but a feature-complete illustration app that’s built from the ground up with touch in mind.

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Serif’s Managing Director Ashley Hewson notes that: “Affinity Designer for iPad takes all the power and precision of our desktop version and converts it into a truly stunning immersive experience.”

The company says that it worked side-by-side for months with influential artists, considering their feedback about real world workflows.


Press video

Here’s a look at some of the key features highlighted in Serif’s launch press release:

Metal support

The iPad’s advanced Metal graphics processing delivers unreal speed and lag-free real-time edits, even on the biggest files.

Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil dynamics like tilt, angle, pressure and more help bring smoothness and stability to your curves and colours.

Zoom

Zoom by well over one million percent ensures complete accuracy in your work, every time.

Drag and drop

Using the Drag & Drop feature of the iPad’s Files app enables you to bring projects in and out of the app at a touch.

Vector and Raster personas

Affinity Designer for iPad is unique in offering the opportunity to switch seamlessly from vector to raster work. With around 100 brushes built in, to cover pretty much every requirement, it’s simple to add rich media texture to your designs.

Adjustment layers

Boasting 22 non-destructive adjustment layers that preview instantly and can be edited any time, and with full support for masks, stacks and clipping layers, Affinity Designer for iPad offers the most advanced layer controls available in any vector-based app.

Formats

Affinity Designer for iPad supports all major formats including SVG, EPS, PDF, PSD, HDR, EXR, TIFF, GIF, JPEG, and PNG. You’ll also find 16-bit per channel editing, end-to-end CMYK, ICC color management and spot colors for professional printing.

Workflow management

Everything you need for end-to-end UI design workflow is on hand, including unlimited artboards, a powerful Symbols tool and full asset management.

Desktop app integration

Pick up right where you left off on the desktop version of Affinity Designer, available on the Mac. Seamlessly work between both iPad and Mac apps.

No subscription

One of the most remarkable things about Affinity apps is the lack of a monthly or yearly subscription fee. You pay a flat fee up front and you get unlimited access to the app.


I regularly use both Affinity Photo on iPad and Mac, and Affinity Designer on the Mac and I haven’t looked back. Each app has been an effective replacement for both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator in my daily workflow.

I’ve been effusive with my praise of Affinity Photo in particular, because it really does bring desktop-level photo editing to the iPad, so much so that I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything when I only have my tablet with me. Seeing as it just launched, I haven’t been able to use Affinity Designer for as long as I have Affinity Photo, but from what I’ve seen so far, its iPad trajectory looks similar.

You can download Affinity Designer for $13.99 for a limited time. After its introductory price, the app will be positioned at its normal $19.99 selling price. If you feel you have even the slightest passing interest in vector illustration on iPad, you should probably just take the plunge before the price jumps to its normal asking price.

Affinity Designer is available for iPad users who own an iPad Air 2, iPad 2017, iPad 2018, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, and both 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models.

Serif has put together a nice helping of over 60 video tutorials to help new users get started with Affinity Designer for iPad. What are your thoughts on the release? Do you plan on buying it? Sound off in the comments below.

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