Book Review: Affinity Designer Workbook

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I've been trying to learn Affinity Designer because I wanted to switch from subscription-based Adobe software to something that I don't have to pay for every month, and year. I've had Affinity Designer even since the app as released but still haven't gotten around to truly using it. I'm still using my old Adobe Illustrator CS5 because it still works. The other reason is, it's difficult to find teaching material or resource that really teaches you how to use the app. Enter the Affinity Designer Workbook.

Affinity Designer Workbook is a comprehensive instruction book that's covers the ins and outs of the app, and has full length tutorials that you can follow along to learn the different functionality available. This is a 448-page thick hardcover. The production quality is excellent. Binding is fantastic, the paper quality is thick non matte and the page layout and design of the book are great. You can tell this book was designed by graphic designers for graphic designers.

I've been going through the book for a few weeks now and I'm just astonished by the depth of the software. It can do many things that Adobe Illustrator can do, it's just that sometimes the workflow is different. And that's where the book is really helpful. The first part of the book goes through the user interface and talks about the functionality the app. It's a very hands-on books so be prepared to follow along the lesson with files you can download online. With the book, I learned more in the few days compared to the weeks I had with the software learning on my own.

The second part of the book goes into more detailed projects and full length tutorials. These tutorials are created by various graphic designers. These tutorials covers real world usage. And that's how this book is so much more helpful and valuable compared to just reading the free software documentation available on Serif's website.

Right at the back of the book are several tear-out "cheat sheets" of keyboard shortcuts. They are great for those who are into keyboard shortcuts, like me.

This is a tremendous resource. If you want to get up to speed with Affinity Designer, if you want to be proficient with the software, this is the book for you.

The book is priced at US $49.99. It's pricey but compared to the monthly subscription payment to Adobe, this is significantly more affordable. You'll probably earn back the money you spend in a few months time.

Highly recommended.

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3 Comments

Since my ancient OS X version

Since my ancient OS X version doesn't work with Affinity apps anymore, I've been using the iPad versions of Af. Photo & Designer. They work great! There is hardly anything missing from the desktop versions, and the strategies for replacing key shortcuts & mouse buttons with gestures are very clever, and become intuitive quickly. And in Designer for iPad you can draw vectors (brush tool, not pen) with the Apple pencil, which could be really helpful for many people. As you know, any Affinity file can be seamlessly traded back & forth on both platforms, and between Photo & Designer.

In recent years I've done a

In recent years I've done a few vector graphics projects for a local youth club and a choir, using the open-source software Inkscape... it's OK and I got what I needed from it. However, Affinity Designer looks so much more capable, looking at the features on their website.

Today, I have downloaded the free trial for the software and, given its low cost, I am very likely to buy it. I'll probably buy this book as well, via one of your links.

Thanks for the review.

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